Craft Junkie: Knitting FAAT Socks
(FAAT…. Four (socks) at a Time)
Is your first question… why would you do that… or even want to? Well, anyone that really knows me, knows I like to challenge myself, even if it makes me crazy sometimes!
I dismantled the closest thing to me… the tissue box… just so I had a box to sit my yarn in… then hubby went looking for a tissue… and gave me a look, shaking his head!
Finally, after mastering to knit socks a couple of years ago… I’ve wanted to brave myself into trying the TAAT (two at a time) socks, but just never got around to it. So why did I tackle the even harder FAAT On… after seeing a post on my Facebook group, “Addicted to Sock Knitting“… where a fellow knitter, Renee Rockwood, posted her “12 at a time” socks… and I was like WOW… I want to do that! Actually, I wanted to rummage through my knitting drawer and start gathering yarn right that moment! (The Addicted to Sock Knitting group has over 28,000 knitters)
Renee Rockwood’s YouTube can be found Here, and another video on the dreaded sock heel… that scares everyone in the beginning… can be found over Here. If interested in checking out her various yarns, they are Here... and Renee can be found on Instagram over Here!
Immediately I clicked over to Renee’s YouTube video… in as I wanted to start right that minute… but then reality kicked in… and I thought maybe I should slowly work up to this… as I don’t like unfinished projects! But I know I can, and will tackle it in the near future… as soon as I finish my FAAT socks… which will give me lots of practice and confidence! If you’re feeling brave, Renee has began a 12 at a Time KAL Facebook Group… so let’s go knit socks!
After watching her videos, I came away with great ideas… especially the box she used to hold her 12 skeins of yarn… with no tangles! The one idea I’d pass on if you use the box, is… mark it “Front” and “Back” just to help you know which side you are working on… the “front” holds your working needle stitches (closest to you) and “back” will be your back needle stitches, which is the belly of your sock; The front stitches lay on top of your foot, while the back stitches are your belly underfoot and heel. Another suggestion is, to first turn your box to the back side when you first begin adding stitches to your needle (I’m right handed, so not sure if left handle knitters would work different). I enjoy knitting “toe up” mainly, so I load stitches by holding my two needles together in my right hand, with the points facing left; I use Judy’s Magic Cast on for starting my toe.
The reason I mention to load your needles with the “back” of the box facing you, is so when you turn the box back to the “front” side, your needle points will face to your right… now you are ready to begin… yarn is in correct working order. The stitches you knit when your box is turned to the back is your heel stitches… and knitting magic loop makes it so much easier in keeping stitches organized. Renee credits Crafty Delemma with the original idea of using the box, check her on YouTube over Here for more ideas.
I finally found a shoebox with lots of room and partitioned it into four sections… all I needed at the moment! Notice my working needles are facing to the right – this is the way they should face when the front of the box faces you.
This is how my box looks when the back is facing me… but notice my needles are still facing right. It’s mysterious, but if you lay your knitting needles down, exactly as you are holding them when finishing a row … and rotate the front of the box around, with the back of the box now facing you… they will be in the correct working order and your yarn won’t be twisted…well once in awhile you might have to correct your yarn, but I found it was my mistake in the way I moved it. On the Crafty Delemma YouTube video she shows you how to flip your socks when turning the box to keep your yarns on the working side.
If you’re wondering why I mentioned above as to where to face your box when loading your needles… well after a couple of rows, I confused myself when the back of the box faced me when I was ready to start a new row… and suddenly I thought I had finished the row, but I was facing the back side of my box. Have I confused you? I hope not, but until you set up your box with dividers for your yarns and begin, you might not be able to follow me! Heck, sometimes I can’t even follow me!
In practice for knitting 12 socks at a time… I’m beginning with 4 socks at a time!
My first to-do, was setting up my working yarn box as Renee showed in her video. I only had to make two dividers for my 4 socks… so that was easy! Using a large shoebox worked perfect, but I ended up cutting the flip lid off as it was awkward in my lap when I turned it to the back and had the flip lid facing me. I added some duct tape around the top edge so my yarns didn’t rub on the cardboard edges and eventually I can imagine myself fully decorating this box! If you happen to have a nice size box with lid, that will work also… it’s all up to you!
For my first attempt at 4 at a time socks, I’m knitting just a plain vanilla sock… didn’t want any complicated patterns to muddle my mind and take me off track! I will admit that it is tedious and slow-going in adding each set of toe stitches… counting and recounting before going to the next toe… and trying to keep focused on which yarn goes to which needle. And in between all that, hubby walks in asking questions… which causes me to count loudly… which tells him… “Do Not talk to me“!
Finally after all stitches loaded… counted and recounted… I was ready to begin!
I casted on all 4 toe-up socks… patiently… casting on 16 stitches each side. I usually cast on 14, but it was suggested that it gives a nice fit, so I opted to try. I followed Braid and Tinker for their cast on of Judy’s Magic Cast on; she slowly explains it very well.
At a snail’s pace, I began knitting my way around… knitting one side, then the other, and I thought I’d never reach the end… of both rows. It soon became easier on subsequent rows… as I became more confident in what I was doing. The one part that was the trickiest in knitting toe up… was casting on more than one toe… and keeping everything in order; always be sure your cables aren’t twisted as you work. Another hint is to add a marker at the beginning, on the front side of your sock… just another help in the beginning. Once your socks begin to grow, you’ll be comfortable enough to always know exactly where you are!
Light was not on my side on my first day… the sun was setting and the inside light is never as good as daytime light, but I kept trudging along, as I was on a roll… even if it was a slow roll! Finally, after a few rows, I laid my needles in the box, checked off on my notes where I was, and closed the lid… tomorrow was another day!
If using a multicolored yarn and you want your socks to be twins… start at the same color of your pattern yarn from each ball. I haven’t brought myself yet to sort the coloring all out… especially when I often buy the large skeins which make two socks… too much work to unroll and reroll to find my starting points… I’m happy with sisters! Don’t you find it amusing at all the terminology used in knitting socks!
I’m anxious to complete these 4 socks… so I can brave the 12 socks at one time… I even bought longer (60-inch) circular knitting needles today as I think I’ll feel more comfortable in adding 8 more socks; I’m presently using a 40-inch circular needle and I can’t see adding 8 extra pairs of socks without fearing the one at the end might fall off… tragedy!
I began my 4 socks on January 21, 2020… and I’ll be posting updates along… so do check back!
- On-Line: Neon – Color Two: 75% virgin wool and 25% polyamid
- WYS: Pastels (West Yorkshire Spinners) Signature 75% wool and 25% nylon
New Update: My 4 socks for the granddaughters are coming along, almost ready for heels, but will try on the girls before beginning the heel. I’m still contemplating if I will start my 12AAT socks before finishing these… but think I need to order more yarn… Note to self… order yarn! I must be nuts!
If you’ve found my crafty sock post and you are a knitter… I’d love to hear your experiences in sock knitting, especially TAAT or even more… and if you are new to knitting I hope you will attempt your first sock and join the Facebook sock knitting groups mentioned above.
To read more Craft Junkie posts… click HERE.
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