“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
On a recent episode of the VeryPink Knits podcast we were discussing sock knitting. Staci mentioned that I was not always a sock knitter, but learned to love sock knitting and now usually have a pair of socks in progress. It’s true. A few years into my knitting hobby, I didn’t understand the appeal of sock knitting and after trying a pair (that took me months in between with terrible second sock syndrome…) I still wouldn’t say I was convinced sock knitting was for me.
I thought about this as I was working on a pair of socks and loving the process, but ignoring another pair that I wasn’t loving. I really enjoy working on these purple socks and have made fast progress of them. The rainbow-colored socks I have ignored. It’s been a few months in between the first finished sock and this second sock. What is the difference?
When I first tried making socks I was working with DPNs, craft store yarn and a cuff down pattern. It felt awkward to change needles and the yarn didn’t excite me.
For these two current socks, the yarn in the purple socks is much softer, so it’s much more enjoyable to work with while the rainbow yarn is a little scratchy. There’s also some funny psychological game with striped yarn that makes me want to keep going to get to the next color.
But, the primary difference is in the needles. Since discovering 9 inch circulars, I find myself loving knitting socks with these needles. There’s no fiddly need to adjust either magic loop or DPNs, you can just scoot the stitches around these tiny little needles. Some knitters have told me they can’t use them because they hurt their hands, which I can understand. I think with practice it’s less likely to cause these problems, but I do find that I can’t knit with these needles for hours on end. I’m using magic loop for the rainbow yarn socks which is my second choice for knitting socks. It’s not my favorite, but I still prefer them over DPNs.
I also really enjoy toe-up socks more than cuff-down. Why? I don’t really know, but it is satisfying to be able to decide a sock is long enough or use up all the yarn available without planning ahead.
So, if you’re still not convinced that sock knitting is for you, let me suggest you give it another try with yarn you’re really excited about using, different needles and a new pattern. That might be all you need to become like me - a regular sock knitter!
Knit Picks has launched a new sock line that might help you get excited about sock yarns. They are offering limited-quantities of uniquely dyed Stroll and Hawthorne yarns each month. I was lucky to get two skeins from this recent batch - coordinating speckles of pink. (I’m tempted to snatch up some orange as well….) As always with Knit Picks, the price is very nice for a full hank of 400+ yards and they are also offering added discounts on special packs.
Now I’ve given you new approaches to try with sock knitting and affordable yarn to work with. What more do you need?