Welcome, welcome.  Not only is it Wednesday, it’s also the first Wednesday of 2012, so let me wish you all a happy, prosperous and crafty year ahead.  Hopefully you’ll have time today to join in with the fun of desk hopping a la Julia.

I’m not one for resolutions but I did set myself a little goal over the Christmas break, and that was to learn how to knit socks!  Not exactly going to change the word or alter the course of human history or anything remotely interesting, but it was something I really wanted to do!  The casting on for socks is easy and is the same as for regular knitting, the dividing the stitches onto three needles worked out OK, as did the joining in the round of the last and the first stitch to complete the circle.  The knitting itself got a bit tricksy I have to admit, finding a good position for the two “spare” needles whilst knitting with the first and the newly introduced fourth needle was a bit of a challenge but I did get there, even if it was slow going.  I found a position that was relatively comfortable for my hands and before long a rib started to emerge which pleased me no end.  Spurred on by this I finished the rib and started with the leg of the sock in plain knitting, but after a few rows I thought it looked a bit wrong, so I did a few more and realised that it was very, very wrong indeed.  Have a look at this, can you spot what’s not right here??

Yes, my lovely comfortable wrist position for handling the four little DPNS needles, not poking myself in the eye, not losing my stitches off either end of my needles and being able to “get on with it” at a reasonable rate means I’m knitting my socks inside out!!  Not too good then.  But apparently a very common mistake made by beginners, and thankfully an easy problem to fix by turning the sock back out the right way, so the correct side is now facing out and making sure you knit into the front of the stitches not behind them.

I’m now having to relearn the DPNS’  over again for comfort and speed and it’s taking a bit of time!  But I’ve persevered and the first half of my first pair of socks is now looking like this….

But this is the easy part, the difficult bit will be when I come to do the heal, that’s the bit that looks much more complicated than anything else I’ve done so far, but I intend to master it… somehow!  If you recall before Christmas, I treated myself to a Beginner Sock Knitting book by Ann Budd, which has proved very helpful so far, with the single exception that there isn’t a trouble shooting section in it at all!  I didn’t realise that when I bought it, it was only when my knitting wasn’t looking right that it dawned on that the wonderful book contained no help whatsoever, which I thought was a huge oversight by the publisher and author!  Luckily though the internet quickly came to the rescue, and as I’ve also found many videos on You Tube and knitting sites to help with the heel turn and the gusset I think it’ll be the internet I turn to again, which is a bit of a shame in a way, but it’s so helpful to see the technique actually demonstrated rather than just read about it and try to interpret static photos.  At least I haven’t been banging on anyone’s door yet begging for help!!  And as you can see, I’ve got a few other balls of wool ready for more pairs of socks too, there’s optimism for you!