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Monday, 26 November 2012

The Story of a Sock

Would it be wrong to liken my sense of pride at knitting my first sock to that of giving birth to my first child? 

Compared to sewing, it took AGES. Once already committed to the point of no return, I kicked myself for buying small needles and thin wool, as I realised just how slow my progress was. Why did I choose the longer sock option, why? Rookie error.

Like a distance run, this sock took stamina to make. In fact, I am sure I could have run several marathons in the time it took me to make the leg part of the sock alone. Ever determined, I plodded on. Slowly. Measuring the progress a bit too often, as I had never knitted as much as I thought I had since the last time I'd measured. `What? Only half a centimetre longer - really? That cannot be right...'. Then came the moment I realised I'd misread the pattern, and still had another 11 cm to knit before getting onto the next stage of beginning the heel.

And, if you look at these two pictures, you will notice a distinct difference in how the top of the socks look. Because I was still concentrating so hard on holding four needles at a time, I didn't even notice I had made the mistake of knitting moss stitch instead of rib until I'd knitted a few more centimetres, and, well, decided I could live with it.

Then came the heel. A bit like the dreaded wall in the marathon. Already thinking I could do this, and was closer to the finish than I really was, I quickly realised I had no clue what the instructions meant. None whatsoever. Perhaps making a pair of socks was a bit ambitious for a novice after all.

I asked my mum for help. Nothing. She hadn't knitted socks before. I must admit, I was quietly smug at this stage. But that hadn't solved my problem of how to knit the heel of a sock.

So I got on the phone to my godmother. Aunty Jean is nearly 80 years old. When she is not helping to run the local toddler group where she lives, she spends her spare time knitting beautiful little hats for her local premature baby unit, as well as carrying out a steady stream of knitting requests from friends and family. What she doesn't know about knitting probably isn't worth knowing.

She hasn't knitted socks, either. Really? `It is a bit, er, enthusiastic, for a beginner', she said. But she was able to explain all the instructions to me. There is no way I could have done this without her.

So this is how I spent Saturday and Sunday night. Knitting in front of the TV. Every so often, as I passed another hurdle, I'd stop and make an enthusiastic comment to my husband, insisting he look at what I'd made. `What has happened...' the husband said with a slight shake of his head and roll of his eyes. Poor man. Still, I'll be comfortable in my own skin when I'm a little old lady!

Having found the middle bit of making the sock so long and tedious, I really loved the challenge of the heel and foot (once I'd overcome the fear of feeling clueless and realised something resembling a heel was starting to appear). I am really glad I have tried it. Given the time it took, I am not sure I'll be making loads more pairs, but it was fun and satisfying making the sock.

Oh dear - need to do the hoovering...
My sock is far from perfect, but I am very happy that it fits as well as it does. It is cosy and comfy and has left me motivated to have a go at a second one.

The cat seems to approve of it!

Sadly, I'll have to be patient and wait to buy more wool before I can begin the second one... Probably a good thing.

On other news, the girls and I finally got cracking on the Christmas cake after school today. Progress so far is pictured below - now to leave all that fruit soaking up the sherry overnight... smells like Christmas.


  1. Fantastic!!! :-) Sock is amazing, well done you. X x x

  2. Good old AJ.. lovely sock madam x

  3. Yes - she came to my rescue. I need to make another one now. X