I have been struggling through my first sock. I know it's not terribly momentous for those of you who are true veterans of this craft, but I'm proud to have figured out what I have accomplished so far. Like David Quick (knitsncycles), I sit in awe of the ins and outs of what goes into a sock. I'll never look at one the same again! I found videos online that really helped, but ran into trouble because some videos use one circular needle (magic hoop), while others use two circular needles, and still others use the double-pointed needles. Somehow those videos and the pattern I found have at least cemented the fact that the basic sock pattern is timeless and consistent no matter which method you use to manipulate the yarn.
Tonight I worked for two hours to wrap my head around turning the heal. It's amazing how, when it clicks in one's head, it becomes an ah-ha moment that adds clarity to the whole process. I found myself saying, "Well, of course it works that way." I have to thank Tallguy for helping me this far via emails and trusting him when he said to trust the pattern. THANKS, my friend. Next I move onto the gusset decrease and sock foot. My brain hurts too much tonight though. I told my wife that this was the most difficult thing I learned since I put my son's swing set together 25 years ago.
The photos show my progress thus far. I am using bamboo wool, 50 g, 87 yds because I wanted the sock stitches big enough that I could clearly see what I am doing. I chose the ivory color because it's easy to see the individual stitches...at least for me. When I make the real socks, I am going to use a lighter blue bamboo & ewe blend...thin sock yarn. I may go blind, but I'll get it done.
I have a spring break coming up at the end of March, so I want to head out into desert of Palm Springs, CA where I can sit and knit after some warm hiking. It will be incredibly therapeutic to knit outside at midnight (not possible in Chicago just now), have a fire in the fire pit glowing in the dark of night, hearing the coyotes off in the distance, have some relaxing music playing in the background, and enjoying a nice bottle of wine. I'll work on something simple, like a dish cloth after a bit of the wine. I doubt I could concentrate on a sock after a couple glasses of vino. My square dish cloth may end up looking like a triangle, but that's okay too.
Thanks for all the private words of encouragement that so many have offered when I ask for help on so many levels. It's great to know that our "community" here (David Quick's word) is populated by a wonderful bunch of men who share an incredible bond, if only in cyberspace. You have all helped me thus far on so many projects and it has made this latest bout of stitching insanity go fairly well. I hope to go to Denver in the summer so I can add a new dimension to our bonding by meeting some of you in person, sharing meals, night-long snores, and an endless array of stitches and conversation.