How do you pick your sock yarn? Do you have one simple method–i.e. “I go in the store, pick out the color I know I want, then pay and leave?” Or does the yarn pick you while you are admiring patterns you hope to knit one day? Or do you only buy what is on sale in an effort to save money?

There are so many ways to pick out yarn–I know I haven’t tried them all. For example, I’ve never just closed my eyes and picked a skein, nor do I recommend anyone try this method. My first skeins of sock yarn, however, were gifted to me from a knitting paradise gift swap that was quite fun to partake in. You could say it got me started knitting socks. I received two 50 gram skeins of purple acrylic fingering weight yarn, and I couldn’t imagine any other use for them. I bought a set of double pointed needles, cast on, and began making a sock. Once I felt the 1,000 Little Hugs for My Feet, I was hooked into this journey.

ImageMy First Pair of Hand-Knit Socks

    For my next pair of socks, I had a pattern that promised to be a little less boring than 72 stitches in the round as well as a nearby yarn store. Knowing very little about sock yarn, except that you should use wool, I sought the proprietor’s assistance. I simply picked one of the recommended yarns that appealed to me in a color I liked. It worked well for this pair.

Then, I received a book on Sock Knitting and I ventured into once again to buy the lovely sock yarn I’m using currently. I chose the yarn for color and feel, not for the pattern. I’m curious to see the difference if I knit this pattern up with a solid color skein of yarn or a lower contrast yarn. Oddly enough, I think the creator used the yarn I had used on my previous pair of socks to make the Almondine pattern I’m currently working.

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Vanilla Latte Socks Using Variegated Green Wool

    As I made progress on the second sock of this pair, and had a small bonus arrive, I decided to buy yarn for my next pair of socks. I flipped through the book and picked a pattern. Then I took the book, two favorite shirts and a jacket into my local yarn store, where she helped me pick out my next pair of socks.

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The Current Sock Progress with Scamp’s Dedicated Assistance

    Now, I’m considering another line of work that requires black socks and am contemplating the idea of knitting my own white bottom black socks. I have a minimum of two reasons for doing so: 1) I love the feel of knitted socks; 2) I can control the amount of white used and where. The current white bottom socks still have a layer of black yarn making them look gray, and they fail to put any white over the toes where I wish to have the white as much as the bottom of the foot. If there is a third reason for doing so, it is that I’m simply addicted to knitting socks and can’t wait to see what other magic I can work into these socks.  Happy sock knitting!

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I look at the scrapbooker’s t-shirt with the phrase “Queen of Unfinished Projects,” and know some days that applies to me. I used to joke that I collect hobbies. I found I would start fifteen projects over four to six various interests and get none of them done. On the upside, I rarely ever utter the words, “I’m bored.” If my friends do, I can easily offer them a task. Dishes work wonders to cure boredom…but they’re not as effective as scrapbooking, quilting, sewing, stained glass work, etc… And I’m still knitting the second sock.

 

Some people have more willpower than I do. Some have more time. Some are simply more organized. I am simply mostly broke. That is how I have learned to keep my works-in-progress number under ten, I think. I have had to force myself to follow two rules: Finish one project before beginning the next and If one new thing comes in it must either have a home, or something old must go. I have stopped myself from making a number of frivolous purchases with the second rule.

ImageScamp is happiest when she is helping me take photos

For projects, I’m not so sure. I think I manage to follow this rule about fifty percent of the time. But this morning, I felt the pressure of having more than one important project going on. For the past months, I have focused on my socks and some on cooking-but a girl’s gotta eat. It was winter and I was broke. Over the past month, I came into a small amount of unexpected money and some great ideas. I don’t recall exactly what got me back into the quilting bug, it could even have been scrapbooking that did it. But I decided I would make something very special for my nieces.

The good news, I even have the fabric on hand due to having bought a fair amount when I did have extra money and knitting gift swaps. In addition, I bought a roll or two of fat-eighths I thought were on sale. Then I began to study the creature I wished to include on each quilt. They’re both different, and just in case my nieces or nephew find this blog and read it, I’d rather remain cryptic.

I studied the subjects of the quilt. I’ve picked the fabric. I’ve bought the poster board and drawn most of it out. I am now tracing pieces onto newsprint and wondering where I left off when I last ran out of newsprint. This afternoon, I pressed fabric in preparation for an hour. But what does any of this have to do with knitting, you ask? Well, it’s what has been distracting me on weekends for sometime(when I wasn’t training for my new summer job).

ImageScamp helping me photograph the “peri-scope” view of the sock

I sat in my chair with coffee and knitting this morning and knit a couple of rows up, just as I did during my prep hour in high school the other day and on breaks in second grade on friday. I have been knitting. I have eight rows of progress this week, and know that eight tiny rows are still progress, as I’m closer to done. But I still have a long ways to go. Mornings like this though, as I knit, and recall that I’ve been reading about quilting all week, leave me wanting to quilt. So, I’m not getting as much knitting done as I could be if spring socks were the option.

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I’ll take pictures if Scamp falls asleep on my feet once they’re done. I promise.


One could blame the warm weather for my lack of progress, but the truth is–in Michigan, we’re still getting enough cold days to wear the hand-knit socks. I did, to the astonishment of some of my second graders. I do love getting them started young. However, tomorrow, I will be making quilt pattern pieces, knitting some with coffee, and making homemade chicken pesto pizza with feta cheese and mozzarella cheese on top. I’m not sure days off get better than that.

“Take notes,” they said; “Take lots of notes.”  I read the words and thought them wise. “Take detailed notes,” they said. But then I began knitting. How does one take notes with two hands on their needles? Create a ‘working pattern’ and take notes, they said, you’ll need it later.

ImageWorking the Gusset

‘They’ are experienced knitters. They are those who have gone before me and while knitting sock number two, cannot recall exactly how they fixed an extra stitch on the needle when working through the gusset. Sure, I need an extra decrease, but where? It turns out ‘They’ were right.

As alluded to above, I am currently (or still) shaping the gusset of this second sock, and one side has one more stitch than the other. Both sides should have an even number of stitches. I recall having this problem previously. However, I have not written the notes on my pattern. I was hoping I mentioned this problem and how I resolved it in a previous blog. I do not see the notes on my working pattern.

 

I could simply decrease in the “knit” round one time. Once the sock is on my foot, it will be discreet, even likely unnoticeable. But sometimes, I like to keep things to keep things consistent. So, the question I would like to answer is: Did I do this extra decrease in the middle of the gusset or at the end? Or did I become impatient with two different numbers on needles 1 & 3 while counting and ‘fix’ it in the middle of reducing stitches to form the gusset.

If the notes were on my pattern, I might still have been knitting as I wrote this. However, I finally got to search my blogs previously posted about this sock, and I did not take notes that will lead me to this answer. Now, I need to search the first sock again, though the decrease either was imagined or apparently unnoticeable.

ImageScamp and Squib Modeling the already knit sock

I did not find the note I sought. As I knit, I will simply have to make a choice to live with an odd number of stitches on needles 1 & 3 until I finish the gusset or I will get impatient with it and simply knit two together in a knit round at some point along the way. In the meantime, I will take better notes, hopefully.