Anyone who’s been watching the blog for a while should know by now that I love knitting socks. They’re practical, they’re portable, they’re not to quick a knit, and not too long a knit, and there are so many gorgeous yarns. So needless to say, you all should know that I was going to be all over Socktoberfest like white on rice.
So to start off the celebration, Lollyknitting Around has posted a few questions for the Socktoberists.
1) When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I started making socks in the summer of 2002. I came home one day to spot my downstairs neighbour sitting on the porch of the house we lived in (we were in a duplex), knitting a sock, and thought, “I should try that!” I taught myself to knit them using some worsted weight yarn and Judy Passman’s Generic No-Frills Sock Recipe. I still think that, for those with some experience knitting, this is the best way to learn to knit socks, as it teaches the general proportions and techniques used in sock knitting, instead of getting hung up on exact numbers, allowing you to knit socks with any type of yarn at any gauge.
2) What was your first pair? How have they “held up” over time?
My first pair were a heavy, 100% wool worsted weight and the first time I wore them (in boots, no less) the soles felted. Needless to say they became house socks after that (but very cozy and warm ones!). They’re still around here somewhere–I think buried in one of my storage bins in my closet.
3) What would you have done differently?
Not worn them in boots. I think it was a good idea to use the worsted the first time though, so I wasn’t trying to juggle teeny yarn and needles as well as figure out the pattern.
4) What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
KOIGU. Oh dear mother of God, when I go to CSNF I’m going to mortgage my firstborn for the stuff. Same with Fibre Artist, and I can’t wait to get going on the Cherry Tree Hill I got in NY. I like Regia as well, and I kind of like the self-striping yarns, but I think I’m making the transition over to handpaints. I’ll probably still get some of the self-striping occasionally though (though in more interesting colourways than the Boring Socks of Doom). When I finally get a credit card I’d love to start trying some of the smaller producers, like people with Etsy shops.
5) Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I barely crochet, so no. I Use DPNs as my circular needles are unorganized enough already–I don’t need 2 pairs of every kind. Plus, I do two socks at the same time anyway–I have two sets of all my sock-size DPNs so I can two the two socks at the same time, but this way I can also stagger them, so that when I’m knitting the foot on one, I’m doing the heel on the other, etc. Magic Loop… Meh, I might try it sometime, but I don’t see much of a reason to switch from DPNs as they’re working just fine for me. Plus, they make non-knitters boggle.
6) Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
I’ve been doing a lot of toe-up socks lately so I know while there is a way you can do a heel-flap type of heel toe-up, I just stick with the short row. Plus, I find the short row heels fit my heels better, so even the last couple pairs of top-down socks I did were with short-row heels.
7) How many pairs have you made?
Oh Lord. Um…at least 20. I’ve got about 10 in my sock drawer now, at least 5 or 6 in my laundry basket, 1 pair that I just finished, 1 pair that still needs to ahve some ends woven in, I’ve made a couple for people that asked me to, and I know I’m forgetting a couple more.
And naturally I’ve got a hell of a lot more sock yarn to knit up.
And to ring in Socktoberfest, I have photos of the COMPLETED Kasshabog Dusk Koigu socks! Wore them today for my first Preschool Storytime and they were so comfortable.