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!