Knitting socks has almost always been a very relaxing pastime for me - one of the reasons for that is that I always knit the same sort of socks that I have knitted since I was a child. So I felt I had to leave my comfort zone and at least try some new features in sock knitting. A couple of years ago I bought Ann Budd´s "Getting started knitting socks" but I have to admit that I had not been giving it much attention.
It is a good book for learning how to knit socks. I takes care of all the fundamentals and provides different kinds of rib, stripe, cable and lace patterns. Ann Budd knits her socks on sets of four double-pointed needles. I always use sets of five double-pointed needles (I actually tried to follow her instructions using four needles but had to give up after a while and change to five needles. A life-time habit is not changed while knitting one pair of socks ...) Figuring out how to adapt her patterns to one more needle was not a big issue.
For these socks I used her pattern for "Seeded Rib Socks". Here are some of the things I did that I seldom do otherwise:
- Old Norwegian cast-on. It was years since I used this - WHY??? It is a very good and flexible cast-on that I will remember to use more frequently in my knitting.
- A Moss Rib stitch for the cuff. By habit I always do knit2, purl2 cuffs, have to stop that.
- I used Heel Flap stitches (she has three variations in the book)
- A new way of picking up stitches along the edge of the heel flap (she has three variations in the book)
- I carried the pattern from the cuff along the upper part of the sock
All in all I had great fun and learned a few new things (there is no harm in that) that I will remember. As always, check your gauge. Knowing your gauge makes knitting so much more rewarding.