Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Socks; fear of knitting

Socks; fear of knitting

Last week one of my former students came by Skein for a visit. I hadn't seen her in at least a year. And she's one of only two of my knitting friends to have ever seen my yarn stash. When she asked me what I have been working on my immediate reply was "Socks."

"Socks? You're still knitting socks? I can't believe it." Kind of an over reaction but she really seemed amazed, even turned off, that I would be knitting socks. I get a similar or related reaction from lots of people. Generally they're just afraid of trying something new. On the other hand, I get lots of people telling me they learned to knit by making a pair of socks.

I love knitting socks but I can't imagine that I would have been able to make a pair when I first started knitting. Not that I started with a garter stitch scarf either. I can visualize making nothing but socks from here on out, except I have lots of other stuff to do. And yarn that isn't really sock appropriate.

I took Knitting on the Road, one of Nancy Bush's sock knitting books, with me to dinner at Amigos' last night. It's pretty dark in the restaurant so I couldn't read the charts very easily. But that didn't matter. I've looked at that book so many times I practically have it memorized. I think I've decided to make the Denmark pattern next, nup stitches and all. I have lots of sock knitting books. Well, maybe it's only ten or twelve but there's plenty of choices. And then there's all the free patterns on the Internet.

I've only been making socks for about three years. Like so many others I thought it would be hard and, honestly, I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. And I didn't want anyone to know how awkward I'd look. Actually, it's quite easy once you let go and just knit instead of fretting over whether the stitches will fall off the needles. (Bamboo needles work very well; metal ones not so much.)

I have been teaching socks a lot recently. It's such a kick to see the look of satisfaction that most people get when they've turned their first heel or completed their first pair.

I didn't finish the second sock of the Summer Stripes but I am past the gusset. So those should be done later today. I still have a way to go on the double eyelet rib socks though. When my student saw my stash a couple of years ago it didn't include all that much sock yarn. There's enough there now that it constitutes a whole separate category and almost a room of its own.

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