Knitting Relic: My First Sock

In a roundabout way, I have my friend Autumn to thank for this little knitting blog. While I learned to knit from my mom as a child - and learned well, I might add - it was Autumn who helped me get back into the fold when she taught me how to knit socks in 2003. Until then, I was focused. Until then I was a one-project knitter. Until then, I had no stash. That's right: none. Until then, the only significant items I had knit were: a sweater for myself in high school that was way too warm, a sweater for a bf in a doomed relationship that met its untimely end in the Suwanee River (the sweater, not the bf), a beautiful gray cabled sweater for my very very tall (6'3"!!) younger brother that I doubt he wears, and a sweater for my now-husband that he never wears (not that I blame him...but that's another blog post). The sweater for my brother took, I think, three years, including whole months when it sat in a bag in the corner of the bedroom, untouched.

I met Autumn at the school of music when she was getting her masters in piano pedagogy and performance, and I, having just completed the same program, was starting on my second masters in collaborative piano. When I first met her, I had a sense we were going to get along. You could call it knitting radar, but we have a lot more in common that has nothing to do with knitting; in any case, it was a friendship that was meant to be. We discovered a mutual love for knitting fairly early on, and right away I was so impressed that she knit socks! The thin yarn, the many pointy needles, knitting in a tube, that mysterious thing called a "gusset" all seemed so exotic. We went to Lakeside Fibers and I bought a book and some DPNs and a couple skeins of sock yarn, and I had my first sock lesson that afternoon.

I was surprised at how easy it was. In fact, looking back I'm sure I could have figured it out by myself from a book, but at the time it seemed impossible until she showed me how. So I made a sock:

See the mistake?

Early on in the cuff, I got confused about the direction of the knitting and turned it the wrong way, leaving a little gap. I didn't bother to fix it, obviously, figuring I could sew it up later.

Sadly, the sock has no mate. Yes, I had the second ball of yarn and the greatest intentions of making that second sock, but I got distracted with other sock projects - like a truly awful intarsia sock pattern that was doomed from the start, and a brown pair for Stuart that he only wears when all his other socks are dirty (sigh...I have since learned never to knit for my husband unless he asks for something specific and approves of all design and color details before I cast on...) - and the Second Sock never got made. I hung onto the second ball of yarn for a long time, but recently donated it to someone who will actually use it.

Maybe I'll frog this sock and make it into little socks for Daniel, or maybe I'll just keep it as a small memento of when I got bitten by the Knitting Bug and realized I am capable of so many things. Because since then, I've acquired some patterns, beefed up the stash, and made what used to be an occasional hobby into a bit of a passion, and now blog fodder. I'm sure some of this has to do with the explosion of popularity of knitting in the last few years -- you know, good yarns and much better patterns available (now that the poncho craze is over, thank God), complete with smart marketers who know how to prey on my weak resolve. But I've gained a lot of confidence, enough that I have learned other new techniques on my own, and I've ventured into other uncharted territory, like lace knitting for example. I plan to try designing a sweater for myself someday. And I think I have to give Autumn at least partial credit for this.


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