I went to my first knitting group and there were people knitting socks. In the round with a bunch of teeny weeny thin needles that looked like elongated cocktail sticks. These sock knitters intimidated me a bit. One knitted so smoothly and quickly you could see the stripes growing by the minute. Another was working an intricate lace design that she’d adapted. Adapted??? More intimidation. Up to then I’d always been a follow-the-instructions-to-the-letter kind of person. This was also no silent group – it was Stitch ‘n’ Bitch and there was as at least as much chat as knit!
If people were knitting socks under these conditions then it couldn’t be that hard, could it? And of course they swore there was nothing to it. I believed them and started on a pair of fingerless mitts as a good introduction. The needles repeatedly slipped out my stitches, landing with an annoying ting on the wooden floor. I used bad words. This was an exercise that was clearly not going anywhere fast. I persevered and made the mitts. Loosely knit and a tad too large they just about functioned as wristwarmers for working at a computer. But they didn’t look good and I gave up any further thoughts of working in the round.
I focussed on other things knitterly but I watched those skilled knitters with their socks flying off their needles and I really really wanted to be like them!
Early in 2012 I decided it was now or never – my learning challenge for the year was to knit socks! After stitching a wedding gift in the spring and contributing significantly to the Knitting for Water charity blanket it was mid-summer before I got started.
Bamboo needles, a standard self-striping sock yarn and I was on my way … well, sort of. Switching from a square set-up on 4 needles to triangular on 3 made a huge difference. I knit, round and round, childishly pleased by the stripes growing in front of my eyes. Yes, my knitting friends were right. It is easy. I have a new addiction.