Friday, 29 May 2009

Lets talk about socks

My last post initiated a few comments about socks and the comments left by Kelebek and Metta, in particular, got me thinking about why I knit socks.

I thought back to when I first started to knit socks and realised that in fact I'm a relative newcomer to sock knitting. I've been knitting for about 35 years and it's really only in the last 8 or 9 years that I have been knitting socks. I knitted my first pair of socks for Bruce. He needed socks to go with his kilt and all these years later he is still wearing them.

I've always been willing to take the plunge when it comes to knitting. I figure if you can read a pattern you can knit anything. So with these first socks (knee highs mind you!) I simply went to a yarn shop, looked at the patterns, found a booklet by Patons, bought the required amount of yarn and some knitting-in elastic (yep, you read right!) and off I went. My mother-in-law had given me her old DPNs and fortunately they included the right side. I sat down and started knitting the cuffs with the knitting-in elastic (funnily enough I've never done that again) and a couple of weeks later I had completed my fist pair of socks.

I had some yarn left over and decided to knit myself a pair of anklet socks out of the same booklet. They were great and made me want to knit more but I had no yarn. I raided my stash (although the little yarn I had in those days hardly qualified as a stash) and found some acrylic baby yarn and promptly knitted two more pairs of anklets. I still wear them, they are amazingly tough.

By this stage I was hooked and as fate would have it self striping and fair isle sock yarn hit the market here in Australia and I was off knitting socks. Along came knitting blogs filled with pictures of beautiful yarns. This was followed by Ravelry and all the amazing sock patterns out there.

So why do I knit socks? Because:
- I have a desire to own a pair of hand knitted socks for every day of the month (and I'm talking 31 days here);
- Helen of Ripples Crafts entices me with beautiful hand dyed yarns;
- Kelebek inspired me by gifting me Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters;
- people like Metta are role models in terms of the quantity of socks they can produce;
- people like Val inspire me - she knits socks out of yarn she has spun and dyed herself and they look stunning;
- socks provide instant gratification;
- socks provide new knitting challenges;
- there are so many beautiful sock patterns and they just keep coming.

So why do you knit socks? And if you don't knit socks, well, what are you waiting for?


Anonymous said...

Amanda you inspire me at the rate you can knit those socks up!
ms speedy needles ;)

I really, really want to learn to do socks 2 at a time - I still havent tried it that way yet.

Helen said...

Ah, now, I think I may have been in the area when that kilt was purchased :-) Like Valli I need to learn to knit two at a time too.

Amanda said...

Indeed you were Helen! Both you and Valli need to get on the two at a time bandwagon - much easier than DPNs.

Mary said...

I knit socks because they are portable (large, complex lace projects are not) and nearly instant gratification when you have lots of startitis and no finishitupus.

Cybèle said...

I like knitting socks because they look so nice under jeans - they just make me smile every time I see them. And they're more comfortable than RTW socks, and they're faster to knit than sweaters, and more portable as well.
I remember knitting my first sock when I was about 18 and the pattern I used said 'knitting socks is easier than you think and once you've knitted one, you'll find that you're never without a sock on your needles'. Although I stopped knitting for a number of years (sewing had my preference), it's true that I now usually have a sock in progress.

Baruch said...


Jan said...

I see Mary has mentioned one of the reasons I was going to add - portability. Another good thing is that they are sheer luxury to my feet and even buying luxury wool means a fantastic treat at a relatively small outlay.