A New Sock Adventure

April 25, 2013

I’m doing it again. I’m knitting myself socks. I’m almost half-finished with the first knit sock…so, you may be hearing about knitting socks for a bit. However, because socks are a slower process, I may present other knitting topics. I finished each of the other projects on my list with immediate due dates and decided to get out my new tax-refund sock yarn and began knitting thousands more hugs for my feet.

I found a free pattern called Vanilla Latte socks on ravelry.com http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/vanilla-latte-socks. Though the price is right, please do not rush off to get this pattern without a little further information. This pattern is for intermediate knitters, specifically those who have knit socks from the top-down before. It assumes you have a favorite cuff style already. I haven’t gotten to the heel or turning the heel or the gusset yet. I do not quite have a favorite cuff pattern, but this forced me to put some thought into the sock I was knitting.

Sock #1 on needles-dpns

I like to think, if none of you have figured this out yet. I now had to consider if I wanted to attempt to knit the knit 2, purl 2 cuff I’ve done before and wasn’t entirely happy with or if I wanted to do a different cuff pattern. I searched other styles of cuff and thought about adjusting the ribbing pattern with a knit 3, purl 1 cuff, since the pattern was a knit 6, purl 2 rib. I thought it would give it a distinctive but tied-in look, but wasn’t sure I wanted that look. I’ve learned to wait to be sure or to find something else when I’m not sure. It usually works.

In the end, or beginning, rather, I chose to knit the pattern for the cuff. I don’t like cuffs, Sometimes, they are not as elastic as I like, and they aren’t the most comfortable on my sturdy legs. So, I began knitting the pattern with an extra 1 and a quarter inch for the cuff. The good news is, while the pattern repeats often; I am still able to do this while watching a video with a class I teach or on a night when preschoolers or kindergarteners did not completely exhaust me.

However, during classes of older children, where I have had a few minutes to fill here and there, and not certain if I had enough time to pull out the books I love, I have demonstrated knitting to the classroom to a surprisingly receptive level of students. My favorite demonstration was while knitting these socks in a fourth grade class at the end of the day. Their dioramas were packed up and they had cleaned up and were nearly ready to go. I had a couple of volunteers pick up the floor and sat down to knit a row in front of them, showing them the pattern and telling them how I picked out the yarn for this pattern. At the end, one young man raised his hand and thanked me for the demonstration, and shared that he would be visiting his grandmother that evening to knit with her. I was touched.

In all honesty, I am not the best demonstration knitter, but I have come to accept that after I demonstrate a row of knitting, sometimes it is best to simply rip out that row and knit it again. However, the benefit of exposing kids to knitting is worth every ripped stitch, and it lessens the pain when you know you are going to rip it out anyway. If I pull off a perfect row, while discussing my knitting, I will be doing a dance so happy, the kids will think I’ve lost it.

Now, bear with me for one more class story, and then perhaps I can get back to the socks. When I walked into this fourth grade class with the young man who knits with his grandmother, it was my second visit. I had been knitting the cactuar on my last visit to their class. Before the teacher could hand me the instructions and step out for his meeting, at least two of the students asked me about the other project I’d been working on. I told them I’d finished it, but I’d left it at home that day and the photos of it were in the mail to me. Part of me wished I’d remember to bring the cactuar to school for that few minutes of my day. It would have been fun to do my own show-and-tell with the finished project and let the kids see that knitting isn’t just for sweaters and grandmas.

Image

Speaking of sweaters, one day I hope to get there. In the meantime, I hope to have more info next week on an update of these socks. If I can get to the heel, I’ll tell you if I go with the familiar one or pick a different variation, as the pattern I picked comes with three heel variations. I’m going to take these little surprises one at a time. Options are a good thing, but there can be such a thing as too many choices. Plus, I am knitting these socks one at a time. I will have to repeat whichever heel I choose, so I had better mark it carefully.  

In the meantime, I will be choosing the heel and beginning the turn as I continue on this tight-knit sock journey.

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