Sock philosophy

fall nightMaybe it’s just me, but it seems that when knitters are passionate about socks, they are also often passionate about the way they make them. For me, my ideal sock starts at the toe, conquers the heel with a slipped stitch flap that curves from the sole of the heel to the back of the heel, has a cuff at least as long as the foot, and ends in some kind of ribbing or other stitch that will keep it in an upright position. I also insist on making them both at the same time to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome that I know would be an affliction for me as I drown my senses in all of the pretty sock yarns. I don’t deviate from this formula often.fall night-4

While I would like to say that I am more experimental or trust the designer when I come across sock patterns I want to try, this way of sock knitting has been the formula my hands have been working for about 8 years now, and my brain has come to think this is the way socks are done! Really, I have a pretty high score on the Openness to Experience scale of the Big Five Personality Test, so I have to assume my stubbornness in this realm comes solely from enjoying the socks that this formula produces and wanting more of them. Plus, it’s so deeply canonized in my knitting repertoire that I feel like I could do socks with my eyes closed, and I’ve never gotten a hole in the heel of a sock for myself yet.fall night-2

Of course, I am missing out on some pretty amazing socks by being this stubborn. Many Cookie A patterns come to mind, like this one. In the meantime I usually just modify patterns with a stitch repeat to work in the formula I use. That’s just how I do socks. So, the socks pictured in this post have had a fairly predictable path if you’ve been paying attention in this post, or seen almost any other sock post of mine. I did the cuffs a bit longer than usual, mostly because I wanted to get to the larger mottled blue and white section that was the start of the toe and was my favorite bit. fall night-5I really enjoyed these socks, simple stockinette as they were, due to the patterning. This is in the first Arne and Carlos series made for Regia. I could expound for paragraphs on the joys of Regia for the bright colors that last and the socks that wear forever and ever, but that’s for another post. Suffice to say, I love this brand. So far there are at three Arne and Carlos series produced by Regia and I think the first and the third have some gems. This color is called Fall Night. I offered it up to Matt before I turned it into socks for myself. He thought they would be too girly, and since seeing them in action he’s mentioned his regrets more than once.

23 thoughts on “Sock philosophy

  1. Yes , I share your philosophy of knitting two at a time sicks, as alas I have suffered seconed sock syndrome. (Actually, at present have this going on, and canmot even get a good start on sock one, asmit is a pattern top down, with a twisted rib down one side – from a sock knit a long group I joined).
    As for Matt with his sock regrets, tell him snoozers lose! He should not have been so selective in that gorgeous colour!

  2. I’m embarrassed to say I’m still working on sock #2 one year after I completed the first one. I had better learn the two at a time method. I love that sock yarn. I also liked the Personality Test. I scored a 90 on the openness to experience, so I guess it’s fate that I open myself up to the experience of two at a time socks. Great post

  3. Love love love that yarn!!!!
    I have tried two at a time socks but knitting with DPNs works so much faster for me.
    Toe-up is my favorite way also because I can use all my yarn and be sure that my toes will be covered!
    I find though that the kf&b increases on the toe are weaker than the k2tog and ssk decreases of the cuff-down socks.
    Do you know another way for reinforcing that area?

    • I don’t use kf&b increases on the toe. I use M1R and M1L. Give them a try next time. You might like it. They would be mirrored like the ssk and k2tog decreases are when you’re going the other way. I used to be obsessed with using up every bit of yarn, but now I’m cool with some leftovers for kid socks.

    • It’s not that impressive right now. I’ve given MANY away because I decided more than 12 pairs was too much. I went Kon Mari on my sock drawer. I’m building it up again slowly.

  4. Your socks are gorgeous and I am envious that you have a go to method! It has been a dream of mine to have a go to sock pattern, but I guess that comes with experience and playing around with methods. I’m only on my second sock now from the first pair I made with dpns. But I’m trying not to let the syndrome get me! 🙂

  5. I’m the same way with sock knitting, except the exact opposite. I do one at a time, leg down, on dpns. I have the pattern memorized & know how many stitches I need for various yarn weights without having to look anything up. My way produces great fitting socks that wear well for years & years. As much as I’d like to learn to knit toe up so that I could use every last ounce of yarn, I can’t bring myself to read/learn a new pattern.

  6. I am absolutely a two-socks-at-a-time gal. I’m new to knitting (year and a half) but the socks I’ve made so far have been toe-up with one pair of top-down. Toe-up is truly my favourite. But, I’m a bit of a hypocrite I think because I’m about to start another top-down pair simply because I love the pattern and, being a neophyte, I don’t know how to reverse the process 🙂 …

    • You can do it. The cast on requires another needle to help you rearrange things. You basically cast on all the sts for the first sock and fold in half in a magic loop situation, then if you have a DPN in the same size you can cast on for the next sock and use the DPN to rearrange the sts to get everything facing the same way on the needles. You basically just need an extra needle about the same size to help with the second one.

  7. beautiful socks! Love the yarn. I think that’s the best part of being a knitter- that you can knit things however you like best, and customize not just the finished product but the whole experience. I like how diverse knitters and knitting really are. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Socks Toe Up | Häkelmonster

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