I have only ever knitted one pair of socks in my life. Actually, I have knitted a total of three socks. On the first pair, I got second sock syndrome. The yarn was lovely and soft, but the colour was ... bleh. It looked lovely on the skein, all pastel pink and yellow - the yarn is a cashmere/merino mix, and the colourway was "Tequilla Sunrise". It should have been a joy to knit. The knitting was pretty easy, everything went as planned. But I got bored with the colour. I didn't like the way it striped. I knew I would never have bought socks in this colour. So I gave it up. I really enjoyed knitting on 4/5 DPNs, and wanted to have another go, so when I came across the Harvest Sock Swap, I thought this would be the perfect thing. I only have to knit one sock, so if I get tired of the whole business, I needn't despair as I'd be sending the rest of the supplies to my swap pal for her to knit the second sock. Easy right?
Hmmm, well, the whole business has been fraught with difficulties. I hadn't realised when I signed up, how concerned I would be that my swap pal liked my choices for her. It took me ages to find the right yarn, which after I received it, I forgot what it was called or what the fibre was - but that's all sorted now. Then I dithered for ages over sock patterns. The one I had in mind is not fully written out. The designer assumes the knitter has a certain amount of knowledge of toe-up socks. I've only done top down socks to date. Although the pattern on the sock itself is pretty easy, and I could probably have slotted it into a generic top down pattern, I didn't feel that this would be suitable to send to someone else. Especially as she is a far more experience knitter than I, and could probably see any errors at 10 paces! So after a fair amount of searching, I finally came up with a (well known) pattern. I chose it because of its popularity. I figured if so many people had made it, the instructions must be well written, and it must be fairly easy.
I started knitting about two weeks ago. To cut to the chase, I have ripped back and restarted the same sock four times. FOUR TIMES. I am on my fifth attempt at these socks. On the fourth attempt, I actually managed to break my Lantern Moon DPNs. A cry for help on Ravelry, and in double quick time Robynn of Purlescence came to my rescue. How wonderful is she? Especially considering that I didn't buy the original needles from her. She sent me replacement needles before I could even blink!
On top of that burst of generosity, last week I received a couple of books about spinning in the post from Sarah, whom I met at Ally Pally.
I'm just sitting here with a big grin and shaking my head. I've often read about the kindness of knitters on other people's blogs, and whilst I thought it was all wonderful, I never thought any of those things would happen to me. Yet, twice in one week, I've received help and support from fellow knitters, whom I met online. Isn't it a wonderful world? And I'm getting back to those socks. I WILL conquer them - and the fancy needles...