Thursday, December 29, 2016

Knitting Socks

I started knitting my first sock this fall, and now I want to knit a drawer-full for myself and give more away as gifts! But... I wish I had started with a different pattern, because the one I chose, The Time Traveler, uses a size 0 needle, and that is so small! 

I chose based on looking for an easy pattern, but I didn't realize what a difference it would make to use such a teeny, tiny needle. After many hours of knitting, I still only have a partial sock (the blue one on the right). 

Some brainstorm hit me and I realized that I could look for other patterns that use sock yarn but that also use larger needles, so I could knit faster. I found the one on the left above, Straightaway Socks, which is somewhat similar, but it uses size 2 needles. The striped partial sock on the left has come together so much faster! 

Also, my hands feel a lot better. Working with the size 0 needles, I tended to clench my hands up pretty tightly, to try to keep my stitches tight and even. I'd end up feeling pretty arthritic if I knitted for very long. It is really nice to knit the striped sock and feel like I'm not hurting myself. 

Of course my clenching is not the fault of the pattern! Maybe when I am a better knitter I will be able to knit with small needles with a more relaxed hand-posture. I also clench because I am afraid of stitches falling off the needles, even though I know how to pick up dropped stitches. And even though I increase my confidence every time I fix a mistake, I'd still rather avoid them altogether!

So now my inner debate is this: should I unravel the blue sock and use the yarn to make Straightaway Socks with the larger needles? I think I could knit two Straightaways faster than I could finish 1.25 Time Travelers. I really like how the Time Travelers look, but I also like the cushier feeling of the slightly looser knit of the Straightaways. They might feel a little better to wear. 

What would you do?

More info about my partial socks:

The blue yarn is Craftsy's Cloudborn Highland Superwash Sock Twist, which I dyed with indigo this summer. 

The Time Traveler pattern is by Liz Sedmak, and is available for free on Ravelry. It's toe-up, with flat stockinette stitch on the bottom of the foot, and ribbing on the top and all the way around after you knit the Fleegle heel. I haven't had any trouble with this as my first sock pattern, and I'm past the potentially tricky parts! So I feel like I can recommend this to beginner sock knitters, as long as are comfortable using teensy size 0 needles.

The striped yarn is Patons Kroy Socks yarn, which comes in a bunch of fun color combinations. I bought a few different colorways to make socks and hats. My feet are going to look so good! 

The Straightaway Socks pattern is from, and it's on sale for about $5, which includes the pattern and enough yarn to make the socks (it comes with Cascade Heritage yarn, not the Patons Kroy that I'm using). This one's also knit toe-up and it has ribbing all the way around, except for the toe and the afterthought heel. I have to knit another inch before I get to the heel, but it looks like the technique is just like how I've added 4 sweater sleeves before, and some thumbs on mittens, so I think it will be as easy as the sock has been so far. 

Do you have any favorite, easy-ish sock patterns?

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