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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  • Reply Alina June 22, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Ok, this leaves me a hope that someday I will actually get to sock knitting! Can’t believe it’s been just a year for you – I thought you were a regular 🙂

  • Reply stephanie young June 22, 2016 at 6:35 am

    someone once told me there are about the same number of stitches in a pair of socks as in a sweater; after hearing that I vowed never to check. too depressing. like you, I ALWAYS have socks on the needles….unlike you, I’ve been knitting them well over 20 years. I’m the cartoon knitting grandma——oh, NO… she comes with more knit socks!

  • Reply Sarah June 22, 2016 at 6:58 am

    I’m still waiting for the sock but to bite me… Maybe one of these days I will decide all those tiny stitches are worth it! Haha! This pair in your pictures gets me close to wanting to cast on a pair- they’re beautiful!

  • Reply IamDWJ June 22, 2016 at 7:22 am

    I just knit my first pair of socks last month because my 15 year old godson asked for a pair. I’ve only done dk weight (for wearing around the house) but they really are their own art. I didn’t think I’d like it but I’m smitten!

  • Reply itsallaboutpurple June 22, 2016 at 7:53 am

    these are really great!! i want to learn, i lack self confidence. i struggled with fingerless gloves so i’m not so sure about socks!!!

    you’ve made such strides, in only one year!!!

  • Reply Donna Fiore June 22, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Sitting around the campfire while knitting is one of my favorite things to do! It sounds like you had a great time. And you are making some lovely socks!

  • Reply thecrazysheeplady June 22, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Am on the edge of jumping into sock knitting…but not quite ready.

  • Reply pumpkin sunrise June 22, 2016 at 9:04 am

    you knit one beautiful sock! or should I socks?? lovely and a pretty pair as well.

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life June 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you my dear. I am doing simple stockinet the for the next pair, minus ribbing at the top.

  • Reply Stefanie June 22, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Yay on another pair finished. I am dying to knit the Blueberry Waffles pattern. I’ll get to it this year. It is only this year I’m knitting more socks. I haven’t knit that many and it’s been sporadic since 2011. Knitting socks makes me happy and I love sock yarn; it’s my favorite now.

  • Reply zeta ( June 22, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I wouldn’t have guessed that you knit socks for that little time! That is amazing! This year I decided to upgrade my sock knitting. I started knitting with fingering weight yarn, 2,25-2,5mm size needles and yummy yarn. I try to have a sock on the needles at all times and I’m flirting with the idea of knitting socks for my parents,grandparents and siblings for Christmas.

  • Reply knittedblissjc June 24, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    oh my goodness, that is my fear- running out of knitting when there is still loads of time to knit! That is so wonderful that there was a little yarn shop available so you could fix that situation. AND getting another knitter on board! So amazing. I love happy endings like this. 🙂

  • Reply Casey June 30, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    There’s nothing ever wrong with selfish sock knitting! I am mainly selfish with my sock knitting, other than the one pair I knit for my husband at Christmas 🙂

  • Reply Vicky Hawes July 7, 2016 at 12:52 am

    I’ve been sock knitting for 37yrs, 1st or similar to this pattern. To anyone thinking of making them, just do it! It’s a lot easier than you think so enjoy

  • Reply Sierra July 17, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Sock knitting some of my favorite because it is so portable! I was in Europe for 4 weeks and I knit 4.5 pairs! So easy to be on the plane/train/waiting in line and knit socks!

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