Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fresh from the FROZEN TUNDRA that is the Bluff Country!

While the bitter, cold winds have been howling outside, blowing the snow into huge drifts, I've been nestled inside my cozy home....

...knitting socks!

You may remember, this is my first real attempt at knitting socks and I was using the two socks on two circular needles  method, guided by the book:  "Knitting  circles around Socks" by Antje Gillingham. 

*Before I tell you about my adventure with the book and my knitting, let me just say that as I was searching for a link for Antje's book, I found Cat Bordhi's video tutorials for knitting socks on two circs and it looks MUCH easier to understand!  I may try my next pair using Cat's method.*
Anyway, as I was saying, I was following the instructions in the book, until my yarn, socks and needles became so entangled that I couldn't tell which ball of yarn went with which needle went with which sock!  Now, I'm willing to concede that it is possible that I may have made an error or two, but I thought that I was following the instructions. 

That is, until I realized that not only did I have rows of purl stitches where there should NOT have been rows of purl stitches, but I actually had one sock facing one way (toward me) and one facing the other way (away from me).  Both socks are supposed to face the same direction!

It was at that point that I separated the two circulars (with the aid of a third circ) and began knitting the socks separately.  I found this to be much easier and I simply knit a few rows on one sock and then knit the same rows on the other.  I'll STILL have two socks but without the tangled up mess..

I've made a ton of mistakes, but decided to leave them and continue knitting.  These are, after all, my very first pair of socks and it is perfectly natural that they would have some errors.

I have no idea how I started out knitting and ended up purling ~
Actually, I'm NOT purling!  I'm still doing knit stitches, it's just that the way that I'm doing them makes purl stitches on the sock.  ????
(I don't know!  Don't ask me.  This is my first pair of socks!)

I am almost ready to begin the toe decreases.  Of course, I need to get the second sock to this point before I do that.  Just think, in no time at all, I'll be wearing my very first pair of home-spun, hand-knit socks,
 from ALICE! 

As you can see,
Sable can barely contain her excitement!

Actually, she's watching over the brooder with two, new, baby chicks in it!  Making sure the cats don't get overly enthusiastic as they sit and watch those chicks...  You can see a post about the new babies on my Chicken Blog

I'm sure that I'll start another pair of socks soon and see if Cat Bordhi's method works a little better for me.  If not ~ I may just stick to one sock at a time but have two of them going (separately) at the same time so that I don't fall victim to "Second Sock Syndrome"...

Is it just me or did none of that make any sense?


  1. Nancy, I did a lot of knitting decades ago when my daughter was a baby to toddler. I was especially proud of a little hooded sweater with popcorn stitch. But I never tackled socks! My hat's off to you. And errors won't matter - they'll still keep your tootsies warm!!!

    Nancy in Iowa

  2. I love making socks and have only knit them one at a time on four needles, have not tried the circular needle method and am not really inclined to do so, I think it would take too much concentration and dealing with two balls of yarn. Great job for the first time knitting socks and specially dealing with two socks and two balls of wool at one time!!Off to check out your chicky babies.

  3. Anonymous7:06 PM

    hmmmm.... clear as mud, since I don't knit. Glad to hear you're up and about! Sable looks like I feel.


    Katie, who put all her boxes on the patio (BRRRRR!) and moved furniture today. Now, I'm bringing in the boxes a few at a time. (of course I have to do it on the coldest weekend of the year!)

  4. I love to knit socks but have to admit that my very first pair wasn't exactly error free! Good for you for pressing on. They are obviously going to be wearable and you will love that. The purl look is called reverse stockinette, and is a very acceptable stitch in it's own right. If you turn them inside out they'd be stockinette. Still, I think it looks pretty good as is.

  5. I've only done basic knitting, I never graduated beyond washclothes.:-)

  6. Oh I'm so glad you have tackled making socks.. That is going to be my next project after I get these mittens done.. IF I have problems I can ask you..I loved your post today.. Someone told me they knew a lady that made 4 socks at one time.. Yikes~!
    ta ta for now from Iowa..
    Sorry you are getting so much snow.. Wish it was here...We have 5 inches on the ground.. But it's so cold outside.. It's freezing.

  7. I'm just learning to knit and I'm impressed with your socks. I don't know if you're doing it right or wrong but you're are making A PAIR OF SOCKS and I think they look great. Good for you. Keep making the effort.
    That photo of your dog is wonderful. She's watching those chicks so hard she looks kind of cross eyed. I love it.

  8. Ack! Do you really keep your house that cold? I would have to stay bundled in my bed all day at 50 some degrees in the house! You are a strong, hearty woman!
    Your Alice is absolutely gorgeous!!!! I just want to give her a big hug. What a beautiful face she has.
    Also, great work on the socks - don't give up hope. My mom recently started knitting socks and had a similar experience her first time, too - now she's an old pro and we're all getting (wonderful, warm, cute) socks as gifts!

  9. Congrats on getting this far, Nancy! I think you'll find socks to be very forgiving...warm and cozy...even if they aren't exactly right! I made lots of mistakes when I first made socks. Each and every sock you make will feel more natural and easier. Circulars are popular, but with all the ruckus and chaos in my house with lots of youth, I'd never survive!(Read...Border Collie puppy using furniture as track hurdles!) So I stick to my wooden doublepoints (which I LOVE!), and have never faced sock syndrome. I think our lovely Shetland wool cures that syndrome! :) Amy at Wheely Wooly Farm

  10. I don't get knitting, though my grandmother did.
    Good luck!

  11. I have the same "syndrome" with mittens ... I've decided single mittens make good tree decorations at Christmas.
    On another topic, Nancy are you taking orders for calendars? I would love to get one.
    thanks, Margaret

  12. Anonymous12:14 PM

    My guess is that coming off the short rows for the heels you got mixed up (easy to do!) and continued your rounds on the wrong side instead of the right side. Next time keep an eye on the instep and make sure when you start knitting those stitches again that the knit side is facing you.

    My first pair of socks turned out fine, except for a very poor choice of yarn, I can't wear them because they're so very scratchy.

  13. I don't pretend to even try to understand the text, but I think the pictures of the socks look wonderful! And im very glad that you're conquering that challenge for yourself, it does sound fun :) Im also glad you have lots of kitties and puppies in the house to keep you company, and warmer! Can we have some kitties-in-the-house pics!? I love those :)



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