Sunday, 13 May 2007

You know... For kids!

See that smile? That's the smile of a boy whose toes are untroubled by seams. Until a couple of months ago, I was a sock skeptic. Handknitted socks seemed very nice but also sort of superfluous: I didn't fancy all that work for something I'd be hiding under my jeans, and anyway, I had plenty of socks (and if you would like to point out how wrong I was, feel free to comment). Then began the morning whine: "Mummy, my socks are all sort of uncomfy!", accompanied by much toe-wiggling against the aggravating ridges of the seams. Suddenly, handknitted socks seemed like a very good idea indeed. I got a few balls of Opal Uni, the Knitting Pure & Simple pattern, asked the Bear to pick a colour, and jumped in.

It all went remarkably well. If you have a close look, you can identify which sock I made first by the spiral of stretched stitches I caused before I realized that I needed to keep my stitches evenly distributed as I worked around. The short row heel was a revelation. I couldn't conjure up a mental picture of what I was doing from my reading of the directions, so I proceeded in blind submission to the pattern, and was rewarded with a tidy little triangle of heel. Between making the first and second sock, I found out about the mysterious process of grafting, which isn't a part of the pattern I used. I felt slightly disappointed in my non-grafted toes then, and considered ripping out the other toe and redoing it; but as these socks were being impatiently awaited, I pressed on to the unsophisticated end. And look, the Bear doesn't care that the pattern is the 101 of the sock making world. He's just glad that Mummy's finally come through with the answer to his toe woes. And I'm ready to try some of the other sock methods out there, because all of a sudden, pretty socks under my jeans have become an absolute necessity.

Pattern Easy Children's Lightweight Socks from Knitting Pure & Simple
Materials Opal Uni, shade 1260 (about half a ball), Brittany Birch DPNs 2.75mm
Cost and source £5.99 on yarn, £4.50 on needles, £3.00 on the pattern, all from Get Knitted.

9 comments:

Caroline M said...

As I have paid my subs this year I can pass on my professional opinion. The cost of the socks is half a ball of yarn, the other costs are capital assets and the fixed costs should be spread over all the socks you'll make with them. I'd estimate you've forty years of sock knitting ahead of you, if you knit five pairs a year (slacker!) then you're looking at 4p a pair of socks. Further research would be needed on how long you can keep a set of needles and how many socks you knit in a year.

The smile is worth all the effort.

clarabelle said...

Not sure I can follow your comment with much aplomb, caroline m.... But was going to say, what a lovely smile upon young Bear's face! How chuffed does he look wearing socks made by his mum!

I'm with you, Webbo, on the sock front, btw. Couldn't understand the why or wherefore of sock knitting until about a month ago. They're fiddly to knit, but they are defo on my agenda from now on.

Seahorse said...

Love it!

Sarah said...

Nothing beats a happy recipient og a knitted gift and that is one of the happiest I've ever seen!

Glad that you've joined the sock side.

wheezy said...

Nice pair of socks Madam, but £13.50 - quite expensive! You know how much I like knitted socks though don't you?!

Webbo said...

Wheezy, did you miss W4B's sock audit? I think she brought the cost down to around £3.03, which is much more bearable. I try to work out my costs as everything I bought specifically for that project - so by my reckoning, the next pair from that ball will be free.

wheezy said...

So this means you're going to knit more?!

zuma said...

yay! someone who's seen the hudsucker proxy! O - you know, for kids! I love the socks, he looks like a happy guy with his warm toesies.

Raeknits!_and_spins said...

OK, maybe you've sold me on knitting my son some socks for next fall. He too hates seams and bumps! Sensitive feet!