Knitting The Sock (Or Don’t Tell Me What I Can’t Do)

16 08 2009

(And that, my friends, is how you go from knitting to Lost in one easy step.)

not so hard, actually

I have been a sporadic knitter for about 6 years now (unless you count when I was 8 and learned how to make a square, but never learned to bind it off, in which case I have been knitting for much longer) but I have always been afraid of socks. People talk of turning the heel with a sense of accomplishment and relief that made me cower in awe of their ability. But this year I decided to jump right in. I bought this super cool sock book that has all sorts of fun flippy pages to let you design your own sock – I figured I had enough knitting knowledge to follow the directions and get it done, and enough experience working on teeny little DPN’s.

So I headed out to the local knitting store. I nnounced I was knitting a sock and asked for help in figuring out how much yarn I’d need (I don’t do math) and was told that sock yarn is too small for my first time, and the book I have is not good for a beginner at all. I walked out the door, uncertain of myself, and with $20 in yarn and patterns I now regret.

I have made it a habit to keep my mind open to advice which has more often than not resulted in good personal growth, but on occasion instead merely creates insecurities about what I can and cannot do. I could do well in following John Locke’s example in the video above.

Anyway, as it turned out the pattern they sold me SUCKS. It was awkward and stupid and confused me more than it helped. It did come with videos on the associated website, but I can get those free (and in better format) on knittinghelp.com or even in random YouTube gems. So I tossed it aside and used the book I had. I decided I’d just make a set of socks to practice on so I didn’t care how they looked and I started with a simple ribbing. Which was a mistake. Because ribbing is kind of boring and I wasn’t loving the sock I was making which made me completely uninterested in the project. I finished it up as a sock puppet instead of an actual sock and decided to just buy some damn sock yarn and see what I could do with it.

second sock

As it turns out, I can do LOTS with it, thankyouverymuch. Pft. So now I’ve learned that the book I chose for myself works very well (more on that in a minute) and that I am not too stupid for sock yarn after all. I’ve also learned that I’m smart enough to do fancy designs in knitting and so now I’m thinking if I can do that, I can make awesome sweaters, too. Hrm…

As for the book – I love it. All except for one thing – it assumes I cannot handle DPN’s. Don’t tell me what I can’t do! There is a page in the beginning about needle choices and, essentially, it says something along the lines of, “Yeah, you CAN use DPN’s, but you don’t want to. You’ll like using two circular needles instead.” and then the entire rest of the book assumes you are using two circs which means I have to do math to figure out which stitches go where and when I decrease and etc. It’s annoying. It’s close to offensive, actually, to assume things like this. And it upsets me that I sometimes let people make me think less of my abilities.

As for the dreaded heel? DUDE. So easy. All I did was follow the directions in the book and – voila! – I had a sock!

heel, I did it!

I am thrilled with the sock, proud of myself, and I think I have learned a valuable lesson here. Two, actually. One, that knitting isn’t hard at all. Two, that I can do things that appear difficult – despite what others think.

Now, I just have to make the second sock match the first.

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9 responses

17 08 2009
CP

Very cool. Love the yarn!

18 08 2009
Sarah

Woo, look at you and your heel!

18 08 2009
Elaine

I fear the sock.

Some day, I will take your example and jump in. For now, I’m shocked that I (so far) haven’t effed up the ribbing pattern I’m currently doing. First time EVER.

18 08 2009
Jenny

Awesome! I love the sock too.

19 08 2009
Amy

I heart your sock.

20 08 2009
Corey

Very nice! Where’s the other one? *snicker*

20 08 2009
Wendy

Obviously you didn’t ask me, because I would have told you Of Course you can knit socks. And DPN are fine, but the Magic Loop ROCKS. Seriously ROCKS. I would never do a sock on DPN again. Check it out:

http://www.knitting-and.com/wiki/Magic_Loop

20 08 2009
Jenny, Bloggess

That sock rocks.

21 08 2009
Vickii

AWESOME sock! And the second doesn’t have to match the first. At Pangaea Outpost, there’s a vendor that sells socks from….damn, can’t remember, but they’re cool. THAT sock lady packages 3 knitted socks together in beautiful wild colors, and none of them match. If you lose one, you have a spare, and it doesn’t matter, because they’re not supposed to match anyway. Color choices are rad.

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