Story of a beginner sock knitter

Story of a beginner sock knitter

A cozy pair of Gothic Arches socks knit by the talented bikewi

I learned to knit because I loved the idea of handmade socks.

Actually, I taught myself to crochet first. I had sort of learned it as a kid and knitting just seemed way too complicated.

I even tried out a couple of (very disappointing) crochet sock patterns. Then I resigned to the fact that I really had to learn how to knit if I wanted a nice pair of handmade socks.

So I taught myself to knit, using what felt like the entire Drops video library.

I started off with a couple of garter stitch squares in cheap acrylic. I turned these into potholders, not realizing at the time that heat and acrylic don’t go very well together.

To be honest, I can’t really remember what my next couple of knitting projects were. I didn’t know about Ravelry at this point so the projects went undocumented. Anyway, a couple of months later I felt I was ready to knit my first pair of socks.

Thankfully I was blissfully ignorant of the fact that socks are considered pretty “advanced” projects in the knitting world, not to be attempted by a newbie knitter with just a few projects under their belt.

I went to a local yarn store, looked for the brightest skein of sock yarn I could find (pink!) and asked the shop assistant for needles to go with it. Not knowing any better, I ended up with a set of long, metal DPNs. Yikes. To be honest, I never did figure out how to knit with those.

After that, I did a bit of Googling before I went back to the store. I vaguely remember reading something about circular needles and/or Magic Loop during my research. I asked about this I was told that you can’t knit “real socks” using circular needles. So that’s how I bought my first set of short, bamboo DPNs.

The first sock I knit as a beginner sock knitter
My very first sock

I did actually manage to knit my first sock using those needles. Sock, singular? Why yes, I never even started the second one. My first sock was an ankle sock and I used a free pattern I found on the Drops website. It still boggles my mind that I figured out how to work the heel turn. Anyway, the sock ended up being about 6 in or 15 cm in circumference. Needless to say it didn’t really fit.

As a beginner sock knitter, gauge was yet another thing I was blissfully ignorant of. I had no idea 2.5 mm needles weren’t a good fit for everyone (like most newer knitters I was working at an awfully tight gauge). Back in those days I had no idea that a stitch gauge of 26 stitches per 4 in or 10 cm for a sock pattern using fingering weight yarn is unconventional, to say the least.

The first pair of socks I ever finished: self-striping and too big
The first pair of socks I ever finished

Ironically, my next couple of pairs of socks ended up being too big. My gauge loosened up and I had no clue negative ease was a thing. Soon I also learned that you can end up with 2 different sized socks, even if you are using the same yarn, needles and pattern.

You could say my relationship with sock knitting got off to a rocky start, but it’s this rocky start that got me thinking…

Last Spring, I came up with the idea to create a collection of sock patterns suitable for a beginner sock knitter. I wanted to create something that would introduce the knitter to a variety of sock techniques, while keeping them from making the same mistakes I made.

Let’s fast forward to the present and let me introduce you to The Coffee Socks Collection: 9 beautiful knitted sock patterns for adventurous beginners. Coming this January 2021.

Cover image of The Coffee Socks Collection by Dots Dabbles
Cover image of The Coffee Socks Collection

Read more on the blog in a couple of days.

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