This fall I had a sudden interest in knitting socks - again. That urge was strong several years ago, and I even had a phase where I only wore hand-knit socks in the winter, but that phase burned out about the time I felted a few pairs of them over one winter, and it had been a while since I had made socks. But after several sweaters in a row, and more cowls that I can count, the sock urge was back. It also helped that I needed a project that would fit on an airplane for a trip in October - and nothing's more portable than socks.
So I splurged on a skein of La Bien Aimee Super Sock at Black Mountain Yarn Shop and got started on a free download of what looks like (and is) a great basic sock pattern - Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Socks.
I started with the idea of Magic Loop, but while Magic Loop is my favorite for sleeves (especially two at a time) it felt like I was going to pull a ladder in these tiny gauge socks. Which I probably wouldn't have, given how many people make socks with Magic Loop, but still it was a great excuse to pull out the bamboo double points from 10 years ago. The dpn's were nostalgic and also felt great, and I made 1 1/2 socks that way before I discovered the absolutely amazing sock designs of Natalie at Remembrances Pottery.
I mean, who could resist those?? And I noticed that she was knitting these on a tiny circular, which makes sense given the colorwork, so I decided I'd see if I could get along with a 9" size 1 circular - you know, like in training for moving on to her cool patterns.
And I had some trepidation, but I was committed to finishing the second sock on a circular and in fact, it did feel fine by the end. Which means I'm casting on a pair of Natalie's socks as soon as I get a couple of other projects off the needles.
Overall Wise Hilda's sock pattern served me well - one thing to note, I did one heel flap with stockinette (as written in the pattern) and the other with Eye of Partridge stitch (to test out the difference), and so far the Eye of Partridge is the winner. It's thicker, so I'm assuming it will last longer, but also the stitch pattern gives it more structure, which seems to make it want to stay on my heel better and not slide around. And also it just looks cool, so there's that.
The sock bug seems to have bitten - I'm having fun wearing hand knit socks again - so I'm guessing I'll be reporting on a lot more sock projects in the future. If you've got any favorite designers or patterns (or tricks) drop me a line - I'd love to hear about them.