Though far from perfect, I learned a lot in the process of making these socks from a vintage pattern.
It seems as though all dedicated knitters rely on socks as a relaxing filler project between other more complicated patterns. I've been knitting for 10 years mostly doing simple projects like blankets, scarves, and hats. So when I saw this sock pattern in the vintage book I had to expand my skills by giving it a try.
I used US size 1 double pointed needles and yarn from my stash that I plied with colorful thread.
I finished the pair of socks this week and learned a lot along the way. First, I must address the biggest lesson and most obvious error in my socks... I ran out of yarn and used a different one to complete the second sock. So embarrassingly stupid! I really should have known better. The original yarn was from my stash and I had it since college so there was no way I'd be able to find a perfect match. Honestly, I was so disappointed in myself for making such a stupid mistake that I wanted to quit. However, the toe didn't turn out right on the first sock so I really wanted to work through it again to see if I could figure it out. I'm happy I didn't quit because I got the toe on the second sock and now feel confident I understand the pattern, toe, heel, instep and all!
I see the appeal of socks to avid knitters. It's a small scale project that's easy to take with you. Once you experience the pattern it's easy to memorize and doesn't require a lot of focused attention. There was something kind of cool about the sequencing of doing two items of the same pattern/design.
As happy as I am that I learned so much I don't think I'll be making a pair of socks again in the near future. Instead I'll apply what I learned to a mitten pattern. I think mittens would have some of those same cool qualities I witnessed in making socks. However, mittens might resolve a few things I didn't like, or could envision myself tiring from if making socks on a regular basis. ---And mittens are just more necessary for me living in Chicago---
While, I liked the fine quality of knit made from small needles I think size 1 is just too small. Custom bending them to make them ergonomic helped but it still cramped up my hands, and made things slow going. Because socks need to fit in shoes you're limited to those small needles and there are pattern limits too. However with mittens you can use bigger needles, a greater variety of yarn, and you can play with different kinds of cable patterns which I think would be fun.
These socks are a mess -with the different yarn and the pattern mistakes- but I'm super excited that I learned something new that I can apply to different projects. Or, now that I know the pattern I can just jump in and make another pair whenever I want.