1, 000 Little Hugs for My Feet

February 21, 2013

How can you hug your feet and walk around all day feeling as if you are being hugged? Knit yourself socks, it’s that simple. If you think about it, you may have figured I was moving onto socks next. I began with a challenging pattern that required my attention. I graduated to knitting in the round. I joined Knitting Paradise. I then watched ladies debate love, hate and fear of making socks.

Now, I do not approach life fearlessly…if I find a bee in my toilet that won’t flush-I call the boyfriend over to smash it. If I find a bat flying in my house, I call the boyfriend over to rid my house of it. Insects and flying nightlife along with a few other creatures simply do not belong in my house and cause me to scream. I have no idea why. I can stand spiders, they eat bugs. But what does this have to do with socks? Glad you asked.

One–I’ve learned if I have a child around or multiples of them, I simply put on my big girl pants and kill the darned insect, while directing or moving the child to safety. And Two–what is life, if not learning to overcome challenges? Though I’m in no hurry to deal with the bat challenge any time soon. For those of you disappointed in me, I’m sorry; please call it a quirk.

Socks…I received a skein or two of turkish ice fingering weight yarn in purple though a Knitting Paradise gift swap. (I do not know if they still do these swaps at this time). I looked at the yarn and fell in love with it. I did learn later it was part acrylic. Most socks are knit with wool or a bamboo/silk blend. I decided to give it a try anyways, and bought the appropriate double-pointed needles. I then searched for a sock pattern to knit. I picked a simple 2” ribbed pattern without project work on the legs or feet of the sock. I did not feel ready to tackle anything more intricate than ribbing. Though I had worked some ribbing on the boyfriend’s hat, it took me most of that to feel I’d gotten the hang of it.

Since I put the needles down for a couple days to a week between projects, I would need a ribbing refresher as well. I did cast on some 68 stitches, once I determined the right size for my foot. And I did my best to rib the first sock…I got close in the last three rounds of the 15-20 rounds that made up my first two inches. I settled for what it looked like and kept knitting in the round for the next few inches. I could not bring myself to rip it out, and they were for me. If they turned out truly terrible, I’d knit the first one over again. But sometimes, I think its okay for the first one to show the angel kisses and to show how far we’ve come.

Finally, after weeks (my boyfriend, James, would even dare suggest months), I got to the heel and had to figure it out. The most helpful advice here was found on knitting paradise again–”Just do what it says.” I’m not sure who posted it, or when, but it worked. Once I got what is called the heel flap started, I had to begin turning the heel. Here, you knit a bunch of short rows, turning the row before you finish knitting the entire row. On paper, it sounds tough, but in reality, once you get it and just do it, it works. Then again, women (and some men) have been doing this and passing it down for centuries. It must work. It’s not the easiest thing I’ve ever knit…I’m think that might be the panel I started with, but it did work.

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So, I turned the heel and picked up the stitches along the side by finding the little V’s and created something that began to resemble the sock. Now comes the laughs, because when you are knitting for yourself you can try it on as you knit. After I had at least three inches of foot and shaping, I started trying on my sock to see where I was in knitting it. You do look kind of silly with a foot half sticking out of a sock and slim, double-pointed needles poking out in triangular form to check length.

Once your pinky toe disappears, it is time to decrease your size and graft your toes. Don’t get too scared, decreasing is usually a series of knitting two stitches together on either side; though it’s sometimes listed as slip, slip, knit on one of the sides. I translated it as knit two stitches together. If I got entirely confused about that, I apologize, but my sock does work. Now grafting is the real fearful term to some. After reviewing a very thorough tutorial online at Please link to http://www.cometosilver.com/socks

The tutorial explains grafting better than I can. In the interest of conciseness, I would say it is like sewing in a knit stitch to join to parts together. The needle is inserted knitwise, purlwise, purlwise, knitwise around the two stitches you are sewing to create a bind off that looks as if it has been knit. Part of me was flabergasted, but more, I was fascinated as well. In the end, I love the result, and am glad I used the tutorial to finish the sock off and keep it looking good.

So, finally, after some time spent knitting this purple acrylic, I have one sock done. I’ve proven I can do it. Now what is a girl to do but knit a second sock with far superior ribbing?

With the second sock, the ribbing was much improved and the sock was knit up faster. I think it gets easier to knit as you become familiar with the stitches and the pattern being used. I was motivated to finish it so I could wear the socks I knit for myself. I was excited to see how they would feel on my feet. The socks feel like 1,000 little hugs for my feet. They fit like gloves and felt better, mostly.

There was one drawback once I got them on my feet. Since I used an acrylic blend yarn, the socks did end up feeling a little bit like wearing plastic. I have decided that my next pair(and yes, there will be a next pair;-)) will be knit with a wool or a bamboo/silk blend or anything fibrous and not made with acrylic. However, when I need a hug for my feet, or I’m running around in my sweats all day, they’re a perfect sock. I just want a pair I can enjoy wearing to work with dozens of little kids all day.  Next week, maybe I’ll work on the whys of knitting socks.

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My warm, hugged footsies;-)

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