knitting socks | week four and five

I am back…with half a sock.

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I have say it has been a busy fortnight! I am ashamed I missed last Thursday’s sock post, but it was due to a few good causes.

  1. I was at the Festival of Quilts. I had to go up to Birmingham on the Wednesday to set up, then Thursday was the actual Festival, so by the end of the day, I was far far too tired to do anything.
  2. I did not bring my sock to Birmingham. In the logistics of packing all the quilt and art work, I ended up not bringing my sock.
  3. Bake-Off. After the quilt show, my mum and I had dinner, then rushed back to the hotel to watch the first episode of the new series of The Great British Bake-Off at 8 o’clock. If your not from the UK, you might not realise that this show counts as a good cause. But I promise you it counts. We could hear other people at the pub we ate at getting ready to leave so they could go watch it. See? It is valid.

My sock is a little less formed than it perhaps should be considering its 5 weeks old today. He’s a slow grower. Or I am a neglectful owner. More the latter. But I am back. The last few weeks have just been one thing after another and have taken me away from being able to focus on blogging.

First, I had my Graduation Ceremony at the end of July, which was a fun day. The creators of Stomp were our Honorary Doctorates, they did give a speech, but mostly they whacked their scrolls about… and surprisingly made it sound good. I got to wear a cap and gown, and feel like a wizard for a few hours of the day; at the time I was reading Harry Potter so it was very satisfying.

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Then it was a rush to make the quilts for the Festival of Quilts, which was a week after Graduation. I did not win the Bursary Award, but I did get Highly Commended. I was up against 4 other students, whose work was all very different, and like myself were not all hardcore quilters. They were all textiles students though, so I still had that feeling of being the underdog. One thing I did notice though was that while I came by myself to set up, and was confident that I could get on with it, all the other students had their fathers, grandads, uncles – basically whatever man they could find that could use a drill they dragged along to set up their work. In seeing that, I became very thankful that I had gone to art school, where I was expected to use power tools, I was encouraged to cut metal, drill steel, and was taught the usefulness of having a Stanley knife in your purse at all times.

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My mum came while I was talking to one of the judges and sneaked this photo of me, I’m on the right. We spent the evening playing Spot the Quilter at the hotel and the pub which was nearby. Bonus points if you spotted an American Quilter. We’ve never really officially named the game, but we always play Spot the American, pointing one out if we see one around. Look, over there, the one with the white trainers? I say, pointing to a lady walking by. Oh yes, definitely. Says Mum. What about that guy, t shirt tucked in, he’s holding a cap in his hand? It’s not a mean game. As Americans ourselves, we can make fun of our fellows, I think… Then we went to watch Bake -Off! Thursday itself was a long day at the Festival of Quilts, and we listened to a talk by Kaffe Fassett, which was interesting, but unfortunately felt like a sales pitch and was not as inspiring as I was expecting. But there were loads of quilts I loved, and I think it deserves a whole post dedicated to the topic.

Then my mum and I drove back to Cheshire, and we went flat hunting in Manchester on Friday and Saturday to find me a place to live at the end of this month. So that was a bit stressful, but now I can say I will be living in Didsbury next month. It is the first time I will be living on my own, so I am bit nervous, but also excited that I can start sewing early in the morning and late at night. I’m so sad.

I guess that is it. I got back home in Brighton on Sunday night, and I thought I would just wait until Sock Day to post. I worked on my little sock today, and finally got to turning the heel. I followed the pattern I think. But I am a bit worried that it looks a little narrow. I might re-do it, because I am a bit confused about my row counting. I only had to count to ten, but somehow I messed that up a bit. It didn’t take to long to do, so I might just redo it for peace of mind.

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Next up is the gusset. I actually picked up my stitches earlier, but it didn’t work out very well so I unpicked them. I feel like the length between the heel and the divide for the heel is too long for just 19 pick up stitches. In previous socks I could roughly pick up a stitch in each stitch, but this one, to get it even I have to pick up every other one, which looks like it will leave little gaps. If you have any advice on that I will gladly take it!

I think I am at the stage where I will need to take note from my co knitter, Maggs, and well, take notes. I am at a point where I am questioning the pattern now, and I am not sure if that is a good thing or not. My gut says, No! Don’t change the pattern! Really Hannah, who do you trust more – yourself, or the 1940s woman who wrote a knitting book? Then my eyes and mind say Change it! Look at how small that sock is, now compare it to your big feet. And then I think, yes, I have a point, you know. But as of yet, I don’t know which one to side with. I’ll redo the heel, then decide from there I think.

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So, Thursday is Sock Day. Get on board people! If you want to start knitting a pair of socks and feel the need to share it with the world once a week as my co knitter, Maggie, and I do, then pick up your needles, and knit some, then type about it. That is it. Magg’s is ahead of me in the game and has successfully finished her first sock, realised it didn’t fit too well, gone on to take it apart, and then finish it again! Go and see how she manages this at her blog: Project Accomplished. And you can also check out my previous posts on the sock progress. For Week 1, and week 2 and week 3.

A bit of long post, but since I have been away, I thought I should keep you up to date. I will be around more from now on. I have a few things lined up. Stay tuned!

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2 thoughts on “knitting socks | week four and five

  1. Okay you don’t get to be down on yourself for not finishing your sock – look at all the amazing stuff that’s happened!!! Congratulations on graduating – and being fierce with power tools 😀 I’ve never really understood how people don’t learn to be savvy with basic tools – I mean I was never trained with them but you just sort of pick stuff up along the way right? I think if you’ve ever moved more than once, you’ve got to learn at least a little about using tools… right? And you have a new place too! The fact that your sock has grown at all blows me away. And you get bonus points for knitting out of a vintage book 🙂 Your project is now officially an order of magnitude cooler than mine, so go with your gut and change it – or not – you can always change your mind like I did. I tried the pattern’s way bur after wearing the sock a bit I knew just how to adjust it for it to work for me. I can’t wait to see what you do! And it’s SO good to have you back by the way – I’ve missed my fierce co-knitter!
    And just in case it isn’t obvious: I’m SO excited for you!!!

    1. I am so glad to be back too! I am scared to change it, but I’ll have to face it tonight. Thanks for the prep talk, I do need it! Sometimes I slap my face before I begin, you know, to psych myself up for the knitting needles. ☺ I’m glad you feel the same way about tools, I’m the same- I was never taught a class on how to use a drill or saw things up, but if it’s put in my hands I’ll find a way to use it! I am pleased your proud of me, yet I don’t know if my sock is cooler than your sock. Because according to the book my socks “are perfect for golf or country walks”. I am sure your nice ribbed socks are made for more exciting times! ☺ ah, I feel back at home now!

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