22 January 2020

Left and Right


It has been a very long time since I knit a pair of socks.  I have some on the needles, the second sock of a pair which I think I cast on about two years ago they have been slowly growing year by year.  It is a complicated pattern which makes it difficult to knit whilst I am sitting chatting with friends and completely impossible to knit whilst watching something or reading, the times that I do most of my knitting.

When I was shopping for wool to make Christmas gifts late last year a ball of sock yarn fell into my shopping cart too.  A few weeks after it arrived, whilst I was knee deep in Christmas knitting I discovered a knit-a-long (KAL) where you could knit anything you like, taking place in January to keep us all going through the month.  I didn't need any motivation to get these socks on the needles but I thought it would be fun to be knitting along with other people and have a date to complete them by, I really didn't want these socks to be on the needles in two years time too.  It has taken me two weeks rather than two years to make this pair assisted somewhat by a long train and car journey the perfect time to be knitting.  I have realised what a great transportable project socks are, I can see me knitting more socks this year when I have a long journey to make.

It is really important to look after our feet.  I have made some huge changes to the shoes I wear over the years, now my main shoes are all of the barefoot type.  This means that they have very thin soles (a few mm), no heel rise at all and a toe box that allows my feet to sit in their natural shape without squashing my toes, foot shaped shoes.  I wear no shoes at all in the house and rarely wear anything unless it is a really cold day, we have no carpet downstairs, but my feet don't feel the cold like they used to.

I know that there are many people that use supports of some sort in their shoes, there is a huge industry out there selling many different types.  I have to admit I find this quite baffling. If you were to break a limb what would you do after the bone had set, would you continue to support that limb and not use it?  I suspect that you wouldn't, using supports in your shoes is the same thing, the longer you use them the weaker your feet get.  I am not advocating that you throw out your supports and stop using them completely but try walking a little without them and build up that time to longer and longer each day, building up those muscles in your feet to strengthen them.  You may find if you have pain in other joints that slowly starts to lessen too.

You might be looking at those socks above and thinking, especially if you are knitter, that they look a little different?  Well you would be right on that.  All the sock patterns I have ever come across usually have toes that look like this:


Now I don't know about you but my feet are definitely not that shape.  My big toe is in a straight line with the rest of my foot not tapered inwards.  If I am going to go to all that effort of making socks for myself, socks that are made to measure, I thought it would also be better if they were made to fit the shape of my foot too.  To shape a sock you decrease stitches by knitting them together, in the picture above this is done on both sides of the sock, this gives you a pair of socks that you can wear on either foot.  The socks in the first picture, however, are only decreased on one side giving them a more foot like shape.  This is my first attempt to make them like this, they are not perfect but I am happy with them and all my socks will be knitted to this shape in the future, another way that I can look after my feet.  Now there is no putting my socks on any foot as they will feel rather odd, it is a good job they are foot shape as I am hopeless at knowing which is left and which is right!

37 comments:

  1. What a great idea to have socks the actual shape of feet. I've never really thought of that before.
    They look so cosy and I love the colourway used. Once you start wearing hand knitted socks it's hard to go back to wearing the other kind. X

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    1. I hadn't either, I cannot claim credit it for it I read online about someone else trying it. This is only my second pair i have knit for myself, I am planning many more!

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  2. Lovely the colour of your new socks. I agree once you start wearing home made socks you’ll hate wearing anything else. The whole family have me knitting their socks now! B x

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    1. Thank you! I have really enjoyed knitting these, I think I prefer socks that are simple pattern than those that are more complicated.

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  3. What a good idea especially if you wear shoes with a wide toe too. I love the colourway and the pattern of your new socks.

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    1. My feet feel totally different now I wouldn't go back to thick soled shoes.

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  4. Your socks are brilliant, especially the toe box that is foot shaped :-). Although I am just incredibly impressed with anyone who can knit, and everyone who can knit socks!

    A couple of lifetimes ago I left office work (which required ‘court shoes’ and formal dress) and worked in a ski resort (which required walking boots/ski boots). Apart from being one of the best/most terrifying things I have ever done, when I got back to England my feet had ‘expanded’ a whole size, and none of the office shoes ever fit me again.

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    1. It is a skill that takes time, like any, but it is not that difficult.

      A season in a ski resort sounds amazing, my husband did that too. I love that your free spread and grew a whole size.

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  5. Knitalongs are a great way to keep you motivated with your knitting and it's fun knitting along with other people too. I've just had a pair of fully enclosed slippers bought for me for Christmas. I've found out the hard way what damage you can do to feet by going barefoot. I dislocated my little toe last year and broke my middle toe the year before, just by banging my foot on the sofa. My feet definitely need some protection. Now you've got your sock knitting mojo back we might be seeing that second sock that you've had on the needles for two years completed.

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    1. KAL's are great aren't they. I haven't joined that many but I love them when I do. Ouch that sounds really painful for your feet, banging into the sofa, I don't blame you for wearing slippers!

      The other socks are getting there. They are not going to be completed by the end of the month but I hope to have them off the needles by the end of February.

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  6. Those socks are lovely and look nice and warm too. (I am not a knitter, so am in awe of anyone who can produce such complicated looking things!) I agree about feet - you have got to look after them. I have realised the importance of having socks and shoes which are not too tight...
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. They are not really that complicated if you can follow a knitting pattern you can knit socks ;)

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  7. Love those socks and the shape and the fact you knitted them.
    As a nation we damage our feet by wearing shoes with the tapered toes but there is little choice for everyone from the major manufacturers. To find better shoes with a larger toe box you can get them from specialists shoe manufacturers - but at a price and they are not very exciting designs - I cannot wear these though as I find they are too wide for my narrow foot and they slip off as I walk.
    Have fun with your knitting.

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    1. Thank you. It is true that it is difficult to find shoes without a tapered toe box. They are only available on line really and much more expensive than most shoes. I have less pairs, three at last count and make do with them. I love the designs of my shoes. I have narrow feet too and get that some shoes will slip off as you walk. The thing I love about the barefoot manufacturers is that most of them are not sold by size, but by length and width. There are many out there who make shoes for narrower feet.

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  8. beautiful socks!! Funny, I started wearing ultra supportive shoes because of problems and am wearing the most expensive pair of slippers and my feet have been the best. I took for granted my foot health until I had foot pain!! I am better now though.

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    1. Thank you. Glad to hear that you have sorted your foot pain, that is not a nice thing to deal with as we rely so much on our feet.

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  9. Well you have my unabashed admiration for knitting socks at all, never mind within a time frame. The thought of dpns gives me the collywobbles, despite being taught at least a half dozen times how to use them.

    Excellent advice re: feet. There's great evidence to support going barefoot as much as possible and it just makes great sense. xo

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    1. Thank you. I am sorry to hear that dpns make you have collywobbles - I do love that word I haven't heard it in years - they do take some getting used to.

      I would love to be barefoot all the time, it just a bit too cold here to be barefoot outside in the winter months!

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  10. What a clever idea re the sock shape, I hadn't thought about it before but yes, socks are all wrong. The yarn is brilliant, I just love the way the pattern has appeared. You're right about looking after our feet, they are so important. Painful feet can be really limiting.

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    1. I cannot claim the idea for foot shaped socks, I read it somewhere online. Self striping yarn always amazes me, it looks totally different on the ball, it is like magic how the pattern appears.

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  11. Love the socks!
    Recently you commented on Down to Earth’s blog that you had found a new way of doing housework through a blog. Would it be possible for you to share the name of the blog?
    Thank you

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    1. Thank you! Or course I will, I shall be writing about it in the next week or so if that is ok?

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    2. Looking fwd to it, thank you

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  12. Getting a good fit for socks can be tricky! I prefer the swirl toe which is more rounded 🙂 Dave tried barefoot shoes a few years ago but he just couldn't walk in them. As the MS has progressed he needs shoes that are a snug fit as foot drop and leg lift are very poor. I have wondered about giving them a go, do they need to be worn gradually so your feet and lower legs have time to adjust?

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    1. It is really difficult to find socks that are a good fit, especially if someone in your family with bigger feet wears yours by mistake and stretches them!

      You do need to gradually give your feet time to adjust to barefoot shoes, and change your walk too. We tend to heal pound in normal shoes which is really painful in barefoot shoes. I can really recommend reading the books or checking out the podcasts by Katy Bowman she is an amazing woman and so interesting.

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  13. Lovely socks. I have nearly always got a pair on the go as well as whatever else I am Knitting because they are so portable. I also spend a lot of time barefoot... indoors and out!

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    1. Thank you. I feel like 2020 might be the year of the sock. I too hope to always have a pair on the go too. I love being barefoot - glad you do too!

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  14. Great looking socks. Interesting what you say about not wearing shoes all the time, I always used to be barefoot in the house but since I've had my hip replaced I've always worn a two inch heel. Must get back to being barefoot, it's far more enjoyable.xxx

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    1. I love being barefoot, I don't think I could ever wear heels again now!

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  15. I have never attempted to knit a pair of socks but I always admire the pairs others make. In cold and frosty climates, I imagine there's nothing quite like putting on a pair of hand-knitted, snuggly and warm socks. Happy knitting! Meg:)

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    1. You are right Meg, there is nothing quite like a hand knitted sock in cold weather!

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  16. The shape of things, for the feet.

    Socks move, but oh those shoes, with pointy shapes. Oh my! Can not deal with them, any more. I need a shoe, with plenty of toe room.

    How doooooo people walk, in those fancy pointy shoes?

    💖 💖 💖

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    1. I have no idea either, I stopped wearing them a long time ago!

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  17. I've never knit socks, though I keep thinking whether or not it would be worthwhile. Most of the time I'm barefoot. I only where shoes ( with or without socks ) to go out and slippers if it's very cold. I do love the colour of the blue/purple pair. Best, Jane x

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    1. Glad to hear there are so many of us that love to be barefoot. I guess we don't need quite so many socks if we don't wear them that often, but on that rare occasion that we do what could be better than a hand knit sock.

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