Something I'd like to try harder at doing in 2013 is trying new things when it comes to knitting. New techniques, learning new skills - this is something I preach more than I practice. Anytime anyone approaches me about being scared to learn how to knit, or trying new techniques, my response is:
"It's only knitting. What's the worst that will happen?"
And I really need to try to embrace that myself. There are things that I haven't tried for many reasons - intimidated, didn't want to take the time to learn something new - regardless, the reasons were silly. What's the worst that will happen?
So, I've taken my own advice, and plan to try a lot of new things this year. To start off, I just finished my first ever pair of toe-up socks. I think the reason I haven't tried this technique yet is just because I don't knit many socks. Now I know why I haven't been knitting many - it's because I didn't use the toe-up method. For some reason, when working socks from the top down, I always got tired after the heel and hated finishing the foot. With this method, this is no longer a problem.
I don't think I'll ever go back to knitting socks from the top down. I'm so glad I tried this method - I feel like it's saved my sock making, and has opened up a new world to me. These socks were really quick - about 5 days for the pair. I used Ella Rae classic, US 7 needles, and a basic toe-up recipe. I probably could have gone up a needle size, or increased to have more stitches, but I really like the way these stay up around my legs. I don't have to worry about them falling down, or feeling loose around my calves. I've been wearing them almost non-stop, and they still fit like a dream (although they're a bit dirty now that I took photos of them in front of the fire...).
If you haven't given toe up socks a try, I encourage you to - it's so much easier than it looks, and definitely my new favorite way to make socks. I expect to make many pairs in the future!
Here are some links that helped me:
Next new technique - two at a time on one needle!