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Five More Free Sock Patterns to Distract You From What You Really Should be Doing

…To be added onto the last eight free sock patterns I dug up last time…

You may find this list of free sock knitting patterns interesting if:

  1. You have realized you will never get your holiday gift knitting done in time (perhaps by 2027?), so you might as well throw in the towel now.
  2. You are NUTS (like I once was) and have ambitiously set out to knit last minute socks for holiday gifts and think you can manage this without landing yourself in the loony bin.
  3. You just like to knit socks.
  4. You, as with many knitters, suffer from cast-on-it is and like to start lots of projects (like free sock patterns) that you may or may not ever finish. Apparently you also have an endless supply of size 2 needles.
  5. The thought of paying cold, hard cash for a knitting patterns irks you to no end, considering there are boatloads of free patterns circulating the knitter-net, thank you very much.

Broken Seed Stitch Sock by Hanna Leväniemi

This is a free, top down pattern that has been circulating Ravelry for a while (publication date unspecified). The pattern notes “toe up will do as well,” if that’s your fancy. I happen to think they’re quite nice, actually.

Rye sock pattern by tincanknits

This pattern is also top down and free. It was originally published in September 2013. I just love this photo. I wish I was an octopus so I could knit lots of cute, matching socks for all my friends so we could wander around looking just like this. I mean, seriously.

Mustard Seed Socks by Kieron Pegg

This is a BRAND NEW pattern just  published this month (November 2017) and will be perfect if you want an almost-vanilla sock but can’t quite stomach only working in stockinette.

 Wonderland Socks by by Alice Bell

Originally published September 2007, this fun pattern is  perfect example of how things on the knitter-net (Internet) never die. Sometimes, they just live on and get Better and BETTER.

Pucker by General Hogbuffer

In case you really want to challenge yourself and raise some eyebrows, this one’s for you. This pattern was originally published in September 2012. There are some really fun color combinations on the pattern’s project page

Which pattern are you going to pick first?

Note photography rights and credit for images revert back to the respective designers and are shared here for positive, promotional purposes only.

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It’s All In a Pair of Socks

A new pair of socks from Andrea @ This Knitted Life

Yarn from Long Dog Yarns‘ sock kit in Jawbreaker (main color) and Midnight Affair (trim).

This is what I love about knitting: you can endure a few weeks where everything is just far enough askew from normal as to inhibit Regular Knitting and still end up with a pair of socks.

You can be too exhausted to work out the math for a new design or learn a new technique and still knit socks.

Your child, who is supposed to go to bed at 7:00, can instead go to bed at 8:30 (impeding that rare final hour of reasonable brain function), and you can still progress on a sock for that single precious hour of Adult Time.

The yarn you ordered for a new project can be All Wrong, leaving you in an insufferable conundrum as to what-to-do, but you can always fall back to the sock.

You can be social–go camping and visit with friends–and still knit a sock, even from the confines of your tent.

While I admit, a simple pair of vanilla socks wasn’t my planned knitting outcome* from the past few weeks, I will take them. They are pretty and bright. Plus they make me smile.

And no, I did not follow my own advice. (Do I ever?) I did not take these socks on a single walk. I was pretty much horizontal on the sofa for nearly every stitch.

So there, world.

Now, will someone please hand me a brownie?

*Planned knitting outcomes = one shawl, one child’s size poncho, one hat, and basically seventeen sweaters. Perhaps not realistic, but hey, AIM HIGH!

P.S. If you miss me between posts, keep your eye out for my quips of wisdom on Instagram and Facebook!

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New Weight Loss Secrets for Knitters: How Many Miles are in a Sock?

 Or, if you live in the rest of the (saner) world: how many kilometers are in a sock?

Good news knitters: you can make progress on your knitting and pursue your physical fitness goals At the Same Time!!!

These socks have been through the rounds the past several months. I started them as my “walking socks,” determined to calculate how far I would have to walk to finish the pair. In the end, they were my walking socks and more, as all socks tend to be.

They went with me to Oregon, where my grandma took them over, making respectable progress on the first. (I was touched by the outpouring of awesome comments on my Instagram post, perhaps my photo with the highest level of engagement of all time. Ya’all are suckers for old ladies knitting.)

And, of course, they went with to the river on more than one occasion.

There were also rounds I snuck in during those little blips of waiting that make knitting socks so worthwhile: long waits in road construction, the doctor’s office, and during Bathtime Supervision in the bathroom (Reed has been a wee bit overly splashy lately, apparently in an attempt to convert the tub into a floating houseboat.)

Mostly, however, these were my walking socks. I would set out alone, catch up on phone calls or a podcast, walk, and knit. Like all knitting projects, these socks kept me company during some hard walks and gloriously sunny, couldn’t-be-happier strolls.

For some time now, I have used my small Go Knit Pouch and STILL love it. It goes around my wrist and can even hold my car key since my yoga capris are all pocket-less. I used stitch markers to keep track of how much I knit on each walk and the free Map my Run app (there are many similar versions available) to keep track of my distance and time.

When walking, I only worked on the simple stockinette sections of the sock. No heels. No toe decreases. Just around and around and around. (I saved the trickier bits for when I was sitting at the river and am proud to say I CAN participate in a conversation and turn a heal without screwing up too badly.)

On average, I knit one inch per mile (2.54 centimeters per 1.6 kilometers) over the course of a 20-minute mile on even, mostly flat ground. I do walk a bit slower when I knit and walk compared to if I was just cruising, but I covered some good distances all the same.

I usually work my socks eight inches to the heel, and then another five and a half stitches until it’s time to decrease for the toe. (I have small feet). Accounting for the ribbing at the top of the sock, that’s about 12 ½ inches of walkable stockinette knitting (nearly 32 centimeters).

Decreases your gussets while walking if you dare. I did and lived to tell the tale!

If I had ONLY knitted these socks (excluding casting on, ribbing, heels, and toes) while knitting, I would have walked 12.5 miles per sock (24 miles per pair). That’s eight hours of walking for a pair of socks. Walking burns 120 to 140 calories per hour, for the average person at a moderate pace. My sock-walking thus earned me about 1,000 calories, which converts to two or three brownies.

I wish I could say walking and knitting these socks resulted in a slimmer, toner me.

They didn’t.

Apparently I overcompensated on the brownies.

But I KNOW the potential is there.

So, if you are time limited like me and forever faced with that tragic dilemma of choosing between relaxing with your knitting and getting out to move your body—well, you don’t have to make that hard decision after all. Do both.

Your body and mind will thank you.

Even if your pants are still too tight the next morning.

*Yarn for these socks was a random Etsy purchase in support of my commitment to supporting Indie Yarn Dyers this year (and always) from the Iria Yarn Company in their Great Pumpkin Colorway.

P.S. If you miss me between posts, keep your eye out for my quips of wisdom on Instagram and Facebook!

Welcome knitters itching to try walking and knitting socks at the same time. It CAN be done, and YOU can do it. Satisfy your knitting and exercise ambitious AT THE SAME TIME! Read all about it here. I have all the stats ready for you.

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Knitting on a Plane

If I had my druthers between being a Traveler and being a non-Traveler, I’d choose traveler.

I like going places, even if I have been there before but especially if I’m going someplace new. I don’t always get to travel. It’s a pricey affair these days and time is scarce.

Someday.

I spent quite a bit of time in airports and on planes this past week, and I managed to finish up these simple stockinette socks. No pattern. I just cast on a went for it. (I don’t know if it’s possible to get those Crazy Zauberballs to match, but I wasn’t going to waste my time trying.)

Boring ol' stockinette airplane socks over at This Knitted Life.

At some point as I knit away on one of my flights, it struck me how far I’d come with my plane knitting since its first occurrence. I remember it well. It was January 1998. My friend’s mom had just retaught me the basics of knitting, long since forgotten since my grandma’s first lessons years earlier during childhood. I was in college and about to embark on a long flight from Oregon to New York City, followed by a second long flight to Oaxaca, Mexico for a language course.

I was crisscrossing North America with my cheap yarn.

I stayed up most of the night before that first flight, in front of my childhood fireplace, fiddling with the stitches. Casting on. Knitting a few rows. Scrapping the whole thing in frustration. Starting over.

Again and again I did this. I just couldn’t put it down.

(This was so long ago that I hadn’t yet discovered problems like this could easily be resolved with a good glass of wine.)

Somehow on my first flight, I recall putting aside my mistake-ridden knitting long enough to grab a bit of sleep before again picking up my yarn (surely acrylic? I don’t even recall the color…brown, I think) for another long stint of frustrated, ugly stitching in a haze of exhaustion and sleeplessness.

And that’s how I got to Oaxaca. One imperfect stitch after another.

That was nearly 20 years ago, and I still love to knit on planes. I glance at all the other passengers, watching movies and playing games on their devices*. They’re just killing time, and I guess I am too. Although I am spending my time more pleasantly immersed in a hobby of mine, making something. Or at least that’s what I like to think. I want to whisper to my plane-mates: learn to knit…you’d be happier for it! I feel kind of bad they’re missing out.

Boring ol' stockinette airplane socks over at This Knitted Life.

It was later on that same trip to Oaxaca that I REALLY was taught knitting again by my Oaxacan buddy. She taught me in Spanish, and for years afterward I thought of knitting in punto or derecho before again learning the art in English. It was just the first of my many knitting adventures in Mexico.

Boring ol' stockinette airplane socks over at This Knitted Life.

These socks have already brightened my greying days. I love their colors. I only wish I somehow could have crossed paths with the Yarn Harlot, who I later realized was in the San Francisco airport the same day I was. Granted, I was dashing through between flights in an overly dramatic Hold My Flight!  fashion with mere moments to spare. But you never know. I would have asked her to sign my sock.

Some flights are worth missing.

*I need not remind you there was no such thing as a device in 1998. You either brought a paper back or the early version of a laptop, or you were mindnumbingly bored out of your mind.

I hope to see you over at the Yarn Along today. I’m currently absorbed in Today Will Be Differentand have enjoyed it greatly so far.

*Affiliate links. Thank you for your support! 

**If you are a newer reader and  a Ravelry user, please note I have a Ravelry group here. Stop on by and join the fun! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest if you just can’t get enough.

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8 Must-See Absolutely Free Sock Knitting Patterns

Eight free and totally killer must see sock knitting patterns curated by This Knitted Life

I have had socks on my brain this week. I don’t know what this says about me. Maybe that my feet are cold?

I’ve been perusing Etsy and other sites for sock yarn when I have no time or business doing so. I’ve even sourced Size 1 (2.25 mm) needles with trial intentions of letting go of my Size 2 (2.75 mm) technique and seeing what comes my way.

Daring, I know.

It’s getting wild and woolly over here.

I’m sharing some free sock knitting patterns today. I’ve downloaded and read all of these patterns, and they pass the Respectable Pattern test. I feel confident sharing them here. All photo credits go to the designers (photos are linked back to the pattern’s Ravelry page).

Enjoy!

Strands of Gold by Linda Garland

This is a new pattern, just published on Ravelry last month. I want to knit this pattern because it’s toe up (which I haven’t tried yet) AND includes a short row heel, so there’s no need to pick up stitches (my least favorite part of sock knitting). Well done, Linda. This pattern’s in my queue for sure!

Photo credit to Linda Garland
Photo credit to Linda Garland

Miss Lemons by Heidi Alander

Miss Lemons is another newer sock pattern, published in May 2016. This pattern calls for top down construction with a grafted toe over a 60-stitch circumference. I think this will be perfect for my new Size 1 needles. I’ve been favoring 52 stitches on Size 2 needles, and this will be a good transition, mathematically. The base stitch is lacy but nothing too impossible. And I love this lemon yellow color! My soul warms just looking at these socks.

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Photo Credit to Heidi Alander

Buttonjar’s Basic Sock by Julie Cashin

Julie’s sock pattern is also newer, published on Ravelry in June 2016. This pattern also calls for casting on 60 stitches with top down construction and a grafted toe. This is a simple pattern, which I favor for speedy socks. The upper sock is ribbed, but the foot is all stockinette.

Photo credit to Julie Cashin
Photo credit to Julie Cashin

Vanilla with Sprinkles by Jenna Krupar

Jenna has written up a very basic sock recipe. Her pattern is also top down with a grafted toe. My favorite part is that the pattern includes cast on options for small, medium and large sizes (52-60 stitches), so you don’t have to do any math regardless of your size requirements! I think all the Super Duper gorgeous and fun sock yarn available these days makes simple all-stockinette socks more than satisfying. Knit on! This would be a perfect starter sock pattern for the new sock knitter.

Photo credit to Jenna Krupar
Photo credit to Jenna Krupar

Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder

I know Hermione’s is a staple sock pattern favored by many. I’ve only knit it once for my Man Socks. The pattern calls for 64 stitches on size 1 needles with top down construction and a grafted toe. I used size 2 needles with Madelinetosh Tosh Sock and found the socks were suitable for big feet.

Photo credit to Erica Lueder
Photo credit to Erica Lueder

Blueberry Waffle Socks by Sandy Turner

I’ve knit this pattern four times! It was my staple for a long time. I like it because the math is based on casting on 52 stitches, which fits me well. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn, but I used fingering weight sock yarn with perfect results.  The design is based on top down construction with a grafted toe.

Photo credit to Sandy Turner
Photo credit to Sandy Turner

A Nice Ribbed Sock by Glenna C.

I would be remiss not to mention this pattern because I used it for my first ever pair of socks, inspired by Glenna and her lovely blog. The design is based on a 64-stitch circumference and also includes top down construction and a grafted toe. I had to convert the math to 52 stitches to fit my feet, but that wasn’t the end of the world. I would recommend using this pattern (without adjustment) for man socks or big feet socks.

Photo credit to Glenna C.
Photo credit to Glenna C.

Pixel Stitch Socks by Purl Soho

I’ve had this pattern on my radar for far too long now. THESE SOCKS ARE GORGEOUS. This design is a bit unusual (for me) in that it calls for toe up with a provisional cast on that is grafted in the end. The pattern provides math for three difference sizes  (thank you!), the smallest of which is 60 st circumference. Two different skeins of yarn are required, but the outcome is oh so pretty! This pattern also includes a short row heel, which has a lot of appeal to me. I hate picking up stitches. Purl Soho always comes up with cool, appealing patterns, and this sock pattern is no exception.

Photo credit to Purl Soho
Photo credit to Purl Soho

I look forward to seeing you at the Yarn Along. I started reading Today Will Be Different* the other night and CANNOT put it down. This novel is written by Maria Semple, who also wrote Where Did You Go Bernadette*, my favorite book (so far) this past year. 

*Affiliate links. Thank you for your support! 

**If you are a newer reader and  a Ravelry user, please note I have a Ravelry group here. Stop on by and join the fun! You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest if you just can’t get enough.

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The Secret to Super Speedy (and easy) Sock Knitting

The secret to knitting super speedy (and easy) socks. Almost everything you need to know to fill up that sock drawer, pronto.

I hereby announce I have solved all your problems.

Okay. Revised. I hereby announce I have solved all your sock-knitting problems.

Double okay. That also might be an over statement. But I’m trying, okay?

To be completely up front, I’ve barely been knitting socks for a year, which might technically mean I’m not even a “sock knitter.” That said, since casting on my very first pair, I now ALWAYS have a pair of socks on my needles, and I’ve gained some insight.

For those of you stitching away toward Operation Sock Drawer-type sock knitting enthusiasm, the following unsolicited tidbits are thus offered as my words of wisdom on the matter. Take it or leave it. I love you either way.

Simple knit man socks in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Whiskey Barrel colorway. Quick and easy beginner sock pattern!

(These socks are fresh off my needles, constituting my second pair of Man Socks knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock’s Whiskey Barrel colorway. I quite like the color for being boring brown. They are just plain ol’ ribbed in no particular pattern.)

Use Pointy, Metal-Tipped Needles

Until recently, I knit my socks using the magic loop method on Size 2 (US)/2.75 mm bamboo-tipped Hiya Hiya needles. As far as bamboo needles go, I’d say these are on the pointier side of the spectrum for a wooden-tipped needle. However…I went through two pairs this year alone due to breakages (I would argue once wasn’t my fault and the second time was definitely my fault) and, weary of buying not-inexpensive needles multiple times per year, switched to using my metal-tipped ChiaoGoo needles* instead.

Holy crap.

I thought I had been cruising along at warp speed with the Hiya Hiya’s. Nope. I had been limping along on the Santa Maria and didn’t even know it. Now that I’m working with sharp, metal-tipped needles, my sock knitting is progressing at Mock Speed.

Seriously.

So, if you are a sock knitter and have been dedicated to working with wooden-tipped needles (even if they seem sharp), just try using a metal-tipped needle, whether you are using DPN or the magic loop.

Trust me on this one.

Knit Plain Ol’ Vanilla Stockinette Socks

I know there are five zillion and one gorgeous sock patterns floating out in the universe, many of them enticing and tempting and all that wonderful socky goodness.

Fine.

Personally, I feel like my socks are hidden in some sort of shoe half the time and no one will notice my hard work on some fancy pancy stitch pattern. I’d rather save the complicated stuff for a shawl or something that might actually see the light of day.

As far as sock patterns go, I’ve stuck to simple stuff over the past year: ribbed, Hermione’s Every Day Sock, and numerous pairs of Blueberry Waffle socks. They were all free and easy patterns, suitable for a novice. Top down. One at a time. Nothing too complicated.

It wasn’t until I knit my first pair of straight-up stockinette socks that I realized how QUICKLY knitting a pair of socks could go. It’s like I blinked and they were (both!) off the needles.

After knitting many pairs of gifting socks (which I learned I prefer to do ribbed so I can fret less about the fit) and am focusing on knitting socks JUST FOR ME, I am just doing stockinette socks for the time being. All the pretty gradient, self-patterning, and self-striping yarns make them interesting and beautiful and I don’t feel like I am losing out by not working from a pretty sock pattern.

Walk and Knit

The other benefit of knitting simple ol’ stockinette socks is that it is much easier to walk and knit at the same time. I’ve tried walking and knitting with ribbed socks and it’s achievable…but walking and knitting with stockinette socks is much EASIER.

If you are anything like me (e.g., prioritize knitting over exercise and just about anything else) and also perpetually failing to achieve a higher state of desired personal physical fitness, let me suggest taking your socks on a walk during mild temperatures (my fingers get too cold during the winter to make this possible). I keep my socks in my Go-Knit* pouch and have made great knitting strides, although my waste band begs to differ.

Would you like another M&M?

Take Your Socks Absolutely Everywhere

Don’t just walk with your socks. Take them everywhere. I admit I have developed a sort of neurosis about leaving the house without my knitting. I barely ever do it. As luck would have it, as soon as I go somewhere without a knitting project I of course end up with an hour to kill that I otherwise COULD HAVE spent knitting.

The worst.

So, the socks always go. They are small and uncomplicated and travel well. Road construction with lengthy delays? Knit socks. Waiting for an appointment? Knit socks. Inadvertently find yourself at a bar drinking a bloody mary? Knit socks. Someone else is driving and your are the passenger? DEFINITELY knit socks.

All those random rounds add up and, BAM, you have a sock.

Some neuroses pay off more than others.

Set a Daily Goal

I have been coaching a knitting friend through her first pair of socks. I can’t say we’ve made a ton of progress, but this is what I told her: just knit eight rounds every night. That’s about an inch (2.54 cm). After a week or so of that, you’re ready to turn a heel. DOUBLE BAM. Eight rounds is NOTHING. You probably spend more time than that thoughtlessly scrolling through Facebook.

Knit your eight rounds (or whatever goal you otherwise set yourself), and you can thank me later.

Knit Smaller Socks

I’ve noticed socks commonly come in patterns based off 64 stitches. For me, working on Size 2 US/2.75 mm needles, 64 stitches comes out WAY too big. I use 64 stitches for Man Socks only, or women I know to have particularly thick feet and ankles.

When knitting socks for myself or averaged-footed ladies to gift, I go with patterns that use only 52 stitches for a better fit. Fewer stitches=smaller socks. Smaller socks=less time.

If you need to knit a gift for a man in your life, consider a hat instead. In worsted weight. Save the sock knitting for smaller feet.

Sock On!

That’s all I’ve got, knitters (for now). I’ll be thinking good socky thoughts for you and your soon-to-be cozy feet. Happy knitting!

 *Affiliate links. Thanks for your support. xoxo

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The Camping Socks

The camping socks are done. They’ve been everywhere. The ocean. The river. The lake. All pretty places. A lot of memories for one pair of socks over the course of the past month.

They were a surprise, really. Not on my sock-knitting agenda, at least not until I ran out of yarn and had to make a spontaneous purchase: Queensland Australia sock yarn. It was the color palette that grabbed me. (I wasn’t entirely pleased with the unblended color transition after picking up stitches post-heel turn, but such is life.)

DSC_0169

This is my first pair of simple stockinette socks. A bit of ribbing at the top and then KNIT KNIT KNIT. They were a quick project as a result. I used a combination of Hermione’s Everyday Sock and Blueberry Waffles for the heel (both free patterns). I rather like stockinette sock knitting and just might do it again sometime soon. Translation: I will ABSOLUTELY be doing this again ASAP.

It’s forecast to break 100°F (37.8°C) here later this week, so I don’t think I will be wearing the new socks for a while. They will, however, be a nice treat come fall.

DSC_0171

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along and reading the last novel of the Neapolitan Series (The Story of the Lost Child). I also just started The Nest, an e-book from the library. (Not affiliate links…)

DSC_0172

*Prize yarn for the Olympic Knit-Along is in the mail! I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can share it along with all the details. Keep practicing (knit, knit, and knit some more!) and be sure to join the group for This Knitted Life group on Ravelry so you can be part of the fun and win some good stuff.

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Back On the Road (With Socks, Part II)

DSC_0059

I’m home. Barely. Just long enough to wash away all the grime from last weekend’s adventures (no one got sick or injured and it didn’t rain, so it’s a win in my book…) and pack everything back up for the next jaunt tomorrow, assuming I manage to get the peaches canned before dawn (ours trees decided to ripen rather inconveniently this year).

We’re heading to Lassen National Park for a few nights. Other than a blurry childhood memory, I’ve never been.

I’m looking forward to some fresh adventures. If I catch Reed early enough in the morning when he’s still fresh, I might get lucky and get a “hike” in too! Three is that tricky age when they’re too heavy to carry and too young to do the distance on their own.

I see fishing in our future.

I lucked out last weekend. That is, I didn’t run out of yarn, and my needles didn’t break. There was no knitting tragedy. This leaves me incredibly paranoid for the future. Things can only go smoothly for so long.

Then you hit a bump.

Thus, I am all the more prepared. The simple stockinette socks are packed, and I am determined to finish them. There’s just 3/4 of a sock to go. (I am, however, driving, so there’s eight hours -round trip- of knitting time down the drain. But I’m trying to focus on the bright side.)

I also have two back-up projects packed. Just in case.

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Better Prepared This Time


I would like to think I learned my lesson the last time I went camping and ran out of knitting projects. You see, that time, I got lucky. I knew there was a yarn store awaiting my patronage in Mendocino. I had Googled ahead. This information must have been filed away somewhere in the back of my head when I elected not to inspect my sock project prior to departure.

I knew there was a Plan B.

This time, there is no Plan B. We are heading to the super duper middle of nowhere* where there is nothing, should one be in need. No place to buy salt. Or butter. Or tin foil. Or any of those things you invariably forget to pack and can’t scurry off and buy at some random somewhere, at double the price no less. And CERTAINLY there is no back-up yarn store.

Thus, careful packing is in order.

I have wound a second skein of sock yarn…Both because the first skein might run short and I haven’t decided how hard I am going to try to ensure the gradients of both socks match exactly (two skeins might make that easier…). I have considered packing a scale so I can weigh both the first sock once it’s finished and the balance of the first skein to see if the second skein is even needed, but that might defy the whole concept of “roughing it.”**

I thought I would be Super Clever and pack up a second set of needles, recalling that this happened once. I went rummaging into the closet, only to realize (aghast!) that I don’t have a second set of size 2 needles suitable for sock knitting, not even of the double-pointed variety (which I was SURE I had…apparently the ones I was thinking of are size 3. Hurumph!). Now I am suffering from this insurmountable anxiety that OF COURSE my needles will surely break in some sort of horrific yet freak accident that couldn’t possibly have been predicted or avoided.***

Otherwise, I’m all set on the knitting packing front. Assuming I don’t forget to load it all into the truck. Which could happen.

But I hope not.

*The Smith River, which is gorgeous. Add it to your bucket list of desinations to visit someday if pretty, unspoiled places are your type of thing.

**Philosophical knitting question to ponder: If one is camping and “roughing it,” must one’s knitting also “rough it?”

***Don’t worry, I will pack extra wine to counteract the above referenced increase in anxiety.

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My First Year of Knitting Socks

One knitter reflects on her first year of knitting socks and all the joy (and cozy feet) it brought into her life.

It has been nearly a year since I cast on my first ever pair of socks. After twenty years of knitting all things except socks, what a joyous discovery this was! Over the past 11 months, I have knit one pair of Glenna’s basic ribbed socks (a great beginner pattern, should you be feeling the itch), four pairs of Blueberry Waffle socks, two pairs of toddler socks for Reed (one of which I promptly shrunk in the dryer), a pair of Man Socks (disliked the color, fretted over the size, but loved the pattern), and my recent accomplishment: this basic ribbed pair to gift. They might be a little long in the toe. Because nothing I knit is ever quite right. One knitter reflects on her first year of knitting socks. This pair: a basic rib.

Now, sock knitting, I have discovered, is a whole genre of art unto itself. (Andi recently published a three-part series dedicated to the art.) For me, sock knitting has become my perpetual side-knitting project. I always have a pair on the needles. I have learned to walk with them and knit, I travel with them in the car on road trips, and I will sneak in a handful of rows here and there while Reed happily plays nearby. They seemingly knit themselves in those little spaces of time that were never filled before.

Of all the socks I knit over the past year, only two have been for me. The rest have been gifted. I nearly gave myself a stroke trying to knit gift socks last Christmas. Never again.

I have one more pair of gifted socks to knit, to be fair about it all in the scheme of family distribution. After that, I am only knitting socks for me. I think. A lot of tiny stitches go into a pair of socks, and I am starting to feel a bit selfish about it. I want them all for myself. One knitter reflects on her first year of knitting socks. This pair: a basic rib.

We were camping this past weekend and I found myself in the jaw dropping situation of having not packed enough knitting. Usually I pack way too much, but I was trying to be realistic and it backfired. Poor planning on my part. I had neglected to inspect my sock progress before leaving and had misjudged how little I had left. Good news: you can find a yarn store with sock yarn almost anywhere, and I have decided that the Mendocino Yarn Shop is the smallest yet quirkiest shop with the most stunning view of all yarn suppliers everywhere. Now I am the proud owner of two skeins of new-to-me Australian Queensland Collection Rainbow Beach sock yarn. A happy ending to a sordid tale.

One knitter reflects on her first year of knitting socks. This pair: a basic rib.

In a day’s time, I went from no knitting to inspiring my knitting-camping-friend to casting on her first pair of socks alongside me. There we were, basking on the sunny beach, and later the sitting next to the campfire, our needles lit with flashlights while everyone else slept, working on our socks and chatting the way girlfriends do.

And you just can’t get any better than that.

Joining the Yarn Along and still reading Mink River, taking my time to enjoy every literary sentence.

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The Man Socks Are Done!

Don’t miss out. Win a skein of Quince Sparrow. See details here

Knitting socks for men can be tricky. But doable. Get some tips here.
The Man Socks are done. Off the needles. Gifted. Slightly big for the recipient, I think. But all is well. They are done.

Now I know.

All future socks knit for ambiguous foot sizes, regardless of gender, will be knit using a simple ribbed pattern. Much more forgiving. Ribbing will squeeze when knit too large and stretch when knit too small.

Less stress. Man socks! Hermione's Every Day socks. Free pattern on Ravelry. Show in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Plaid Blanket colorway.

These were knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Plaid Blanket. This would be lesson Numere Uno in the hazards of buying random colorways online. Sometimes you don’t know what you are going to get.

For example, this colorway strikes me as a bit on the pukey end of the color spectrum.

Suitable for socks? Yes.

Looks more appealing when not in zoom view? Definitely?

Neutral and wearable? Yes.

But pukey.Man socks. Hermione's Every Day sock pattern. Free on Ravelry. Knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Plaid Blanket colorway.Off I go to cast on the next pair. They are blue. And not so pukey. Because they are for a woman, who, by and large (but not exclusively), enjoy knitting socks in prettier colors.

Pink. Blue. Pretty.

Man socks! Hermione's Every Day socks. Free pattern on Ravelry. Show in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Plaid Blanket colorway.

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Love Your Toddler with Socks

Simple ribbed toddler socks.

Somewhere between wearing these simple ribbed socks for the first time to take these photos and washing these (so beautiful!) new socks for the first time, one of Reed’s toddler socks made its way into the dryer. (I think the zipper on the laundry bag wasn’t quite shut.)

Now I have one toddler sock and one newborn sock. It didn’t felt, but it did shrink. A lot.

I suppose I now have no choice but to shrink the other sock (hopefully it will come out the same?) and regift to someone with a baby. Preferably someone with a baby who knits and will appreciate just what it means to have a pair of hand knit toddler socks. (I think I have someone in mind…)

Whoops.

Ribbed toddler socks

I fully admit that this photo shoot required bribery involving one “organic” lollipop. Before noon. I think this may seem equally scandalous as drinking before noon (mimosas and bloody marys are exempt, of course).

I used my leftover yarn from my Blueberry Waffles #2 socks and modified this free pattern that I used for Reed’s first pair of toddler socks by maintaining a 2 x 2 ribbing down the entire sock, hoping I would proudly be able to boast that I discovered the secret to hand knit toddler socks that do not slip down around busy ankles.

Knitting mothers everywhere would applaud with a joy never yet seen in the knitting universe.

In my mind, it made perfect sense that the tighter circumference resulting from the ribbing would grip his leg better. I don’t know why things always make more sense in my mind and less sense in Real Life.

Fail.

While the slipping was reduced, I did notice (on their one and only wear) that they still slid down his toddler legs.

Ribbed toddler socks.

Reed and I spend an inordinate amount of time in the car each week, commuting from the Middle of Nowhere to work and preschool two or three days each week. This past week, I endured a solid hour of interrogation surrounding Why Did the Dinosaurs Go Extinct? (And the way he pronounces “extinct” is so adorable that it makes you want to have fifty more kids!) I patiently explained, time after time, how no one really knows for sure…scientists hypothesize an asteroid may have hit the earth…so much dust…no sun…cold…no food…and all the dinosaurs went to sleep and never woke up. My detail was so precise (and so repetitive) that I went hoarse. But why? Over and over again. I explained the whole dinosaurs extinction business so many times that I was forced to ponder this dominant hypothesis of sorts, my own mind finding the whole theory more and more ridiculous sounding and seemingly impossible with each rendition.

Ribbed toddler socks.

Whenever I finish a knitting project in the wee hours of the night, I always leave my yarn scraps out for Reed to discover in the morning. He loves them! He will come upon bits of yarn on the coffee table or sofa with sheer delight. For me? And he then proceeds to play with these strings of yarn like a little kitten. He fishes with them. He uses them as foundations for his ever-intricate Monster Traps. He ties the dog up (poor dog). He tucks them in his pocket like a little treasure, and I find them again when I put away the laundry, jumbled up with all the clean clothes.

Ribbed toddler socks.

I love this kid. I hope he wants to learn to knit someday (soon?!?). In the meantime, at least we had matching socks for one morning. It was worth it.