my first socks

so i too just started to knit socks this summer, after working on an ethnic multi-colored legging project for a while.

i do them knee high for use in costuming for folk dance groups. they are used as mens socks, which are often worn over the pants (the pants tuck into them). most of them, traditionally, have long lengths of extra yarn knotted or braided to wrap around and use as a 'garter' to hold the socks up.

I took a break from copying traditional designs and patterns and for these i don't plan them at all. i knit them without a pattern and develop and design them 'on the fly', improvising as i go along. the experienced women knitters that i show them too don't believe me when i tell them i improvise the patterns. oh well. the second sock ( blech to having to knit TWO of the same socks!) is of course copied from the first.

my technique for toes( these are all toe-up, as tradition in the Southern Balkans would have them) and heels is not so great yet. also knitting with enough 'give' or stretch in the 2 and 3 color areas is a challenge. i threw out a pair or 2 that i couldn't get over my ankle! even so, i have already sold several pairs.

i've been doing them with the cheapo worsted weight synthetic humongo skeins from the 'big box' craft stores(you know the ones) using huge(for me) #8 and 9 double points. this , after working for months on finely spun wool using #0 or #1 needles! quite a difference! it will be hard to go back to the fine work, as these knit up relatively quickly. if i make good use of knitting in my spare time ( ha! what is that?) i can do a pair in about a week and a half. i'd be curious to know how long a sock, or pair, takes other people.

you guys inspire me!

Image icon long-socks.jpg637.01 KB


SAPBrown's picture

Hi and Welcome,
Nice color work. In a week and a half for a pair? Wow! I got to ask: Time/Day knitting?

I just cast on my fist pair 8/13 (2 weeks in) using sock yarn and #1 dpns. Most nights I only get to work 4-6 rnds each (working both at same time) Hope to turn the heels over the holiday weekend. I'll let you know when I bind off.

Sara Katsan's picture

hi. thanks.
admittedly, 1 1/2 weeks is the fastest i've done for one of these pairs. and that i wold guess averages 2-3 hours per day.
i work at home so i take breaks from the computer and knit for 15-20 minutes, then go back to work. and if i have the luxury of watching TV, i try to knit while i watch. also, i am often on a train or in waiting rooms, so i pick up some knitting time then too.

and there is no way i could do them that fast if they weren't:
a) using that fat yarn
b) using fat needles ( #8), which give me 17-18 stitches per 4 inches, and about 25 rows in 4"

compare that with some of the 'finer' work i was doing : 52 stitches and about 58 rows in that same 4" x 4" area !

what does 8/13 mean?

do you find working 2 at a time psychologically better ( why do i always dread doing the 2nd sock? ha ha )

what is your approach to 'turning the heel'? and do yo do toe up, or toe down?

i'll look up to see your posted work. if you haven't already, i'd like to see what you are doing

Thunderhorse54's picture

I am in awe!! I haven't as yet really attempted color work. These are gorgeous!

Sara Katsan's picture

thank you. at this time, color work is the only thing that interests me. i am in awe of people who attempt sweaters and afghans!

SAPBrown's picture

8/13 start date.

My gauge is closer to the 52x58 you mentioned, It is slow going but it makes such a nice tight fabric.

These are Toe-up. I have only 2 balls of this yarn and I'm not sure where it will run out.

here is project/pattern:

Yes, two-at-a-time not only eliminates "2nd sock dread," it replaces it with double-toe and double-heel delays. Lots of needles though 4 per sock + working needle

Next up, Sock yarn Gloves

Bill's picture

are you eventually knitting these two at a time on a circular needle?

SAPBrown's picture

No, I plan on staying with the dpns, #2 is my smallest circular right now.
I must admit, the wool blend is knitting up so much easier. It glides through my fingers wonderfully. It slides up the metal dpns easily, no more pushing stitches toward the tip. To be honest, I feel kind of foolish resisting you advice for better materials.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very nice knitting, Demetri. I used large yarn and needles when I first started knitting socks and tried colorwork. They turned out a bit puckered but were for Christmas stockings, so that didn't matter so much. I should try colorwork again, now that I have seen your results. Congratulations.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Sara Katsan's picture

thanks. i actually had fun knitting them, as they knit up very fast. i finished the last pair in the picture(it was 3/4 done in the picture), but admit that there were some tension problems in the 3 color area. i was lulled by the rhythm of the pattern, and must have been pulling too tight. oh well ... this is how i learn.

i just started 3 days ago the first of a pair that i promised to a friend. it will be an exact replica ( or as close as i can get anyway) of a pair of Thracian women's socks. i will start a new post to show them.

embarrassed to say it took me 3 tries to cast on and begin. after knitting all those heavy socks using thick 4 ply synthetic yarn, using #8 needles, these ones are using fingering weight wool yarn with #1 needles. i almost couldn't get re-used to the small needles!

bobinthebul's picture

Wow! Good work Tzimmi! It inspires me to go back to the Hemshin socks and figure out how to do the heel now that I have a photo of it. (But it's still confusing.)

Wonderful work! The designs really "POP"!