Hello, friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend!
I’m sure I’m not alone in struggling with finding the time to blog regularly. One result of this is that small projects generally don’t get blogged, or boring, “regular” garments. But only blogging more complicated projects doesn’t paint a very complete picture of what I’ve been making! So, today, I wanted to talk a little bit about my big obsession of the last several months- sock knitting!
It all started with my Ondawa sweater. The instructions suggest that you seam the sweater with a strong, round yarn, a sock yarn, because Shelter is prone to breakage (plus it makes the seams less bulky to use a thinner yarn). So, I begrudgingly bought a skein of matching grey yarn, Cascade Yarns Heritage Silk (the cheapest sock yarn I could find in a matching color), and used a few yards for seaming. Now, I had a nearly-complete skein of sock yarn in my stash, and I couldn’t stand to let it go to waste, so I remembered the gorgeous socks I’d seen made from the Hermione’s Everyday Sock pattern and cast on. I’ve never really understood the point of handmade socks- they seem like they would be scratchy, saggy, and sweaty. And why put so much work into something that goes on your FEET? Feet are gross! So I was a little grumpy when I cast on! But I was going to use up that yarn before it got trapped in my stash forever!
I owe much of my success at my first attempt to Sarah. Her “sock-a-long” posts held my hand while I worked through all the tricky bits, and gave me the confidence to keep going. Plus her finished socks looked so pretty that I was inspired to power through the scary heel turn and get to the end! But I still wasn’t convinced that handmade socks were for me (I decided to make this pair as a gift for my mother-in-law… her house has particularly cold floors in the winter, so I thought she might like them).
I changed my mind about socks when I found out how magical sock yarn is! I occasionally meet up with a group of knitters based in Queens, and when I saw Melissa and Kathryn working on socks in an amazing speckled yarn, I needed to know more! They directed me to Gauge x Tension (which, sadly, is closing, which is a bummer because I’ve bought my yarn from there almost exclusively since I found out about it) where I picked up a skein of Spun Right Round sock (colorway: “Don’t Go Away Mad”). Readers, I fell in love! I had just started my new job, which increased my commute time dramatically, and it turned out that sock knitting was just the thing to keep me from biting my nails when the train was delayed. Plus, socks are small enough that I can keep a project bag stashed in my purse at all times, so whenever I’m stuck waiting for someone, I can just pull it out and knock out a few rows!
I made a second pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks, this time for myself, and I absolutely love them! The textured pattern is really simple, so you don’t need to have a pile of instruction pages on your lap, but it’s fun and satisfying to knit. The pattern is really easy to understand and follow, so it’s not too challenging for a subway knit. And the yarn is just so beautiful, and makes a sock so incredibly warm that my feet feel good, even when I’m standing on the cold concrete floor at work. I was totally sold on this sock knitting business!
My third pair of socks was another gift, this time for my aunt. I bought a second skein of Spun Right Round, this time in the colorway “Graffiti Overlay”. I decided to try out another free pattern, the Simple Skyp Socks, which are reviewed really positively on Ravelry. I found this pattern to be slightly more difficult to follow- the beginning of the round seemed to change frequently, and I didn’t understand why (newbie problems!). But in the end, the socks looked really nice, and it was fun to try out a different stitch pattern.
If you can’t tell, I’ve gotten super passionate about knitting socks! I’ve made five pairs as gifts, and am working on a second pair for myself right now. While I don’t know if the recipients appreciate them, I really enjoy thinking about the person that I’m making them for while I’m knitting away. And it’s done wonders for my commute- I’m naturally impatient, restless, and twitchy, and while I haven’t changed into a new person overnight, it’s gotten easier for me to be patient when I have something to keep my hands occupied, without having to drag around a huge project bag. Also, sock yarn is just so fun! It’s a great way to use colors that you might not wear all over your whole body, and to try out independent dyers. It can be expensive, but I’m a slow knitter, so spending $25 on a skein that gives me a project to work on for a couple of months isn’t too hard on my budget. If you’re on the fence, please give it a try! I definitely recommend the two free patterns that I reference in this post… they’re great introductions to sock knitting. 🙂 And if you haven’t checked out the Spun Right Round shop, do it! I’m not being paid to advertise for her or anything– I just love her yarn and want everyone to try it. 🙂
Fun fact: I realized just a few weeks ago that I totally didn’t have to buy sock yarn for my Ondawa sweater because I DIDN’T USE SHELTER. Did I remember this at the time? Nope. Definitely not. But I’m so glad I forgot, or I’d never have fallen down the sock rabbithole! 😀 So thank you, bad memory, for giving me another hobby! 🙂
Anyone else as sock-obsessed as me??? What are your favorite patterns?