Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thoughts on Socks

BBB is finished at last! I sewed in the last ends just before lunch time. I have posted all the details on Ravelry here and I will add photos to the blog once the recipient has tried it on. It was a bit challenging in that I had to learn some new techniques (intarsia and duplicate stitch) but I must say it exceeded my expectations and was a great way to start off the new year.

Finally..onto socks! Socks are my go-to project whenever I need a quick pick-me-up or I'm feeling anxious and stressed. They're great for grab and go knitting and never fail to entertain me. I make a lot of socks in a year...usually around 12 - 15 adult-sized pairs. When I first started making socks, I was seduced by all the fancy patterns out there. A quick search on Ravelry will net you hundreds of sock designs, most of which are free. But, after a few fancy-pants pairs, I settled into making exclusively simple, basic socks and let the yarn do all the work. I use commercial sock yarns like Regia, ONline, Trekking, etc. that self-stripe and do funky colorwork and I use the basic sock pattern from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns. I have used this pattern so much that I have it memorized and can happily knit away without thought, except to change the numbers depending on what size I'm making. The only variation I use is to continue ribbing down the back of the leg (over the back 14 stitches) until the top of the heel. This keeps the leg and ankle snug and non-saggy.

I love the predictability of knitting basic socks..I know exactly how they will turn out, I know that they will fit the recipient perfectly, I know exactly how much yarn I will have left over. For some reason, I never get bored of making them. I stray away into sweater territory for a while but I always come back for more.

This time I have cast on a pair of ONline socks for me in stripes of teals and bright lime green. When I first started making socks, I only used very conservative and co-ordinating colors. But now I find that I really like looking down at my feet and seeing bright, happy socks on them. A little bit of colorful cheer on gloomy, depressing days. K. is the same way. The first socks I knit for him had to be manly colors like dark blue, grey, or forest green. Now he is choosing yarns in interesting mixes of deep reds, oranges, greens, and even occasionally purple!

I'm sure I will knit socks in beautiful, complicated patterns from time to time. But, by far, my sock drawer is going to be full of these simple, happy pretties!

1 comment:

  1. Your sweater is FABULOUS! You did an awesome job on it! I have only knit 2 pairs of socks (on the 3rd), but I am like you - love the simple pattern and let the sock yarn do the work. I LOVE that ONline yarn of yours! I have some that is lime green, green and purple that I can't wait to see knitted up.