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Knitting Your First Socks: Your First Mistakes

So, in knitting my first pair of socks, I learned quite a bit; both because I was attempting something new and because I made a ton of mistakes.
Sock knitting wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. This is big part thanks to Wickwum Mom’s tutorial. (If you’re feeling intimidated by the idea of making a sock…I highly recommend you check out her website AND her facebook group. It was really easy to follow and the online group is incredibly encouraging and helpful.)
I have already mentioned my first pair of socks on this blog in my Afterthought Lifeline post but I wanted to add another quick write-up to a) show off my socks 😉 and b) share the two major errors I made so as to help you avoid making the same mistakes.
And so, here we go!
a) Show off socks!
Yup, pretty darn proud of these socks!  Mistakes and all!
b) Share mistakes!
I made my first major error after turning the heel.
“pick up the gusset stitches”
(My understanding is that sometimes you also see this written as “pick up and knit”)
I don’t know if it was my crochet background or not, but I misunderstood this to mean “go around the opening and slide the needle under each stitch, thereby picking them up.”
Yeah, don’t do that. If you do, as I did, the initial stitches around will stretch quite a bit. Not necessarily noticeable to anyone else, but noticeable to me. And actually, I think that as I wear and wash my socks, that particular seam may cause problems and stretch out over time.

Close up of my very stretched, picked up gusset stitches.

So, how do you actually “pick up stitches? I did some research and found some sites that clarified it for me such as Knitty.
Here is a sequence of photos showing what I did differently for my second sock.
picking up stitches
1) A close up of the area I’m referring to. 2) I used a crochet hook and slipped it under each stitch (each stitch looked like a V) 3) I then hooked and pulled the working yarn through. 4) Finally placing each stitch on the working needle.

My 2nd sock turned out much better with nicer looking stitches and no stretching to be seen.
So, that was my first mistake.
Directly after turning the heel, I made yet another large mistake on my first sock gusset.
The directions say that throughout the gusset decreasing, you completely knit around *every other* row.
So, you knit a round and do both an SSK and a K2tog, then you just knit all the way around the second round, no decreasing. Repeat.
Somehow, I missed that.  Not sure how.  It wasn’t until I looked at the directions during my second sock that I realized the error. My first gusset ended only half as long as my second because I skipped the just-knitting rounds.  I decreased in every row.
gusset comparison
First sock, on the left, gusset runs only along the purple stripe.  Second sock, on the right, has a gusset twice as long due to the “knit every other round” addition.

Luckily for me, they still fit! They’re just a bit snug. 🙂
But I figured I’d share just in case others are reading the directions in the same mistaken way as me!

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