I decided a few months ago that I had to knit a pair of socks, just so I can say I’ve done it and move on. Socks appear to be the only knitting that I have not tried. I lacked enthusiasm for knitting socks because:
- Sock knitting requires tiny needles and so would I end up knitting with 0000 to obtain gauge?
- Most sock yarn contain wool of some variety, which I cannot wear next to my skin
- Abundant ideas and plans for what to knit next without adding more
These issues now seem irrelevant. I shall knit socks despite these issues. It shall be my Olympic challenge for 2008. My determination was strengthened when I found out about Ravelympics, a challenge to knit something from start to finish in the two weeks of the summer Olympics. A spin-off of the winter Olympics challenge that was founded by the Yarn Harlot; for Ravelympics you cast on at the opening ceremony (8 pm Bejing time August 8th) and try to finish by the end of the closing ceremony (11.59 pm Bejing Time August 24th). Lacking TV reception, it seemed pointless to participate as the point seemed to be an armchair athlete with needles. Fortunately, I can participate in the Ravelympics without actually watching the games, an added benefit since I will be away next week, singing and dancing, at the Southern Week of Ashokan’s Fiddle and Dance Camps.
My Ravelympic event, the Sock Put, allows me to knit any pair or style of socks I chose. In my case they will be from the toe up, one at a time. I was thinking of trying two at a time, but most instructions give the impression that this means working a few rows on each sock at a time and then moving to the next sock. Additionally, this requires buying 40″ circular needles between now and Friday am. I can still change my mind – I have two days.
For my first socks, as I am unable to follow only one set of instructions, I am blending:
- Judy’s Magic Cast On
- Universal Toe Up Formula, both in Knitty;
- Ann Budd’s Working from the Toe Up Socks (Rav) from Interweave Press,
- Two at a Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes (Rav)
- Two At Once, Toe Up Sock Pattern from Knit Picks.
Choosing the yarn was the easy part. I have long admired the colors of Ruth’s yarns so when she used one of my favorite flowers, the forget-me-not, to influence her dyeing, the damage was done (see here). I am now the happy owner of 1 skein of Forget-Me-Not Sock Yarn in merino and nylon. It is even more gorgeous in real life than in the photo and very soft. A pleasure to knit too. I’m in love!
Oh yeah, like all athletes, I did some training. After all, I have a small large gauge issue (ha ha). So, using double points US 1/2.25 mm, I cast on 68 stitches as if starting a sock top down. I did a cuff, a few rows in stocking stitch and finally a few rows in pattern. Actually, the pattern may end up being stocking stitch/twisted rib basket stitch pattern as I love yarn in st st .
Once I had my gauge, I duly frogged my training work. Now I am impatiently waiting for Friday morning to cast on for real.
On other projects:
The shout out for Mystery Stole 4 happened earlier this week. I have signed up without totally committing to participating. Sept 5 is four days after the beginning of the school year which may be overwhelming, my first semester at a new college.