Melissa emailed me on Sunday to tell me that the work I had done so far was only for gauge and that once I had my gauge, I was to rip out and cast-on for whatever size sock I was going to knit. WHAT? Now don’t get me wrong. I am a BIG proponent of swatching. I am a swatcher, even at times when it is a bit overkill (even when the Harlot looks at me like I must be an alien because I swatched for the BSJ). I am a tight knitter and although I usually have to go up a needle size, sometimes, for whatever reason, I don’t. So, I swatch.
But in this instance I was rather indignant to learn that the work I had accomplished so far was just to be tossed aside. Knitting on dpns has never been a strength or much fun for me. I was pretty darn pleased by late Sunday morning when I had successfully knit my required lenght without completely losing control of the dpns or injuring myself. Plus, I was not interested in my first sock attempt being for anyone, I just wanted to understand the mechanics. As I’m emailing this info to Melissa, I get an email back from her saying she’s off for the day. WHAT??? I am ready to knit a sock and you are leaving me?! Well, I guess it and I would have to wait for further direction later.
But I couldn’t.
The sock was staring at me.
I know it was sneaking around, trying to get my attention as I moved about the house, trying to work, trying to get some chores done.
I was getting twitchy.
I couldn’t wait for Melissa.
Despite my large stash of knitting books here at home, I do not have a single sock book. Hmmm. Then it hit me. I decided to Google “how to knit socks”. (Yeah, that first class education really came in handy coming up with that thought).
First up for me – a complete guide to knitting socks, in beautiful, plain english published by the wonderful Clara Parkes on Knitters Review. I was beside myself. I was ready to start the heel flap and her instructions were clear and straightforward. Woohoo! I was back in business. I set about working the heel flap. Look at me go:
Then it was time for the scary stuff. Turning.The.Heel.
My mother-in-law has always said “You are not a real knitter until you can turn a heel”. I have built this up in my mind to be a daunting task. I’ve had other knitters talk about turning the heel in equally scary terms (at least that’s how it always sounded to me). I read through Clara’s instructions and although I understood them, I could not visualize where I was going or what it should look like. I decided to hold. I know myself well enough to know that if I made a mess at this point, I may ruin my chances of ever completing the sock.
Melissa emailed me mid-afternoon from one of her stops along the way of her family-day and was quite supportive of the progress I had made. She was also adamant that I go no further without her. I was not allowed to get any guidance at WEBS today. Luckily, I needed to be home this afternoon to become “Comcastic”, so Melissa came over to give me a lesson.
I did the decreases and the rounds and will hopefully remember which slant which decrease will give me and when I need to use which one. I think if I incorporate a line from Jimmy Buffet “Fins to the Left, Fins to the Right”. . . I can get this to stick with me.
Look what I did:
I, Kathy Elkins, turned a heel.
For anyone reading who has never attempted this – it is not nearly as hard as it reads in a pattern. Seriously. You all know I am not a capital ‘K” knitter and this was not hard – it’s knitting, knitting two together and slip/slip/knit. Honestly, keeping track of where you are is harder than the actually knitting.
Onto the gusset, which is not really an instep gusset since your instep is at the top of your foot, not the bottom, but that’s really neither here nor there. As with turning the heel, the gusset was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.
Once the gusset was done, I needed to knit a few rounds until it was time to shape the toe (again, same types of decreases as with the heel turn and gusset).
Finally came the Kitchener. Melissa has created a handy cheat sheet, in plain English. Even with that, I think this is the one thing that would be hard to complete without someone assisting you. If you are a visual learner, diagrams or a video might work, but there is no way I would’ve gotten this without Melissa’s help. In fact, I’m sure I will need supervision on this final step for many forseeable socks.
Here it is everyone, I am proud to introduce MY FIRST SOCK:
It’s really quite cute and really looks like a sock. It was incredibly fun and I am hooked. I’ve got the sock knitters’ high. . . . .
Here is Melissa, teacher and cheerleader extraordinaire with my very cute sock:
Here’s it’s adorable little toe. Not a bad Kitchener for the first time out:
I must reiterate, I would not try Kitchener without a net just quite yet.
Thanks for pushing me Melissa. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I’ve already got yarn for a full pair of socks for Jonathan – he’s even approved the color.
I think I know what our next knitalong on the podcast is going to be. . . . . . .