Single Sock Springtime

Koigu Rainbow Socks When it comes to knitting, I have a little problem — I always, always want to use my newest yarn first. When I buy for more than one project (which is usually the case) this means I end up starting several different things at once. Since I mostly knit socks, this is less of an issue than it could be — it’s not as if I have a huge pile of half-finished sweaters or blankets gathering dust. Socks, though, present their own challenge: there needs to be two of them, and only first socks are fun. Second Sock Syndrome is a well-known knitting ailment, the outcome of which is a stack of non-matching, useless footwear. I’ve managed to avoid this so far and have four complete pairs to show for my diligence. (The most recent pair, in a lovely rainbow colorway of Koigu KPPPM, are above.)

Brightwood socks, v2It is starting to wear on me, though. Between the Stitch DC Stash Club , the Homespun Yarn Party in March, and the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival yesterday, I have a ton of incredibly beautiful sock yarn and I want to be knitting it all right now. I’ve come up with a plan that I think will get me using as much of the new yarn as possible, without ending up with a pile of mate-less socks: I am going to knit only first socks for the rest of the spring (May and June) and then switch to second socks for the summer (July and August). My hope is that by waiting two months, the yarn and patterns will seem new again.

Connemara Valley JaywalkersI’ve already started down this path, so I hope it doesn’t turn out to be an incredibly bad idea. The sock in the paragraph above is actually a do-over, because I didn’t like the way the yarn (Brightwood, from Neighborhood Fiber Company) looked as a plain sock. I like it much better in this pattern, Monkey, which I have done before — though this is a shorter version in the hope that I don’t run out of yarn. I’m also just about to finish the first sock made from my January stash club yarn — Jaywalkers in the Connemara Valley colorway from Three Irish Girls.

Teen Spirit ThujaNow that the first Jaywalker is done but for having the toe grafted shut, I have only one sock on the needles right now, using Storm Moon Knits “Smells Like Teen Spirit” colorway. I’m trying to McGyver the men’s sock pattern Thuja, from Knitty, to fit me by changing the needle size, but so far this has resulted in my not being able to get the heel over my foot, so I have frogged it back to the ankle and have gone back up a needle size. I hope I can make it work, because I think the pattern really works with this yarn. Tonight I have to go home and assess the sock stash and see what else I want to cast on, since I like to have a couple going at a time for variety.

With luck and some perseverance, I should have a drawer full of homemade socks by fall. And let me know if you have super-tiny feet. I have a feeling that I don’t have enough yarn left to get those Brightwood socks to fit me.

18 thoughts on “Single Sock Springtime

  1. sprite May 5, 2008 / 3:38 pm

    I really like how the Storm Moon Knits yarn is striping. Very pretty. Makes me wish I’d bought her It’s the Great Pumpkin yarn when I’d been considering it.

    I’ve got to get some more anklets in, as it looks like yesterday’s wearing of my footies may have been there last as I realized there was a hole on one sole last night. I may be able to darn it, but maybe not…

  2. sionna May 5, 2008 / 4:12 pm

    Size 6.5 here! Is that tiny enough?

    I sure could use a Sweetpea Original. 🙂

  3. Sweetpea May 5, 2008 / 4:20 pm

    6.5 might be small enough. How long are your feet?

    (I would be sad to give these socks up, I have to say. I really love the yarn. But if it’s that or not finishing… )

  4. sionna May 5, 2008 / 4:46 pm

    From back of ankle to the tip of big toe, 9 inches.

    I would happily pay you for them in order to finance their replacement yarn. Now I feel bad. 😦

  5. Sweetpea May 5, 2008 / 5:03 pm

    No, no… don’t feel bad. I need to be better about knitting for other people. I am kinda selfish about what I make and that’s not cool.

    Did you measure your foot with your shoe on? Nine inches seems long for size 6.5. My feet are size 8.5, but are 9.25″ long — and I think there should be more than a quarter-inch between our sizes. The easiest way (I think) to measure is to just stand on a ruler with the beginning at the back of your foot. Or if you don’t want to take your shoes off, measure the inside of your forearm, from the crook of your elbow to your wrist. It should be just about the same length as your foot.

  6. randomduck May 5, 2008 / 5:17 pm

    So, Sarah, the single sock thing reads like a personal ad:

    “Singleton socks, in need of mates. Would prefer like complexion and height. Not willing to go out alone – we want to find our other halves and take on the town!”

    Will there be any pics of your full haul from MSWF?

  7. Sweetpea May 5, 2008 / 5:23 pm

    Funny. I did notice that my sock story did have potential for a larger relationship metaphor, but decided not to go there. I was afraid I would end up suggesting that I can’t leave my house until I have a mate, and goodness knows that’s not the case.

    Dunno if I’ll get the photos posted here or not — but they’ll make it to my Ravelry stash page eventually, so you can see them on sprite’s account, or just look at my Flickr photostream.

  8. sionna May 5, 2008 / 9:49 pm

    8 1/2. Better? I was measuring at work earlier, very quickly.

    Measuring one’s foot at the office does look rather…odd.

  9. MsP May 6, 2008 / 4:29 pm

    I read your post, and while I recognized it as English, few of the words made any sense to me….


  10. wendalicious May 6, 2008 / 10:40 pm

    MsP has echoed my thoughts exactly. Did I read the word “frogging”?

  11. Sweetpea May 6, 2008 / 11:51 pm

    General translation: I have purchased too much yarn recently and therefore will be knitting lots and lots of socks before fall.

    Specific translation: frogging is knitspeak for ripping something back, said to derive from the notion that you rip-it, rip-it.

  12. Common Loon May 7, 2008 / 6:22 pm

    if you are looking for really little fit and have any boy-ish colors, i know 3 little ones (2 are confirmed sock lovers, the jury is still out on -3)…

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