Love of Socks - Chapter 4

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  • By Anne
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Love of Socks - Chapter 4

My original knitting passion - making socks. Spring and summer is the very best time of year to knit these very portable projects. I'm delighted to offer up some of the wisdom imparted to me over the past 20+ years of knitting socks, sharing a new tidbit to (perhaps) pull you into my passion for these fun little accessories. Here's my final purls of wisdom about knitting socks.

Second Sock Syndrome

Yikes!  And yes, a real affliction.  Over the past 20+ years, I'm sure I've knit at least 100 socks.  Not necessarily one hundred pairs - rather 100 individual socks.  There it is.  My fessing up to the fact that I'm seriously impaired by what all sock knitters know as Second Sock Syndrome.  An entire plastic bin lives in my knitting room, filled to the brim with pretty little project bags containing a single knitted sock, along with a second sock in some state of completion - sometimes just the yarn and needle, and sometimes a completed toe, cuff, or completed heel.  Shameful, I know.  But it's so true that once you say "hooray, look what I just finished," the realization sinks in that you have to do it all over again.

So how does a dedicated knitter of socks cope with this challenge?  Here's just a few of the ideas I've come across over the years.

2-at-a-Time.  Some folks avoid this by knitting both socks at the same time on one very long needle.  Tried it - not for me.  I find it kind of fiddly managing 2 balls of yarn at once - it invariably gets tangled up, no matter what I do.  And I don't like this method for another silly, completely irrational reason.  It takes twice as long to complete a single round.  Well, duh Anne!  But it is true.  And one of the reasons I love knitting socks is the satisfaction I get from completing rounds quickly - 32-40 stitches per round - easy peasy!

I've had some success knitting two at a time, but on two separate needles - knit one toe, then the second, one foot, then the second, and so on until your pair is complete. That would work great if I didn't have so many socks currently under construction.  While I do own a ridiculously large number of sock needles, it's quite a rare moment that I have one sans yarn.  To my credit, when a new design catches my fancy these days, rather than grabbing yet another new needle, I'll dig through my large collection of partially knit socks, seeking out and finishing the one that's either closest to completion or most enticing.  So yes, I finally have a few pairs of socks.

A most brilliant suggestion to deal with Second Sock Syndrome came from a customer years ago.  Thank you Paula! To avoid the boredom of doing the same thing twice, she would knit one complete pair of socks with the same yarn, but two different patterns.  The end result is a pair of fraternal twins.  Ingenious!  I love doing this.  You can proudly hold up your finished sock, then start a brand new, nearly completely different one.  A brand new project.  The perfect solution for process (versus product) knitters like me.

There you have it.  A wee bit of my sock knitting wisdom.  While I've branched out over the years to mystery shawls, sweaters, colorwork, and most recently gnomes, my heart belongs to socks.  Single skein, portable projects that always make me smile.


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