It started when I saw a sock knitting workshop being announced on Echtstudio’s Facebook page, and I signed up for it immediately.
This particular workshop was divided up in two sessions, in between which you were asked to do some considerable knitting at home.
Right during the first lesson – taught by very lovely and fabulous teacher Ina – I realised why I like(d) crochet (much ….) better than knitting.
First of all, and this is a bit of a catch 22, I’m a much more experienced crocheter than I’m a knitter. And secondly, dropping stitches like you can (and will) while knitting just scares the bejeezus out of me ……
I feel (or felt, I should say at this stage) extremely more in charge when I’m using my hook, as opposed to using two to five (!) knitting needles.
The whole key to this is – of course – experience.
Well, thanks to all the knitting during, in between and after my lessons, experience is exactly what I have gotten and yes, some experience indeed makes all the difference!
By doing, making mistakes, learning from these and – finally – getting it right is the only way to go. Let’s face it: it was the way I went learning how to crochet too.
The start of the sock(s) and turning the heel (so intimidating) was all done during the workshop sessions. All I needed to do at home was finishing my socks off by knitting the toes.
Yes, well ….. that took me three tries …..on just my first sock …..
Apparently I’m the kind of person who can’t/won’t stop doing what she already suspects is totally wrong, because when trying to figure out how to knit the toe, the thought “oh, this sock looks a bit too small” really did cross my mind.
I was so focused though on getting all the decreases right in the right places – fiddly stuff working with 5 needles – that I simply continued. I ended up having a first sock – that did not look all too bad – but that did not fit my foot….. argh.
Googling brought me to the “life line” trick and this is what I did while un-knitting the toe part. By that time I searched some more and found helpful video’s (here and here). My second attempt failed alltogether, but as we all know “third time’s a charm” and with a sigh of relief I tried my first knitted sock ever on: perfect fit! Proud moment, I can assure you!
I could not wait to finish the second one – just for fear I would mess this one up too, but no, this time I zoomed right through all tricky areas, including the toe knitting part and finally had a pair of home knitted socks, yay!
During this whole process I kept asking myself why I wanted to learn to knit socks as much as I did/do? I honestly think it has to do with my mom’s mother, my grandmother Marie, who – for as long as I can remember – was always knitting socks. No fancy socks, nor just for fun or because she liked doing this so much – no she (born in 1900) knitted them out of necessity.
However she never stopped doing so – not even when there was no necessity to knit them anymore.
Even in her late 70’s she would ask us, her grandchildren, if we wanted some of her knitted “geitenwollen sokken” (woolly socks in English) – one of my cousins and I were her best customers!
This, and having seen my own mother Lien – now 83 years old – knit, sew, cross stitch, embroider, crochet and patchwork all my life has definitely instilled the desire to create in me – something I’m so very grateful for.
She too – growing up as a teenager during The Second World War, hád to knit socks; the craft having been passed on to her by her mother, my sock knitting grandmother Marie.
This photo shows both of them: my mom Lien holding a picture of my oma Marie.
I do have some recollection of me learning to knit using 4 needles in primary school, and my mom helping me coming to grips with sock knitting, but that never resulted in anything useful.
It’s a bit sentimental, but I feel I’ve come full circle in that I’m now able to do what I’ve always admired my oma and mom doing. Also I think it’s nice and important to preserve and pass on crafty things, even if they’re old-fashioned like knitting your own socks. And last but not least: it is plain fun to do – just browsing sock yarn (here, here and here) makes me all giddy.