Ta Da! My lumpy, bumpy, mismatched, first pair of socks!

bayareafrancyFebruary 27, 2009

Here they are! Like my children, they are wonky and far from perfect. And like my children, I love them! I still can't quite believe I did it (learning new skills is typically a hard and frustrating experience for me).

The part I really, really, really need to improve on is the appearance of my gusset decreases. But I am not sure what I am doing wrong. Can anyone advise me? See how the diagonal, decreasing part (not the "picked up" part--although that needs a lot of improvement too!) is all loose and holey? On the pair, 3 of the 4 gusset decrease sections look like that. Only one of them looks correct. What am I doing wrong? Am I doing the ktog too loosely? Or the knit after the ktog too loosely? Or the one before it? I'm just not sure what the problem is. Sorry the photo is so blurry--but see all the "ladder" above the decreased part? I don't really have ladders on the other parts where the needles came together, so why is there such a big one at the decrease?

I'm hoping to start another pair later today, if I have time. This is really fun!

I made socks!!



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Francy, I think you should be very proud of yourself! Sorry, I don't know what you could be doing wrong. But practice makes perfect, so you'll iron it all out eventually.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 2:27PM
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Great job!! I wouldn't even attempt to make them

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 2:41PM
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Minnie: that is exactly how I used to feel! Which is why I am somewhat stunned that I struggled through it. I typically stay in my "safe zone" and give up new tasks easily. So I highly recommend giving it a try! At the very least, you will enjoy the stares of admiration that you get while knitting with multiple dpn's in public!

There is a great online sock tutorial called "Silver's Sock Class" that walks you through every step of the sock.



    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 4:20PM
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One bit of advice - don't learn 2 new techniques at the same time. For example, knitting the first pair of socks 2 at a time and also the first provisional cast on and picot hem. Don't ask me how I know. LOL

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 9:25PM
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I love knitting socks and think it addicting. I've been on a binge this winter and love the look and feel of hand knit socks.

Your first pair look great, it gets better as you get more expierence. I love that color.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 10:14PM
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I think they look great. Remember, you are your own worst critic. THey're your first pair, your not going to be perfect, I still have problems with the guusset (I think that's the part..heck I don't know what part it is). I just keep trying different ways to make socks, different patterns, different needles--toe up, ankle down, DPNS, 2 circs...haven't tried magic loop. Fingerling yarn, DK weight yarn. It's all fun!!---Okay I hate working with 4 DPNS (or would it be considered 5 DPNS...4 with stitches, one to knit with)...or at least starting that way.

I am a sock addict!!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 3:45AM
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You did a great job! I love knitting socks and have a drawer full. Try a short row heel sometime. You might like doing it better. Silver's sock class has instructions.

There is nothing like a pair of hand made socks!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:17AM
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Congratulations! You did great, now watch out or what happened to me will happen to you too ;o)---DH get's nearly all the socks I make and complains if I make a pair for somebody else lol.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 12:07PM
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WOOT! WOOT! FRANCY MADE SOME AWESOME SOCKS!!! Yeah Francy! They look really good and I love the color. Can't advise about the laddering and decreasing since I'm still new to sock knitting myself, just know that with each sock you make it only gets better! Great job!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 2:45PM
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Lumps? Bumps? Where? They look terrific to me!


    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 3:19PM
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Y'all are too kind! Thank you!

Funny--I originally wanted to learn to make socks b/c my husband hates the socks that are readily available in stores (he wants all natural fibers--at a cheap price!). But after spending about 30 hours making mine, and now it looks like it will take about 15 hours to make a teeny pair for my small-footed 5 year old, I am in no hurry to attempt socks for his looooooooong flipper feet. I just don't think it will ever happen.

I washed the socks today (I used Modea superwash merino--so soft!), and the ladders do look a little bit better. But I just don't see how I'll ever get rid of them. In beginning my son's socks yesterday, I was pulling those "between the needle" stitches sooooo tight. My hands were actually getting numb! And still--ladders. And although I have read that knitting on a square of 4 needles will lessen the ladders, I find juggling the 4 needles to be uncomfortable.

After I do several pairs like this, I am interested in trying the magic loop. Though I'm not so interested in buying a 40" long Addi circular....

Thanks again for your kind words and encouragement!



    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 10:11PM
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Maybe you have found a solution for the gusset decrease "ladders" by now, but I must tell you I have the same problem. They only appear on the left side of each of my socks - the side you show so clearly in your photo.

Like you, I tried tightening up on the stitch before the SSK, and on the SSK itself, with only a little improvement. Since it's only on the SSK side of the sock, not the K2tog side, I feel the problem has to do with the formation of that particular decrease...so I intend to try other decreases that lean in the same direction as the SSK.

Maybe someone can suggest some I might try?

So far I have found two:
#1 Slip 1 as to K, K1, then pass the slipped st over the knitted one

#2 Slip 2 sts (1 at a time) as if to K, move both to the left needle and P them tog thru the back loop

I can't even picture how #2 would be done!, but it's my intention to try out both on a swatch.

Let you know. . . .

As for the regular kind of ladders that can form at the needle changes, I have found that a tug on the first stitch of the new needle is good, but adding a tug on the SECOND stitch of the new needle made a difference for me. I actually end up with a slight ridge where I used to get a ladder!

Some people give the last stitch on the old needle a tug too.

Like you I used to tug SO HARD on the yarn I sometimes broke the strand if it didn't have any nylon reinforcement in it. Eventually you'll figure out where and how much is just enough.

Wow, I seemed to have too much to say tonight. Hope some of it is of help. Linda74

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 2:28AM
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Your socks look great! Keep practicing and the ladders will get smaller. I have been knitting socks for about 9 years. I still sometimes get ladders.

As for the gusset decreases. When you pick up the stitches on the side of the heel flap, make sure you pick up both sides of the stitch, not just one thread of it. It makes it sturdier. It does leave a bit of a ridge, but that's ok. Sometimes the stitches are a little loose thru there, giving the appearance of holes or ladders, because of the slipped stitch at the beginning of each heel flap row. At least that is my opinion.

For the ladders, just snug up the first two stitches on the new needle. Don't pull so tight that your hand is going numb! Not good for your hands or for the yarn. The ladders will get smaller with practice. Like I said earlier, I still sometimes get ladders!

Want practice without all the hours? Make baby size socks. Lots of them. Use whatever colors you want. They make great Christmas tree ornaments! Or baby shower gifts, of course.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:23AM
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Wow! they look wonderful! I don't see any lumps or bumps ! I wish I knew how to knit socks! I can just feel those on my cold feet!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Thanks for the ideas/tips!

Yep Linda--my holey spots are on the ssk side. I've been wondering if that could be the problem. I haven't "finished" any more socks yet, but I have been working on (and frogging, and reworking on) 3 different pairs/kinds.

I"m having slightly better results with my current, worsted weight sock (wool ease yarn). I switched to 4 needles holding the sock in a square (knit with 5th), and that is improving the ladders at the joins. Though I prefer the feel and rhythm of 3 needles in a triangle. I'm still having ladders though, despite pulling the last and first 2 stitches around the join.

Maybe I'll try some alternatives to the ssk. I recall seeing some options--I think on knittinghelp.com--where a decrease was shown that was described as an even better counterpart to the ktog. I"ll try to find it and post...

I have tried a sock with fingering yarn twice now, and have given up both times. I cannot for the life of me get the tension right with that yarn. I have wrapped it this way, and that way around my fingers, but it is so tiny, none of my fingers can grip it and provide any tension. I have put it around my neck (itchy), in my teeth (blech), across the room (trips the kids). I just can't get it! I probably just need to keep plodding along, and as with other knitting techniques, it will eventually "click" for me. But so far, I'm sticking with worsted weight socks. Lucky that I live in Northern California, and have very cold feet!



    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 12:06PM
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Francy - I started on worsted weight sox too - then gradually worked my way down through light worsted, and sport. I stuck on Paton's Kroy for a good while, making several pairs, enjoying it's self-striping. I would call Kroy a heavy fingering weight, with 165 yd/50 gm, compared to 220 yd for Berroco Sox.

Finally, last week, I went to Opal's sock yarn. Being a rather loose knitter and liking a tighter gauge fabric's feel on the bottom of my feet, I actually tried knitting it on size 0 needles!! (even though they're metal, they're so thin they flex as I knit, such an odd sensation) Guess it was too much of a size change, because combined with the smooth, less wooly character of Opal, I had irregular tension. What an uncomfortable feeling; I sympathize with you. Luckily it doesn't look so bad after washing and while stretched on my feet.

Handknit socks are so worth the sometimes steep learning curve! I love wearing them, and no one has ever mentioned the irregular decrease line on their left sides - I joke that the "knitting experts" must be holding their tongues!


    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 1:00PM
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Here is the page from knittinghelp.com on decreases, and different complements to the ktog.

I just LOVE knittinghelp.com. Their videos are the best!



Here is a link that might be useful: decreases

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 1:02AM
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