Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Well, I guess it goes without saying that Little Red is quite afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. . .or at least she was afraid, before the Woodsman chopped him open, thus freeing Grandma and making the forest a safer place for all creatures. That makes sense.

What doesn't make sense (to Pretty Knitty anyway) is why so many knitters are afraid of the sock. The knitted sock, small and meek, will send even experienced knitters into a frenzy. . .they are not ready, sure that they cannot master knitting socks themselves, even though many of the techniques are no different than any other knitting. For example, short-row shaping (found in most heel constructions) is also found in many sweater patterns; knitting in the round happens in hats and mittens; decreases and picking up stitches are a part of many patterns. . .maybe it's the tiny needles that frighten them?
Or maybe it's the dreaded Kitchener Stitch. . .dum-dum-DUMMMMMM!!! But really, the kitchener is just a combination of knitting and sewing. Don't get me wrong, learning to kitchener takes a little patience and practice, but all you're really doing is using a sewing needle to close a seam by duplicating a knit row between the two rows of stitches-in-waiting. There are great tutorials all over the web, so I won't go into detail here, but I am confident that anyone can do it. Give it a shot, and come back to tell me about your "Aha Moment" with the kitchener stitch!
Knitting techniques aside, I also know some knitters that get so intimidated by the number of sock patterns out there, that they just don't really know where to start! So, since I have been working through a sock pattern a month in my own personal sock club, I have decided to offer a little review of the socks I have knit so far this year. Maybe something I say or show will help you to step out of your comfort zone and knit your first pair of socks!?! Just one pattern per post for the next 8 posts, and here we go!

In January, I knit November Socks. Now, that might seem a bit counter-intuitive to some, but when I said, "The envelope, please!," that first month, that's what was inside, so I went with it. These were knit in Serenity Sock Yarn (in the color Paprika) on 2.25 (1US) needles. The yarn is part of the Deborah Norville Collection (50% wool, 25% bamboo, 25% nylon), and very soft. It was a little thinner than I usually work with, so I probably should have gone down a needle size and cast on more stitches, but I didn't.
The pattern looks pretty cool knitted up, sorry for my bad's another, for your reference, so that you can see the stitch definition a little better. I used less than 100g of yarn, starting with two 50g skeins, and I probably had about 25g leftover.
Of course, even in the better photo of the unfinished sock, the stitch definition is not good. I think it's a combination of the patterning in the yarn, and my preference for always starting on a knit (not purl) stitch that had me not really loving this pattern. . .if I knit it again, I will use a solid yarn, probably something a little more substantial. And if I use this yarn again (I have used it twice now on 2.25mm), I will probably go down a needle size to the 2mm.

All in all, this project was more positive than negative. :) College Girl was the recipient of the November Socks, and she wears them, and she likes them! I would have made changes if I were the kind of knitter who really studies a pattern before I dive in, but I am not. And there you have it, review number one! Please let me know if there are questions I did not answer, or if there are additional details you would like me to provide in the next review.

On to the current events in today's Knitting Knews:
The toe in the first two photos, that you saw at the start of this post, belongs to the August club socks, Wickerware! These were knit from the same yarn as the ones in my review, and I could copy all of that info here, but really, what's the point? You just read all that! lol

Here's a shot of the finished pair, "hanging out" in the garden:
More details on my Rav Project Page. I will also review these socks in about a month, or so. :)

And when you finish one pair of socks, you know what to do next? Start another! Soooo, the page for this next project has been started over on Ravelry, even though I will not officially cast on until tomorrow. Watch out for September Squalls!!!
There are many other projects currently on Pretty Knitty's needles, but most of them are of the secret/Christmas variety, so I guess the blog ends here. It's time for Pretty Knitty to get outside and take a little walk anyway. . .thanks for stopping by, and. . .

Knit in Good Health!


  1. For my own fears, as you are well aware, part of it comes down to how I hold my yarn and the rest of it comes down to the fact that I am frequently dim, so the ideas conveyed in the pattern don't make the mental connection with me. One day, I will return to socks and when I do, they will be grand!

  2. LOL, when I first started to knit, know what my first project was after doing a little scarfy thing so I could practice various stitches?
    Socks. Yup. True.

  3. Cozy, I am right there with you. . .my first "real" knitting project was a pair of socks, and the Kitchener seriously kicked my butt until I learned to just trust the directions! I am sure glad that nobody told me socks could be a challenge until after I had mastered them!!!