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!
They 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…
It’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…
I 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.
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!