When I go on holiday I go for the classic fly and flop. All I want is good weather, lounging about, swimming in the sea and stuffing my guts with overly rich food. If you’re going to put in several hours a day just loafing about the pool or beach you need to take some entertainment, and I can’t do nothing but read for a fortnight so I always take some sort of craft project with me.
This year I took the sock knitting kit I bought at The Knitting and Stitching Show from the excellent Knit ‘n’ Caboodle the year before last I think; it might have been last year but I’ve got a guilty feeling it was longer ago than that. I know two years is a long time to get around to buying a kit but I buy a lot of things at craft shows and I go to a lot of craft shows. Plus a lot of my time is taken up crocheting 1940s style snoods for my Etsy shop, and oh I’m sounding defensive… Anyway it can be difficult to fit other things in.
I have fancied having a go at knitting socks ever since The Great Sock Knitting Craze started a few years ago but I got it into my head that it was really difficult to turn the heel and its frightened me off. I thought there would be all sorts of mathematical workings out that would be beyond me but it turns out I needn’t have worried. They’re a cinch.
I have been slowly slowly working on Frankie Brown’s 10st blanket pattern to use up some odds and ends, and its big feature is short row shaping which I thought all sock knitting involved. Turns out that’s no trouble either so that gave me the confidence to pack my Knit ‘n’ Caboodle Tiger Feet sock kit and fly off to Skiathos with it. I’m so glad I did. Turns out they don’t use short row shaping in the pattern, its really simple decreases so no trouble at all.
The kit itself is fantastic, you get a lot for just £10 (that’s how much mine was and I think the price is still the same), plus it comes in a clear plastic poolside friendly bag. In the kit is:
- Two balls of 4-ply sock yarn, they do lots of yarn but I went for the one that comes out looking like a tiger, not only is it a gorgeous yarn but Tiger Feet was actually No.1 when I was born.
- 2 cute beaded stitch markers
- 5 x 2.5mm bamboo dpns that look worryingly like giant toothpicks but are actually tough little fellers.
- The pattern which is really well written and super easy to follow. I think even a relatively new knitter would get on fine with this kit. It even explains Kitchener stitch really clearly which I think is a bit of a feat in itself.
So that was me, the odd woman at the pool and beach knitting socks. I don’t care, I had a great time with them. I’d had a minor operation to have a couple of moles removed from my knees shortly before our holiday and the stitches had only come out a few days before our flight so while I could sit by the pool, it wasn’t wise to actually get in or swim in the sea. That was a massive shame because swimming in the sea is the thing I enjoy most on holiday but I didn’t want to risk an infection 1,300 miles from home. Plus being a redhead I don’t really tan so I’m usually huddled under a parasol fairly covered up anyway.
So the upshot is the moles turned out to be nothing to worry about beyond their ugliness and I’ve fallen in love with sock knitting. I’m going to this year’s Knitting and Stitching show for three days this year and I know Knit ‘n’ Caboodle are going to be there on stand L36 so I’ll be visiting them with my heart set on buying a TON of sock yarn. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is putting on a sock you’ve knitted yourself. They feel amazing and they’re just the nicest thing to knit. Love them.