Friday, October 19, 2007

Transcendental Needle Magic

That is to say... "turning the heel".

Which is to say... I taught myself how to knit socks...!!!1!!

This actually happened last week. I found a very good sock tutorial* on the internet and decided for once and for all I was going to just do it already. I dug up the sport-weight yarn and size 4 needles I bought months back (along with a sock-knitting booklet which ended up roundly ignored, filed away with all the rest of the knitting books but rarely touched), and well-near velcroed myself to the couch in order to focus and just do it. I started very early last Tuesday morning, continued through Tuesday afternoon and evening. On Tuesday night/very early Wednesday morning, I followed the instructions to the letter and turned my first heel. And on Wednesday, during the latest trip to LR, I knit the main part of the foot, decreased for the toe, and finished my grafting right as we were pulling into the parking garage at the hospital. Fantastic! I weaved my ends in while I was waiting to see the specialist and borrowed scissors from the receptionist to trim the yarn ends off. I was so excited, I carried that sock around for the next few days just to show everyone my work! I still haven't made a mate for it, yet, but I'm working on a pair of bed socks in worsted weight right now. (I made the foot length too long so they're going to be for my husband. I have plans for a fuzzy pair for myself later.)

You know, I kept hearing about how turning the heel is this magical, mythical thing. I shrugged my shoulders and thought to myself that it couldn't possibly be "all that". Well, a funny thing happened while I was stringently following the step-by-step instructions for a short-row heel: when I saw the shaping happening right there, I had to stop focusing on it and instead turn my attention back to the instructions, otherwise I was going to be fully mesmerised by the power of the shaping. I finished the heel and then allowed myself to look upon what I had just created. Those wacky short rows turned into a heel! I put the knitting down onto my lap, brought my hands up to my mouth and muffled a squeal of excitement. I was amazed! I know it's not unique, it's something everyone can do, and that there are thousands of sock-knitters out there turning heels every day, but y'all. I felt so clever. It's such a simple trick but it works out so well that I think it was the heel that truly converted me to sock knitting.

Photos will come later - as long as you promise not to laugh at my clunky, ugly, first sock!

*And this is the sock tutorial to which I refer:

No comments: