You’ve heard of the Love Dare? Maybe the Respect Dare, too? Well I’ve settled on doing the Sock Dare and I’m already seeing the difference in my relationship with sock knitting.
This is pair number 2 knit in Gynx Yarns‘ Strong Sock in the Gym Class colorway. It was the perfect yarn to use for the StripeySocksKAL in The Pinfeathers and Purls Podcast group. Not only is it very striped, but its from a dyer I often hear Candace talk about on her podcast. In fact, I think I first learned of Candace through her use of Gynx Yarns on Instagram. It will also double for an entry in the BoxoSoxsKAL.
I used the Knit Picks pattern Two at Once, Toe-up Magic Loop Socks that Katie recommended when I started this year long sock business. The cast on was a little different but seems easier when knitting two socks at once than Judy’s Magic Cast On. I’m sure there’s a less fiddly way to do the latter, but I always just started each sock separately then loaded one onto the same needle as the other once they were both a few rows in. So this made beginning a bit faster and knitting two at a time always helps with speed. These were knit up in just a few days, but I waited a long time to block them. It’s not really woolly sock weather anymore, so I was in no rush.
I used sock blockers for the first time, too. I’m really glad I got some. These socks were knit so tightly that they looked too tight in the front ankle area and seemed misshapen. After blocking, they spread out like magic and fit very well.
Details: I meant to use size US 0s on these, but couldn’t find any in my needle stack. There is nothing harder than finding a needle in a needle stack. Ba Dum Bum Ch. So, I knit with a bit more tension than normal, since it is a sport weight yarn.
I split my yarn in half and made sure I was beginning both toes with the beginning of a grey stripe.
After casting on half the toe stitches and picking up the other half through the purl bumps, I turned the work so that the side I thought looked neatest would be the outside of the toe and began working. I’m not sure if even did this as the pattern instructs, because I didn’t end up with twisted stitches, but I did what looked easiest and best and the toes came out great.
This next part is for my own poor brain, in case I forget how I did this: I increased to the top of my pinky toe, 24 sts each side, and worked 6.25″ further in stockinette before starting my heel (7.25″ total in length). I also made sure this was at the beginning of a grey section to get a look of contrasting heels. After finishing one grey portion, I made some cuts in my yarn to be OCD about a solid colored heel, and used another grey section to almost finish the heel.
When I moved to orange, I used one orange section and part of the sections I’d removed earlier to get the stripes at the top of the foot to be fairly even. It was kind of a mess and probably a difficult way to accomplish a simple thing, but the whole point is for me to learn.
I made the leg of the socks extra long to show out of the top of my boots and finished with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off to finish the cuff. I like Knitty’s visual instructions for knitting techniques best. For some reason video tutorials make me impatient. Knitters aren’t usually bad about all of the “Um” and Let’s see…” small talk that you have to sit through before the actual tutorial starts, but I still prefer images. Have you ever sat through a Youtube tutorial where a kid walks you through some process on your computer? It’s full of “Um…uh”s. It’s also slightly humbling that I need a little kid with a stuffy nose to teach me how to use my everyday stuff.
Anyway, my next pair will be very cabledy things, but I will be coming back to this pattern for simple, fast socks.