My collection of “Knitting Resource” links continues to grow! I’ve added a pointer to Knit Map; give it a zip code and it will find yarn shops for ya. Great for traveling, no? No more need to waste money on non-yarn souvenirs!! I’ve also added Visiknit, a neat program that will create a cable chart from text.
I’m having a lot of fun with the Cabletini Toe-up Socks project! I have little experience with socks in general but I think the Thrifty Knitters Sock Club over at Ravelry will put an end to that … if I can keep up with everyone, then I oughtta have a nice little sock drawer going by the end of ’08.
One of the many helpful tips I’ve taken from the more experienced knitters is to knit both socks at the same time. This drastically reduces the chance of contracting a case of second-sock syndrome! By the time I finish the first sock of this pair, the other sock will only need the cuff done … hey, that’s the home stretch! A corollary to this tip is: have lots of sock needles in the same size. I’ve been switching the sock that’s going dormant to stitch holders in order to free up the needles for the other sock. It would save some time if I could just start knitting away. Eventually, I’ll learn to knit with two circular needles, I guess, but I like using dpns. It’s challenging, and it feels rebellious and anachronistic. Still, if I wanted to knit socks on a deadline (like, in time for a birthday) then it makes sense to streamline the process as much as possible.
Another interesting effect of knitting both socks at once is that after I learn a new technique on one sock, I get to try it again on the other sock while my experience is still fresh. As so many of us were advised in school, repetition of new learning helps it settle into the long-term part of the brain. And if the socks were knitted serially, then the second one would look distinctly better than the first one. But to minimize the number of switch-offs, I knit each sock until it’s caught up and then stay with that sock for a “new” stretch. So, each sock gets its share of wobbly first-time knitting and steadier second-time efforts. I have no problem with leaving traces of my learning history in these socks … I mean, it’s just shaky technique! Oh, there are a couple of smaller errors but only the kind that a sharp-eyed knitter would detect; anything worse gets tinked and redone. And let’s face it, when these socks are in action (being worn) nobody will notice that I experimented with different ways to deal with a slight bit of laddering near the toe of one sock!!
My primary interest in knitting is the process, so I’m sure I’ll be giving away lots of socks when I’m more experienced. But I’m actually getting a bit excited about the promise of a few pairs of pretty hand-knit socks in my dresser!
I’m just finishing up the first heel, but here’s a picture of my “alligator noses” just before that step:
edit: OK, here’s a pic of the heel work (it fits! it fits!)