From Lolly's Socktoberfest questionnaire. Enjoy!
When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I started making socks recently. I had always seen the intricate designs and delicate work with the sock yarns and tiny DPN's and had considered it one of the crowning achievements of most knitters. I had been told that knitters either become sock or lace knitters, sometimes both. I knew that I wanted to be a sock knitter, something about it just drew me to it. I learned to knit in a class taught by the wonderful women at my LYS-A Good Yarn, but I followed instructions carefully from a TV show in order to learn sock construction.
What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
I was finally "convinced" to cast on from watching the DIY Network show Knitty Gritty, where guest Karen Baumer shared a sock pattern knit in worsted weight yarn that included all of the basic sock knitting skills, but was simple enough that it wasn't overwhelming.
I printed out the pattern and used the TiVo as a guide and went to town. I used some leftover acrylic yarn from my hubby's grandmothers stash, mainly because I expected them to turn out as crap. Oddly enough, they didn't. They are great! They are warm and thick, but I wear them as slippers, not socks. I wear them all the time, and since they are a little "rugged" they have held up well. I wash them constantly and dry them and they get softer and softer as I do. However, even if I use this pattern again, I will make the socks with wool. I just feel like socks should be in nice yarn, and sometimes even in expensive yarn...since you only need a little bit of it to complete a project.
What would you have done differently?
I would have used smaller needles for the ankle ribbing because it ended up being a little loose and if it were tighter, I don't think they would slink off the back of my heels so much.
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
I love working with Lisa Souza's sock yarn. I always enjoy seeing how her colors will knit up, and I haven't been dissapointed yet. The texture is distinctly wooly, but soft and the yarn is the perfect weight for me to use #1's. I am really anxious to try some new and exciting yarns though...and I am always looking for good suggestions.
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I just learned how to single crochet, so socks being crocheted seems completely out of the realm of reality for me. I like to use DPN's, I find that they are small, portable and I feel like they go a lot quicker than 2 circulars. (Though I haven't used that method for socks, only sleeves.) Also, I get less laddering when I use DPN's. I prefer to use a full set of 5 too, I find it confusing when I am only using 4...but I can adapt. Sometimes.
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Well, I learned to knit socks using the heel flap method, and I find that it fits my feel REALLY well. I confess to not ever having tried the short-row method, but my philosophy on something is that if it is working fine now....there is no point in messing it up by trying something new. One day I will try a toe-up sock, and when I do I will probably see how the short-row heels work...I am interested in the construction, but I fear change.
How many pairs have you made?
Hmmmm, let's see. I have made about 5 pairs since then. I love them all, but only one pair (in addition to that first pair) has been for me.