Sunday, September 10, 2006

First PAIR of Handknit Socks

I found some of this self-patterning yarn at a store which shall not be named, but which is not Frog Pond Knits, and where, due to the service and small selection despite the size of the store, I shall never go to again. (The yarn is scratchy anyway!)

I liked the idea of getting a pattern on a pair of socks that I didn't have to do any color work for. It should make me look like a genius, skilled Knitter, I thought. And so it does. Mostly.

The ribbed part of the cuff is entirely too short, I think. It should be a good inch and a half or so, but I made mine just 6 rows tall. A learning experience, I told myself. I'll know better next time! I also discovered that my long-tail cast-on technique, which I was assured is the standard for socks, is not to my liking, either. The edge was simply too tight and did not have the "give" that I imagined a sock edge to have. I believe I began the toe too soon, as well.

I couldn't fix the first or last problem with the second sock, because then they wouldn't match. I could and did correct the cast-on problem, though. Thanks to Google, I disovered that a favorite sock cast-on technique is called the "Twisted German," and due to my maternal heritage, I figured that was as close to a sign from God as I was likely to get. There were some neat sites that showed how to do this cast-on, none of which were easily understandable for me. I did manage, after several hours, to come up with a cast-on that is relatively close to the Twisted German showed in the's video. I'm hoping it IS the same technique, just done in a personally-adjusted manner. The technique takes me a very long time to do, but the result is so stretchy yet elastic that the time is worth it to me.

The Twisted German starts off the same as the long tail technique, with the tail over the thumb and the ball yarn over the index finger. Instead of going through the loop from the thumb, though, I go under it, toward my index finger, then up, back towards me, and then into the loop. Then I lift the needle under the yarn closest to me, which makes a little, tiny hole. I scooped up the index-finger yarn right to left, and brought the index finger yarn through the teeny hole. The index-finger ball yarn makes the loop on the needle. I drop the thumb loop, and pull the whole mess snug against the needle. I sure hope that's the Twisted German. Maybe someone can confirm it for me? I didn't do any of the thumb lifting mentioned in the video, and have no idea if I picked up the right part of the loop. Oh well. It works for me.

Ok, so! After a while, I finally finished my seocnd sock, which makes these blue guys officially my first pair of handknitted socks. I like these much better than the brown thing. At least they look like socks!

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