Posted on 16 Comments

Neil’s feet

Neil's socks, Polka Dot Cottage

Ever since I learned to knit, I have been offering to make something for Neil.

Would you like a scarf? No thanks.

How about a hat? I never wear hats.

Fingerless gloves? What’s the point without the fingers?

As my skills and confidence grew, I had another option to offer.

I could make you a sweater – you’re always cold! Nah.

Would you wear handknit socks? <pause> yeah, that might work.

Hallelujah! We’d agreed upon something! So I cast on for a pair of worsted-weight socks, and got started.

That, my friends, was two years ago. Me and socks? we just weren’t a good match at the time. I was a slow knitter, and they involved a lot of stitches. I got about 2 inches down the leg and gave up.

Neil's socks, Polka Dot Cottage

A few weeks ago, I ran out of yarn for all three of the baby sweaters I was working on (the perils of knitting from stash!) and I found myself without a project while I waited for a new shipment. I could have started a shiny new project – I won’t lie, I was tempted – but something called me to sift through my in-progress bin.

I found a crocheted cowl that was five rows short of complete, and finished it up that very night.

The next night, I found Neil’s barely-begun socks. I came close to tossing them back into the bin, but I didn’t. Instead, I decided to give them another shot. I was pretty sure my knitting speed had increased a bit in the past two years, so maybe they’d feel more do-able.

Neil's socks, Polka Dot Cottage

There was one problem, though: I couldn’t figure out what pattern I had been following. I had never added the project to Ravelry, and there was no printout in the project bag. It was a stumper. Additionally, I didn’t think I had enough yarn to make two socks.

After a bit of dithering, and a lot of flipping through books looking for the correct pattern, I decided to just unravel the two inches I had done, and start again, this time with a new pattern, and an accent color from my stash.

It took me only a week, including a few days where I also worked on the baby sweaters.

I tell you, this is kind of exciting for me. While these particular socks have their flaws (some of them clearly visible in the photos if you look closely [please don’t look closely]) the idea that I could crank out a pair of socks in less than a week is pretty cool! I mean, I have always put socks firmly in the “too much effort to be worth it” column. But with heavy enough yarn and big enough needles, they are totally do-able. Yay!

Not only that, I have finally, after four years of knitting experience, made something that Neil will wear. Yippee!

He might even, for all I know, ask me someday to make him a second pair. Now wouldn’t that be a surprise?

Neil's socks, Polka Dot Cottage

The Details

Pattern: Maritime Wool Socks by Simone Van Iderstine

Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Piedras and Coco

Needle: #5

Modifications: None, aside from the color blocking. I would probably have liked it better without that, but I was concerned about how far the Piedras colorway was going to stretch.


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Posted on 16 Comments

16 thoughts on “Neil’s feet

  1. Love these socks! The color combo is great! My husband’s name is Neil also, so it’s strange to read your posts about your husband. I know you aren’t talking about my Neil, but it always throws me anyway! 🙂

    1. That’s funny 🙂 I know what you mean, though. It’s not a very common name these days, so it really does grab your attention when you read it!

  2. well done my friend. Isn’t it awesome to get them finished and on the feet of someone? Hand knit socks are addictive so be careful. I tend to do them two at a time top down so I don’t get the “second sock syndrome”

    These are beautiful and I swear I did not look closely

    1. Yeah, I think I’ll do them 2-at-a-time next time. I didn’t mind doing the second sock this first time, since I feel like I improved upon my technique and/or confidence, but now? Totally going to do them together.

  3. Yay!! You did it and they look great!

    1. Thank you! And he likes them, which is even better.

  4. Good for you finishing stuff (even if it was technically starting new). I need someone to come look through my UFOs and help me decide whether they are worth finishing or not. Anyway, getting socks down is such a great feeling isn’t it?! I felt like that was when I was really a “knitter.”

    1. Heh. You know, I didn’t even think about the fact that it *was* technically a new project. It still felt like I was finishing a WIP. Funny.
      That’s a good idea about getting help. Sometimes I need somebody to look at things with a more critical eye than I have 🙂

  5. Good for you! I knitted my first pair of socks about 20 years ago and didn’t get what the big deal was. I had no desire to knit another pair. It didn’t help that my first pair was in cotton sock yarn which didn’t stretch! Years later, with the internet, beautiful sock yarns and the sock knitting craze, I tried again and fell in love. I always had a sock going, along with all of my other projects and have probably knit 20-30 pairs. I have plenty to keep me in handknit socks every day. My go to pattern was Knitty’s Universal Toe Up Sock Formula. With toe up you can use a scale to find out when you have used almost 1/2 of your yarn and bind off and start the second one. Plain socks make great no-brainer knitting. I hope you knit a pair for yourself next.

    1. 20-30 pairs? Cool! Thanks for the link. I’ve bookmarked it.
      Two years ago, I bought a pair of shoes I loved, specifically because they would be great for showing off handknit socks. I *still* have not actually knit those socks, but I feel a lot closer today than I did then 🙂

  6. I really like how you alternated the variegated yarn with the solid yarn. Subtle!

    1. Thanks. That was actually out of necessity. I didn’t think I’d have enough of the variegated stuff to finish both socks 🙂

      1. I had a similar issue with a pair of mittens I am knitting up fora designer didn’t think I would have enough of the one color so I did it with 3.. turns out It would have worked with only 2 colors I think.. oh well it looks cool with 3!

  7. You gave me the confidence to start my own pair of these socks. I am just using yarn that is already in my stash, Wool Ease green heather. Am on the foot part so should be able to finish the first sock today.
    some of you are talking about making 2 at the same time. How do you do this?
    won’t your yarns get all tangled?
    I have enough trouble figuring out the heel parts as it is, and to have 2 yarns in there at the same time…oh my

    Anyway, good job. They are beautiful.

    1. Good for you!

      As for 2-at-a-time, I’ve never done socks that way, but I have done several pairs of wristwarmers, and once I did sweater sleeves. I learned from a book. I wrote about my experience here. And I came up with a solution for those tangled yarns, because yes, they did cause me a lot of problems, and I posted about that here.

      I hope those posts help a bit!

  8. Thanks Lisa

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