Don't misunderstand. My version of such a thing would not come with a sweet logo and you wouldn't have to sign up. Of course, I'd want to know if you were participating! But it wouldn't be particularly regimented. Why? Because I'm not the kind of person who likes participating in process I perceive to be regimented. Seems it would be kind of hypocritical for me to expect it of you.
Let me start by explaining my rationale for undertaking such a thing - and of course I wouldn't persist if no one is interested so please do let me know if it appeals in the comments below or by email... I am not a natural sock-knitter. In fact, of all the things on the planet to knit, socks were at the bottom of my learn-to-make wishlist, a mere 11 months ago.
But, you know what? Since I learned to make them I've discovered a number of fascinating things:
- Socks are very popular gifts.
- Socks don't take too much yarn, so they're an affordable project.
- Socks are portable, in every respect.
- Sock-making is meditative, because (as long as you make the same pattern again and again) you figure out quickly how socks come together and then you just need to keep track. There's no wheel-reinvention.
- Socks are fun to look at on your feet.
- Socks aren't hard to fit.
- Socks are warm in the winter!
- You can easily knit a pair of socks in a week. Really.
It's the final point that's cinched my interest in leading a knit-along for a simple pair of socks. In fact, I've done it before, in real life - so I know it works at least one-on-one.
How Exactly Does One Knit A Pair Of Sock in a Week? Don't those Things Take A Long Time?:
Ok, for starters, no one's compelled to knit a pair of socks in a week. In fact, you can take a month, for all I care. But why would you want it to drag on?? I mean, you get socks at the end.
Over the past year, I have written a personal sock pattern - which, let me be clear is in no way novel; every technique described has been learned from someone far more knowledgeable than me. Nonetheless, I like to think my document manages to be clear and organized with the aim to facilitate a final outcome. (Warning: Did I mention I'm not a pattern drafter?) This pattern works for me and, every time I test it (5 times now), I make adjustments to improve clarity.
Were I to undertake this proposed knit-along (KAL), which FYI would be called Two Socks, One Week, my goal would be to demystify the individual steps in making the most simple sort of sock and in this way, to streamline the process. The pattern - and the KAL - is devised with this in mind.
In a stupid irony, the knit-along would take longer than a week because, seriously, there's a lot of writing involved. What I'd propose to do is break it out into the "Planning Stage" and "Knitting Stage".
- Let's talk about yarn and needles
- Let's talk about techniques - aka magic loop vs. DPNs
- Let's talk about prep and gauge
- Let's talk about the pattern and how to use it. (Natch, the pattern would be provided for free, what with it being a mash-up of everyone else's skill...)
- Sock 1 - Monday - Thursday
- Sock 2 - Friday - Sunday
Who'd Suit This Sort of Thing?
I'm not proposing to teach anyone how to knit. I'm not even proposing to teach techniques (though I would link to some excellent sources and answer questions and, knowing me, I would go into some depth re: magic loop and its relevance to this process, IMO.) I imagine that the ideal participant would be someone with a basic knowledge of how to knit - (s)he's made a few things, knows how to cast on, bind off, increase and decrease, has a comfort level to work in the round using a preferred method.
The pattern is scaleable but I'd be "teaching" it as-is. Unmodified, it's a sock that fits a medium-long foot (this sort of modification is easy) that is neither excessively narrow nor wide. The neck of the sock is designed to fit a small-med ankle and a slender-med calf. That doesn't mean I wouldn't discuss modifications, I'd just opt to refer to pattern dimensions when I speak about numbers.
At any rate, a lot of you have asked me how I knit my socks quickly, how I avoid laddering although I always use magic loop, how I find my yarn, how I keep my motivation to complete the second sock. I do believe I have some potentially useful feedback to provide. And I do love a gimmick!
Today's questions: Would you be interested in this concept? I'm thinking that starting soon (by the beginning of December) could be useful. The first few posts - as you run around readying yourself for the holidays - would be simply information-oriented. Then, perhaps we'd start the knitting part in the week between Xmas and New Year's - or in the first week of the New Year. It occurs to me that, at that point, everyone will be ready to knit something for him or herself. The crunch will be over. The holidays may be on. And baby it's cold outside. Of course, you sock knitters may already have your system down, so don't hesitate to advise if it's not your thing! Thoughts or feelings?