What a journey I have been on with these socks. There have been tears, rather a lot of swearing and so much joy when I finally finished them, ending up with two socks that fit on my feet!
I have made many socks over my knitting career, I wrote a post here in mid 2016 proudly showing my first 5 pairs of plain socks using the amazing Winwick Mum Sockalong method which I have recommended to many people and have set them on their sock knitting way.
Since then I have branched out into patterned, lace and cable socks and last year I signed up to a sock club from The Knitting Goddess receiving yarn and patterns every couple of months to expand my sock collection (a quick search here shows that I haven’t blogged all of these socks, I’ll add it to my list!)
These socks were my first attempt at using stranded colour work for a sock and so as I was heading into new territory I came back to Winwick Mum and decided to use the Rainbow Zig Zag pattern from the book More Super Socks which I bought at Yarndale and had signed by Christine Perry.
I ploughed, enthusiastically into sock one without properly reading the pattern notes, I know how to knit socks, I’ve made loads, right?! *hangs head in shame* I did work on keeping my floats, the strands of yarn that are carried behind the stitches, loose but that was the only concession I made to this new style of sock.
Within a week I had this gorgeous specimen finished…
… what a beauty! I went to put it on. I got my toes in no problem. I went to pull the sock over my heel and it would not move. It was exactly like the scene in Cinderella where the Ugly Sisters try to squeeze their feet into the too small shoe. It just would not fit.
I cried, I raged, I was so embarrassed to have made such a rookie mistake and so sad to have made something so lovely but yet not functional. I was gutted.
I went onto facebook and got some great advice, shoulders to cry on and the fortitude to try again and onward I went into sock two, this time using bigger needles, 3mm rather than my usual 2.5mm; a larger cast on, 72 stitches rather than my usual 64; and prepared to make a longer heel flap. The advice to make the longer heel flap really made a difference to the finished sock and came from the pattern designer Christine Perry via her facebook group Winwick Mum Knit and Natter which is a lovely place I would recommend if you are a sock knitter and facebook user.
Sock two flew along. I learned the new to me skill of continental knitting and found the colour work went much quicker when I could hold a strand in each hand and knit one in my usual English style of throwing the yarn and the other picking the yarn in the continental style.
I posted this triumphant photograph on Instagram as soon as the sock was off the needles! I was so pleased that it fit. The differences between socks one and two can be clearly seen when they are next to each other.
Sock two, on the left of the picture is noticeably longer, wider and the longer heel flap is easy to see. I was also really pleased to get through more of the rainbow in this bigger sock. These socks use two yarns, the amazing self striping is from Fab Funky Fibres and is called The Big One, the plain grey is also indie dyed and is from Somerset Yarns. Both are 4 ply, superwash merino/nylon blend.
My confidence buoyed by the success of sock two sent me bounding into number three and led to me finally ending up with two socks that fit! They don’t perfectly match but they are pretty close and just make me smile every time I look at them! The sun even came out so that I could get some photos of them in natural light, these are my happy socks 🙂