Sock knitting is one of those things that knitters have very strong feeling about, one way or another. And they are not shy about telling you their reasons either.
“I love knitting socks, they are so toasty”
“Ugh, why would you knit socks, when you can just buy them? It’s not like anyone sees them!”
“Socks are a great travel project – they are small and once you have a basic pattern memorized, you can do so many things without being glued to a pattern.”
“Wool socks are itchy.”
“Hand knit socks are a great way to express yourself. There are so many beautiful yarns out there just made for socks.”
“What a waste of time – I would rather make a sweater (or cardigan, or blanket). I would never wear them anyway!”
I know I have mentioned this on the blog in the past, but just so we are clear…I am a sock knitter. There. I said it. It’s out there. What do I like about knitting socks? So many things…
A plain vanilla sock is a great travel project, especially for someone who relies on mass transit. Working the leg or foot portion of the sock takes no thought what so ever, and even the cuff, heel and toe are like second nature after making a few pair.
They fit your foot EXACTLY. I am tall and therefore have big feet. Women’s socks are always a little too tight and if I buy men’s socks, they are a little too big. Hand knit socks are always perfect!
Wearing hand knit socks to bed is the best! You know how your feet get cold at night, but you can’t wear your slippers to bed? Hand knit socks are the answer.
Everyone wears socks…so everyone needs socks! They make great gifts! Really. Once people know you make socks they will stop asking for scarves and hats.
I am paraphrasing StephaniePearl-McPhee when she said “Socks make you feel smart.” She explained that prior to you turning a heel for the first time, you will worry about how it all works out and that it is impossible to do. And then you do it. And you feel like you should be a rocket scientist. I hadn't made a pair of socks when I read that. Now that I have, I can tell you that she is right.
Socks are flexible. You can make them cuff down or toe up. Long or short. You can use DPNs, 2 circular needles or magic loop (my preferred method). You can make them as simple as you want or extremely complex.
CEY has several great yarns to use as sock yarns. My favorite is the Liberty Wool Light Print. I love it because I can make a simple sock and let the yarn do all the work for me. I made this pair last spring and they have been getting a lot of wear lately.
I also love that I can just throw them in the wash and not worry about them felting. (Pro tip – consider letting your socks air dry after washing them. It’s a little easier on the fiber and may help prolong the life of your socks).
This year we also introduced Liberty Wool Light in Solids, which if perfect for those socks patterns that include stitch patterns that would otherwise be a little hard to see in a print or variegated yarns. I can’t wait to get a few things off my needles, so I can cast on some lacey socks with the LWLS.
Another great sock yarn is our Alpaca Sox. Made from alpaca, wool and nylon socks made from this yarn will keep your feet warm and dry for years to come. You will definitely want to wash these socks by hand…but it is soooooo worth it…
I love the Alpaca Road Socks by Maria Leigh in the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts. She used 2 colors of the Alpaca Sox to make a subtle plaid pattern. Just enough to keep your interest, but not so much that you can’t easily memorize it. And the extra layer of yarn in the floats of the color work will be extra warm for those cold winter nights that are ahead.
Photos courtesy of Interweave Press, Harper Point PhotographyDo you make socks? If not, maybe now is a good time to try a pair out. You know…before it the nights get really cold!