On Learning New Things… (Gift Spoiler Alert!)
Lately, I’ve been working on Christmas gifts for nephews. I’ve decided to knit or sew something for each of the 5 of them. Most of them will be getting these (ravelry link) these (flickr link), since they live in pretty cold parts of the country.
There is one nephew who will be getting socks instead. I saw him in June, and we picked out yarn together for me to knit him a pair of socks. I actually did knit them and sent them to him, but they were too small all around, so he sent them back to me.
I have another skein of the yarn I used (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport), so I can certainly knit a pair of larger socks for him. I ripped out the original pair, and after finishing the two hats for other nephews, I decided to start the socks.
In the process of deciding to knit this pair of socks, I remembered my last completed sock project, in which one sock is significantly smaller than the other. (The second sock was knitted a year after the first, and evidently my tension was different! However, it seems that I also worked a different number of pattern repeats on the second sock! 😛 )
I also discovered recently, that another pair of socks I made for myself has a similar issue. (I’m not going to do anything to fix the socks that have already been knitted, but perhaps in the future…)
Since learning to knit socks about 10 years ago, I’ve known that there are people who choose to work on the two socks of a pair simultaneously. I have never felt as if I needed to or wanted to have two socks of the same pair going at the same time. However, the pair of socks pictured above may have changed my mind. So… as I started the socks for my nephew again, I decided to learn a new skill: knitting two socks at the same time on the same needle, using the Magic Loop (invented by Sarah Hauschka).
I have been using the Magic Loop to knit one sock at a time for several years, but thought that I would be too confused by having two socks on the needle to actually attempt knitting two at a time in this manner. My mind was changed yesterday, as I thought about the best way to finish the pair of socks for my nephew in time to send them off for Christmas, so I did a little online research, watched a few videos and consulted Melissa Morgan-Oakes book, 2-at-a-time Socks, which I happened to have in my library, because I like some of the designs, NOT because I ever intended to learn the technique!
So yesterday, afternoon, before meeting my girlfriends for our occasional knitting group, I started the socks. I always struggle with keeping the connection between the end and the beginning of the round tight, during the first few rounds while using the Magic Loop. That issue was doubled with two socks, but once I got beyond that bit of frustration, I found that keeping the yarns for the two socks properly arranged really wasn’t difficult at all. During my knitting group, I worked a couple of inches on the socks, and the hardest part (while talking, laughing, and drinking fabulous margaritas) was being sure I knitted the knits and purled the purls of the rib pattern.
So, completely unexpectedly, I may truly be a convert to this method of knitting both socks of a pair at the same time, AND I will probably even finish these socks by Christmas! 😉