There are all sorts of hobbies one can take up in order to learn something new and break the day to day monotony with a little bit of fun, however not many offer the benefits knitting does. Fist off, apart from the fact that you get to be creative, knitting is very soothing and therapeutic which can be quite beneficial for one’s mental health and overall well-being.
To some, it may seem rather complicated, especially if you think it is necessary to be particularly crafty to be able to pull it off, however, nowadays when there are various books and videos showing the step by step process, it’s easier than ever to get to the bottom of it.
Now, in terms of where to start with knitting projects, scarves, covers and blankets are considered to be ideal for beginners, but if you want to make things entertaining by challenging yourself to learn more, socks make for a great option too and they can also be perfect gifts!
Choosing the Yarn
Needless to say, you need sock yarns in order to knit socks. These yarns, labelled as lightweight and super fine, are meant for socks as they have all the properties required for comfort, quality and durability, from softness and moisture-wicking properties to abrasion resistance and elasticity.
Considering there are different types of socks, there are different types of yarn fabrics to choose from, like wool, silk, cotton and bamboo, as well as the blends that are ideal for sock projects due to their outstanding durability. When you get acquainted with knitting, you also come to understand that the style and the colour of the yarns aren’t the only aspects that matter.
It is best for a beginner to start with medium-weight sock yarns (4 ply, for instance), though in case you intend to knit socks for the colder days of the year, you might want to go with something thicker instead, like 8 ply.
When knitting a gift for someone, it’s crucial to inquire whether they’re sensitive to wool or not, as it would give you a hint regarding the type of sock yarns you can work. Softer socks are more fragileas they don’t have as much resistance.
Also, socks are items that require frequent washing, so you’ll also need to decide whether you’ll use machine or hand washable yarn. In this aspect, it’s necessary to choose a yarn that would stand the test of time and won’t fade or sag quickly.
As for the needles, there’s a wide range of materials and styles to pick from, depending on the level of grip you want (e.g. choose bamboo instead of plastic for more grip), but for those who want to prevent the mistake of knitting two socks of a different size and length, circular needles are the best option. On the plus side too, they are also great for preventing discomfort since they help distribute the weight evenly.
Mistakes are an important part of the learning process, and instead of fretting, one should welcome them, especially at the beginning of knitting. Still, if you want to avoid them as much as you can, the first tip is to choose a pattern that’s not so challenging, as in the example with the ribbing pattern, and make sure you stick to the step by step process, no matter how odd it may seem at times.
Whenever you feel in doubt about a certain step, for instance with the heel as one of the most challenging parts, the way to prevent mistakes is to first test knitting a separate sample meant only for practice. Last but not least, don’t skip checking the gauge as it’s essential for making sure the socks fit.
Once you’ve finished a project, you might wonder what to knit with leftover sock yarn. Well, there are many other projects you can undertake, like using parts of the yarn for mitts, scarves, a jumper for a suffering penguin or decorations for your home.
Don’t be surprised if you become more and more drawn to this hobby after you start investing more effort in it – who knows, you might even turn out to be a knitfluencer and get others to join you on this relaxing and productive hobby!