Friday, 17 June 2011

Try something new today

UK readers must know I am not working for a particular supermarket, other supermarkets and other advertising slogans are available!

One of my ongoing goals with knitting is to be a more fearless knitter. I will admit I can be rather timid where my needles and yarn are concerned. I see a pattern and it will have a technique in it which will cause me to panic and back away, no matter how beautiful the pattern. Well NO MORE. I am working hard on learning new techniques, grabbing the bull by the horns or at least the project by the needles and getting stuck in.

I imagine some people will laugh at the latest knitting fear I have decided to overcome. I know it’s a great favourite of many knitters but it has something that has had me backing away from so many beautiful patterns. Toe up socks.

Yep. Three years of knitting (not counting childhood fumbles with thick needles and squeaky acrylic) and 18 pairs of socks (plus two pairs OTK) and not one of the socks I have knit has been toe up. My sock knitting has been exclusively of the top down, heel flap/gusset construction (I’ll get to my fear of top down patterns with short row heels later!) with no exceptions…until now.

The Knitter magazine includes a “masterclass” in every issue which is always an interesting read. The latest one was on Judy’s Magic Cast On. I decided it was about time for me to give it a go and knit toe up socks so I sought out a pattern. I decided there was absolutely no point in doing things by halves and had seen that Yarnissima had designed the mystery sock for the Solid Socks Group on Ravelry so I decided on that. I’m not joining in with their KAL as I don’t have any solid or semi-solid sock yarn in my stash (and my current yarn diet is VERY strict) but I am looking at their projects and enjoying my knitting.

I made a start and it all seems to be going just fine.

knitting 242

I’m using some Regia yarn I bought when I was in Dortmund last year. I managed the cast on and got going. I’m a bit further through the second clue than I have managed to photograph and I hope to make more progress at the weekend.

knitting 244

knitting 246

knitting 249

My Ravely project page is here.

So far so good anyway. I’ve seen the clue for the heel and did have a mini panic BUT I shall persevere, it’s only knitting, no one will die if I make a mess of it.

Here’s to learning new things and knitting without fear!


  1. Those are going to be lovely! Toe up socks are fun to knit but I find cuff down fit me better, I'm a big fan of JMCO though - it's really neat

  2. I knitted about 5 pairs top down and then went for a toe-up pattern, Knitty's Universal Toe-Up Sock.

    I've not looked back since, they are a much better fit on me, no heel flaps no baggyness.
    I'll never knit a top down again!!!!

  3. woohoo - you go girl! It's always a bit frightening doing something new, but you will survive - and conquer!

  4. I've done 1 1/2 pairs top down but have decided to try toe up for boyfriend's socks... Mainly so he can try them on as I go, but I'm a bit nervous myself!

  5. Yey for toe-up socks! I made one pair of top-down socks and the rest have been toe-up, I find it much easier. They're a lot easier to try on as you go, and I think the increases at the gusset look neater than decreases on top-downs (but that could just be me!).

    I can recommend "Socks from the Toe-up" by Wendy D Johnson (including the "Easy Toe" cast-on, and Mash-Up Magic Toe-Up Socks Recipe on Ravelry.

    Good luck with your socks!

  6. seriously, i so need to do this, ive only done 2 pairs of socks but hoping to treat myself to a new skein at woolfest next week, i need to try some brave knititng lol

  7. I'm a top down sock knitter, unless I'm going to be short on yardage, in which case, I start from the toe and knit until I'm all out of yarn!! Good luck with the clues!

  8. Wow, your first toe up socks are good-looking! I myself have not tried to knit toe up socks but feel encouraged after your attempt!
    Have a great weekend! Yours, Julia

  9. Keep it up and don't get discouraged, I've mastered Judy's Magic Cast On ... but still have to take out the instructions every time because there's always one step I forget!