Saturday, February 23, 2013

Learning Something New - Sock Knitting!

I've been spinning and knitting for well over six years now, yet somehow I never dared to try socks. I love handknit socks, but they seemed kind of intimidating as a knitting project. Also, I don't really want to spin sock yarn for several reasons: it has to be extremely thin, it has to be quite even, it has to be plied... It seems to be a matter of diligence more than of creativity, and I am not the most patient person, I like my creative outbursts ;-) Spinning and plying the usual sock yarn of 420m/100g would take ages. First, I'd have to spin nearly a thousand metres of yarn, then I'd have to ply all this yarn, and then it would probably not last for long, as socks are for walking in...

You could argue that I don't necessarily have to spin my own sock yarn. I am proud, though, I have never bought yarn other than cotton yarn for dish cloths - more about that another time, maybe - in all my spinning time, but always used my own handspun for my knitting projects. However, as with the cotton yarn, I finally decided to break the tradition after all. If I know I won't spin it but I do want to do the project, why not? After looking at sock yarn online I decided to compromise: I'd at least dye it myself. This way, I can still be creative, and I don't have to use yarn I am not fully satisfied with. I didn't like many of the commercial yarns, and when I thought about buying hand dyed sock yarn I though "hey, wait - why should I when I can have fun with it myself?". Sooo - I went to Ebay and bought 1 kg of undyed sock yarn ;-)

Due to lack of time (yes, still in my graduation process, studying like mad) I decided to do a quick dyeing session with easter egg colours. They can be used with normal cooking dishes and heat-set in the microwave, so no need for any preparations or special pots. I am quite in love with teals and blue-greens at the moment, so this is what I went for.

Unfortunately, my camera had some issues with getting the colours right - the yarn is a lot more beautiful in person! It's lighter than I wanted it to be (lots of light, somewhat greenish blue), but I got used to it and now like it very much :-)

I had picked a pattern before I bought and dyed the yarn: Falling Tears (which is also available on Lucygerbils blog). In fact, the pattern (wich I found while browsing on Ravelry during a pause between studying sessions) was the trigger for the whole thing. I am picky, I admit it. I have found few sock patterns I really liked (before this one, that is), and seeing that such a project takes a while I didn't want to get stuck with just any pattern. Only drawback: the pattern is not really suitable for beginners as the things which actually make a sock a sock are not explained. So I ended up buying a sock knitting book (it's in German - Sockenworkshop to go) and starting the project anyway. I am sure I could have found everything I needed on the internet, but sometimes I like having a book instead of printed sheets that will get lost at some point or another.

The photo is a little behind the actual status, I just started the heel a few days ago. Then I fell ill (bad dental infection or whatever is the correct term) and was in too much pain to do anything than watching trashy TV shows. I am better now, as the antibiotic is finally working, but I decided on some studying today instead of trying to work out the mysteries of sock knitting. I am looking forward to continuing the sock, but I still feel a bit intimidated ;-)

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