Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How I learned sock knitting

I was 12 years old, it was winter, around Christmas time. That makes the year 1994.

A few weeks earlier, my mother picked up knitting again, trying to teach herself sock knitting with a magazine article. She almost had it figured out, just the tricky part of turning the heel didn't quite make sense to her. So she asked my grandmother, her mother, for advice and sure enough, her way of turning the heel worked very well.
So as it happens during the holidays, there's lots of downtime (at least if you're a kid) and I decided or maybe someone suggested to me, that I try a pair of socks. A little bit earlier I had learned how to knit in the round (which is how socks are knitted, around and around, no turning, no seams, just knit stitches). In school we knitted a decorative parrot, which taught me the in-the-round-technique.
My first attempt at sock knitting wasn't too bad, I think I managed the cast on, then knitted the leg part, then my mother had to do the heel part for me, then I knitted the foot part, then my mother got the toe part. The first pair was either grey or blue, a boring color compared to today's choice of self-patterning yarn. And it was huge! I used to knit very loosely, I must have been so relaxed back then.
My mother showed me how to decrease and finish the socks, that was really easy. After a while she got fed up turning the heel for me, showed me how to do that too and I was able to do it all by myself!
For whatever reason I decided to rip back the first pair of socks, I probably wanted to re-use the yarn, but it didn't work out (they were washed lots of times) and I ended up binning them. But I do have a few pairs of socks from that time. They still fit and look good.
I knitted lots of socks as a young girl, in the winters, and only for myself. Sometimes I went years without knitting anything, but if I needed something to do to relax, I always went back to knitting. Sock knitting is very versatile, there are so many patterns for socks, lace socks, fair isle socks, cable knit socks etc. The basic sock pattern is very easy, I never had it written down.
When I moved away from home, I stopped knitting for a few years, I only got back into it in 2009 or so, after briefly trying my hand at sewing and patchwork. But the sewing machine is just too cumbersome, there isn't space for it in my apartment and you can't watch tv while you're doing it. So I went back to knitting, always knitting, must knit now! 

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