Saturday, 14 April 2012

A sock story

This is the story of some very old socks: two pairs of hand-knit socks and one odd sock.

The odd sock that started it all
When I first started to knit competently, I thought it was time to learn some new techniques namely knitting in the round and stranded colour knitting particularly fairisle. The one odd sock, which is really a Christmas stocking, was the result. This is not a sock which would normally fit any foot I know. The leg part is OK, but the foot is very roomy. It does however fit over a tightly wrapped ankle I remember. The highlight of this sock's existence was being worn in public over a strapped ankle for about a month after a nasty incident involving a set of stairs and a race against an elevator when I was 18. The elevator won and I tore every ligament in my ankle.

I don't really remember there being a pattern as such for this though I did use a generic pattern to figure out how to turn the heel. The fairisle patterning is definitely experimental. This is one of the oldest pieces of knitting I still have. I knitted it in my late teens so its at the very least a veteran sock (on the grounds that cars are veteran if they are more than 25 years old).
Close up of the fairisle at the top of the sock

You can see this is an old sock - look at the hole

Blogging about random socks was prompted by me doing my mending over Easter. The Head of the Household is good at getting holes in just one sock of any pair and if the sock is still otherwise nearly new, I'll darn the holes. So on Easter Saturday, I was darning a sock....

One neat darn. Nearly new sock.
And I thought of the socks. After the Christmas stocking, I thought I would make a pair of fairisle socks sort of like slipper socks. These were knitted on 4 mm double pointed needles using a variety of mostly cheap and nasty 8 ply acrylic yarn (hey I was a poor teenager at the time). Does anyone in Australia remember Disco yarn? The soles haven't really stood up to hard wear and tear. Its a pity with all the intricacy of the knitting that I used such rubbish yarn. I did use a pattern for the foot part of these.
They are still warm snuggly socks

Well loved, battered socks
Developing holes in the band
Large hole evident in bottom of foot

Have been darned but darns are almost worn out
There is no excuse for these next socks except to say it was the eighties. This is what happens when leg warmers breed with socks. The really scary thing is that there used to be a matching jumper....
These socks are knitted in fisherman's rib which can be seen in detail above. This time around I used a variety of 8 ply wool and the foot part is knitted in a machine wash. These ones are great under hiking boots and ski boots. Or they make great slipper socks.
[When I was editing the photos for this blog I discovered my updated photo editor had some cool new photo manipulations built in. So here is one final photo of the one odd sock]

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