I love knitting socks. For me they are the perfect project. They can be simple and comforting or complex and challenging. The yarn used for socks can be a riot of color or solid and understated.
I have been knitting socks for years, since before the blog. I still remember going into a now out of business yarn shop and seeing socks hanging by the yarn. They looked so curious and mysterious. My mother said she’d knit argyle socks during the war. The husband said he’d wear wool socks. I needed something new to stretch my knitting skills. That’s how socks entered my life and they were met with open arms.
The very first pair of socks I knit were for the husband. They were knit with maroon dk wool. They seemed to take forever to knit but once they were done I was so proud. The husband never did wear the socks out in public but he did wear them to bed on really cold nights. Over time those socks disappeared. I don’t know if they wore out or were just thrown out but they are gone.
I do still have some of the other first socks I’ve knit. When I discovered the self striping sock yarn I was over the moon. Imagine a fancy design without having to do anything except knit. These socks live in the stash. I never did get around to knitting the mates. I was too busy moving on to the next skein to see how that one knit up.
My favorite sock knitting needles are Skacel metal dpns in a size 1 1/2. I have knit the vast majority of my socks with these needles. I’ve tried magic loop, bamboo, and casin needles. Nothing feels as good as those Skacel metal dpns. I even remember buying them. We had taken a drive to LL Bean in Freeport ME and I saw a yarn store from the highway. I had to stop. I was compelled. The only thing I brought home was those needles. I think they were calling to me.
I can’t begin to guess how many socks I’ve knit with those needles. Probably hundreds. Sock knitting is an addiction after all. So when I cast on the Zauberball Crazy sock yarn I naturally pulled out the Skacel needles. I normally cast on 64 stitches when I do the pattern out of my head. The Harris Tweed pattern calls for 64 stitches to be cast on. The nature of the pattern, being ribbed makes for a lovely stretchy sock. I have been happily knitting away watching the colors change as you do with self patterning sock yarn. I was sure the socks would be lovely.
I tried the first one on. What? I expected a perfect fit. What I got was a sock so tight it was cutting off my circulation. How could this have happened? What did I do wrong? I have been a little tense lately so maybe I knit too tightly. Was I overconfident? Maybe.
But upon final examination I think the yarn is at fault. It doesn’t want to be Harris Tweed socks. It wants to be something else. I’ll just have to go along and see if I can find it’s bliss.