For years I’ve knit socks for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. I’m not sure when I started exactly, but I know it’s been at least eight years (I knit a blue pair and pink pair to be ready for what turned out to be a nephew born days before Christmas eight years ago). If that was the first year, that nephew was number 5; and the oldest at the time was 5. Since then, their number has doubled and the size of their feet, according to my very unscientific reasoning, has more than doubled. All that to say, it’s a lot more knitting than it was when I started.
When I began knitting years ago, sock knitting was one of my early accomplishments (a few missteps aside). We were like peas carrots, sock knitting and I. I churned out pair after pair, but last year the pressure of all those little (and no so little anymore) bare feet got to me. It just wasn’t fun. And if it wasn’t fun, what was the point? So I stopped.
Twas the night before Christmas and here on my land
I was tearing my hair, strand by strand by strand
Different I said this year would be
I’d have time to sit and enjoy the tree
But alas you know what it is they say
When you’ve become so set in your ways:
You’ve got to flexible; learn to adapt.
I’ve often thought that was a load of crap
I was going to be ready; my knitting complete
This Christmas the kids would have warm “little” feet.
When I left for vacation in February, I threw in a pair of socks I had started in 2013. I had knit the heel on the first sock and there they have sat since. I decided that they at least deserved to be finished and I’d have a pair to throw in the gift bag. I finished sewing in the ends a couple weeks after getting back, but they are finally done.
Over the past year or so, I’ve been using an afterthought heel a lot, especially when knitting with yarns with long colour changes (Knit Picks Felici for example). I’m
a bit a lot anal about socks that match and I like that the afterthought heel doesn’t disrupt the colour sequence.
One of the things I don’t like about it is picking up the stitches from the waste yarn. I find it challenging to manipulate the second row of needles with the first ones already picked up; the sock becomes decidedly inflexible. It’s doable, I just tend to avoid it, which is why I ended up with 4 pair of socks waiting for heels in the week leading up to Christmas.