Once Upon a Sock, December Edition

Well, I’m a day  late and a pair of newly started socks short, but it’s (the day after) the first Thursday of the month, so let’s talk socks!

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Last week, when I sat down to write a post about two recently finished projects, one of which was my Abisko socks, I wondered — should I save writing about these socks ’til next Thursday? No, I thought, this will give me a kick in the pants to start some Christmas socks ahead of our little sock group’s monthly check in.  See that lovely Christmas yarn? My lovely friend Grace sent it to me for my birthday, and I had grand plans of making Mr. N and I some coordinating holiday socks.  Um, maybe that will still happen.  I can probably knit two pairs of socks before Christmas, r-r-right?

The real reason I haven’t cast on is I’ve still been working on this sample knitting project, which has a very firm deadline I have to meet. So it’s totally monopolized my knitting time.

So, in the absence of any real sock news (except to say that my Abisko Socks are wearing magnificently) and since this will be my last Once Upon a Sock post for 2017, I thought it might be nice to take a little stock of my sock knitting as it currently stands and set some sock knitting goals for 2018.

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2017 hasn’t been a banner sock knitting year for me.  In fact, a look at my Ravelry notebook reveals I’ve knit jsut three pairs of socks this entire year — the aforementioned Abisko socks, my Viola Favorite Socks, and a pair for Mr. N.  Yikes!  Given that I wear handknit socks practically every day, especially in the colder months, I’m hoping 2018 can be the year I replenish my sock drawer!  That box up there has every pair of handknit socks I own — and while it’s a lovely collection (if I do say so myself), I’d like to add a few more pairs so that I’m putting less stress on a couple of pairs of socks that are in pretty constant rotation, ha!

Before I think about knitting more socks though, my first goal is to do some sock mending.  Of the pairs in that box, at least five have holes that need darning, all in the heel/foot area.  I need to give all the socks a good wash and take a weekend afternoon to get my darn on, and give some of my favorite socks a new lease on life!

So mending old socks is goal number one.  And for sock projects to come, I have three goals for 2018.

One: knit more patterned socks! I tend to knit vanilla socks, because I like wearing plain socks, and I like my sock knitting to be easy travel knitting.  But I realized while knitting my Abisko socks, which flew off the needles, that maybe the reason my sock knitting has fallen off a bit is I tend to lose interest with vanilla socks.  So I’d like to bring some more patterned socks into the mix (though I’m sure I’ll still knit plenty of vanilla socks) — I’m especially interested in patterns that are subtle enough that they’ll work with multicolored yarn — goodness knows I have lots of that to get through in my sock stash — and that are still simple enough for on-the-go knitting. I’ve made a little bundle of patterns on Ravelry that I think fit this bill, if you’re looking for similar pattern inspiration.  I’m sure I’ll keep adding to this (and if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them)!

Two: explore non-nylon sock yarn! I would love 2018 to be the year of no-nylon socks for me!  But the truth is, I have loads of stashed sock yarn, much of it with nylon, and I also want to start working through that.  I do want to start slowly adding some non-nylon socks into the mix and keep track of how they’re wearing though.  I’ve already made a start with my Abisko socks, out of Northern Yarn Lonk 4ply, and my Williams Wool socks-in-progress, which I mentioned in last month’s post, are also no nylon, and I know I have a few other non-nylon sock yarns already in stash. There are lots of resources for non-nylon sock yarn, but here are two good places to start.  I’m looking forward to sharing my non-nylon sock investigations here next year — if you’re interested in non-nylon socks, or have tried any no-nylon sock yarn out, do let me know!

Three: give colorwork socks another try! My Droving Socks were my first foray into colorwork sock knitting, and I found colorwork with the small circumference challenging and a bit slow-going — but I loved the end result. So I would like to try at least another pair or two of colorwork socks in 2018.  I’ve also made a bundle for that on Raverly too! (I’ve been getting really into Ravelry’s bundle feature — I favorite SO much, so it’s a nice way to organize!)

I’ve also had a few ideas for my own sock designs which I’ve had knocking around in my head for ages — and mentioned here a few times. I would love for 2018 to be the year where I turn those ideas into reality!

Right, well that’s enough sock planning to keep me busy for a year, or three … On the first Thursday of every month, a group of us write about socks, which includes Stefanie at Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons (whose got a lovely finished pair of socks to share), Paula at Spin a Yarn, and Kat at Felinity Knits.  Go check out their blogs — and if you’d like to join in with us in the new year, just let one of us know!

And last but not least, even though it’s not strictly sock-related (though it involves sock weight yarn) … time for the drawing for my little giveaway! Thanks to all of you who commented on my Cross Country Fade post — it was so much fun to hear from you.  I’ll respond to each of you soon individually!  I wish I could send a favorite yarn cake to everyone of you — but I’ve put your names in two bowls and had a disinterested party (Mr. N) draw out two names:

Anne A. has won the much sought after Dream in Color Anything Goes skein, and Debjani has won the Shalimar Lean on Me! I’ve just got to run out to do a few errands before the sun’s gone for the day, but I’ll be sending each of you an email today to arrange shipping. Congratulations! And thanks again everyone for entering.  As I said, it was a lot of fun, and I think I’ll try to start doing some more little giveaways in 2018 🙂

Happy knitting! xo K

 

 

 

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23 thoughts on “Once Upon a Sock, December Edition

  1. Those seem like very reasonable sock goals for the new year, and I especially appreciate the “mending” goal — as mending a worn pair of socks is almost like getting an entirely new pair! Happy knitting!

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  2. Hi Katherine! I’ve got my sock post up now…sorry I was late this month too 🙂 I really hope that this year, I will be able to make it the year of me (like I wanted to do last year) and get a lot more things off my needles that are made specifically for me. This includes socks. I can’t believe I only got four pair completed this year and that includes two pairs of baby socks. Eek! I will look forward to seeing what the new year brings for all of us and love your look back and your goals. Happy Last Sock Post of 2017!!!! Cheers 🙂

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    1. I think it’s a win if we get our posts up within the week that we’re supposed to, ha! I think doing some me knitting sounds like an excellent goal! I’m excited to see what socks we get on and off the needles for 2018 — hope it will be a year of toasty toes for us all!!!! 🙂

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    1. That’s an excellent question, Aimee!! So the benefits of nylon are that it can add strength and durability to sock yarn to increase a sock’s life — but some of that can also be achieved with natural fiber and with how a yarn is spun. The big drawback to nylon is that it’s synthetic, so there’s the environmental cost of producing it, and it doesn’t break down easily. So most of the things I’ve read about no nylon sock yarn are suggesting thinking about it from that perspective .. that before the invention of nylon, people were knitting socks with all natural fibers and that there’s no reason we can’t do that now.

      In my mind, some of my warmest and best wearing socks actually don’t have nylon. So the first pair of socks I ever made didn’t, and I’ve had them for almost a decade and they’ve just now gotten a hole in them. And this part might be in my head, but I think my non-nylon, 100% wool socks tend to keep my feet warmer.

      I have tons of yarn with nylon, and obvs even if I didn’t, nylon is in tons of things I wear/use in daily life — so of course I’ll keep using nylon! But I think part of the reason I’m interested in non-nylon sock yarns is they tend to be more minimally processed in general, more likely to be specific about breed/provenance of the sheep, etc. So I see it as a cool way to keep exploring the different properties of different types of wool and how they’re spun, without also having to factor in how the nylon is affecting things.

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  3. Your box of socks looks so pretty! I look forward to hearing how you get on with knitting and wearing non-nylon socks, I’m still hoping that the Abisko socks in Tuku wool will become my Christmas Eve cast on!

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    1. They’d be such a perfect cast on! I’m hoping I can get the socks I started with yarn from Kendal Wool Gathering off the needles before Christmas so I can justify a Christmas eve sock cast on too! I have some Mondim sock yarn (which is nonsuperwash and no nylon) that I got this summer that I’d love to break out on Christmas even!

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  4. Ohhhh, I just love your box o’ socks! What is it about piles of handknits that is so happy making??? I will be very interested to follow along with your non-nylon sock journey. As for colorwork socks, I don’t know if these are in your bundle or not, but SpillyJane’s Swedish Fish Socks are one of my all time favorite knits. I had the best time picking colors, and the actual knitting was seriously addictive.

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  5. I am hoping to knit some no nylon socks this month- I have some Classic 4-ply in various colours from Blacker Yarns. I’m planning to use it to make December’s AYOT pattern.. once I have finished my current projects that is!

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  6. Such inspirational sock bundles! I knitted the Lumineux socks last year, they have an interesting heel construction, a pattern that combines extremely well with variegated yarn and I knitted both of them on the train (ok, apart from the heels since the process there involves cutting into your knitted fabric). Herbaceous sock are also on my list for next year (they were on lasts year’s list as well..)

    I have knitted a few non-nylon socks and they wear very well. I knitted a pair in Vivacious 4ply (100% wool) at a very tight tension, no problems there. Wool/silk blends are strong too. I also made some pairs in non nylon sock yarn but with a heel and toe in a traditional sock yarn with nylon. The Danish brand Onion has a sock yarn that is pretty cool too in my book: it has nettle fibres instead of nylon to make the yarn stronger.

    Interesting to read that you feel that non nylon socks are warmer. I have the same idea and wondered if this was just me being slightly neurotic.. There is one exception for me: John Arbon Alpaca sock yarn has nylon but is very warm and comfortable.

    Bon courage with the sock mending…this spoilt girl over here has a very sweet mum who does the sock mending for her.

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