Sunday, 2 September 2007

Sock it to me

Until yesterday, I was a sock avoider, surrounded by knitterly friends whose needles just seem to drip gorgeous socks. But I had a self-confessed phobia - I'm not sure if it was the skinny little needles, the 4-ply yarn, all those stitches or the thought of making my knitting go around a corner that really kept me off the socks. I don't like to think that I scare easily - so it was probably a combination of all those things.

That's not to say I hadn't tried in the past - despite my misgivings, I will always give something new a go - but stitches slithering off needles, joining the round only to find 6 rows later I've twisted it, knitting for hours and seeming to get early efforts always ended in despondent frogging.

I've been working myself up to this for a while now. I attended Ms Spider's sock workshop as part of the Knit1Blog1 exhibition, I mass-purchased sock yarn in that mecca of sock yarn, Germany, and I've been hanging out with sock-knitters, asking questions and soaking up some of the sock vibes.

So, yesterday, I took the plunge.

I'm a bit of a needy sort of gal, so knowing I'd never do it on my own, I invited some of my lovely, supportive enabling knitter-friends over, bribed them with food and the chance to meet Pirate Jim, and sat down to knit me a sock.

We had waffles, traditional German afternoon tea fare when served with warm cherry-sauce and whipped cream (huge thanks to Bells, who saved my skin by slaving over the waffle iron):

Disclosure: this is a stunt-waffle, taken in Germany. My pics from yesterday turned out rubbish.

After much discussion (and waffles, and blue cheese pastries and sausage rolls and bubbly), the consensus was that, given my fears, I would start with the mini-sock pattern from the Socks 101 tutorial form Knitty.

With 8ply (Cleckheaton Country) and 4.5mm dpns, I cast on, and managed to not twist it.

With my cheer-squad egging me on, I made it to the heel without incident. And with some expert hand-holding (metaphorically speaking), turned that corner.

I worked on - luckily we had plenty of sustenance, and my Beloved to refill the teapot when the going got rough. Thirsty work, this sock knitting.

Finally....a sock! Granted, a teddy-sized sock, but a sock, in form and function, nonetheless.

Take that, sock phobia! Begone, Sock Monkey on my back! I plan to finish the back of Little Miss M's red jacket tonight, and then I will let myself cast on an actual, real, adult sized sock.

My warmest, heart-feltest thanks to my gorgeous enabling friends, who helped me through and brought lovely things to share yesterday afternoon: Bells, Jejune, Othlon (and her lovely boy, who put up with a group of sugared-up knitters hollering and whooping over socks, of all things), Mick, Taph, Happy Spider and Olivia.

I'd better get cracking on that red jacket, there's socks to be knit! Bring. It. On!


Michelle said...

I'm so proud of you!!!!!

Thanks again for the invitation, George. Pirate Jum was an absolute delight, as was Beloved. I had a blast.

With all the heel-turning excitement, we never got to discuss quilt colours! Next time I promise.

Kuka said...

oooh, so sorry I couldn't make it George! (I had to be with the boy through the emotional retirement game of Kevin Sheedy and James Hird =S) Sounds like everyone had such a great time =)
Congrats on beating the sock-phobia!

amy said...

I'm here through Bells and so glad. What a lovely blog. Congratulations on the sock! I eased my way in my making thick socks with US 7s and then worked my way down to the fiddly toothpick-sized needles. :)

Your Pirate is beautiful. Happy belated birthday to you both.

Alwen said...

Nice sock! I'm here via Bells, too.

I confess, I'm really here for the waffles -- they look so yummy, and our son loves waffles (hint hint).

Bells said...

yay for George! You rock! I'm so proud! Can't wait to knit more socks with you. Yes, hint hint on the waffles, my dear.

Bells said...

ps STUNT WAFFLE! I love it.

Rose Red said...

STUNT WAFFLE!! I love it too!!

Yay you on your little sock - I hope it will be the first of many! You can do it!

TinkingBell said...

Well done you! A great sock - see - it's not so hard! Cables now.....
Yummy looking waffles - my waffle maker is shaped like 2 penguings with little tummy ready to fill with stuff - kids adore them, but haven't tried cherries and cream - yet!!!!!

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Snif, Sniff.....eyes getting all misty.....I'm so proud of you.
Let the sock yarn stash grow!!!!

rhonrhon said...

Ah - you will be addicted by the next pair - just like the rest of us. And wait till you put them on your feet! Some of the most beautiful yarn out there is sock yarn. Just make sure you buy the best dpns you can - makes all the difference. Rhonda

kms said...

woo hoo! so happy for you - wish i had been there to see it :)

Tanya said...

Yay - you're in the sock black hole now - you will never escape! I love your little sock - it's very cute and I like the colour. Are you making a matching one?

Em said...

woohoo! Congratulations, you're now a fully fledged sock cult member. You will cheerfully knit with tiny needles and slender yarn and to you, o new convert, it will be fun! It's awesome you've got the hang of it.