Ravelympian in training… (or: how I began to conquer my fear of knitting socks)

I think that somewhere around two posts ago, I decided that I was going to start finishing more projects before I was allowed to start any new ones. My FO list for 2008 consists of one simple scarf and a collection of chenille roses… (only one of which I’ve bothered to put up on Ravelry) and I’m pretty sure the only reason those got finished is because they were gifts for someone else that had a couple of very definite deadlines. I describe myself as being very selfish in my knitting in that most of the projects I get interested in and start are projects for me, not gifts. Apparently, however, I’m much more likely to procrastinate on projects I’m doing for myself. Hm.

I digress.

So, The Plan (ha! famous last words!) was to finish off some of the projects that have been hanging around, partially begun and far from finished, before starting any new ones. This is particularly true of small projects, the ones that are easy to tuck into my bag and carry along during my morning and evening commute. Note that I have actually made some headway on that goal… finished one whole leg warmer and am somewhere in the midst of the last three or four rounds of the second. Most of that was done in commuting hours. (Is it bad that knitting on the trains is, at times, my biggest motivation me to actually go all the way to and from Berkeley instead of just working from home?)

Anyway, that was The Plan until Adrienne gave me a couple of skeins of beautiful Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino in colors that remind me of a Renaissance painting and an offer of help and support through heel turning for my birthday. They’re begging to be socks. And, as further encouragement, we both signed up for the Revelympic Sock Put.

I figure that since there are a good three and a half weeks before the opening ceremonies, that’s a good time to knit a first sock as part of my “training” (I’m picking a moderately challenging sock pattern for the Ravelympics themselves — the Red Thread Socks by Cookie A substituting a lovely chocolate brown for the red and then using the pretty variegated skeins for the main body of the socks) so that I don’t waste valuable time during the challenge figuring out how to do standard sock-knitting practices like turn a heel.

So, I pulled some yarn out of my stash (part of the need to learn to knit socks is that I keep falling in love with beautiful, colorful, fingering-weight yarns. There are only so many useful non-sock projects one can do with these sorts of yarn. Unless I wanted to spend the next 10 years knitting a couture gown or something, which I’m not really convinced that I do) and cast on for the first in a pair of Uptown Boot Socks from Favorite Socks. I’m learning sock-making and really simple cabling in one project.

I’m actually pretty pleased with the project so far, and loving the colorway, though the variegation seems to obscure the cables a little. My biggest worry is that the sock in question will come out too big for my foot and for the fit that I like, though I think that’s both unlikely since I did take measurements beforehand and also not terribly difficult to control. I think the part to watch out for is the part that deals with the length of the feet… I have really, really short feet. I think they’re just over 8″ long. Unfortunately, they’re a fairly normal width (for an adult), so I can’t really get by with just knitting something sized for a child and trusting that it will all scale correctly.

Of course, I haven’t gotten to the hard part, yet.

I might find myself actually wanting to learn to knit socks on two circulars instead of a set of dpns. Except I do really love the feel of dpns, particularly these dpns. (Again with the thoughts on needles! Needle post definitely forthcoming). For now, work, and then knitting are begging for attention.


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