Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Joy of Socks

What is it that those of us crazy about knitting socks find addicting? I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here but for those that haven't jumped into the sock knitting world yet I thought I'd share my perspective.
  • The Yarn. You have a wide range of colors, types and content to choose from. There are the basic solid color wool, commercial multi color dyed/plyed yarns, indie hand dyed in semi-solid colors to fun and wild multi colors. Content can also range from non-superwash wool, super-wash wool, wool and nylon blends, wool and silk, wool and silver and yes even cotton.
  • The Techniques. As a new knitter socks can seem like an intimidating project. I think it has to do with envisioning all those crazy double pointed needles and how to keep them under control. However we're not constrained to using only dpns to knit socks. You can use 2 9" - 16" circular needles for the 2 circ method or go magic loop with a long circular. Really all it is is knitting in the round and some short rows on a small scale. You can start at the top and work down to the toe or start toe up. Bottom line is it's isn't hard and there are so many resources on-line now to learn any new techniques. My favorite examples are from Magic Cast on for Toe up and Kitchener stitch for sewing up the toes. Once I had these down there was no looking back
  • The Patterns. I can't tell you how many sock knitting books there are out there but I must have most of them in my knitting library. Then there are some really great indie designers out there with sock patterns ranging from a basic sock pattern to some very intricate patterns. It is also the perfect way to start designing. Create your favorite sock recipe mixing starting point, heel and toe style blending with the perfect stitch pattern from a stitch dictionary and voila you have your own personal sock pattern. It is also a great way to try out a new stitch pattern on a smallish project.
  • The Portability Factor. You can take it with you. At least to where ever you know you will be spending some time waiting. Socks are perfect travel projects since they are small and fit in your bag. I am not good at just sitting in waiting rooms with nothing to do so having a sock project to work on makes the time go faster.
  • The Cost. Socks are relatively inexpensive knitting projects. The yarn can range from $6.00 to $30.00+ for a pair of socks which is considerably less than yarn for a sweater or blanket. Basically, really easy to justify and classify sock yarn as non-stash yarn.
  • The End Result. From 400+ yards of fingering weight yarn you can produce something like this.
Are you a sock knitting addict? I know I am with 3 different socks currently in progress and 40+ skeins/balls of sock yarn waiting their turn ;-) Tomorrow I'll share 2 of them with you.
and till next time ...
Enjoy your knitting!

1 comment:

katrog said...

Another reason to love socks:

Applause Factor.

I have knit a number of items as gifts, and it is always the socks that receive the highest "applause factor." :)