After figuring out how to knit in the round, I decided it was time for a new challenge – magic loop. Magic loop is a technique to knit items with a small circumference in the round using one long circular needle. Because of the way it works, you can work on items that vary circumference rather than just a fixed circumference (like if you were knitting in the round on a cable a similar size to your knitting). You can knit pretty much anything using this method, but so far I’ve found it’s particularly useful for hats and socks.
I remember watching Katie knit socks at last year’s Library Camp and being absolutely fascinated. The lovely shop owner in Edinburgh’s k1 Yarns assured me that socks really weren’t that difficult and provided me with a simple pattern to use; no fancy stitches, just regular stocking stitch (all knit stitches when knitting in the round). She helped me choose a yarn and I got a clever self striping yarn, Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Socka Mexiko Color, along with a suitable cable needle.
I have to be honest, I kept reading the pattern through but it really didn’t make much sense, especially for turning the heel. However, people assured me to just follow the pattern and it would work out. Fortunately, they were right! Turning the heel is just magic, honestly. This was my first pair of socks (also see project on Ravelry):
I loved the fact that this project was so portable and I could easily work on it on public transport. So I decided to do some more. I was kindly sent a lovely Socks That Rock yarn from Bryony so I set myself the ambitious project of a pair of toe up socks (starting knitting at the toe rather than the cuff) during the Olympics as part of the Ravellenics challenge. I keenly started them during the opening ceremony (which was *amazing* and distracted me somewhat), but progress afterwards was slow. I was working on my chartership portfolio at the time and didn’t find as much time for knitting. I’m a pretty slow knitter too so a pair of socks takes me a while. As you may have guessed by the myriad of excuses, I didn’t manage to finish the socks in time. I did finish one, but it didn’t fit. I did try it on as I went and thought it was a little tight but hoped it might stretch out. It doesn’t seem too though (probably because of the pattern chosen) so the other in the pair I adapted to make a bit wider on the foot. That one fits fine but I’m now in the situation where I have one which fits and one which doesn’t. I need to undo the smaller one but I’m not sure I can build up the strength to destroy over 2 weeks worth of knitting I did during the Olympics. My project notes are available on Ravelry.
After the minor disaster of the sock not fitting incident, I had a bit of a break from knitting socks. Recently however I decided to make the pair I had originally intended to do for Ravellenics, Hermione’s Everyday Socks. I had a lovely squishy skein of Araucania Ranco Multy which I thought would suit the pattern. These were really enjoyable – simple yet effective pattern and lovely yarn. My needle did unfortunately break with a few more rows to go so that was an interesting challenge but I managed to finish them. My project notes are available in Ravelry and here’s a photo:
I’m now working on another pair of socks but they’re a gift so I won’t mention more about those just yet. I do enjoy knitting socks, but they do take me quite a while to do and as many sock yarns are hand wash only I haven’t worn them yet which seems a bit of a waste. I’ve not been totally converted to being a sock knitting groupie, but at least I know I can do them and maybe I’ll get the bug someday. I like the fact there are so many different techniques you can do with socks too – different toes, heels, patterns etc. – lots of scope for experimentation. Not quite such short-term gratification as teeny-tiny toys though!