A Year in Socks

I have knit socks on trains and airplanes, in the car and in waiting rooms, at Stitch ‘n Bitch, while waiting for dinner to be ready, watching television, listening to podcasts, trying to clear my head, procrastinating housework.  I knit socks because I love the simultaneous necessity and luxury of it.  Who else but a knitter, or one beloved by a knitter, can wear merino, alpaca, or cashmere on her feet everyday?  I knit socks to solve the puzzle that is a sock pattern, to see how all those symbols and abbreviations will translate into my knitting.  I knit socks to play with beautiful, sumptuous yarn in vibrant, rich, beautiful colors.

Since last October I have knit 7 pairs of socks; I’ve only knit 8 pairs total!  So there was a big learning curve, and with each sock came a new skill or understanding.  It’s hard to believe now, but before I knit my first pair of Monkey socks, I had never done a yarn over!

With Ravelry I am able to look back and see exactly what I knit each month, which is a pretty interesting exercise. In order of appearance, my year in socks:

1.  Monkey Socks, Claudia’s Handpainted Superwash Merino

2.  3 x 1 Rib Socks, improvised pattern, Cascade Fixation

3.  Yarn Harlot’s Basic Sock Recipe, Cherry Tree Hill Superwash Merino

4.  Embossed Leaves, Favorite Socks, Oceanwind Knits sock yarn

5.  Diagonal Cross-rib Socks, Favorite Socks, ONline Linie 3 Supersocke 100

6.  Hedera, Arucania Ranco Multi

7.  Spring Forward, Shibui Knits

Knitting these socks has been an exercise in patience, self-education, and planning.  What pattern will best show off a variegated yarn?  What stitch pattern would look best in a semi-solid colorway?

Lest you think it has been all rainbows and butterflies around here, let’s remember those socks that went to the great frog pond in the sky:

Jaywalkers, Knit Picks Felici

Denial was a strong force while knitting this sock.  You can see I got over 50% finished with the first sock before I was finally able to admit to myself it was too small.  Some of you suggested I rip back and turn it into a pair of wrist warmers.  Those would have been pretty neat, but an anger within me rose up and one day I ripped the entire thing out.  I still haven’t knit anything with that yarn!

Windowpane Socks IK Summer 08, Shibui Knits and Cherry Tree Hill

Again, a case of Gauge struck me and these were knitting up too small.  I loved the color combo, and the pattern was quick and simple, but for some reason I have not been able to face this pattern again.  It’s at this point that I had to ask myself: should I knit a gauge swatch for socks? Do you?

Basic Sock Recipe, Sockotta and Cherry Tree Hill

This is my most recent sock to hit the skids.  It looks good in the picture, great even.  I got as far as turning the heel, which I did in the solid cream yarn, before I was able to admit that the gauge was too big.  This is a change for me!  But you could actually see through the stitches when I held the heel up, and I think that would make for a weak, uncomfortable sock.  I haven’t ripped it out yet, so it’s fate remains undecided.

All in all I am satisfied with my sock knitting over the past 12 months.  There have certainly been ups, downs, and cases of Second Sock Syndrome, but I kept on knitting.  And collecting sock yarn!  That could be a whole post on its own… If you would like more information on any of my sock projects, please visit my Ravelry profile for details.

Next time, where are these socks now?  Have a great weekend, everyone!

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6 thoughts on “A Year in Socks

  1. I have knit only a few pairs of socks. My favorite were the ones I knit from the toe up and the ones I can wear with flip flops. I think the problem I have is if I want to knit socks I have to go out and buy a particular skein of sock(ish) yarn instead of reaching into my stash and say “I’ll use this”.

  2. Sock gauge swatch? That’s called, “cast on and start the sock.” It either is or isn’t to gauge, but you’d have to be knitting in the round to know, anyway!

    Nice socks, and I love the new header pic.

  3. All of your finished socks are lovely – I think the Embossed Leaves are my favorite though. (That pattern’s been on my list for a while!)
    It is sad when a sock has to be frogged – but there’s certainly nothing wrong with putting either the yarn and/or the pattern in a “time out” until another day. Much better than getting frustrated – which would probably lead to mistakes and more frustration!

    As for gauge, yes – I almost always do. It’s the easiest way I have of testing the pattern and the yarn simultaneously without getting too invested in the project. I think the exception is when I’m working with a yarn I’ve used before, but even that tripped me up when I thought a colorway and a pattern would be a perfect match and ended up frogging and re-doing it a few times to find a good stitch pattern! But in the end it was totally worth it.

  4. 2009 I’m going to make a pair of socks. For me. Proper ones. Yes I am.

    I’d do it sooner but I have sooooo many other things to do first hehe

  5. This was a great post to read – so interesting to see your successes/failures and progression over a year. I keep seeing beautiful Hedera socks at the moment – I think you’ve inspired me as to my next sock pattern!

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