I’ve said it before, I’m not a huge fan of knitting socks; but every so often they can become so much more than the object they are, as was the case here.
A couple of months ago I was exchanging messages with a fellow crafter on Facebook, and she happened to mention how sad she was that another crafter she knew had passed away. This lady who died happened to be a knitter who made items to order, and my friend told me she had been thinking of commissioning a pair of socks for herself, because she’d love to have at least one hand knit pair in her lifetime – now the plan was no more.
There is an expression often used in the knitting community, “knit worthy.” You are knit worthy when you are a good person, when you know how to wash woollens, and know how much an act of love it is to spend hours with some yarn and needles to conjure up a decent finished object. This friend happened to tick all the boxes. She deserved, nay, needed to own a pair of knitted socks. I decided to make it happen.
I waited a couple of weeks so as to not be too obvious, and told her, “Send me a cardboard tracing of your feet. No questions asked, I’ll send you something back when I can.” She obliged, used to my enigmatic ways.
Now, before you think I’m a really nice person, let me disclose I was also using her as a guinea pig for an experiment. I had bought a sock heel pattern called Fish Lips Kiss Heel that I was very keen to try, but hadn’t had the patience to challenge myself and do it – knitting for someone else added some welcome pressure, and what was best, this pattern included a special section about knitting for someone who wasn’t present. Win win.
I received the cardboard feet in the post, and proceeded to purchase the yarn for it. I’d never tried a self-patterning skein before, and had seem some interesting ones by a new-to-me brand called Drops at the Knitting and Stitching Show. What do you know, another opportunity to try something new. I went for blue because it seemed like a safe bet, most people like blue, right? I mean, I couldn’t just ask my friend, “if you were a ball of yarn and wanted to become something you’d wear, what colour would you be?”
I was going for contrasting toes and heels, so I bought these yarns:
Of course, had I bothered to read my pattern before buying anything, I’d know it would be a bit tricky to get the heels in another colour. Since this was a present, I decided not to risk any unneeded experimentation and just stick to some good ol’ simple knitting with just one ball of yarn and leave the contrasting colour for another day.
Understanding the heel pattern was a little challenging in the beginning because there were so many new steps to learn, but once I got it, they just flew by. The author is right in saying it’s a really simple process once you’ve understood how it works.
Here’s the finished pair of socks, minus blocking.
And here they are in the recipient’s feet! She says they fit perfectly, which makes me very happy. And if some of you know me already, you’ll know that once I had leftover yarn, I just had to cast on a new pair for myself – I’m woman of science, after all (not really) and just needed to try the heel pattern again and make sure it wasn’t just a coincidence everything worked so well. Any excuse…
If you haven’t tried the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, I recommend you give it a try. The pattern is only US$1 and very easy to understand on once you’ve read all her why’s and how’s, and even easier to work on. Did you ever imagine you could knit someone socks without them ever trying them on, not once?
(By the way, I’m not sponsored by Sox Therapist to say this.)
Let me know if you’ve ever tried this pattern, whether you liked it, are you thinking about using it, why not, etc. Let’s talk about socks in the comments section! Can’t believe I just said that…