Okay, so I intended to get another Gretel on the go as well as the Evangeline mitts but I seem to have been bitten by the sock bug. I'm not really sure how it suddenly seemed urgent to finally crack knitting a sock but somehow, that's exactly what I'm doing. And it seems a really easy and quick process overall. Okay the speed thing may be down to the forced speed knitting I did on the run up to christmas that hasn't worn off yet, but it does seem a quicker knit than all those fingers on a pair of gloves.
Okay, down to details. I picked a toe-up pattern to try as I liked the idea that I could try it on as I went and I could alter the height of the sock to suit before I cast off. Okay so far. I understand that the heel is basically extra shaped rows on one side of the sock tube to get a triangular point in which the heel can sit - short row knitting - and the toe will be increases up to a set number of stitches which shall hopefully fit my foot and ultimately go round my ankle and calf comfortably. Okay for the theory.
The pattern I am using is the toe up DK socks from the wiseneedle site. A lot of the sock patterns are for fingering weight or 4 ply yarns but this knits as DK and as that is what I want to use, this is perfect. The cast on is clever using a figure of eight wrap around two needles - effectively the kitchner stitch at the beginning - and makes a good basis for the increases. Steady increases till the right number of stitches for your size. A note here - I'm a UK size 5 /US 7.5 and have wide feet, and I went for the woman's large size. It fits okay, a tad loose maybe but my yarn is Acrylic and has less stretch than wool. If this was wool I think I would knit the smaller size. There's only 4 stitches of difference in it. Either that or knit a slightly finer yarn at the woman's large size (ideas for next pair!)
Everything was going fine till I got to the heel. I think I was expecting something harder than it was but I couldn't 'see' the instructions and they seemed unclear and confusing. Eventually I went online and found another toe-up sock pattern to try and get a feel for what should be happening and once I had that sorted in my head, I managed to decipher my original pattern. I think if this hadn't been my first sock it would have been clearer but I needed more signposts than there were! I think this pattern has some very helpful tips and advice for sock knitting - especially the cast on and working out how long to make the foot and the height of the sock.
Overall, I am happy with the results and I have one sock finished and another on the way - yes, I started straight away 'cause you know what I'm like with two's of things! (and no, I still haven't got round to finishing the matching pair for that poor lonely fingerless glove from last year.... ahem.)
So, thumbs up for socks! I think I will be quite content exploring the world of socks for a while, the patterns and the self patterning yarns:-) I think my choice of yarn may have to be a bit more discerning though - the peach, pinks and white look a little ice cream sundae for most tastes!
Next, either something more subtle or a plain yarn with a textured pattern. Any recommendations for an interesting or challenging knit?