In Need of Prioritization
Love Thursday


Let's talk socks...

PrettybirdsongsocksvvwithastersatthIs there any doubt that knitting socks is one of my favorite things to do?  I'm not talking about favorite things to knit, but one of my favorite things in general.  Do you think that's true of many knitters in or out of Blogland? 

PrettypetticoatlacesockatsilverlakeI didn't learn to knit socks from Nancy Bush, but I give her credit for giving me the passion to knit socks.  Her books, classes and local rock star status, brought sock knitting to Salt Lake City in a big way.  It's hard to remember the dates, but I think I started knitting socks around 1995 and by 1997 I constantly had a sock on the needles.  Even when my main focus of crafting was embroidery, a sock in progress was my traveling companion, lunch time project, and general distraction from tiny, exacting embroidery. 

Nancysfolksockswithpurldesigncuff My sock drawer holds many hand knit socks, and even a few skeletons of socks that can no longer be worn but can't quite be eighty-sixed.  When you have a large number of socks it means no sock is worn often enough to wear out quickly and, therefore, some of my socks could be called vintage.

Twinkletoeslatviansocksfromfolkso_2 The main reason I have always had a sock on the needles is the entertainment factor.  Few of us find the turning of a heel, even the 100th heel we've turned, less than magical and certainly never mundane.  Even sufferers of SSS* don't stop knitting socks; they just pick up a different sock and continue to knit. Sock knitters rarely knit the same pattern twice or the same colorway of yarn more than once. 


The variety of colors, yarns and patterns is unending for the addicted sock knitter. Sock knitting, with all its accoutrement, can be nirvana and a sock can easily be made personally and uniquely your own.

Abitofforecastsecondsock As I knit with my own handspun, and consider spinning more yarn for socks, my thoughts turn to all the suggestions and advice given by spinners.  Some say that Navajo plying doesn't hold up for the long haul or that certain breeds of wool aren't as good as others.  Some say the socks you wear need to match your other clothing, or that hand knit socks should stand out in an ‘in your face’ way.  There are nearly as many opinions as there are sock knitters. 

BirchleafsockonstepsofredrockOur sock knitting isn't done as a necessity to survive. Today we can have warm toes without knitting socks. Purchased socks are not only as good as, or maybe even better for warmth and durability, but are often less expensive.  The main reason we knit socks is the love of knitting and the love of color and texture…at least that’s my opinion.  Therefore, I don’t really care how long a sock will wear, if the number of ply is 2 or 6, how the plying is executed, or even what the fiber content of the sock yarn is (other than it's got to be wool or wool blend).  It’s all about knitting something my feet love to wear, knitting something my hands love to do, doing something endlessly entertaining, and it’s about sharing a passion.

Give me a sock and I’ll 'knit on' forever.

*Second sock syndrome


Lovely display. What have folks said about spinning for socks? What wools work/don't work? Any blends that are particularly good? Any source for nylon to blend? Inquiring minds.

I haven't knitted a pair of socks since early childhood when I was forced to knit socks at school which gave me a "socktrauma". But seeing all those wonderful textured socks makes me want to knit one too. Now I have to find a good guide to start...

I'm with you all the way! All your socks look great, but I especially love the pastel feather and fan pair!

I ditto that!! Rock on, Socks on!!

Yup there's nothing better than a knitted sock and for me there's nothing better than knitting them!

Well said. I agree with everything you said. It is the love of knitting, after all, that drives my passion/obsession/compulsion. Happy Knitting every day.

Amen, sistah! I, too, always have a pair of socks on the needles and have since 2002. I first learned to knit socks because it was a very "period correct" activity at reenactments. Then I became addicted and I haven't looked back!

Yes, yes - you said it well!

Your socks are just gorgeous! Thing is, one can not buy what one can make. Imagine the cost of a hand knit pair of socks in the store?

Now you're talking my language!! Knitting socks for me is well, very Zen! And it doesn't matter if I finish the sock, or finish a pair. I just like to knit socks. Well no, it's not that I just LIKE to knit socks, I MUST knit socks. For my own well being.

So does that mean I'm not a sock knitter with my 87 jaywalkers and stockinette socks? ;-)

Amen. And those handspun of yours are awfully nice. Great to see you last night!!

I LOVE this post and those green socks!

Um. Yeah. Hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!

Go, sock knitters!! Woo-hoo!

I was so reticent to ever knit socks in the early 90's, that today I have to laugh at myself. Sock knitting has also become my passion. And I have the stash to prove it! I love every single ball of yarn and never go anywhere without my socks on the needle. There are many techniques to still learn. However, turning that heel makes me giddy. I don't want a short row heel...I love my gussets. every stitch of them !...Happy Sock knitting to all! cg

You said it perfectly. This is what it is to be a sock knitter.

Great pics.

I'm with you all the way! What socks are those pink ones in the fist picture? I think I may need some of those.

You are so very right Margene! I agree completely!

Beautifully stated (and illustrated)!

Here! Here!! I have to say that I do prefer the socks to last a while. =) It is so sad to see a sock fall apart just after a few wears.

I think I have more sock yarn in the stash than anything else.

I so agree! I have some "tougher" socks, commercial, to wear for the hard-wearing situations, sort of like "paint clothes"... and won't mind learning more knowledge about spinning "good" sock yarns so that I can eventually knit from my handspun, but it is definitely the creativity that got me making some of the quirky ones, like the fish socks with button-up cuffs and the redbud socks I designed over a decade ago, in honor of the tree, but not the hardest-wearing yarn and definitely "retro" these days.

I must admit, I'm beginning to see the allure. Nice, portable, satisfying, and reasonably quick projects. And, while I never was much of a sock person, there's definitely something different (and very gratifying) about wearing hand-knit socks.

Beautiful socks! And I agree, it doesn't matter how long they last, if they match my clothes, or if they follow any fashion "rule" at all - socks are just a joy to knit.

What a great post! Very well articulated and illustrated! And ditto!

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