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Turkey Tracks: A Knitted Sock Story

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Turkey Tracks:  March 21, 2014

A Knitted Sock Story

At least six years ago–maybe longer–my Virginia quilting group, which meets every year in Williamsburg for a week, wanted to make socks.

I had probably been making the first socks I was learning to make the previous year.  I was using bigger needles, size 3, Lion Brand sock yarn, and their free pattern–which makes a heavy sock best for boots.  (I now use size 1’s, and the sock is finer.)

So, I rounded up yarn and needles and Lion’s brand yarn and gave those interested a set.

Rosie Pilkerton started a pair of socks with this yarn.


The next year, Rosie brought back her sock, which was almost done.  But, the needles had been too big for her gauge, and the sock was too big and stretchy.   We were all afraid she would not have enough yarn to finish a second sock as well.

“Rosie, you have to start over with smaller needles.”

“Your mean, rip it out????   No way!!!”

The following year, Rosie brought the sock back and we had the same conversation.

Then, I missed three years as John was too sick for me to leave him with dogs and chickens.

This year, just after we had all settled in, out came the sock.  And I repeated the remedy for this sock problem.

“No way!!!!!” said Rosie.

But this year, Caroline Razeq, who had gone on to make other socks, picked up the sock, handed me the loose end to wind, and with Rosie moaning beside us, we undid the sock.  Along the way, I kept promising that I would fix it for her.  As we unknitted the sock, the adage “you break it, you own it” played in my head.

So, I put aside the sock project I had brought with me and started reknitting Rosie’s socks.  I just mailed the completed socks to Rosie (it was her birthday too!) the other day.  I had located some of my yarn that would work to complete the toe, but I did have enough of the Lion’s yarn to complete both socks.  That’s usually the way–it never looks like you will have enough yarn, but you do.

And that felt pretty good–to be able to fix something for an old and valued friend who will likely not knit another pair of socks ever in her life.  Though, I should add, she knits scarves with intricate patterns that are beautiful.  And I should also add that socks are not difficult to make, they just look daunting.

Meanwhile, Caroline had two pairs of socks with toe errors.  She had sewn them together going up and down rather than side to side.  And we had to rip one back to the point where she decreased to get the toe right.  But, here they are–all fixed and, hopefully, being worn now:



Caroline is now working on a dark green pair which will be very pretty.

She’s ready now for a good sock book–I recommended Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks, which I have really enjoyed and highly recommend.


One Response

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  1. A fun story with a happy ending! At the library I work at, several on staff are great knitters. They like Charlene’s book, too. Two other books they recommend are Knit. Sock. Love. by A. Cookie, and Toe-up 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.

    Marcia Strykowski

    March 21, 2014 at 1:13 pm

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