Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Socktoberfest Questions

It's just like me to always be late to the party. Last week Lolly asked about our Sock Histories, and I haven't answered yet. Yesterday she asked a couple more questions, so I decided to roll them all into one post!!

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I taught myself, using an on-line sock tutorial, but a class might have been a good idea for my first sock venture. I started my first pair last year during Socktoberfest, while on a Caribbean cruise. I have vivid memories of trying desperately to cast on and join in the round, but constantly had to rip and start again. I finally managed to get going, but got discouraged when I had trouble with the gusset. I picked them back up in January and got them done.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
My first pair was Socklings. They are holding up pretty well, and they got a lot of use when they were my only pair of hand-knit socks. Actually, I even have them on today. However, Knit Picks Essential yarn is not one of my favorites for socks. I find it kind of splitty and not as nice to handle as other sock yarns.

What would you have done differently?
I wouldn't have tried to knit a worsted weight pattern with sock weight yarn and size 2 needles!!

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
I love love love Koigu. Trekking is wonderful too. I have some Socks That Rock in my stash, but haven't tried it yet. If it lives up to what I've heard, I'm sure it will be added to my list of favorites.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I love to knit on 2 circulars, although for some reason I've only done toe-ups that way. I cast on a cuff down pair the other day on 2 circs, but can't show them yet as they are a test knit. It's going well though. I also don't mind DPNs once I get past the first four rows (though I do still find the beginning rows tricky on DPNs). I plan to try Magic Loop as part of my Socktoberfest celebration.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I think flap heels look much nicer, but I'm getting better at short-row too. I find I still need more practice at both. For flap heels, I have a hard time picking up the gusset stitches neatly, and on short-rows I have a hard time knitting in the wraps. Neither comes out as nice as I would like, but I do see improvement with each sock I knit. For now, I think I like them both equally as well.

How many pairs have you made?
Nine, with only three inches left before I finish my tenth pair, the Ice Cream Man socks!!! I always have at least two pairs on the needles, but I'm not the fastest knitter.

Do you have certain patterns planned for some of the yarns? Do you buy yarn and then choose a pattern?
I think I've always bought the sock yarn first, and then chosen the pattern. I have no willpower when it comes to sock yarn, and I also have amassed a huge file full of sock patterns. I don't pair them up until I'm ready to cast on though.

Does a certain sock yarn you have in your stash take you back to a certain event? (where you were when you bought/received it? what was going on in your life at the time!)
Oh yes, I have so many very special sock yarns in my stash. I have yarn I bought on vacations to Vermont, New Orleans, and Cape May. I have yarns that were gifted to me from several special blog pals, and won in fun blog contests. I have yarns I've wished and wished for, finally broke down and ordered, and have be savoring the knowledge that they are tucked safely in my stash. In fact, I get so attached to my sock yarns and the memories they hold, I don't want to use them to knit gift socks. They all need to be socks for ME!! My mom has asked for a pair of socks for Christmas, and sure enough, I had to go buy another skein of sock yarn to knit for her. I can't even bring myself to share my sock stash with my own mother. Now you know my guilty, greedy little secret!!


Sonya said...

Hi, I'm Sonya, and I'm also a greedy sock knitter. It doesn't help that Kevin has gigantic feet AND he likes long cuffs!

I think sock yarn stashes grow because it's so easy to buy without a project in mind. With other kinds of yarn, I feel like I need to know what it's going to become so I make sure to get enough. Sock yarn I just buy willy-nilly.

Anonymous said...

I think you'll really like the magic loop. I was an avid double pointed user and now I'm hooked on the loop.

Anonymous said...

Sock yarn is beyond addictive. I have way to much of it in my stash! Don't tell my hubby, he has no idea, or at least he pretends he doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I always so enjoy reading through other bloggers' answers, what a great insight! It's amazing how addictive sock yarn is, isn't it? ;)

Ragan said...

Wow...tee hee. You are too much Karen! I love that you don't even share your stash with your mom. LOL
I still have to get to those questions as well. Maybe tonight. I really enjoyed your blog...and it will make me smile all through bus duty.

Olga said...

Ha! That was fun! I liked looking at your Sockling post and seeing how your thoughts have changed about them, esp. regarding the Knitpicks yarn. Ah, memories!

I agree with Sonya about how easy it is to buy sock's instant gratification! You don't need a pattern, and you can really indulge in some luxurious yarn without breaking the bank. Ah, yes, I have succumbed to the sock addiction, even though I haven't made a whole bunch yet. But I have plans! Oh, yes, indeedy. :-)

Confessions of a Knitting Diva said...

I love to buy sock yarn too. I have knit seven pairs of socks, three for me and a pair for each of my kids, plus the pair for sock wars. I like the idea of purchasing sock yarn because as Sonya just commented, you don't need to have a pattern in mind when you buy. I believe I have enough yarn in my stash to make seven pairs of socks. I'm sure some people have more than that. I tend to buy yarn if I need to make a pair for someone rather than use my stash too. What is that all about?

Melissa said...

I haven't visited you in FOREVER!! Sorry! :)
I mailed out your package yesterday (go me!) so you should get it maybe tomorrow or Monday probably. Hope you like it!

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