Some years ago I must admit that I was somewhat baffled by people who knit socks. I was a diehard sweater knitter, socks seemed to be a waste of time. Then for some reason, I knit a pair of socks, and was hooked. I then went through a sock-knitting craze. My life is more balanced now, I have just as many sock WIPs as sweater WIPs. As you may have guessed, I’ve been thinking about socks lately, well, since I put on this commercial pair of “good quality” woolen socks (which were not cheap).“Good quality” is in quotations marks for a reason. I have worn these socks about 5 times and my toe is coming through it (and yes, I do cut my toe nails, sorry for triggering any toe-nail-cutting imagery in your mind’s eye). These cost about the same as good quality sock yarn. Yes, they are thinner, so easier to wear with certain footwear, but what’s the point if they fall apart so soon (not to mention they became very loose and so weren’t even all that comfortable in my footwear). Paying good money for “quality” is a total crap shoot these days since, it seems to me, expensive things tend to be just as crappy as cheap things (yay, low-cost global manufacturing!) So I’m going back to knitting my own wool socks (and for others, I am relatively generous about my socks).
These are the best socks I have ever made and worn: I even spun the yarn for these! On a spindle! Three ply!! I didn’t have a spinning wheel yet and spun these (superwash wool roving with 20% nylon) on a spindle and plied on a bigger spindle. I totally overspun them (as newbie spinners tend to do) so the yarn is like iron. (I am trying to recreate this yarn for some socks for my hubby, I’m still working on the first ply). They were a bit rough and tough at first but have softened up over the years (yes, years!! at least 5 years of wear!!!) Actually, I just found a small hole on the ball of the foot after taking that photo but will darn it. Which brings me to another great thing about handknit socks, you can DARN them. I hold on to my odds and ends of sock yarn (I have a box full, and few more socks that need darning). But if you don’t keep your leftovers, you can always use another colour, who looks at the bottoms of your feet anyway? (well, aside from foot/sock fetishists).
These are some of my WIPs: These are all for me (generous soul that I am, I have some WIPs for my hubby, daughter, and niece that I couldn’t be bothered to dig out at the moment). I have several toe-up (two of which are my own patterns), top-down, two-at-a-time (which didn’t help me conquer second-sock syndrome, instead I developed both-socks syndrome!) I’ll get to them… So if you haven’t knit socks yet, I encourage you to give it a try. You might have to buy some new shoes with a bit more room for thick socks, but who doesn’t want to buy new shoes?? Try to find some that also show off your handiwork (Dansko has lots of nice appropriate styles).
In other news… I know I shouldn’t buy any more yarn. Really I do. But I splurged on some Rowan 4-ply cotton to make something from the pattern book Filigree:I bought this from Love Knitting, a UK based company, I believe. You can pay in CAN$, they have free shipping over $50 and it got here super fast, and it was even packaged in this lovely bag! Mostly I bought it because of this:The yarn is made in freaking HUNGARY! How could I resist?