The other day when I was in the craft store purchasing fabric for bags, I saw this wicked awesome book full of knitting projects based off of Harry Potter. It got me really excited, so I bought it. Of all the projects, I think the Ginny Cardigan is the one I want the most. But, I figured I’d start small. And socks are small, so there I went! I’ve never knitted socks before, so I needed to get some size 2 needles along with the thread.
Here is what the socks are supposed to look like when I’m done:
And here are all of my materials:
In addition to the pattern, there are 2 size 2 9″circular needles, stitch markers, and the yarn. I’m using Bernat size 0 Orchid and Aunt Lydia’s size 0 Golden Yellow. I bought 1 skein of each, but might need a second skein of the yellow in the end.
Hour 1: Casting on… and on… and on…
I had the bright idea to use a single small circular needle with the magic loop method. Spoiler alert: it didn’t go well for me. I’m sure this is for a variety of reasons. The magic loop method is meant to be used with a long circular needle (24″), not a short one. Also, I’m not sure this method would work for me anyways, but more on that later. Let’s start with the cast on. I used Judy’s magic cast on method. Overall, I found the method rather easy. Getting my fingers to comply with tiny needles was a bit more difficult. It took me a few tries to get it all cast on properly. Here is what it looked like when I did get it cast on so that I was happy.
Once that happened, I could knit relatively well. It was a bit cumbersome to use the magic loop with such small needles, but it was working ok. After about a half an hour of stitching (the first half hour was casting on), I managed to get to the point at the picture below. The problem that I really had with it was that where the two sides separated, it was too stretched. I was just having too much of a hard time keeping the sides close when I switched from one side to the other. So I decided to go back to the beginning and try with two circular needles. I’m not really sure if the stretching was because of the magic loop method or the small needles, but since I already had one small needle I figured I’d try with two needles. I have tried stitching with double pointed needles before, and it’s just a mess. I drop needles, the gaps between needles is even more noticeable than here… it’s just not for me. And thus ended hour one right back where I started, except I needed to go out and get another needle.
Hour 2: Some noticeable progress
Once I went out and got a new circular needle, I cast on again with the magic cast on method. Why everything is magic with knitting, I’m just not sure. Anyways, it went a little easier with two needles, but it was a little harder to keep everything in place with the two loose needles. After a few tries, I was happy with the results. This took much less time than before.
The problem I had this time was remembering that my lower set of needles was twisted with this cast on and needed to be knitted backwards for the first round. I had to re-cast on another 2 times. But then, I did it right and could keep going. I’m a ways in right now. I started with 17 stitches per set of needles and am now at 31. I need to get it to 40. The only problem I’m having now is that no matter how closely I pay attention, I can’t seem to get my increases right. I’m supposed to knit one round and then knit adding a total of 2 stitches per needle (4 per round) and it never comes out quite right. I’ve got the two even now, but I’m not sure quite how even the increase is. In the end I think it will be just fine though, and I don’t really want to go and re- cast on. I didn’t do a gauge though, so I’m also hoping that the size will be ok. I decided to go with the medium sized socks, so I guess we’ll see how it goes. Here is where I’m at at the end of two hours. Isn’t it just the prettiest sock toe / purple lips you’ve ever seen!
Hour 3&4: Purple (for now!)
Hour four brings me to the end of the toe. It may not look like much more than before in the first picture, but note that it is folded over. So it’s a bit more than twice the size from before. It’s ready to have the yellow added in now. I also switched to a single circular needle, I really like knitting in the round. Yay for Yellow! There are a few spots that aren’t too pretty, and if you look closely you can tell where I had some issues increasing. However, when I put my toes in the socks you can barely tell, so I’m going to just keep it as is instead of starting from scratch.
Hour 5: Adding, then removing, the yellow
So, I added the yellow and then I realized that I had added it half a round too early. Boo. So, I picked up my purples and removed all the yellow. Then I knit about 5 rows in. I could tell that I really didn’t like the texture of the new yarn very much for socks, but I figured I’d give it a bit of a chance. After 5 rounds, I’ve decided that I just don’t like it. It isn’t knitting particularly well, there are large gaps unlike with the purple, and it’s got a more plasticy feel to it. It’s not really plasticy, but I don’t know how else to describe it. So, at this point I plan to head out to the craft store and see if I can find a yellow in the Bernat. Maybe go for a more yellowy green. If not, I’ll see if I can find something with a similar texture. If still not, I’ll order it online. Last resort, but there it is.
I’m actually really happy that I managed to get 5 hours (and maybe a little more) of knitting in since Sunday. Admittedly, most of those were the after dinner type hours and a few morning hours before work. Also, while the project is still new, I get excited and put more hours in. I’m hoping to keep this pace up for the next week, but expecting that it will slow down soon after that.