It’s all about socks, baby

I started knitting socks when I was sofa-bound following a knee replacement back in 2008*: I think they offered a project that was tricky enough to retain my interest (despite a brain fogged by strong pain-killers) but not impossibly difficult to follow pattern-wise. And then I discovered the wonder that is self-striping socks yarns. I made a pair for everyone in my family that following Christmas.

I have made more than a hundred pair of socks since then – I give virtually all of them away to friends and family, usually only keeping any pairs that I’m not totally happy with. The inevitable left-overs have been memorialised in a sock yarn blanket that keeps my toes warm even if the original socks are long gone.

sock yarn blankie
The first sock yarn blanket. The second version is in progress

Why socks? Lots of reasons really, but the main ones are that it’s a great portable project and that they are quick and (after a lot of practice) easy, ideal for TV knitting.

But the yarns are lovely too: for someone like myself with a wardrobe full of navy and black, the pretty stripes and the gorgeous colour varieties are a painless way of smuggling colour into my life.

And no matter how many Christmas chocolates you ate (or pies, or chips or well, let’s not get into my dietary guilt) socks will fit. Well, once you’ve got your pattern nailed anyway.

Christmas in a sock..
Feather and Fan socks – one of my earlier projects and a lesson learnt – never tumble dry socks!

I recently joined Winwick Mum’s sock-a-long Facebook page: largely out of curiosity because I’m obviously I’m a long way from my first pair of socks. She has 3,500 knitters following that page! Which, my friends, is a lot of sock knitting! I think her tutorial is great: I would part company with her regarding the tiny circular needle that she favours, but that’s largely because my cranky old hands don’t like anything too fiddlesome these days. If you fancy giving socks a go, her website is really good place to start.

I’ve got some lovely sock yarns in the shops and all the needle variants you need, and if you hit a spot of bother with them, I’m always here to help. Cold toes? Nah, not on my watch.

*In the interests of full disclosure – I had bought a couple of balls of Regia a year or two earlier, together with some sock needles. I didn’t get further than several ragged cast-on’s and, if I remember rightly, ended up throwing the bloody things into my knitting basket with slightly more force than was required. I didn’t get them out again for a long time.

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