Wednesday, October 11, 2006


In honor of Socktoberfest, I am dedicating this entire post to my sock knitting history and mania! Lucky you ;)

To begin, here are my answers to Lolly's sock questions:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
In a rush to learn everything all at once, I started my first pair of socks within months of starting to knit in earnest. I taught myself, using the Yankee Knitter sock pattern, and gave up quickly. There were way too many pointy needles sticking out all over the place! I just couldn't get a handle on them! Once I discovered 5 inch Brittany Birch needles, a year later, I tried again and have been hooked ever since.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? (See above) No, they came out too big so I gave them to Mr. Strange. He loved them until the toe blew out on one of them.

What would you have done differently?
Woven in my ends better!

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Koigu, Cherry Tree, Lana Grossa Meillenweit. I love the color of Opal yarns, but the resulting fabric is always disappointing. I've also used Fortissima and Regia. The Regia makes a very sturdy sock and the self-striping is very consistent.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I prefer to Knit on short DPN's. I haven't tried Magic Loop or toe up yet. I am stubborn (ie. afraid).

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Flap heels are all I've done so far

How many pairs have you made?
I have finished 16 pairs. Four were given away, one is wounded (see blown toe above) and Mr. Strange has one pair (aren't I a mean wife?). The garter rib socks in progress will make #17

Lolly is also curious about sock stash (who isn't) and posed the following follow-up questions:

Do you have certain patterns planned for some of the yarns?
Mostly I buy sock yarn because I:
a) am on a yarn diet, but don't count sock yarn;
b) can't find anything else to buy and I really want to blow some cash, or
c) am so in love with the color that I will die if I don't have it right now.

Do you buy yarn and then choose a pattern?
I almost always buy the yarn first. I think the only exception is the yarn I bought for Jaywalker.

Does a certain sock yarn you have in your stash take you back to a certain event? (where you were when you bought/received it? what was going on in your life at the time!)
Oh my yes! I bought this kit at Halcyon Yarn thinking that I wanted to try intarsia. Now I know better.

These were socks that I knit on the way to and from Paris 3 years ago. When I got home, I discovered that I had dropped a stitch so far back that I needed to frog the whole thing, but I don't have the heart to do it.

This yarn was destined to become "Angel's Rest" (a Fiber Trends Pattern), but I couldn't get my mind around the yarn overs, so I bagged it. I could probably do it now, but don't really feel like going there anytime soon.

Here are some of my own questions to add to the fun and games!

How has your sock knitting changed since you first started?
I was really lazy at first and made all my socks in stockinette stitch with very little ribbing (about 1 inch) at the top. Unfortunately, they bag around my ankles whenever I wear them. Now I suck it up and rib all the way down to the heel. Lately I have been working in pattern over the instep too and I like the result. I used to think that it would be uncomfortable to wear socks with patterning on the top of the foot, but it isn't.

Do you have a preferred gauge or needle size that you like to work with?
I used to use size 2 needles for all of my socks ( I really love the fingering weight), but I'm switching over to size 1's because I like the denser fabric. Sometimes when I wear one of the earlier socks I made, I can feel the stitches under my feet. I also like using size 3's with a little heavier yarn (sport weight) because they go so fast! Great for gifts!

Do you have a favorite pattern?
When I don't want to do any thinking at all, I use the Yankee Knitter pattern (size 1 needles, 60 stitches, K3, P1 rib all the way down to the heel flap). Right now though, I am having fun with Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks".

Is there a pattern or technique you would like to try but are too intimidated?
I have been oogling Pompamathingamijig from Knitty, but I go cross-eyed whenever I read it ,and I don't yet have the "right" yarn for them (nice excuse eh? I'm dreaming of Socks that Rock or Lorna's Laces). I love the detailed socks that Eunny and Grumperina knit (links to their sock post), and someday I will try toe-up and short row heels....

What is your dream sock?
I would love to knit a cabled knee sock that stays up and wont stretch out!

Show me your stash!!
I thought you'd never ask ;) It's a little skinny because I am trying to use some of it up. There are at least 4 yarns that I don't even know if I want to use. Maybe I'll make gloves or mittens with them instead (!!! Sacrilege!)

PS: Look at this great postcard I recieved from my Secret Pal!! Thank you!!


Shelby said...

I held out on the toe-up thing for a long time, too...but once I got the hang of it, I was kicking myself for not having done it sooner. I use the "Easy Toe" from Spectacular Knitted Socks (can't remember the author off hand) and it's really a breeze. Highly recommended!

I still kind of stink at short-row heels, though...;)

Anonymous said...

Maybe I will try to love the art of making a sock. I just don't understand the desire.......