If you read this blog you know that I am a crocheter - pretty obvious really!!
What you might not have realised - although I have mentioned it I am sure - is that I have never shown you any knitting. Until very recently.
My knitting journey has been a long and difficult one. As a child my mother and grandmother - and who knows, probably other people too - tried to teach me to knit. I could never figure it out though. I got confused between the stitches, where the put the needle, all this rabbit round the hole stuff and loads of other things which I never understood and indeed I still have no idea what the rabbit round the hole thing is!!!
I tried to knit more than once, many more times in fact, but no matter what I did, all I could produce ranged either from a stringy and holey mess at the worst to at the very best a very long and thin garter stitch scarf - which wasn't so terrible, but I only managed it once and in very very chunky yarn with massive needles.
When I started blogging I saw all of these wonderful socks being knitted and I so wanted to knit socks. Being unable to knit though stopped me from doing it. I looked at these socks, adored them, drooled over them, wanted them, admired them. I commented about how lovely they were and how I would love to knit socks. I read carefully through all of Christine's (Winwick Mum's sockalong tutorials), but still no socks. No knitting in fact.
Then last year I decided to bite the bullet and have a go.
The thing that spurred me on was seeing a podcast and the Sue said - more eloquently than I am about to - that if you want to learn to knit and what you want to knit is socks then learn to knit socks. Don't start with scarves or squares or something else if that isn't what you want to make. In the past I had been put off trying the socks because I didn't know how to knit, but here was someone telling me to learn to knit socks. This was the lightbulb moment that I needed. The podcast is LegacyKnitz.
Well, of course, there were many false starts. The casting on was tricky and then getting the knitting to join up so I could keep going round and round in a circle was nigh on impossible for me. I knitted and ripped back and tried again and again and again. Then suddenly it worked. I was knitting round and it was joining up. To be honest I am still not sure how it happened, but it did.
I don't yet have anything decent to show you, but I am getting there and I will share some glimpses with you.
This is my first "finished" sock. It isn't one that anyone would want to wear as it is very baggy and has a lot of flaws. However, it is the first thing that I have ever actually finished knitting so I am very proud of it!
One side - ignore the heel issue - isn't too bad and you can see that the gusset didn't go too badly on this side.
The other side though is a catalogue of disasters. Holes all over the place and other problems too. For some reason as I started to turn the heel I was working the wrong way round so the first part of the heel turn is "inside out" with garter stitch on the outside where there should be stockinet.
Also, I am having problems with SSK decreases to make the gusset. Any idea what I am doing wrong anyone? When I do a K2tog or a P2tog I don't have this problem, it is just when I work the SSK that I get this sort of laddery gap appearing.
You can see the problem I am having really well in this photo, one side - the bottom - of the toe decrease is fine and all lines up nicely with no gaps and then on the SSK side I have this gappy ladder.
Oh, and just because we all like to know what the yarn is, it is this. Stylecraft Head Over Heels in colour 3098 which is called Everest - the range all seems to be named after various mountains. It is an 80/20 wool/nylon and is, I think, reasonably priced as it is a 100g ball so good for beginners. I am working on 4mm Knit Pro Zings DPN's which I am enjoying working with, they are lovely and smooth and not too heavy either. I have a 52 stitch count - because I am working very loosely on large needles.
I am onto the second sock now and just starting the heel flap, it is going much better than the first one did - so far.........
I am also working on a second pair of socks at the same time. Crazy I know!
This one isn't finished yet, but you can see that it is going much better than the first. I am working this a little differently, a DK yarn so it is thicker and on 3.5mm Knit Pro Zings Fixed Circulars with a 40cm cord. The needles are good, but I should have gone for a longer cord. I am working 60 stitches because this is a slightly smaller needle and also the yarn is much thicker.
It is going fairly well, and I have had far less issues with this sock than I did with the other one. There is one hole at the start of the heel gusset, I don't think I picked up the last stitch.
However, I am having another issue. On the second side of the sock, so once I have worked across the top of the foot and am coming back down the other side to the heel turn again, I am having another gappy laddery problem. I don't know if it is the same one as I was having on the other sock or a different issue.
Should I pick up the stitches differently on this side? Strangely I am not having the SSK problems on this sock - but I couldn't tell you why!!!
This is the yarn. It is a DK, Stylecarft Batik, the colour is Cherry and it is quite a cheery cherry isn't it. I like the mottled effect that it gives in knitting, I will see what it is like for crochet as I am planning to make some hearts to show you soon in the same yarn.
So that is my sock journey so far and my knitting journey in fact. Apart from the garter stitch scarf - there might have been two actually now I come to think about it - this is my first finished - albeit terrible! - knitting. I can see an improvement already on the pink sock and the second striped one so perhaps it will improve.
Once I get a whole pair of decent socks of course I will very proudly show them off to you in a full Ta Dah! moment, but for the meantime, this is my Ta Dah! and it is thanks to Christine of Winwick Mum tutorials and to Sue from LegacyKnitz for spurring me on to try and to make it work.
The moral of this knitty issue.... Don't give up, keep trying and if you really want to do it, then you will do it and if you want to learn to knit socks, then learn to knit them. Don't start with a garter stitch scarf if that isn't what you want to make and if that is what you want to make then go for it and enjoy it! I am pretty sure now that a garter stitch scarf would fly off my needles so I already ahead of the game now.
Happy knitting everyone!!!
Oh, and don't worry, it will take a very very very long time before knitting overtakes crochet for me!
And a second Oh! If you have any advice about that SSK issue or the laddery bit where I am picking up stitches to go back down the heel flap I would be most grateful.