state of the sock knitting

It has been ages since I have posted about my actual process of making anything. For months, I've only written sporadically about things I've finished. I show you nice photos and completely fail to mention gloss over all the stuff I screwed up or just plain abandoned, but you know what?  I know that's boring. The most interesting blogs to me are the ones that are, or seem to be, rooted in real life with all the mistakes and messiness that comes with that. People who present only perfectly curated versions of themselves online are ostensibly good at marketing, but to me it gets old fast. Really, one can only see so many artfully posed photos of teacups and half-knitted scarves before they all look the same. Am I right? 

One of the main reasons I started this blog in the first place more than ten years ago (yes, really!) was to document my process along with my projects. I wanted to show the good, the bad and the ugly, not just the perfect finished things. 

(I also thought it would help me be more accountable about stashing, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.)

I have gotten away from that recently, in part because I have less time to write blog posts (real life and work will do that) and in part because it's so easy to post process stuff on Instagram and go long on hashtags and short on details. Also, it seems like the last few years most blogs that are still updated regularly are the ones attached to businesses so blog posts are mainly to announce updates or new products or giveaways or sale events. I'm not selling anything here, nor do I plan to. I know better than to try and enter the flooded market of knitwear design or OOAK project bags or hand-dyed yarn. No thank you. I already work for myself as a performing artist and that's hard enough. But I'm not sure how relevant this blog is anymore, since it's just me showing you stuff I make.

Still, I'm not ready to give this up completely because I like having this space to write, however irregularly, about what I'm making and why. To those of you still reading, thank you for sticking with me. I'm not sure if I could ever leave it for good.

I'm actually thinking of doing a few short videos to post here, not enough for an actual video podcast (talk about time commitment!) but just for fun. What do you think?

Anyway, in light of my renewed interest in actually discussing my process,  I'm going to show you some socks, all in various stages of completion. 

I'm sure I've told my story of learning to knit socks, but it's been a while and in case you're a relatively new reader, here's a refresher. I learned to knit as a kid and only made pathetic slippers and oversized sweaters (including an ill-fated boyfriend sweater for the guy I dated in the first part of college) until my best friend in graduate school showed me how to use DPNs to knit socks in 2002. That was when I went from being a knitter to a Knitter with a capital K. Folks, that was long before Ravelry,  before knitting blogs, when was in its infancy, back when most patterns had to be bought at actual yarn shops and you had about 5 to choose from in each category, not 5,000.  Socks were done strictly top-down from the cuff with a gusset and heel flap on DPNs. None of these shenanigans with magic-loop toe-up two-at-a-time the young folks are doing these days. Yeah, yeah, I'm a dinosaur. 

I still have the first pair of socks I completed well over ten years ago. I wore them the other day, in fact. I think the yarn is Regia or something similar, a wool/nylon blend that wears like iron. 

I haven't stopped obsessing about knitting since those early grad school days, though I tend to be on again/off again about sock knitting; I'm either cruising right along or in a dry spell for months. I got back into it big time this past summer. The kids were in swimming lessons and there weren't any open lap lanes, so for a half hour every morning I sat by the pool in the sweltering heat and needed something to do that wouldn't make me even sweatier and that didn't require too much concentration. Sock knitting was perfect for that, especially plain stockinette stitch socks out of yarn that does all the work for you. Self-striping is where it's at, yo.

Would you like to see the socks I've made or been making for the past six months or so?

Here is a neon pink pair (I think the yarn is Plymouth something or other) that turned out a little snug for an adult sized foot, which is just as well because Daniel stole them when we were hiking on vacation in June. His feet got wet and the dye bled and turned his toes pink.

I made two pairs out of Patons Kroy self-striping. They're pretty. I like the colors. The yarn is pretty tough and will probably wear well. It's hard to get too excited about them otherwise, though.

I have a nice little stash of  Knitcircus Yarns. Jaala, the creative genius behind KC, does the most fascinating things with gradients and stripes and matching sock sets. Worth. Every. Penny. Now don't get jealous, but it turns out that KC is not only based in Madison, but the dye studio and shop is not too far from my home. In fact, they had an anniversary sale event at their store this past June and it's close enough to me that I biked there and drank lemonade and chatted with the employees (who are all completely delightful) before stocking up on sock yarn and biking home. I'm still trying to knit it all up. Wanna see?

Watermelon stripes! I believe Susan B. Anderson made this color way extremely popular when she posted about it last spring. In fact, I am using her SOS pattern and just need to add one heel before they'll be done.

Extreme strips in black/rainbow. I was unsure about the length of the foot on the first one and didn't want to deal with the heel yet, so I pulled the needles out and started the second sock. I either need to invest in about 6 pairs of size 1 needles OR finish more socks before I start another. 

I have more Knit Circus yarn (oh yes, I do) but it is all still in the, ahem, pre-knitted stage. Here's a sample because I'm not willing to say out loud how much I have in total!

I've gone from being a die-hard heel flap and gusset sock knitter to preferring short row and afterthought heels. They're quicker, less fussy, and much better for self-striping yarns. I think they actually fit my heel better, too.

We're headed for a cold snap, so I'm motivated to get some of these done. I've also started socks for my kids, which I'm hoping to finish for Christmas...

Note that this isn't KC yarn. It's Leading Men Fiber Arts, which is new to me. And gorgeous. And available locally. I might be in trouble. 

I'm nothing if not ambitious.


Whatzitknitz said…
I enjoy reading about your adventures in sewing and knitting. there are no misadventures only learning and experiments.
I agree a great many blogs are about selling a products. I enjoy reading and learning about process.
there are also a lot of podcast about acquisitions. I get very tired of that, while I don't mind looking at pretty yarn it seems to me that some of these blogs talk more about what they bought instead of what they made with it.
but be assured I didn't mind looking at the sock yarn in your post at all. I love KnitCircus stripy fun colors. I looked when I was at Wis. Sheep and Wool but it was just a bit too expensive for me. so I can look at your socks to see how those colors knit up. love it.

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