My Mum has always said to finally get to be a good knitter you must have made some socks. I always found socks daunting but I keep seeing posts on socks and I have all this yarn. Some of the yarn in my stash is hard to use because I accidentally bought lace weight mohair many years ago now. I managed to use some to knit this jumper which is a nice lightweight summer jumper.
I keep it in an organza bag and carry round with me because it takes up such a small space but its not the warmest of tops. Whilst reading other peoples blogs a while ago now I found this post on combining yarns to make different thicknesses.
This post explained to me that if I was to combine 2 strands of my lace weight then I could get fingering / sock weight. Well the idea of socks started to grow.
Well I have always done this (knitted two or three strands together to get eg chunky weight or to get a marl or to change the colours with stripey stuff) but never understood really the different weights and how to achieve them. I know double knit doubled gives chunky or what they used to call double double knitting wool when I was a kid!
My Mum used to regularly double up the double knitting yarns.
I also in the past I messed up and bought a large amount of lace weight yarn when I wanted chunky weight so I need to find a way to use it up.
This photo shows the difference in weight between normal mohair ( the thick strand ) which knits on 5mm to 8mm needles and lace weight mohair.
I feel I should knit one pair in my lifetime. Then I wondered about mohair socks but it turns out that what I considered a fragile yarn is in fact one of the hardest wearing and is apparently ideal as a sock yarn. My yarn is mohair with nylon too which is apparently the vital ingredient needed in sock yarns! It makes them hard wearing!
This is the yarn I used for my first pair of socks – doubled!
I totally ignored the stitch guide and needle guide for this project.
I was still rather daunted by the small needles but what the hell. The worst that will happen is I unpick them and make something else. Winter is coming and I could really do with some soft warm socks. Then I looked around for patterns and I came accross the Winwick Mum site with a sockalong. Its an old sockalong from a couple of years ago but the different posts are all there and I decided to follow it.
This is the tutorial I followed: https://www.winwickmum.co.uk/2014/05/basic-sock-pattern-and-tutorial.html
I am now beginning a second pair but this time I am using 3 yarns to make them a bit thicker cos I worry the first pair may not wear too well. I read a article that said you should not be able to see through the fabric for good socks so this will be my second pair and have 3 strands but the same needle size etc. Though so far I am finding it much harder to knit with the three strands. Its much easier though to pick up both strands when they are different colours.
Here you can see the doubled yarn on each stitch.
You start this pattern on a slightly larger needle and knit the first 2 rows flat before joining into a circle. That makes it far easier I think. I only knitted a few rows each evening and suddenly I have a sock so I started the second one and then wow, I have actually got a pair of socks. The hardest bit is not actually the knitting but the grafting along the toes. I messed that up a bit but it doesnt feel uncomfrtable and I suppose I will get better at this. I had a similar problem with my Icelandic style jumper under the arms where you need to graft. I think perhaps this will be a case of practice makes perfect.
So here they are my new socks knitted on double thickness lace weight kid mohair.
I have not worn them yet being as its not cold enough so have no idea if they will stand up to being worn but I will let you know once I try them.
And heres my socks:
Ignore the dog. He was hassling me to throw his ball.
Here are my rather imperfect socks. I know there are quite a few errors in these but I did really feel I was achieving something when knitting these. On 2.5mm needles too! I actually had to slightly change the pattern – maybe I knit loosely? I found that the 30 stitches on the Winwick Mum pattern were giving me too big socks so I really knitted sock one twice but never mind. I ended up with 56 stitches for my socks and they fit great.
Also to pick up down the side of the gusset I actually used a small crocket hook because I could just not manage to do it with my knitting needles. That could be down to my hands though. I have arthritus in my knuckles so I cannot always manipulate things as I should be able to. Anyway a crochet hook worked well and I got my stitches on my knitting needle in the end.
I am now beginning a second pair but this time I am using 3 yarns to make them a bit thicker cos I worry the first pair may not wear too well. (Ignore the necklace. Its got nothing to do with this. I had just taken it off because it was annoying me.) I read an article that said you should not be able to see through the fabric for good socks so this will be my second pair and have 3 strands but the same needle size etc. Though so far I am finding it much harder to knit with the three strands. Its much easier though to pick up both strands when they are different colours.
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