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  • Jen Johnson began knitting in 2007 while pregnant with her daughter and does most of her knitting for her daughter and son. When she couldn’t find the patterns she wanted, she added designer to her job titles of Navy wife and mother. Jen loves the inspiration she gets from all the beautiful yarns available, as long as she doesn’t get distracted by—ooh, shiny!
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6 hours of sock knitting…

…and this is what I have to show for it:

Steve's First Socks

Three rounds.

The night got off to a slow start, admittedly. These socks are for my husband Steve. Once upon a time, that husband had grudgingly said I could knit him socks if I really wanted to…but they had to be black, brown, or gray. Then, I bought him a pair of alpaca socks (machine made) at Rhinebeck…and that same husband bought me a skein of alpaca-blend yarn in deep green and purple as a Christmas present to knit him socks.  Unfortunately, I was pretty sure that 360 yds weren’t going to be enough to knit a decent-sized pair of socks for my husband’s big man-feet.

The 6 hrs of knitting took place at fibre space, an LYS in Alexandria, VA. It was a Sock In Lock In, complete with Indiana Jones movie marathon. So I took the yarn Steve bought with me and showed it to the ladies at fibre space to ask their opinion–and they confirmed mine. No big deal–I bought some new yarn (Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine) in a deep blue with purple flecks. Not as colorful, but I thought Steve would like it. Problem was, I now had to swatch my new yarn, and swatching in the round takes time. Not as long this time–it was pretty clear pretty quickly that the needles I’d brought for the old yarn weren’t going to work for the new, and they were the only needles I’d brought. Good thing I was at a yarn store, huh?

So I swatched again with my brand new needles, figured out my gauge, and used that to calculate the number of stitches I was eventually going to need:  84. Then I pulled out my handy copy of Wendy Johnson’s Socks From the Toe Up and began my first attempt at Judy’s Magic Cast On. Just looking at the pictures gave me the sense that this was a very difficult and involved cast on, but once I just let myself do exactly what the instructions said, I realized how easy it was. The only problem was that the book didn’t give me a good sense of how many stitches to start with. It suggested 16 sts, but I had a gauge of 10 sts/inch, and that seemed awfully small to me.  I didn’t want that pointy of a toe, so I decided on 20, 10 on each needle. I cast on, knit several rounds…and decided it was still going to be too pointy. Riiiiiiiip.

Sock 1, Jen 0.

This time I cast on twice as many stitches: 40, 20 per needle. The cast on went even faster, and I began knitting away merrily. There were a few problems as I went–I had some holes along the sides where I was increasing, and I didn’t know why, for one; at one point I ended up with an extra stitch on one needle somehow, for another–but I wasn’t going to sweat it too much since it’s my first pair of socks. It was when I found that extra stitch that I knew I was almost done with the increases…but the toe seemed really shallow. I pulled the book back over to me and reread the last part of the cast on instructions.

The increases were supposed to be on every other row. I’d missed that part. Riiiiiiiip.

Sock 2, Jen 0.

I could have whipped through the cast on my 3rd try, if it weren’t for the fact that my left hand was beginning to cramp. (Have I mentioned I’m a tight knitter?). But I got it done, and managed to get 3 full rounds knit–only increasing on every other round this time–by the time Indy and his dad finished their last crusade.

At this rate, Steve will be getting these socks some time in 2012.

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2 Responses

  1. I’m sorry that the socks are giving you fits, but I’m really happy that you’re learning. Knitting socks brings me such joy!

    Hey, and way to be an overachiever. A lesser woman might have started with baby socks, or at least a worsted weight pattern for man-feet. 😉

  2. Well, the yarn is pretty 😀
    Good luck getting them whipped out 🙂

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