Warning: Sock Purists Read at Your Own Peril

I tried. Really I did. There is something appealing about being able to slip a sock on as soon as the last stitch has been cast off with no seams to sew up. I've knitted several on two needles and thought it was time to do a toe-up version on four needles.

The 'proper' way.

By the time I'd gotten halfway up the foot I had discovered that while this might be more traditional it certainly was not fun.

Not even a little bit.

I dropped stitches, forgot to count rounds which meant I knitted past the cable round, and continually stabbed myself with the needles. I don't do winter and my hands especially don't do winter. At the moment they are red and sore and split and blistered and do not appreciate any more abuse - whatever form it comes in.

So after looking one last time at the sock sitting demurely on my four needles and looking like a sock, I whipped the needles out and undid it and returned to my trusty pattern.

On two needles.

I quickly realised why I like this pattern so much. It's easy; it's quick (it only took me a third of the time to knit up the wool I'd unravelled as what it had taken me the first time); it lends itself to different patterns; it's simple to change the stitch count to cater for different tensions (gauges); but most of all, it's fun.

So why did I feel the need to torture myself? I'll tell you why.

1. I like to do things 'properly'. Call it a character fault - I do at times - but I had it in my mind somewhere that this is the proper way to knit socks (i.e. in the round) and that all other ways don't count. Therefore my socks are not 'real' socks and for some insane reason I thought I had to apologise for my socks ("Yes I knitted them but I'm sorry: I did them on two needles and they have a seam.")

2. There is the connection with generations of other women and the way they've done things in the past. Somehow, though, I conveniently forgot that women of generations past also knit socks on two needles if the various vintage patterns in my collection can be believed along with instructions I've seen for knitting socks for World War II soldiers.

3. I wanted to try a new technique. Well I've tried it and I doubt I'll be trying it again anytime soon.

4. I admire those that have the skill and patience to knit socks on four needles (or two circular needles). I'd love to join that group but I'm afraid it's not to be. At least for a while.

5. I wanted to avoid sewing seams. Why I don't know. I sewed up The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1's socks while she pranced around my living room. I was done before she got tired so it's not a huge time commitment.

6. I have a sneaking suspicion that by knitting socks on two needles I'm cheating and no one wants to be a cheat!

However, now that I have that our of my system, I can go back to my trusty old pattern with two needles, my pretty yarns, and best of all, a clear conscience (unless someone can convince me otherwise).


SchnauzerMom said…
The one and only time that I tried to knit socks was on 4 needles. That was about 40 years ago, never tried it again. I like to do things the "right" way too but sometimes we need to go our own way and that's right too.
Ashley DeLen said…
I'm proud of you for knitting. I tried it once. Made a scarf and gave up!! So socks of any kind are amazing to me! I love seeing all the neat things you make. It blesses my day!

Jen said…
I had a friend who was knitting socks on 4 needles. She had never done it before, and she got so frustrated that halfway through she vowed never to knit socks again! I think that if you knit beautiful socks like you do on 2 needles, why mess with a good thing :)? You do such an amazing job with 2 needles, and I don't see how in the world that can be cheating! Knitting is knitting, whether it is with 4 needles or 2. Just my opinion :).

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