Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

The sock club


I’m going to say in full and frank disclosure that what I’m going to tell you about next is not an original idea.  In fact, heaps of people are doing it, as evidenced by the number of groups dedicated to this idea on Ravelry.

The source of my inspiration is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot), who knitted her own ‘sock club’ for at least a couple of years, and still, continuously knits amazing socks.  Reading her posts on those socks made me want to knit socks at a time when socks were not part of my knitting repertoire.  And then, I did have her book, Knitting Rules! which so helpfully laid out step-by-step instructions for knitting socks.

So, about two and a half years ago, I took the plunge, pulled out her book, and used the one of the first skeins of sock yarn I ever bought to knit a pair of socks.

I haven’t looked back since.  At first, I thought I’d only ever knit plain vanilla socks.  I mean, so much happiness just from seeing the pretty hand-dyed colours appearing! So much geeky joy to be had at knitting the leg, turning the heel, knitting the foot, and shaping the toe!  But then again, one’s knitting does move on, and inevitably, I took a stab at socks with a pattern.  This was my first effort.  I still think these are the prettiest socks I’ve ever knitted!

Knotty or Knice socksThey are the Knotty or Knice socks. I might have to knit another pair, especially now that I have cabling without a cable needle down to pat.  I have worn these so much and put so many holes in them that the bottoms are now more darning than knitting.

The effect of a couple of hard-sock-yarn-buying-years became unavoidably apparent to me this week when I got out and viewed the breathtaking enormity of what is now my sock yarn collection.  I realised that I really have quite a few skeins that must be knitted.  In fact, I’ve had to make up another container for the skeins that were overflowing from the two baskets I already have of sock yarn! This is not an acceptable situation in a house where storage space is limited.

The thing about knitting is that if you don’t set goals for yourself, one can get easily distracted by all the shiny new patterns that come in front of you from magazines and on Ravelry, and before you (I) know it, one hasn’t knitted all the things one wanted to.

Therefore, Goal No.1 of 2014 is to knit my own sock club of at least one sock a month, from yarn that I already have, and patterns that I generally have (or that I might acquire in the interests of knitting pretty socks…).  This is what Stephanie did (if I recall correctly, her sentiments for starting the ‘club’ were similar to mine), and I thought it was a brilliant idea at the time.  I think it’s about time I did the same.

I spent quite a bit of time looking at and queueing sock patterns this weekend.  I have put all the patterns and yarn that I have identified into one bag…

The bag of socksIt’s the coolest bag – you can get them at Holland Road Yarn Company if you’re interested.  Amazing how it can hold a year of sock projects..!

Here’s a sneaky peek inside…

Sock contentsI ended up queueing more than 12 pairs of socks because there are so many awesome sock patterns out there!  I might even get through them, because out of interest, I looked at how many pairs I knitted this year, and I have actually knitted 12, the last being the festive socks of Christmas! Granted, many of them were plain vanilla.

Festive socks

The cat decided this photo was not complete without his feet in it. Silly boy.

To further gently develop my sock knitting abilities, I have tried to select a different designer for each month, and also different styles for each month.  They’re not the most technically difficult socks, nor do they use unusual sock construction techniques. I’m still at the stage where I like my socks to be relaxation knitting, not challenges, but I think they will be pretty and varied enough to hold my attention and desire to finish them, and possibly learn a little from the process.

Originally, the goal was to knit 12 pairs in 2014, but given the fact I did knit 12 in 2013 without noticing, I think I need to up the stakes a bit.  Not least because it will allow me to make room for more pretty sock yarn…

12 pairs of patterned socks, and four pairs of plain vanilla or self-striping should do it. That’s a 33% increase in the number of socks I plan to knit next year, if all goes well! Let us see how we fare!

Do you have a favourite sock designer?  Do share!


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

29 thoughts on “The sock club

  1. A great plan: good luck achieving your goal! I love reading your blog and I’m looking forward to seeing how things work out.

  2. Have you tried any of Wendy Johnson’s patterns? She knits socks from the toe up, and after making many pairs of cuff-down socks, I became an instant convert. No Kitchener stitch for the toe and what an easy method of turning the heel! The socks fit well and are attractive. She also incorporates lace into some of her patterns, which you seem to like. Wendy has several books, the first being Socks From the Toe Up, but she also has a website with 27 free sock patterns, as well as other items:

    • It was at the back of my mind to have a look at Wendy Johnson. I know she does lovely socks too… thanks to your recommendation, I’ve now queued a couple more! I really like how she has a square heel which I prefer (not the slanted one for a lot of other toe-up sock patterns). It will be interesting to knit these! Thank you!

  3. I love knitting socks as well!…What a great idea…..I really got into it in 2013 and knit 9 pairs….I couldn’t believe the number when I looked back….and I didn’t start until March….

    I am knitting the Opal Yarn Collection of Van Gogh colourways…and I am halfway through….4 of 8…I am using a vanilla sock pattern called “How I Make My Socks”

    by Susan B. Anderson….love that pattern….actually I love her designs……the yarn is so beautiful (based on 8 of Van Gogh’s paintings) I didn’t want to deter from the colours….In 2014 I must finish the other 4 pairs…..

    My husband tried my socks on when he went skating with our little grandson…and just loved them…so I have started a pair for him using the same pattern…..

    I knit 2 self striping yarn socks in 2013 and used Laura Linneman’s (One of the “Knit Girllls” …a great video podcast…

    pattern…..”The After Thought Heel Socks”…. …..

    Love it… makes the stripes really pop!

    I think I will follow your example and collect some of my favourite sock yarns…..and some patterns….hopefully they fit in one bag…lol….

    Thanks for the Inspiration once again,


  4. Sounds like a great idea…I have several patterns queued, but have 4 that are in the state of being right now….need to finish those first

  5. Love the yarn tote bag 🙂

  6. Sounds like a good goal, which should leave you time to knit other things too. Looking forward to seeing the pictures.

  7. Bon courage! It’s the knitters perennial challenge to reduce the stash. Socks are a major part of my stash-reducing plan for 2014. You inspired me with the Mimer and Freia socks.

    • Those two socks were very special. Oden has been added the queue, and I plan to knit it sooner rather than later. Looking forward to seeing your socks as you knit them!

  8. great idea! That is dedication for sure. I would totally knit along with you but I am hosting a harry potter sock knit along on instagram and facebook already and I’m not sure I can stick to 12 pairs in a year! I just checked my rav page…. 18 pairs of adult socks and four pairs of toddler/baby… eek!
    Looking forward to seeing the results over the coming year :O)

    • See… you knitted almost twice as many as me without even noticing either! I certainly won’t be sticking to 12 pairs – if I can do more than that it will be awesome. Have fun with the harry potter sock knit-a-long!

  9. Aha! Great minds really do think alike! This is exactly what I have been sorting out over the last few days – my own sock club knitted from stash – although I haven’t got such a beautiful bag to tuck them all into. I also ended up with a few more than twelve but our (they won’t just be socks for me) feet are really looking forward to the production line churning out a few pairs.

  10. What a great idea ! I’m looking forward to this as dont know anything about sock knitting ! Can’t wait to get the book you recommended ! I totally understand the whole geeky thing about yarn and colours ! Non – knitters just don’t seem to understand the joy associated with yarn /colour selection !

  11. wow what a great idea. I think I might join you as I have added in more sock yarn to my stash this year. Knit a pair of socks with stash, one with newly acquired.

  12. Ambitious bit I think totally doable from your part. It’ll be fun to watch.

  13. How funny you should post this! I just told my dear Kevin that I was going to be knitting at least 12 pairs this year, with a goal of 14 (for 2014). Only thing is that I have enough yarn for about 8. Yipee!!!! Sock yarn shopping for me! 😉

  14. Love your post – I just posted a photo of my sock yarn stash, as I have also accumulated too much (well not TOO much, but enough), I tend to knit/design my own socks but do branch out to other patterns when the whim takes me!

  15. I’m thinking along these same lines! The yarn harlot was my inspiration to begin knitting socks, too, and I learned from the same book. Since I have about a dozen or so socks-in-progress that I just never finished, my goals for 2014 are to finish (or frog) those and then knit 6 new pairs. I love so many of Hunter Hammersen’s sock designs so much of my list of new socks will be made up of her designs.

  16. Sounds like a fun plan ! Personally I haven’t as yet come further than to make resolutions on ‘knitting more’, but you are right, I might want to set actual goals..

  17. New Years Greetings, I am just knitting your Droplets pattern am just starting the second sock. Very happy with them. I like knitting Rachel Coopey and the challenge of Cookie A patterns.I don’t like knitting sock up patterns. I’d rather do kitchener stitch.

  18. I had Britney’s voice in my head when I read the “Knit Me Baby” bag. It sure is funny.

    And I’m looking forward to seeing what you knit for your sock club. I had considered doing a self sock club at one point. But I have found that I get way more excited about choosing a pattern and yarn just as soon as I’ve finished a pair of socks.

  19. Pingback: Socks and stashdowns | keirybeesparis

  20. I’m planning to try for 14 pairs of socks in 2014. I knit a lot of Hunter Hammersen sock patterns. I think my favorite so far has been my Chamfer pair (knit with Casbah 🙂 ). my Chrysanthemum frutescens socks are really pretty too. and I just finished the Delias eucharis socks. Those are gorgeous. 🙂 I can’t wait to see which patterns you pick this year. 🙂