Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Handmade Christmas: Part 2 {Knitted Gifts}

Since I started knitting, I always heard two very different opinions on knitting socks.

Opinion #1: I've been knitting for 15 (or another equally large number) years and I have never knitted socks. They're too hard! Have you ever tried turning a heel? {But usually these people had knitted sweaters before, and to me a sweater sounds a lot scarier than a sock.}

Opinion #2: I love knitting socks! They're so much fun. I make them all the time and haven't worn store-bought socks in years.

So this year I decided to get over my fear of sock knitting. I had started on a pair using a free pattern from Hobby Lobby, but hadn't gotten very far. Then I found Silver's Sock Class through Ravelry.

You guys, it is amazing. It makes knitting socks not only seem doable, but actually...fun. And exciting. Step-by-step instructions and photos. If you want to start knitting socks and have no idea where to begin, use this. I can't tell you how helpful it is! I printed all of the instructions off so if something happens and the site disappears one day, I won't be lost. :)

Anyway, my mom loves warm, cozy socks. She wears them around the house year round, even in summer when the rest of us are sweating. So it made sense the first pair would go to her for Christmas. {Actually I had given her an IOU for one pair of socks for her birthday in August, but that didn't work out.} 

And here they are: my very first knitted socks.


I know the yarn is ugly and looks like I used two different colors. But it's actually from two skeins of the exact same yarn, same dye lot and everything. And...sock yarn is expensive! Since this was my first pair, I bought some that was on clearance. Apparently they only put the ugly kinds on clearance. :)

So what's my opinion on sock knitting? It is really fun, actually. Very time consuming (I'm usually knitting with yarn that's at least twice as thick as this)...I worked on this pair for a little bit every evening for about two weeks. Turning the heel and doing the decreases at the heel and toe are actually the best parts, because they keep things interesting. The repetitive rib on the top and stockinette between the heel and toe is what drove me crazy. :)

And to think that you made a pair of socks that are wearable and fit...that's a pretty lovely feeling. I imagine it's what knitting a sweater feels like, but on a smaller scale. I love looking at all of those tiny little stitches. I love how the toes on knitted socks look weird and squareish until you put them on, and then they're perfect.


I also learned that it's really weird and awkward to take a picture of a newly knitted sock on your own foot.


I also made Mom a cowl (like mine) in brown acrylic (she thinks some wool is itchy). But I was so obsessed with the knitted socks that I forgot to get a finished picture. So here's an in-progress photo to give you the basic idea. :)


My dad had asked me a while back to knit him a hat, but I don't think he really thought I would do it. :) I really wanted to make a green one, but couldn't find the right yarn (he wanted wool), so I had to use this camo yarn. Which I thought would knit into splotchy camouflage. Instead it knitted into stripes, which I'm not too crazy about.

But he has worn it every day to do chores, so either he really likes it or he's doing a really good job of pretending to. :)


It was a pretty easy hat...I finished it in two or three evenings. It was my second hat, and my first one with ear flaps.



My brother is the king of stocking hats. He wears a beanie pretty much all winter (and sometimes when it's warmer). So I knit him a basic black hat. I tried to go back and add a small Honda emblem in white, but it looked terrible so I took it out. His is in acrylic because I know it would be thrown into the washing machine, not hand-washed. :)


{I love the swirly tops of knitted hats...could you tell?}


If you're interested in what patterns I used, you can find that info on my Ravelry projects page.

Until next time,

3 comments:

  1. Great job! I've always wanted to learn to knit socks, but I can barely knit a scarf and am thinking it will never happen!

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  2. I loooove my beautiful socks!!!! As I am reading your blog, guess what I have on my feet? You guessed it! My warm, adorable cozy socks. Thank you so much for making these for me, my favorite socks ever!!! And also my cowl. It is so warm and not itchy. It is perfect! Thanks for my homemade gifts made with love! Love You MOM

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  3. Such beautiful, handmade, and thoughtful gifts! Truly treasures....
    Someday, I'd love to learn to knit. Until then, I'll just have to admire others' handiwork! ;)

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