S(h)ock Confession

May 21, 2015

Several years ago, I decided I wasn’t going to buy any new socks. I was going to knit them.

Apparently, I did not dedicate myself to that task at quite the rate required. I now find that I am the proud owner of 3 pairs of handknit socks in extremely high rotation, all now requiring darning, 2 pairs of bought sports socks and 2 pairs of bought stripey bamboo socks with no heels left but the rest stillย good soย I can’t throw them out. ย This is not quite enough really. I know we can have too much of many things but less socks is just less.

So I invested in an excellent book by Lara Neel called Sock Architecture and wondered why more socks did not appear. I started darning the old ones.

Then, I cast on for my second pair of Rivercat socks. They are not in the excellent book but I did actually cast them on and then had to finish them as I needed the needles to finish the neck on a cardigan I was also knitting.

IMG_0494So they are done and in extremely high rotation already. I do love this lace texture pattern. It almost knits itself which is clearly how I thought the sock situation was going to be addressed.

IMG_0495Yes, I do need to cast on probably immediately for more socks. Winter is here. Perhaps I have some kind of sock block? Do you have a favourite sock pattern recommendation for me that you swear will knit itself?

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  1. I made and gave away 4 pair of variegated socks because I realized I’d have to buy bigger shoes to wear them with. Now I use my sock yarn stash for shawls and scarves!!

  2. The sole pair of socks I knit last year will never wear out as they are enshrined in a plastic bag to remind myself that all things are possible. So, Rebecca, I am not qualified to answer your question, but I would like to comment that you make a mighty nice sock and it is all a question of relativity.

  3. That is toooo funny, OK, maybe not but I get the “I need the needles for ………” Which is why I have LOTS of needles and UFO’s!
    My sister just went on a knitting fit and knit 10 pairs of socks (of course she has NO children to deal with!!) but she knitted them with Borroco worsted and added a ply of a linen/mohair, Kidlin,
    yarn for strength and she is wearing them ad nauseaum and no wearing out so far. There will be similar brands there and these were utilitarian socks, NO frills ๐Ÿ™‚ good luck.

  4. Gorgeous socks. I do love knitting socks! What about a patterned pair and a plain pair. The plain pair would be perfect for carting around and I hear that everyone is doing Hermione every day socks but haven’t looked at the pattern yet. The name has just stuck in my head for some reason.

  5. My favourite socks ever were
    Serpentine socks by Wendy Johnson.
    They were amazingly quick – introduced me to toe up two at a time socks and they look stunning ๐Ÿ™‚
    Unfortunately I knit them in super soft beautiful malibrigo sock (I innocently thought that the sock meant they were ok for socks) and they started getting holes the first time I wore them…they are a real treat as bed socks though!

  6. Oh man, I’ve been dealing with sock block for some time and like you, most of my pairs need darning. However, I really enjoyed the Intrepid Traveler pattern that broke my sock hiatus this year. Monkeys are also a ‘lace pattern that knits itself’ in my mind. My favorite pair of socks ever were from the Slip Jig pattern, and the cabling on South Fork Socks is a lot of fun. That should get you started! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I can’t help I’m afraid. I don’t have a sock block or a favourite sock pattern because I hardly ever knit socks. It’s the thought that I’ll have to darn them one day that holds me back.

    That said I’d love to give the Stitch Surfer socks a go ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I am wearing knitted socks pretty much exclusively for the third year in a row and I couldn’t go back. The one piece of advice I’d never listened to is the importance of reinforced sock yarn. I’m a natural-fibre lover (aka ‘snob’) and used to spurn sock yarns with nylon, but after too many short-lived pairs of lace socks (darn-after-every-wear Malabrigo Lenores, I’m looking at you; you too, threadbare Malabrigo Nutkins) I have sworn to never knit wool-only socks again. Well, I’ve sworn to try!

    My favourite pattern to wear is Licorice Stick Socks by Chrissie Gardiner (published by Twist Collective) โ€“ a slip-stitch variation on squishy ribbed socks.

    Cookie A’s Monkey sock pattern is compelling: I made five pairs in quick succession earlier this year, and now that I’ve got a couple of her more complex patterns on the needles I’m starting to miss it. The pattern repeat is easy to memorise but interesting enough to be enjoyable.

    My partner insists that I only make him the plainest of socks, and they’re unbearable to make. Sandra Park’s Charade socks and Grumperina’s Jaywalkers are also simple enough to be go-everywhere knitting but interesting enough not to stuff behind the sofa.

    1. Hey I’m taking the advice and am just gonna cast on! What I’d like to know is, the percentage of wool / synthetic for strength; and /or can you, should you knit with 2 yarns, one pure wool and other synthetic..? Clueless here but itching to cast on ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I wish they knit themselves! wouldn’t that be wonderful, to wake up one morning and bam! there at the end of the bed just like a Christmas stocking? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    in lieu of that; lace does make them go faster, in my experience. and stripes.

    happy knitting!

  10. I love the pattern on the socks, great job. I would love to knit myself a pair of socks but I am just not good enough at knitting! I love my crochet hooks too much ๐Ÿ™‚ I may try to crochet some socks again one day. I suppose you could treat yourself to some gorgeous yarn to encourage you to knit some more and then you would win both ways!! x

  11. Such gorgeous socks!! Surely these with their pretty lace pattern and cosy ways would tempt you to knit more, but then I think you’ll find inspiration in the patterns mentioned in previous comments. Licorice Stick Socks sound particularly yummy.

  12. I once knitted my self a pair of lovely bright and cheery variegated orange and blue wool/nylon mix socks. They, fitted, washed well, didn ‘t wear through but ooh did my poor feet itch. Now someone has to buy socks, so I thought that I would help out the manufacturers just this once.

  13. I’m knitting socks several years, but after a schematic pattern, which means you work looking a diagram with all the sizes…but without explanation….that part I had from my friend verbally.
    I’can try to put down on paper this pattern, because it’s really nice and easy one….just it would be the first time for me to write a pattern (immediatelly in english).
    As soon as I prepear it I’ll contact you!
    You make really wonderful things, congratulations! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ester – Italy

  14. I love the pattern, Hedgerow Socks by Jane Cochran. It is a free pattern from her website, Not Plain Jane. I have made several pairs of these. The pattern becomes intuitive and they are simple, yet classy.
    I do also love the more complex patterns, but these are a great carry-along project, and very satisfying.

  15. Lovely socks! Socks are my big ambition, i can’t wait for the day when i manage to knit a pair. Great to see links & suggestions by others too. One day…(blissful sigh)!

  16. Ohmygosh, Rebecca, if you find that pattern you MUST share ; ) Beautiful socks! I also love hand knit socks but can’t seem to muster up the patience required to knit them. xo

  17. I have beginner sock block. I have such loose tension that I frequently knit on size 0 or 00s, and to get gauge on socks I have to go down to something ridiculous like a quadruple zero, that’s only available in Addi Turbo’s etc., which are slippery as all heck, that makes the stitches even looser. At least, that’s my excuse. The reality is that knitting tiny little tubular things makes my head explode, so I stick to sweaters, shawls, wraps and hats. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE hand-knit socks, and I have knit two. Same pattern, different sizes – not exactly a pair!

  18. I find knitting while watching TV helps things to grow, but that means finding some TV worth watching. Otherwise the great thing with sock knitting is that it’s small enough to take anywhere with you and whip out and do a few rounds at odd intervals. This is, of course, easier with plain stocking stitch socks, but an easily memorised pattern doesn’t take that much thought after the first few repeats.

    You could also knit both socks at the same time using the Magic Loop system. You just have the fight to get them cast on and in the correct order, then you have to remember to use the ball of yarn appropriate to the sock you’re knitting (been there, done that, frogged!)

    And finally – if you knit your socks toe up you’ll only ever have to sew in two ends. No Kitchenering or anything!

  19. I hardly ever wear anything but my handknit socks anymore. My secret for having lots o’ socks is to always have 2 or 3 pairs on needles: a pair of lace or cabled socks, a pair of colorwork, and a pair for mindless knitting. I never get bored this way! The mindless ones are usually a self-patterning or stripey sock-yarn, and I just do plain stockinette tubes, toe-up, with a waste-yarn insert for an afterthought heel. No pattern needed, so I can knit waiting for appointments, in the car, etc. They get rolled up into a plastic Folger’s instant coffee jar, dropped in my bag, and go everywhere I go. I probably finish at least 2 of these for every “fancy” pair.
    In the fall and winter, I also knit the occasional pair in worsted wool (not superwash), which are quickly finished and much appreciated on wicked-cold days and nights.
    Hope this helps your sock situation!

  20. Those are absolutely gorgeous! Sock knitting isn’t one of my strengths, though I think about it often as my toes are always freezing this time of year.

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