So…knitting podcasts. These are a thing. If you’re like me and have been living under a rock for a few years, you may not know about knitting podcasts. I found out about them through a knitting group on facebook. Omg, guys…wow. I am totally hooked. I had no idea other people were as passionate about knitting as I am. I started with The Grocery Girls, and from them found about a million other podcasts. It’s almost like I’ve been living in another knitting world. I had never knit a pair of socks until a month ago…or a shawl. I’ve now knit 3 pairs of socks, have a stash of sock yarn (although I don’t think a few skeins qualifies as an actual stash), knit my first shawl, and have another shawl ready to be cast on.
I have been knitting for 44 years. Yup, 44 years and never once wanted to knit a pair of socks. You see, when I learned to knit in the dark ages, all we had to knit socks with were dpns. I hate dpns, they are just too fiddly for me. And shawls. I thought shawls were large doilies that only old ladies wore. I have nothing against old ladies…I am well on my way to being one, and judging by my grey hair, I AM one. The shawls I am seeing on these podcasts are stunning. I mean STUNNING, guys. Consequentially, a whole new world has opened up for me, including indie yarn dyers.
Again, I grew up knitting with acrylic, and used said acrylic yarn in knitting items for my Etsy shop, along wth some lovely cotton yarn. No more. I started knitting with pure wool about 2 years ago and have never looked back. But the indie dyed yarn is so amazing, I actually drool over it. I only buy yarn for a purpose, so I do not have a huge stash…all the yarn I possess will be used this year. I am planning (hoping) to knit 12 pairs of socks this year, so that’s how I justify spontaneously buying sock yarn. I can send hours on Ravelry adding projects to my queue, and finding the perfect yarn for each project. If you look in my queue, you will see that every project has a specific yarn and colorway chosen already. I know a lot of people don’t like using Ravelry to organize their projects, but I find it quite convenient.
So, how did I like knitting my first pair of socks? I surprised myself, because I didn’t think I would like it. But I did. I did not use magic loop, like 99% of knitters. Nope, I used a 9″ circular. It took a while to get used to, but only a few rounds. I bought a 2.5mm needle because a few starter sock patterns listed that as the needle size. After watching a bunch of different podcasters, I discovered most people use 2.25mm needles for socks. I’m cheap and didn’t want to buy another circular, plus the patterns should be correct, right? Ha ha…nope. I cast on 64 sts with my 2.5mm and was happy as can be. Then I decided to try on the first sock when I got to the toe shaping. It was a bit big. Not crazy big, but big. I contemplated knitting the other sock the same way so they would match, but decided to frog it and start over with 60 sts. They fit perfectly. So 60 sts on 2.5mm needles is my magic number. I have to say, Mina Philipp (The Knitting Expat) helped me tremendously. If you haven’t seen her, she is basically a human sock knitting machine. She can knit a pair of socks in a day. Mina has designed many, many sock patterns and I used what I learned from watching her podcast to knit my first socks. Mina generally uses a German short row heel (who knew there were so many ways to knit a heel?), and if you purchase any of her patterns, she links to a video tutorial of how to knit the heel. Very helpful, thank you, Mina! For my second pair of socks, I though I would try a heel flap and gusset. The socks were for my husband, and I had heard that the traditional heel was better for men. I hated knitting that heel, lol. The socks fit great, but from now on, it’s a short row heel for everyone.
Now let’s talk about shawls. A few designers are quite popular amongst podcaster, 2 of which are Joji Locatelli (who I already followed on fb and instagram), and Melanie Berg. The first shawl I knit was Jujuy by Joji Locatelli. I was a bit nervous about knitting a shawl. I don’t know why. I knit my first cardigan when I was 8, so I should be able to handle a shawl, right? I had nothing to worry about. The pattern was super easy to follow, and I loved knitting it. Melanie Berg’s On the Spice Market is next up on my needles and I can’t wait to cast on.
One thing I have to say about these podcasts…they have demonstrated how wonderful the knitting community can be. So much generosity and support, and no competition. I feel like I know these people, almost like they’re my friends. I have very few friends who knit, so I love to watch these podcasts while I’m knitting, it’s like my own little knitting circle in my living room. Here is a small list of some of the podcasts I watch. Search on YouTube for more…there are a lot more 🙂
- The Grocery Girls Knit
- The Knitting Expat Podcast
- Inside Number 23
- Amy Edwards Green
- Sticks + Twine
- Little Bobbins Knits
- Handmade and Woolen
- Woolly Elephant