Generations ago when a young girl learned knitting in schools, her first project was most likely, a pair of socks. Ginni recounts that her first project was, in fact, a pair of argyle socks replete with multiple colors and numerous bobbins. Today's beginning knitters typically start with a simple scarf or vest, but there is great wisdom behind the idea of jumping into socks early in the game. Socks introduce you to knitting techniques that are incredibly useful but you might not run across in your everyday knitting life. Certainly socks involve the basics - ribbing, working flat, working in the round, increasing, and decreasing. But you could knit a hundred scarves or sweaters and never come across short rows or grafting. Perfectly picked-up stitches is another essential skill you'll master with socks. There are other important refinements your knitting gains as you make socks - like how to work a not-too-tight cast on or bind off, or how to make a smooth selvedge, to name just a few. Socks are a comprehensive learning experience, and knowing how to knit them, and knit them well, is incredibly empowering.
Jenny May worked with us a couple of years ago, and I'm happy to say she's back on the Crazy for Ewe team. Jenny is without a doubt the most prolific sock-knitter I've ever met. Her entire family wears her hand knit socks - exclusively. I asked her years ago about what she finds so compelling about knitting socks, and I thought I'd share her thoughts with you again.
"I was asked the other day why on earth anyone would knit socks when you can buy them for so much less. Well, let me count the ways...
First, I love picking the perfect yarn for the recipient. Color, texture, solid, semi-solid or variegated - so many beautiful choices! Then you get to pick the perfect pattern. Plain vanilla, lace, striped, toe-up, cuff-down, ankle socks, knee socks...so many fantastic options!
Then, there's the ability to custom fit the socks. No more bunched up socks in my shoes! I can make long elegant toes, or short rounded toes that match the feet of the wearer. I can accommodate large or small ankles, calves and heels.
Finally, wearing beautiful hand knit socks makes me feel spoiled! They're perfect for any weather and a beautiful accessory."
Well said, Jenny. So whether it's the idea of such a learning-packed project, the creative process of sock-knitting, or simply the ability to spoil yourself or people you love with a beautiful gift, I think you will enjoy Jenny's sock classes. Beginning knitters who've taken her sock classes have all come away feeling tremendously confident and ready for anything. Even experienced knitters who've taken her class have agreed that it was well worth their time and that they learned a lot. Not only is Jenny a wealth of information, she's patient and encouraging, and her students have fun.
This Thursday she's starting a class on the very fun technique of knitting socks two-at-a-time. If you have knit socks before but suffer from "second sock syndrome," this is the class for you. If you're just beginning with socks, feel free to sign up for this class and just work your socks one at a time. It's the same pattern, and you can work at your own pace. Come by the shop, or sign up on line here.
We look forward to seeing you in the shop and around the table - you are always welcome here.