Sunday, September 10, 2006

First Handknit sock

Apparently I've just never gotten the urge to knit socks out of my system. Having knit a couple afghans and a shawl, however, I still don't see myself as a "knitter," let alone a "Knitter," with a capital K. I see myself more as a Crocheter who happens to have a masochistic streak and so tries to knit once in a while.

My friend Cindy, recently relocated from Florida, is a Knitter of 20-some years and I was able to share the location of various yarn shops with her. One fateful Saturday, we went to Frog Pond Knits (I love clever yarn shop names!), where Cindy expressed an interest in taking the beginner sock class taught by the yarn shop owner, Violet. I enthusiastically signed up as well, so as to have an excuse to look for some new yarn.

Having paid for the class and selected my yarn, I was soon provided with a couple sets of toothpicks that I was assured were genuine knitting needles: five size 1 double pointed needles, (hereafter called dpn's) 7 inches long. Ok, so they were long toothpicks. My knitting experiences thus far, you will recall, have all been with rather large circular needles, of the size 11 and 15 variety. The shawl was actually made with plastic size 35's; plastic because a needle that big made of aluminum or wood would have been too heavy to hold! I eyed my new bamboo "needles" skeptically, but was assured that all would be revealed in the fullness of time.

For three Mondays, the four of us (Violet, Cindy, another student and myself) struggled with the socks. In truth, I think only Cindy and myself struggled. The instructor obviously didn't, and the other student, despite her protests, turned out an absolutely gorgeous sock. Cindy, alas, got distracted by a new puppy (some Knitter she is!) and didn't make the last class. Somehow I managed to get through it all, and produced my first hand-knitted sock. As you can tell from the picture, the first sock was not what I would call an overwhelming success. The cuff is too short in length, and much too loose. Despite the picture, in fact, the cuff is so loose that it falls down around the ankle-- what little distance there is to fall, anyway. The heel turn part is a rectangle, not a triangle, and don't ask me how I managed to do that. However it happened, it's too tight and actually bunches up under my heel. Other than all that, the length and toe actually fit pretty well. I was supposed to cast on a second sock to make a pair, but as the first sock was literally unwerable, I decided to get more yarn instead, for new socks.

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