If you follow my blogs you know that I live on the west shoreline of Lake Michigan. We aren’t far from the water are surrounded by farm land. With the fields empty in the winters and the wind off The Lake, it gets very cold here which makes our shoveling, snow blowing and even plowing on the tractor a frigid experience.
When I was a kid my dad always had these really warm, thick, wool hunting socks that we would wear in our boots and sometimes even over our socks as slippers when in the house. The last pair finally wore out about 15 years ago and to date I have never seen anymore in the stores like them. Since I knit now and have started working on my Christmas list I thought why not knit each of the men in our house a pair as a gift?
I wanted them thick and warm so that told me worsted weight and also told me I should be brave enough to go ahead and buy some yarn that is actually suitable for worsted weight socks….that meant some wool….YAY!!!! We don’t have any yarn shops locally so my options are Hobby Lobby, the teeny, tiniest Jo Ann store you have ever seen, Walmart and Meijer. Of course I could order yarn online but not knowing what I was looking for I felt it was important to see it, feel it, check it for ‘squishability’ so I would know it was the right fiber. Well thank goodness for that teeny, tiny JoAnn store we have here. I found Lion Brand Wool Ease and it was on sale for 2@$5.00. The best part with the wool-ease is that it can go in the washer and dryer. Still having four kids at home means lots of laundry every day and hand washing and drying socks flat just is not reasonable in this house. The go out and shovel, build snowmen or forts, walk the woods, etc where their coats, gloves, scarves, hats, socks, boot liners, you name it get wet (x 4 kids when no one has a friend over…which is rare). They come in, warm up and want to go out in another hour so I throw their pile of damp stuff in the dryer and they LOVE putting on dryer warm stuff to go back out. 100% wool would not and historically has not survived here! (If I had only known about felting for all the years I threw out shrunken sweaters grrrrrr)
So there, Wool Ease was chosen.
Now for the needles. Hmmmmm, since hubby supports my newly formed yarning obsession and was so easy when I batted my eyes and asked for that $70 set of Needle Master set, I’m thinking it’s time to master Magic Loop Knitting. Deep breath, I have only practice Magic Looping, it can’t be that difficult…..and it wasn’t
It was late at night when I started. Two of the kids were in sleeping bags on the floor of my room. They were watching a movie and I was pretending to while I cast on the 48 stitches to my size 5 needles as I remembered the pattern called for. There was no need to grab the laptop and look the pattern up, I remembered I needed to knit a good 6″+. I then proceeded to knit until I passed out.
It was Spring Break so everyone was home from school so it was a good 20 hours before I got back to my knitting. I had wanted to make these Hiking Boot Socks from a book called Knitting with Balls and had even had it in my Amazon Shopping Cart BUT after reading the pattern comments on Ravelry decided not to continue with my purchase. The bulk of the reviews on the pattern at Ravelry said the pattern for the heel was incorrect and most people had just done the heels the way they knew how….well these were my first real socks so I had no idea how to do them. Maybe another day for that book. Anyway back to the story, it was a good 20 hours later when I went to look up the pattern and see if I was wide awake enough to read and understand what lie ahead of me for making a sock heel. Get this…..I have no idea what pattern it was, it isn’t in my Ravelry favorites, it isn’t on my hard drive or my SD Card and of course I just did a clean up on the laptop so it would be running at optimal speed….that means no history to find my page. Ugggg!
So I start going thru sock patterns. I really like these Mountain Man Socks and I’m going to make some but the “Sherman Heel” thing scared me. I have no idea what it is and I felt I should start with regular plain old heels (whatever they are called). I wanted to make these Soldier Socks but it says double heels and calls for a crochet hook to be used. I’m gonna make those too-eventually but first I want to learn how to do regular old heels. Having no idea what a ‘regular old heel’ , what its called or even how to do a search for a pattern I am at this point at a complete loss. A few other patterns look great but I have no idea how I would do them on Magic Loop given that I have literally NO experience knitting socks. Then I stumble upon this helpful file: My First Socks using the Magic Loop The only sock pattern you really ever need! By Jane D. Prater. There we go that was my ticket.
Since I had knit to 8″ in K2 P3 like the Hiking boot pattern used and had the 6 rows of stockinette stitch on the back like the Mountain Man pattern called for why not jump to another pattern?! LMBO This one was great though. Very easy to follow and explanatory when it came to how to arrange the heel stitches on the needles to make the gusset decreases easier. Laugh if you want but until reading that I would not have realized you could knit a few and rearrange the stitches on the needles.
Anyway, it’s going great. One sock is completed and the other is nearly 1/4 of the way. I will post updates as this pair of socks is completed.
UPDATE –Currently working on gusset decreases for sock #2 Yay!