I’m Not a Sock Knitter

As a knitter myself, I must confess I don’t understand the urge others I know have to use beautiful yarn on feet, where the bright colours will be mostly tucked away. Plus, I’d never get to wear regular sock weight yarn in London winters, so what’s the point?

Having said this, here’s the socks I’ve knitted this Summer. I was so suddenly and utterly grabbed by this urge to knit socks, I just had to make more socks. I managed to create these in about a month-and-a-half.

It all begun when I had all this yarn leftover from my shawl. The colours were just too pretty to stay in my stash, they had to be something. I knew I didn’t have enough for much else, so socks popped into my mind. I thought that would be the end of the sock frenzy, but apparently, not.

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I believe this was the next pair. This was another bit of sock yarn I had on my stash, and since I loved this mustard yellow, I just had to turn it into something – again, since I didn’t have enough yarn for anything else, it had to be socks.

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I believe I had already knitted another pair of socks in this same yellow colour a good few months ago, although I can’t be sure (they’re missing). However, I did knit some blue socks, and when I saw the remaining blue yarn, that (un)familiar itch to make socks struck me again. Here’s the “new” pair with the “old” one.

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Now I was on a mission – I had to finish that sock yarn! Along came yet another pair, this time striped so I could use up all those bits I have left. This time I used the yarn I had for a pair I’d made last year (my second pair, I believe) along with the ubiquitous yellow yarn. Having small feet, it seems, lends to lots of socks!

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Surely I was done. Surely!

Nope. There was still some yarn leftover! My last pair of socks, also stripey, but with a shorter cuff to make sure I didn’t run out of yarn at the last moment.

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I did run out of yarn – the grey one I use for toes and heels. Not the other colours, there’s still a little bit left! Will I make another pair of Frankenstein socks?… Only time will tell. For now, the urge is gone, thankfully, for I rather thought this was the first sign I was going mad for sure, knitting objects I’m not particularly fond of – first socks, then what, blanket squares?!

And, as a final thought, the whole knitter’s cycle of madness: I still desperately want to finish all that sock yarn, but I bought new grey yarn for the toes and heels; now of course I want to use that all up! Ah, well.

So, let me know: are you fond of knitting socks, and why? What draws you to it, or not? Let me know!

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43 responses to “I’m Not a Sock Knitter

    • The thing is, Ruth, I’m still baffled by why socks are so exciting to knitters! I must write a hundred times: I’m not a sock knitter, I’m not a sock knitter, I’m not a sock knitter 😀

  1. Your socks look marverlous! I really like you idea of having a designated color for heels and toes, it makes for an awesome signature 🙂
    What pattern are you using? I just started knitting socks and I’d like to try that next if that’s okay.

    • Thanks, Maggie! This idea for heels and toes started because I wanted to have enough yarn in one skein for two pairs of socks, and it works for my size feet 😀 Now I just can’t imagine knitting socks without it!

      I’m not really using any pattern, it’s a simple toe-up, afterthought heel sock, started with Magic Cast-On, knitted until desired length and with scrap yarn where the heel will be, and that’s basically it 🙂 Let me know if you need a more thorough explanation!

      • I can’t imagine your socks any other way either- in fact I think I might do the same, but I’ll be sure to pick another color 🙂
        I’ve been wanting to try an after thought heel, maybe I can find a cuff down version to try first, though I’d be fine trying out a toe-up sock as well. This is so exciting!!! I will might ask more questions once I get done with the pair I’m on now.

  2. I’m eyeing a neon yellow for my next contrast colours 😀 I wear black 98% of the time, so I maintain this whole sock business is madness to me!
    Cuff-down also works, yes! Yay, more socks in this world! 😀

  3. How can you not love knitted socks?! Oh, well, yes… You don’t live in Northern Sweden. 😉 Here we treasure them through the long dark winter… My family would be over-joyed if I knitted socks instead of making “less practically useful felted stuff”. Especially wounderfully colourful and striped ones like yours! I absolutely love them!

    • Thanks, Zara! Haha, you could felt your father a pair of socks 😉 Are the socks in Sweden thin like these, or thicker? I’m thinking of knitting heavier weight ones, for the winter here – I’m sure it’s not as cold as in your corner of the world, but my feet still freeze!

      • I do felt inner-soles for shoes and slippers, so the family does have some use of me. 😉 Thinner socks are great to wear in shoes, the thicker ones in boots. My mother knitts socks for my children at least. And I am sure you have good use of socks in England. We have a drier climate and generally warmer (more insulated and heated) houses. That makes colder outdoor temperatures more bearable.

  4. Your socks look wonderful! How are you not fond of wearing them? They must feel great on your feet. I do admit that I do live in the North Eastern United States, but it gets plenty cold here in the winter.

    I do love knitting and wearing my hand knit socks and so does everyone that I make them for. Currently I am knitting a commission of six socks for my Aunt. She loves her socks and she is thrilled about having one for each pair of the year.

    Maybe you should try making some socks with cables. Then they will be warmer or you could just start making some stripey fingerless mittens to go with your wonderful stripy socks. Then you will match! Either way, happy knitting.

    • Thank you! I do rather like my socks, I just can’t wear them in Winter because they’re not warm enough… and sometimes they’re prickly if it’s too hot – so I need that Goldilocks temperature to wear them, which isn’t often 😉
      As for cabled socks, I think I might wait to have a relative as nice as you to make them for me, since for now I only like mindless knitting like vanilla socks 😁

  5. I’ve mostly avoided knitting socks. My first attempt many years ago resulted in a cute pair of socks for a child… I was trying to knit them for me. Recently, I’ve been bitten by the sock bug and am working on a pair. I also seem to gravitate to sock yarn every time I enter a yarn store. I can’t wait to lay all my knit socks together like you have done. Love them! You picked fabulous colors.

    • Thanks, Verónica! That sock yarn is just too nice to pass, isn’t it? I bought some when I went to Berlin this Spring, and love the colours so much I just can’t bear to have them on my feet…
      Hah, I think the reason I’m just “neutral” when it comes to sock knitting is that my first attempt went really well, by sheer luck, and so I just have to repeat what I’ve done to get a good result. I hope your socks go well! Did you give the other pair to a child? It’s still a good present, I’d say 😃

  6. Your socks are all fabulous, but I particularly like the yellow with blue-green stripes 🙂 I guess you’re kind of hooked now? If it’s cold enough for socks, I like to wear hand-knitted ones. If you wear them with T-bar shoes, they’re not hidden away. Otherwise they add a nice splash to an all black outfit!

    • Thanks! I don’t this I’m hooked at all, I really believe this has to do with having half skeins in my stash and knowing knitting socks will get rid of it – so my next sock frenzy should come after I’ve made a few shawls and have leftovers (I could be wrong, though).
      However, I will say this: one of the reasons I’m not running to knit more all the time is, I can’t wear them in Winter, they’re too thin to keep me warm; I’d need chunky yarn socks! Might try that 😊

  7. That’s a lot of socks for a woman who isn’t a sock knitter 🙂 I’m not mad on knitting them for similar reasons to you, but agree their size makes them good for using up yarn and a great handbag project when you’re travelling light.

    • Bekki, I think you’ve just summed up the entire reasons I enjoy knitting socks once in a blue moon! To make this scientific, I shall notice if my urges to create them come about more when I have scrap yarn, or am travelling 😀

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  10. I am currently experiencing some serious sock envy – especially with that mustard yarn! I love knitting socks (she says, having knitted just one sock so far) despite the often unsuitable English weather.

    I think for me there’s several appealing factors:

    1) I love normal, unknitted socks anyway. I have to wear office suitable work clothes every day so why shouldn’t my feet be adorned with unicorns, ducks and rainbows?! I’m not sure whether knitted socks might be a little too thick at work, but I can always wear them during my winter commute before changing into pumps at the office.

    2) They’re a good size for knitting on public transport. I just can’t imagine pulling out a shawl or jumper etc. on the train.

    3) Relatively cheap. Okay, so not cheap when you consider what you could buy standard cotton socks for in a shop, but cheap compared to the yarn required for a larger project – and I get just as much of a buzz knitting socks.

    4) Interchangeable “pick ‘n’ mix” sections – I like that you can start toe-up or toe-down, that there’s multiple heel types, different patterns/cuffs etc. I feel like with socks there’s so much room for customization and the idea of trying all these new things out isn’t as scary as it would be with a larger project.

    …have I convinced you to continue with sock knitting yet? :p

    • Hah, I see you’re much more of a sock knitter than I! It’s not in the numbers, it’s the spirit, and you certainly have it 😀

      1) Agreed, it can be a way to be colourful at work! I myself get to wear whatever I please to work (I’m in pyjamas right now) so it’s an argument that works better for those who commute :p
      2) See above! But I will confess, I love knitting when I’m waiting for the plane, or on a really long commute (90 minutes in the Tube to go to the airport!)
      3) True, however, I will always try going for a shawl first if I can (I have some pretty sock yarn that I refuse to put on my feet!)
      4) Also very true! Unless you like mindless knitting and will choose to do them the same way every time so you don’t make a mistake 😀

      I will confess, though: I know I’ll knit more socks, even when I think I won’t be able to wear them often (they don’t keep my feet warm enough in Winter). I think I should go look in the mirror now and analise myself – have to put that Psychology degree to use sometime…

  11. Such cool socks – just love the colours and the way you have mixed them as solid colour sox (mostly) and stripey. I don’t like wearing knitting sox – it is cold enough in Northumberland for them to be a very good idea, but all that woolly scratchy stuff on my feet definitely turns me off. Sometimes they’re baggy too – ugh! However, I might have to revisit this long-held aversion to handknitted sox now I’ve seen how nice yours are! Enjoy wearing them this winter!

    • Thanks, I loved the way they turned out, too 🙂 It’s funny how everyone keeps telling me they’ll make good Winter socks, because they’re too thin for that purpose for me! I need thermal socks… these can be Spring ones, but yes, they can get prickly.
      Have I made you rethink socks *and* shawl knitting? Oh my, I feel accomplished 😀

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  13. I’m not really a sock knitter either. done 2 pairs so far, but don’t find them that comfy (I can feel the stitches on my feet, and end up with weird patterns on my skin at the end of the day). My second pair was also a way of using up some leftover sock yarn, it did fit a little better than the first one (too big), but apart from the toe/heel bit, it’s just too much of the same for me, i get bored (I’m a slow knitter, needles are tiny and yarn is thin, it takes me forever!!!)

    • Haha, I’m glad someone understands me! Having said this, I’m sad to report my next project might be socks… again. This time however it won’t be for me either, so I’ll have more patience for it.

      I can absolutely relate to what you say about feeling the stitches, as my Kitchener stitch often manages to bother my heels when I walk – but that might be our technique! So give it a go a couple more times and see what you think 😊

      (I can’t believe I just defended sock knitting, but there you have it.)

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