Self-striping socks, I never tire of you.

Say what? More self-striping socks? What a shock. I bought this yarn back in December, intending to make Matt another pair of socks. They’ve been hiding out on the needles, moving at a glacial pace for a few months. I keep putting them down for something more interesting, but I thought I should haul them out and make note of them so they don’t fall into a UFO (unfinished object) black hole in my closet. I don’t consider something a true UFO in hiding until it’s been stuck in a drawer for about 6 months or more without me remembering that it exists. The blog keeps me accountable.

matt opal socks

The yarn is Opal Sport in color 5103. It’s 60% wool, 15% nylon, and 25% polypropylene. The polypropylene is supposed to provide temperature and moisture control. I thought it might be a nice feature.

This time I did make the socks match. After winding the skein into two balls I only had to remove about a yard of yarn to make the repeats match up. Too easy to resist.

I knit a LOT of plain stockinette socks from the toe-up. I have so many self-striping or patterned yarns in my stash (or I go looking for them) that I usually have one or more pairs going at a time. I know there are patterns that work with variegated yarns pretty well, but I have to have some project going that I could work on without looking at all times. I’ll save the patterns for some luscious Malabrigo I have hiding in my stash.

I don’t get to the movies as often as I would like, but I try to make sure I have at least one stockinette project going in case I need to take it to the movies. Optimistic, right? Really, I will fidget like a maniac and be antsy for the end of the movie, no matter how brilliant it is, unless I am able to knit on something while I watch it. I know I’m not the only one out there that feels this way.

If you want to know the basic recipe for my stockinette socks, take any of my sock patterns, subtract the lace or cables, and knit away. My Earlybird socks on Knitty even have the heel short rows written out line-by-line, which is something I don’t typically do on my sock patterns. You can do them both at once, or one at a time. Most of my patterns are written to do both at once. The trickiest part is the heel turn and gusset pickup, where I urge you to read, and reread, and then read carefully as you knit. That’s also the most interesting part of a plain sock, in my opinion.

I really want to finish this pair or these  before I start new socks. I never used to hesitate to have four or five pairs of socks on the needles at a time, but realistically, neither pair are getting worked on because they’re too simple, they’re both for other people, and I’d rather finish up my Citron or Matt’s sweater. Casting on another pair right now won’t move these any faster. I probably need a break from vanilla socks. I think when I get myself to finish one pair, I’ll cast on some Ivy Trellis Socks. At least I’m doing these pairs two at a time, because I’d definitely be experiencing some second sock syndrome otherwise.

14 thoughts on “Self-striping socks, I never tire of you.

  1. There is something really wonderful about toe-up vanilla socks and even though I sometimes think they’re too boring to blog about, I remember that the yarn can make all the difference … as your new pair clearly shows!

  2. I am so intrigued by the polypropylene! I usually shy away from yarns with too much synthetic content, but temperature and moisture control is a real plus in socks. How does it feel?

    • Angela, it doesn’t feel great so far. It’s not bad, but Opal yarns aren’t the softest anyway and it’s slightly less soft than usual. I bet it will soften with some wash and wear.

  3. LIke you, I love to knit self-striping socks in stockinette, Opal a favorite yarn of mine. Sometimes I match ’em up other times not. Once I took a pair to work on at the movies, but turning the heel in the dark didn’t work out so well….

  4. I hear what you’re saying – I went into a local yarn shop that was new to me, had a lovely chat with the owner and just ‘happened’ to walk out with some self-striping yarn 😉

  5. I never tried toe-ups…. I should though, but I”m lazy and prefer going the way I already know 😡
    Plain socks are just perfect to bring anywhere and yours are going to be lovely! Love the matching striping

    • I also always do what I know. I’ve done toe-up so often that I don’t want to go to top-down and always try to switch the patterns around.

  6. I do the same thing! I’m just seduced by all those colours – but I rarely find good “man yarn,” and usually make my husband grey, navy and black patterned socks. That’s lovely yarn!

    • Matt is ok with some fairly wild stuff. I should make him something more professional at some point, but I’m glad he likes them crazy too.

  7. I’ve recently switched to toe up, but I’m totally intrigued by your method of knitting two at once. No second sock syndrome! Do you have any tutorials on that method???

  8. Pingback: Just another round | Spunky Wayfarer knits and bakes

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