In Which She Is Very Excited About Knitting

A few years ago I knit a pair of brown slippers and felted them. They are very, very warm, and the soles have worn out twice. Two weekends ago I darned them… and then they wore out next to the darns. So I cut off the tattered second soles I’d knitted for them and savaged what I could of that knitted and felted fabric, cutting out patches and sewing them over the holes in the original slippers. And then the patches wore through.

I needed new slippers.

I wear through slippers very quickly, most likely because I wear them all the time at home, fall through spring. Since my feet are long and narrow, store-bought slippers don’t fit me very well. So I decided to knit more.

Except this time, I wouldn’t knit a slipper. I would knit a sock, a low anklet-style sock, and felt that instead. Because, you see, my online knitting mamas group have been luring me into sock making, and Ceri has been doing the same in person (going so far as to buy me a whole set of gorgeous KnitPicks DPNs, in fact, so I would have the tools at hand when the sock whimsy strikes). And doing this, in a bulky yarn on big needles to boot, would be a good way to ease into the whole event.

So in my last KnitPicks order I got a ball of lovely bulky Merino blend Full Circle yarn in Ponderosa, a lovely cool piney colour (a single, so squishy!), and I cued up the highly recommended Silver’s Sock Class tutorial, and I cast on for the worsted size, using size 10.5 needles. (This first photo is the actual colour; the others are all odd thanks to lighting issues.)

I knit a couple of inches at the ankle in straight stitch, no ribbing, with just a line of purling after my foundation knit row to minimize curling. And then I got to set up the heel gusset! And then I turned the heel!

Then I knitted and knitted the foot, and then I got to do the toe decreases, and I was all set for grafting.

And then, dear readers… I grafted the toe.

I am not sure what the angst about grafting toes is really about.

I KNIT A SOCK!

It is floppy and too big because it will be felted down to a slipper, but I did it, and it is mine, and it is soft and warm and I am terribly proud of myself. I owe a lot of this success to the incredibly well laid-out instructions of Silver’s Sock Class, and the accompanying fantastic photos that reassured me I was understanding the written instructions properly.

Now, this is a huge success on one hand — I knit an entire sock! in about two days! — but only a qualified success on the other, because if I stopped here, my other foot would be very sad and cold. So I have to knit another one. This is exciting, because turning the heel was really cool, and so was grafting the toe. The problem is… I have to wait to knit the second because I don’t have enough yarn! I can cast on and maybe knit to the heel gusset, I suppose, but I don’t have enough to go any further. That’s okay, because I’m conveniently doing a KnitPicks order this weekend for baby blanket yarn. I should have thought it through and known that 100 yards wouldn’t be enough to do two socks, even if you’re doing four inches less of the leg than the pattern calls for.

And in the meantime, Sparky has requested a pair of Gryffindor striped socks. He wanted to know what I was going to use the purple Squoosh yarn for, and I said I thought it might be my first pair of hand-knit socks, but I’d have to practice on something else first so I didn’t ruin it, like maybe smaller socks for him or Owlet. He got very excited and said, “You could knit me Gryffindor socks! In stripes!” So that’s up next. I’ll buy a skein of white yarn when I pick up the yarn I need to do my next blanket squares for a group baby blanket this Saturday, and we’ll dye some self-striping crimson and gold yarn for his socks.

Achievement unlocked: Turning Heels, Grafting Toes, and Handling DPNs Without Devolving Into A Spitting, Swearing Mess. Thank you, everyone who helped and cheered me along. I should have another sock in a couple of weeks. Then the felting adventure begins!

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