Sockywocky doo dah

My new year’s resolution last year was to learn to knit and my resolution this year was to learn to knit socks. Tick. I have always loved hand knitted socks and I wear them all year round in place of (or as well as) slippers. I like how they feel on wooden floors, inside my wellies and nestled by the fire.

So, tah dah! I can knit socks and I am particularly pleased with myself. These are my second pair of socks and, despite a few dramas along the way and and quite a lot of imperfections, they are definitely socky enough to pass muster.



I used Drops Fabel in green/turquoise and it is particularly good for baffling non-knitters into assuming that you are some kind of fairisle pattern genius. This lovely yarn is great value for money and the self-patterning covers a multitude of sins.

I used 2.5mm birch circular needles in a style of my own that I call the ‘broken needle’ technique. It arose because one of my newly ordered needles snapped as soon as I got it out of the packet and I was too impatient to send it back and wait for a replacement. Henry kindly drilled out the needle from the attached cord and I whittled and reglued the broken off tip so that I ended up with one short and one long needle. You can actually buy sock needles like this but they are on very short cables, these are on a 40cm cable which allows me to do a kind of half magic loop, where I just keep pulling the cable through every 20 stitches or so. It works for me! This was brilliant until my 4 yr old trod on the long needle and broke that one too, marvellous. I will now have to buy another set of needles and break one on purpose, seems wrong somehow.


These were my first socks. I knitted them in Noro because that’s what I happened to have in my knitting bag and my lovely friend Imola sat by me patiently while I turned my first heel. There is no doubt that I wouldn’t have got this far so quickly without her attentive tutorial. The noro is pretty and the socks are cosy but it isn’t sock yarn so I can see already that they will stretch and wear out very quickly.


Can you spot the mistake here? The right sock has a baggy heel that I realised was happening because I knit much more loosely when going back and forward than when I am knitting in the round. On the left sock I consciously kept my purling tension tighter and I ended up with a much better sock.


The other thing that is great about socks is that they make such a portable project. They went with me on a business trip to Rome and I knitted on the plane whilst all around me were tapping away on their laptops, very satisfying.



9 thoughts on “Sockywocky doo dah”

  1. I can remember lessons and even lectures where I would see a student knitting socks under the desk. – I like your mended jeans btw.


  2. Mary, what splendid socks! I’m sure you feel really proud! I am obviously haven’t yet reached that level of knitting prowess but a friend of mine is currently struggling with a pair of socks and trying numerous different patterns to no avail. Did you use a pattern? And if so, which one? Love you, my Otter xxoo


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