Monday, April 21, 2008

Fiddly Sticks (and String)

I haven't thought of myself as a 'sock knitter'. Yes, I have knit a few pairs of baby socks, but I've never knit a pair of socks for myself. I've never knit a pair of grown up socks, pair being the operative word here. I have a few single socks living a life of solitude in a drawer, never having got to meet their mate. Sad, yes?

The thing is, I don't knit a very good sock. I do okay. I follow the directions and am able to construct the sock okay. I'm not satisfied with okay. It's that blasted little gusset hole which always shows up, no matter how many tricks I've read about and tried, that keeps my socks from looking good. In fact, the one in the picture below doesn't even muster okay. When this happens, I get aggravated, feel defeated, and lose the heart to make another one to create a pair.

Granted, this is the worst case I have to show you, but I wanted to show the worst to exxagerate my point. I'm doing all the right things, according to what I've read, but this, in maybe a less exxagerated form, keeps happening with each sock I knit.
Being the discouraged perfectionist that I am (a perfectionist who lacks the energy or perserverance to do a perfect job, so they don't do the job at all), I had pretty much given up on sock knitting. That's a hard resolve to keep when every knitter in blogdom is showing their lovely, latest pair of handknit socks. I want to be one of them, the knitting blogger who can show off her lovely handknit socks!
I've decided part of my problem is that I don't see myself being a good sock knitter. I'm not talking new agey mumbo gumbo hype. I'm not talking about the Secret, at least not the one Oprah pushes (sorry, Oprah fans, but I just don't buy into that garbage).
You are snared with the words of your lips....
Proverbs 6:2 a Amplified Bible
I have decided the only thing between me and a well knit pair of socks is practice, possibly lots and lots of it. I'm going to keep trying until I get it right!
I scored the Magic Stripe yarn at our local Big Lots. Apparently, Lion Brand has discontinued that line of yarn, so I was able to buy 4 skeins of it for $1.50 per skein. For that price, I can afford to use it for sock practice. I have a few skeins of nice sock yarn on hand, but I've held off using it, not wanting to waste it until I perfect the craft.
This time, I decided to knit two socks at once; no, not the two socks on circulars method, but two separate socks on separate sets of double pointed needles being knit at the same time...well, not exactly the same time, but you know what I mean. I finished the cuff and leg part of the first sock (these are going to be shorties), then began that part on a separate sock using a separate skein of yarn. When I've finished the cuff and leg on it, I'll knit the heel on each one, and so on.
The glaring mistake I made, which you can see in the picture at the top of the post, is not starting in the same place in the color pattern of the second skein. Hence, my socks will not match. I've decided rather than frogging it (ripping it out, for my non-knitterly friends), I'll leave it, though. I think I'll like the funkiness of it.
Lastly, I'll leave you with a pic of Leyna, snuggled in her favorite blankie.
Oh, and feel free to offer suggestions for my gusset hole problem in the comment sections. I'm open to whatever you've got! :-)

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Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
~Col. 4:6


Smartphone said...
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MSM said...

My suggestion for the gusset problem is to buy your socks at Target. (Sorry, that's just as helpful as I know how to be. . .)

As for Leyna, she's very very cute (and photogenic), but why does she get so much publicity and your "old cat" gets NONE?

This doesn't seem fair. That's all.

MSM said...

Oh, yeah, what about the 'aging dog'?

Sounds like some heavy favoritism is going on at your house.

Randi said...

Sorry, no tips for you! I gave up on knitting, so I can't help. :(

"discouraged perfectionist"---finally a phrase that describes me to the tee! i am a perfectionist without the motivation to do things perfectly. Sigh...

cinnamongirl93 said...

I'm sorry, I can't give you any advice on sock knitting. I have never knit any socks yet! I can cheer you on though. Keeo going! You can do it! Have faith in your ability! I am excited to watch your progress!

Wool Winder said...

Great deal on the yarn. And there is not rule that says the stripes have to match. I have several pairs of non-matching socks.

If you can't figure out how to avoid the holes, then try fixing them afterward by duplicate stitching over them to tighten up the gap. I do that with my short-row heels as few stitches usually get stretched out in the process of working the heel.

Sharon said...

Well, I have nothing to add about how to correct the problem with your knitting, BUT I think that you have a GREAT start with the Scripture...I agree with the confession of your own mouth, and add mine to it. LOL LOVE IT GIRL! You will NOT be snared by the words of your mouth, Renna. In Jesus' Name.

Cora from Nelia's Primitive Place said...

I don't know which I loved more, your post, or the responses!!!!! I, too, thought the best solution for the gusset problem was to buy your socks at Target!!!!! But. . . . if knitting is your thing, then I am more than SURE that you WILL find your answers. The determination in your post was about as firm as my determination to make good biscuits!!!!! Cora

Tipper said...

Leyna looks just like my Ruby Sue all snuggled up.

Anonymous said...

Renna, I did a search for you on google and found a site where they explain how to pick up stitches in order to eliminate that hole you are talking about.

Go here:

I haven't done this before, I hope it makes sense to you!

Kimmie said...

Hi Renna;

Trying not to cry...I so want to learn to make socks! I think your socks look great...have you tried some of the sock tutorials on Youtube? Sometimes watching helps?

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted