A confession. (Steel y’selves knitters, this is a B-I-G one.)
I have never knitted socks.
Sometimes, this makes me feel like a not-proper-knitter, because real knitters have 204 sock patterns committed to memory and neat, colourful sock drawers that look like those displays of rolled neck-ties you get in the menswear sections of upmarket department stores… Don’t they?
A non-knitting friend of mine once remarked on a knitter he’d observed who always knitted socks. This knitter was, in my friend’s opinion, not a serious yarn-wielder. I think he assumed that proper knitters were people who made big things like cabled afghans or fairisle coats. Socks, to his mind, were for mere dilettantes, because socks are small. I love my friend, but he clearly didn’t know much about knitters.
Still, I haven’t knitted any socks.
It’s not as though I’m scared of any of the techniques involved: I’m happy with DPNs, kitchener stitch, and all manner of stranded/ribbed/increasing/decreasing shenanigans. And I’ve crocheted a sock. (Just the one. It was beige, for some very good reason that escapes me now.) Hell, I even knitted a pair of slippers once, so you can’t accuse my knitting needles of any aversion to feet. Although our various and mostly cold, rough, floor surfaces shredded the soles of my slippers within days.
But I’ve never knitted socks, despite the fact that the Toddler Twinnage specifically requested that I knit some ‘smelly socks’. (I had to explain that the odour is generally introduced after the knitting is finished.)
The main reason for this is that I’m scared… not of the techniques involved, but of the addiction. Because as far as I can tell from other knitters, getting into sock knitting is a little akin to getting into crack cocaine – it’s a one-way street. You don’t come across people saying with a shrug, “Yeah, I used to knit socks – still do, occasionally – but I mostly work on afghans, now.” No. Those sock-knitters turn their heels with a fervour that scares mere mortals. And I’m scared, because whilst I’m already pretty obsessed with knitting, I do still occasionally pay token acknowledgement to my friends and family (yes really, I do), and I don’t want to lose touch with them to the extent that I forget their names. Also, I don’t want to forget to go to work.
I don’t spin or dye, for exactly the same reason. Don’t think that I wouldn’t like to try. When the Stoic Spouse presented me with a large wrapped box on Christmas day, I secretly and silently wondered whether it was a spinning wheel. Because if a spinning wheel was foisted on me, the consequent addiction wouldn’t be my fault, right?
Anyway, back to the socks. Which I definitely don’t knit. Ever.
I must confess that Father Christmas brought me some rather especially lovely DPNs that have entirely cured my aversion to such needles. ‘Tis a mere coincidence that they’re all in sock-perfect sizes. Who even knew that Father Christmas knew about knitting paraphernalia? Likewise the fact that I’ve just shelled out for a beginner’s book on sock-knitting certainly does not suggest any imment sockery. I’m merely taking a theoretical interest, so that I may contribute insights at any future sock-knitting conversations at dinner parties. This is not at all like an alcoholic expressing surprise when her chosen holiday destination is right next to a vineyard.
And whilst I work a jumper sleeve on DPNs, it hasn’t even remotely occurred to me that it would be similarly pleasurable to work the neat length of a sock. Oh no.
And the fact that the sock-knittery book wasn’t delivered until a day later than promised? Noooo, it didn’t bother me at all. It’s completely coincidental that I sulked all afternoon. Coincidental, I tell you. Probably just the weather.
No, I’m not about to knit any socks. None.
You have beautiful needles,your jumper sleeve looks so neat and you will learn to knit socks in a minute! It’s such a fun!!And only a matter of counting stitches..That’s all,I swear!
Oh dear, sounds like you’re in denial about your addiction before you’ve even begun!!
See, I dabbled a teeny bit by knitting fingerless gloves (fun aside from that I prefer circulars over DPNS) , but I, too, have never knit socks! 😀
Yeah, I used to knit socks – still do, occasionally – but I mostly work on afghans (not really, more jumpers and cardigans), now. 😀 Honestly, don’t be afraid, it doesn’t always turn into an addiction, never have for me 🙂
Charlotte Copper says
I’m not a knitter to your standards…I stick to basic stitches on scarves and baby blankets, but I did knit one pair of socks. Problem #1?…I won’t wear them. I spent all that time and money on them, and I’m fearful of wearing holes in them (and I’m not s fan of slippers). Problem #2? I bought a couple of skiens of different sock wool (I know no explanation is needed there) but what is the point of knitting more socks? Luckily I found a couple of patterns for fingerless gloves made from sock yarn, so I think I’ll be knitting in that direction.
Astrid Bubble says
“Yeah, I used to knit socks – still do, occasionally – but I mostly work on afghans, now.” True story. I’ve moved on from sock knitting to sock yarn blanket knitting 🙂 Enjoy your new addiction.. would it be ‘toe up’ or ‘top down’ though?!!
Do it! They’re fun, and isn’t the brewery cold? I just moved back to a cold climate and my handknitted socks are essential to keeping my feet (and as a result the rest of me) warm in my very cold living room!
what brand dpn’s are those that ur using & rec’d for cmas? ty
The Twisted Yarn says
They’re Karbonz, sold by KnitPro in Europe and I think KnitPicks or maybe Knitters Pride elsewhere. And yes, they’re lovely to work with and I’d definitely recommend them.
I say, try ’em; you’ll like ’em. I could wear a different pair of socks every day of the month, or maybe longer. I hate it when winter ends because I won’t wear my knitted socks for months. I confess that I don’t like to knit with several colors, as you do so beautifully. I’ll tackle the most complex cables before I do any color knitting. I’ve done just enough to know that I don’t like the extra strands on the wrong side. This just shows you that it’s OK to have an eccentricity (or two).
Mrs P says
Nope I’ve knitted a sock, if I go down that road ….. I might forget something really important like where I live LOL
She speaks with forked tongue.
Actually, not everyone who knits socks is addicted to them….. I like knitting socks, but no better than other things. I don’t love them, don’t hate them. Of course, it might just be me……….
Woollen Wildnerness says
Aaah welcome to the sock knitting addiction. There’s no point fighting it. You will knit a sock, and another, and another, and another, and you will find it enjoyable. No way you will spend hours looking at pretty hand dyed sock yarns online, ready to purchase another skein, because everyone knows that sock yarn doesn’t count. Your feet will thank you!
Julie Bailey says
I always have a pair “on the go” although after 20+ pairs I am a little ‘socked out’. They are great to to knit waiting for drs, dentists, plane travel…and they keep your feet sooo warm. I really thought I was over them…but have you seen the new Regia yarn designed by Arne and Carlos??
PS I have that book too…love it
For the merest moment my heart leapt in camaraderie – but then I realised you wanted to knit socks – crushed!
I have knitted many pairs of socks. I have knitted them two at a time so that any mistakes match. I have knitted them all the way to the heel. I have a box full of socks that have stopped progress at the heel. My favourites are a brightly smiling pair of pink and purples that got to the turning stage and stopped growing. When I look in that box I find all my missing knitting needles.
I should probably buy that book too – I might suddenly find myself with a drawer full of finished socks instead of a box full of half finished ones. That would make it the third book I have purchased on your recommendation. Do you get a commission? Maybe I should wait to see how severe your addiction becomes? I follow several blogs where all they do is knit socks – secretly I wonder what they do with all those socks ….. but that is a whole other blog post.
I have knit socks, about a dozen pair and I am not addicted. My feet are narrow with high arches and I wear out socks so quickly that I can’t wear most of the ones I’ve made and I just don’t want to keep !aking them to have to give them away.
Welcome to the club! At the moment, I’m not really working on any socks (it’s waiting for me to get around to frogging the damn thing because I forgot the beads I wanted to add…) so it is possible (after about 10 pairs or so…) to now knit them. But why wouldn’t you want to knit socks?
Stay strong! Socks really are addictive. Actually – no: do it! Do it! You will have such fun knitting them and incredible satisfaction wearing them. You can’t beat handknitted socks – like a hug for your feet.
I have a confession too. I used to knit socks. Now I never do. So I didn’t get bitten (too hard) by the bug!
Sock knitting..is my favorite knitting, my yoga knitting. You are a such an excellent knitter..you will love it, I promise;0) Love your website, have a great weekend! Johanna
soon you’ll be knitting your socks off!
Amy at love made my home says
I would love to be able to knit, specifically to be able to knit socks! I can’t knit though! I fear that if I could knit socks I would most certainly become addicted, because I am addicted to crocheting after all! xx
I have knit one pair of socks. I am contemplating knitting a second pair. And I found myself poring over sock patterns on ravelry the other day. Hmmm.
The Snail of Happiness says
I spent two years knitting nothing but socks, but I’ve got over it! You don’t have to become a sock junkie forever… honest. I’m now a crochet junkie instead!!
Completely addictive, even to a novice knitter! 🙂 Enjoy x
Katie Writes Stuff says
I think knitters fall into two, broad categories: those who love knitting socks and those who don’t. And I’m not going to lie to you – if you discover you fall into the former category then yes, you will shortly become addicted to socks. It’s so easy, though. They’re quick to knit once you have the knack and they’re so useful. Yarn companies don’t help much, either, what with going around creating amazing sock yarns in gorgeous colours or self-striping and self-patterning get-ups. It’s really not your fault.
I love to knit socks, in my truck in the morning wqiting for the kids busses to roll up to the bis stop. I will cast on for a pair of socks to give my brain a rest from lace and cables on large projects, shawls and sweaters, that feel like they may never end. I also love mu socks because i work outside and hate when my feet get cold. Enjoy making socks, they’re a great way to try new techniques.
Socks are the most favorite of my favorite things to knit. Sock knitting comforts my soul. I believe one can never have too many socks. I wear mine all the time during the winter. The Ann Budd book you show is grand. It was my first sock book too.
Ann M. says
Come to the Sock side. We have chocolate and cookies.
They are fun and easily portable and, so comfy when done.
V o n n a says
Well I must say initially I had all these very reasonable and logical buts to add however it appears the fear is to little to late. You are both already addicted and in denial. And we all know depending on the substance being abused it’s the denial that leads to trouble not necessarily the so-called “problem”. Would so not be surprised if by this time next week a pair just “happens” to appear.
I loved this post! This was my first sock book too and i always refer to it. My only problem with my handmade socks is that of my 5 pairs, I only wear two. The reason, i dont really find the others that comfortable on the soles of my feet. Pay a lot of attention to your yarn choice. Fine and soft is the way to go.
I live in fear of second sock syndrome and sock yarn addiction so I haven’t knit socks either. Every time I cast on a new project I feel the tug of the sock though.
Next step…furtive sock knitting in the loo…it’s a slippery slope on the road to sock ruin Ms Twisted.
I’ve never tried it, myself – I have an addictive personality, so it might be dangerous. One minute I’d be knitting a seemingly innocent sock in front of the TV, using clean new yarn honestly bought and paid for, and before I knew it I’d be out on the streets, robbing houses at night, sitting under a bridge knitting with yarn from unpicked cheesy socks stolen from people’s laundry baskets. I suspect it’s all too easy to end up knitting smelly ones.
It must be catching because a co-worker and I have been talking about trying socks. And we both bought the same book that you did! Good luck 🙂
Oh my goodness. Socks were the first thing I knit. But yes. They are truly an addiction. At the LYS I work at I am apparently THE sock lady. Lol
Slippery slope, I tell you! 🙂
Boy what a lot of sock knitters commented – that should tell you something. The thing I like most is their portability – I keep a pair in the car for traffic hold ups, trips to the Dr,’s office, or for when my husband is driving. It may take a while to get them finished, but it eventually happens. I’ve even been known to knit them while at a semi-social event, with the yarn in a bag on my wrist, while I walk round and talk to other people. No one seems to mind, they know my obsession. But I don’t knit them at home much – just on the run.
I am knitting my first pair as we speak. I think that the addiction is due to the quick nature they can be completed and the variety of sock yarn available. The colours and patterns are better than sweets!
Hmmmm…..I’m gazing into my crystal ball and I definitely see you knitting socks in your very near future. Heh. Heh. I too was an avowed non sock knitter until about four years ago. Yes, I had knitted slippers and even a pair of chunky wool socks to wear around the house. Bu the tiny fingering weight stuff? Not me! But now…it is one of my favorite things to knit. It hasn’t taken over my life though. My trick is to designate sock knitting as my on-the-go knitting…for waiting at doctors offices, in line to pick up kids, at soccer practices and to alleviate stress in soccer games. Maybe try that…so it doesn’t take over everything. Well, maybe.?
I have yet to successfully make myself a pair. I made a pair for A, he never wears them. I’ve made several single socks and then given up and moved onto something else. I’m using my sock yarns for mittens. One day though….
Nicky Barfoot says
There is no going back from this you know (round and round and round…….) but nothing beats a pair of hand knitted beauties keeping your toes toasty during the British winter.
Ah once you start, you are doomed. Doomed to sit with very small needles going round and round, while searching for that perfect sock yarn with the right colors ……… I found Churchmouse’s Basic Sock pattern to be my favorite since I can play around with it …… do a different heel flap, lengthen or shorten the foot …… and memorize it. After 10.5 pairs of socks ……… I join in the addiction gladly. You will too – did you see that striped sock in that book you’re holding? Ah. Perfection.
When the boys were little, I made all their socks on a knitting machine, all the same, so I didn’t have to worry about pairs, just used a different thread for casting on for each size.
Now I may knit socks by hand when I want a project that is somewhat challenging and somehow gives an ego boost.
Socks are fun. I used to knit them all the time. Then I moved to the land of eternal summer and endless humidity. Now I knit about one pair a year, just to keep my hand in.
Enjoy your sock journey.
Love it! I’ve been knitting for about 4 years & have just recently decided that I should try knitting myself some socks. It’s a happy coincidence that I happen to have some sock (type) wool left over from a shawl project that I could use to knit myself a pair.
I did knit my friend a stocking for Christmas & then immediately wanted to knit another for my son, so if that slightly manic feeling was anything to go by knitting socks could be fatal for me!
You know you will!
Socks scared me also. I found a web site called verypink.com I learned to do socks from her and she was great breaking down. I just did my first pair of socks in sock yarn and they turned out great. The original pair I did was in 8 ply so I could see what I was doing.
I did some fair isle christmas stockings which I was SO pleased with…but I have never had the desire to knit a pair of socks! Everyone else does, but not me. So you’re not alone!
The thought of knitting socks makes me instantly think of algebra at school. Neither mental image has me smiling. Just saw this and thought immediately of you…