The weather forecast on Friday warned of high winds and heavy rain across the UK, especially in coastal areas. I hope no one has been affected by the storms that continue to batter the country. In most circumstances this sort of weather would mean that we would stay at home, draw the curtains and watch DVDs back to back. This weekend? No. A while back I had booked us a short break away on the North Devon Coast so we went to the seaside instead!
We had a lovely time, visiting Clovelly (a unique, hillside village with cobbled streets and no cars) and braving the beach at Instow (it was windy!). I love the seaside and a bracing walk on the beach certainly helps clear the cobwebs away. Unusually for me, my project bag didn’t get opened at all. Mind you, I do find it tricky to manage knitting whilst holding a glass of wine which may or may not have had something to do with it.
So yesterday, when everything had been packed away and the boys were settled in bed, it was catch up time and I was on a mission. Of the sock variety. The result? My first pair of socks, knitted by me!
You may recall a month or so ago I attended a sock knitting workshop and learned all about heel flaps, gussets and toe shaping. I didn’t know whether I would cope at all with knitting, let alone 5 needles at one time, but it was great fun and incredibly rewarding. You can see my dinky little test sock that I made at the workshop here. I am so proud of that sock.
Maybe not as proud as I was when I completed my first proper sock a week ago. So proud I had to take a picture of it. If you follow my Facebook page you will already have seen it. Do you know I have never worn a knitted wool sock before? I couldn’t get over how soft and cosy and comfy it was.
I certainly couldn’t have knitted the sock without attending the initial workshop at my local wool shop (The Wool Stop, Thornbury), but I wouldn’t have finished it without the help of Christine Perry, aka Winwick Mum who I was lucky enough to meet at the same wool shop last weekend. Christine was signing copies of her book ‘Super Socks’ and offering a sock clinic. She was so kind, spending time with each of us, answering our questions and offering advice. Christine has written a post all about her visit on her blog here.
Once I knew how to finish my first sock there was no stopping me. I gather many people struggle to motivate themselves with the second sock once the first is completed but I felt the complete opposite. The second sock was whipped up in a fraction of the time and I am pleased to report has the correct length gusset, has no dropped stitches and no odd lumpy stitches, unlike the first which has all those flaws but is nonetheless perfect to me.
I still need to block my socks to even out the stitches although my second sock definitely suffered less from the ‘ladder effect’. Christine’s tip was to make sure that the first two stitches on the needle were pulled a bit tighter. (Yes, we have our Christmas tree up!)
Everyone said that, once you knit your first pair of socks, you are hooked and I can well believe it. For my next pair I am going to try a small circular needle (luckily I have already bought mine, it seems there has been a national shortage since Lucy Attic24 revealed her first pair of knitted socks). I have Christine’s book and have joined her Facebook group Winwick Mum Sockalong (a lovely supportive and inspirational group of sock knitters) in case I run into any problems. I have a choice of about 5 different sock yarns I have been stashing for just this occasion, the only question is… can I resist starting them now in order to get on with all of my Christmas projects? Hhhhhmmmm, I doubt it very much.