My First Attempt at Knitting Socks

Last year I attempted to knit a pair of socks for the first time, I hadn't been knitting for very long and had previously only knitted scarves.

You might think the next logical step after knitting a few scarves would be to knit something just a bit more tricky than a scarf, perhaps a cowl, or a simple pair of wristwarmers, but I was determined to knit a pair of socks. I don't know what it was about socks that interested me so much, but I really wanted to be able to make my own. Looking back at my first attempt at sock knitting, the finished socks really weren't that bad, I definitely made some mistakes with them, some of which are very obvious, but I do wear them and they taught me a lot. I actually took some photos of my progress at the time too, which I've included in this post, even though starting a blog was only an idea at that point.

First completed pair of socks
Close up of heel of sock

The yarn I chose for these socks was Paintbox Yarns sock yarn in the colour Storybook*. This is one of the 'Fair Isle' colours in the range, which creates a print effect. I used Knit Pro Symfonie 60cm fixed circular needles in the 3.25mm size*, this was the first time I'd used circular needles and I had opted to use the magic loop method. This was also the first time I'd used Knit Pro Symfonie needles, which have ended up becoming my favourite needles and I now own an interchangeable set. I used a few different tutorials to figure out how to knit these socks, I couldn't find a single tutorial that I found easy enough to understand the whole way through, so I combined what I'd learnt from several different ones.

I really had a difficult time from the very beginning with these socks, I must've cast them on about 6 times. I was finding the magic loop method very confusing and wasn't sure where to start after casting on, even after watching a lot of videos on YouTube I wasn't sure which side you start with. After a lot of mistakes I finally figured it out and started to make some progress. I did find that the first few rows of using the magic loop method are quite fiddly and it's difficult to hold everything together. Looking at the finished result of the cuff you can see where it got a bit twisted and where some stitches ended up quite loose. I think this was a result of my difficulties with the magic loop method and attempting to keep everything held together. I did keep going and found the rest of the sock a lot easier, so I'm glad I didn't quit when the cuff was getting frustrating.

Front of first knitted sock cuff
Side of first knitted sock cuff

After completing the first sock I was very aware of all the issues I'd had with the cuff at the very start, so wanted to avoid having the same problems again. I still found starting the second sock very fiddly at first, but I was careful not to get my work twisted and to try and keep the stitches to the sides as tight as possible to avoid the large loose looking stitches seen in the first sock. Side by side I can see a dramatic difference in the cuffs, which really showed the amount I had learnt from the first sock and the amount of progress that can be made in a short space of time if you put in a lot of effort. The second sock definitely looked much neater, with no major issues visible.

Sock cuffs side by side comparison

I was very happy with the finished socks, I enjoyed knitting them and have found them pretty comfortable to wear. They definitely have some flaws, I've already discussed the problems with the cuff on the first sock and both socks had some problems with holes where I'd picked up stitches. The fit of the finished socks wasn't ideal, they could definitely do with being a bit smaller, I think when trying to ensure they wouldn't be too small I'd been overly cautious. I also thought the stitches looked a bit too large, so decided to buy a smaller pair of 2.25mm needles to use in future. I had about 40 grams of the original ball of yarn left so after a short break from socks I cast on another pair, I made some decent progress on these before putting them down to work on other projects. It's now been several months since I last worked on the second pair of socks and I've recently started to work on them again. They're going to be shorter and smaller than the first pair as I do have less yarn to use and I'm pretty confident they're going to turn out better than the first pair due to everything I've learnt. Once they're complete you can expect to see a blog post about them, you can subscribe at the link below to ensure you don't miss it.

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