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Denise
Warming Up

70 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  2:14:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit Denise's Homepage Send Denise a Private Message
Looking at different knitting blogs I see that a lot of knitters really like knitting socks. Why? I haven't been knitting very long and so far it's been scarfs for Christmas presents but there seems to be something special about socks. Do hand knit socks feel better to wear? I understand the appeal of something handcrafted as a visual thing but is there more to the visual appeal of hand knit socks? There's a whole sock culture going on that I need to know more about.

achrisvet
Permanent Resident

USA
5986 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  2:19:15 PM  Show Profile Send achrisvet a Private Message
Watch out! I asked this same question in the sock forum a few months ago, and now I'm addicted. I've only made one full pair so far, and started a second, but I have accumulated yarn for at least 6 more pairs. I plan to always have a pair of socks going in the midst of other WIP.

Part of the attraction is all the wonderful colors of sock yarns available. And they are just fun to make.

Anita

See my completed projects!
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wildflower
New Pal

47 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  3:19:32 PM  Show Profile Send wildflower a Private Message
Yes they fit better. Just like anything custom made. :)

And for some reason, they seem to be infently softer and warmer than stor bought one.

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mokumegane
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
558 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  3:28:17 PM  Show Profile Send mokumegane a Private Message
To the very least: there's nothing like wearing a pair of very comfortable, well-fitting pair of socks in your favorite color! To top that, you made them! If you want to start on socks earlier and not have to learn dpn's, there's even two-needle and cable needle socks you can knit!

Amanda

quote:

Looking at different knitting blogs I see that a lot of knitters really like knitting socks. Why? I haven't been knitting very long and so far it's been scarfs for Christmas presents but there seems to be something special about socks. Do hand knit socks feel better to wear? I understand the appeal of something handcrafted as a visual thing but is there more to the visual appeal of hand knit socks? There's a whole sock culture going on that I need to know more about.





Laugh- it keeps you sane!
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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  4:03:52 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Hi, Denise: Socks leave me cold but then I had my fill of knitting them when I was a child during WWII. To me one problem is you have to knit two. When you have to knit two of anything it becomes a chore or I think so. When I knit sleeves I always knit them at the same time on the same needle, different balls of yarn. This way they are always the same length, maybe not the right length, but at least the same. Beverley

Bev
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Dot
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  4:14:43 PM  Show Profile Send Dot a Private Message
I am halfway through my first sock using the two-circular method. Never knit them on dpns so this is truly my first ever experience and as others on this forum can tell you, it's been a struggle. And I love it! I know that once I get this first pair done I will be knitting socks, socks, and more socks. I cannot explain it. Yes, the yarn feels delicious when I slide it up my leg...but so does lots of yarn that I wrap around my neck, slip an arm through, or bathe with. I think there's just something magical in seeing that tube develop, then, turning that heel. Once I get back to this project--two other birthdays have intervened not to mention the sweater I MUST finish--I'm sure I'll be frustrated beyond measure at grafting the toe but if it's like the rest of the sock so far, it's that frustration that's kind of like a little mosquito bite itch. Know what I mean? You really don't want to itch but it feels so good to scratch it that you're almost glad you itched in the first place?

And I do love those striped and jaquard yarns! I can already imagine my sister's delight reaching into her holiday stocking and pulling out a pair of socks knit with Regia jaquard.

What else? They're portable, great "go" projects. They're affordable. Minimal outlay for a wonderful gift for others or yourself.





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Pookie
Chatty Knitter

255 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  4:43:26 PM  Show Profile Send Pookie a Private Message
Let me tell you about the magic of handknit socks: I knit my first pair (my first knit anything, in fact) last year and, in retrospect, I now know they were very saaaaaad sock specimens. They had irregular stitches, holes everywhere, uneven ribbing, a funky looking gusset, bizarrely grafted toes, you name it. However, not knowing any better, I gave them to the intended recipient who, to my astonishment, started to cry! And just recently, I very dear co-worker asked me if I would knit here a pair of socks, and when I said yes, she started to cry, too! In this high-tech, high-stress, high-speed time, hand-knit socks just seem speak of something so basic and comforting. (Not that hand-knit socks have cornered the market on this, of course! I suspect all givers of hand-knit items have had similarly touching experiences... Anyone want to share theirs?)

Also, now that I'm on pair FIFTEEN (!), I, like Anita, can attest to the "addictive-ness" of knitting socks. On the one hand, they allow you to easily and quickly try many colors and types of yarn and many different stitches. Also, they knit up fast -- a MUST for me -- but still provide a mental challenge. And, on the practical side, you can test the "sock knitting waters" inexpensively. I bought a $6 pamphlet, a $7 set of dpns, and $10 worth of yarn for my first pair. Of course, now I own 6 pairs of dpns and regularly buy $18 skeins of yarns, no thanks to Mountain Colors, but we won't go there....

Pookie

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Hello Knitty
Permanent Resident

1069 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  4:55:13 PM  Show Profile Send Hello Knitty a Private Message
I'd like to learn to do socks eventually but I have a problem. I can't wear wool - not even a nano-fraction of it in a blend!! I realize natural fibres would be best for socks so is there a cotton blend that won't get saggy quickly?? I was just perusing a yarn catalogue and all the fabulously coloured sock yarns have wool:(

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KathyT
Chatty Knitter

USA
169 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  6:00:26 PM  Show Profile Send KathyT a Private Message
Oh dear - being totally addicted I can think of a thousand pleasures of socks! Affordable to make (ahem....Pookie.....LOL), portable,come in levels for beginners, easy and to extremely challenging, the yarns the colors, the textures! They feel better! They look better! They bring a smile and a hug to everyone who gets them as gifts - you can do them with dpn or circulars.....chunky, sportweight, fingering yarn! The list goes on! Come on, jump on the wagon and give them a try - you'll love em!

And Bev - God bless you - it's okay that you don't like doing socks - you served your country and you "paid your dues" - you go right ahead and make beautiful sweaters and the likes - us crazy fool women will take up your sock "slack"!!! LOL

KathyT

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emanonx
Chatty Knitter

USA
161 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2002 :  9:11:13 PM  Show Profile Send emanonx a Private Message
I have always had this thing - ever since I was little I've hated wearing socks. I only put them on when I have to go out and as soon as I am home I am barefoot again :) Knitting socks doesn't sound very fun to me even though they look very uber cool!

[Jenn - moonglitter@moonglitter.net]
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kiwi
Chatty Knitter

New Zealand
162 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2002 :  05:42:39 AM  Show Profile Send kiwi a Private Message
It's completely the fault of these forums that I am more than half way through knitting my first pair of socks! They are fun, particularly turning the heel etc. And even with fingering weight yarn they move fast. I started out knitting a fake sock (suggestion on one of the forum topics) in a heavyweight yarn which knitted up quickly so I got to the fun parts without too much effort. I'm using Opal now and it's a lot of fun. I just wish my sister in England could wear wool. It would be such a cool present!
My next goal is to knit them with two circulars.
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BooksAngel
Chatty Knitter

USA
165 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2002 :  05:50:08 AM  Show Profile Send BooksAngel a Private Message
Hey guys,

For Hello Kitty, has anyone ever used 100% alpaca for socks? Would it work. If a sport weight alpaca was knit in ribbing would it stay up? Someone on here surely knows.

Bev, Now you can knit two socks at once on circular needles just like you knit sleeves, only this time half of each sock is on each circular needle rather than knitting two sleeves back and forth on straight needles. Then you had to knit boring old harsh wool. Now we are knitting soft wild socks that can be seen two counties away if we want. The yarn for socks can be as fine as lace or soft and plush. As I say this I have one boring black pair under construction and a Lorna's Laces mustard and purple pair that will keep my feet warm just from the color combination.

Why socks, When a larger project gets half finished it often becomes too big to tote around to knit in public. The straight knitting for socks can be done at stoplights. I am still trying to figure out if one of the people on this forem knits socks only in stalled traffic or even while driving. One of us knits socks in the swimming pool in the summer. One way to keep your hands cool.

In a much shorter time period one pair is finished and another pattern can be tried. Chosing to try a new pattern is not a months long commitment, socks can knit up fast. There are great free patterns out on the internet, more than even for baby clothes. Even if you get started on two or three pair of socks at the same time, only a skein or two of yarn each is in your WIP pile. I would also say it is a great stash reduction tool but as many here can say, a special sock yarn stash can result.

I know someone why uses the extra yarn from the Mountain Colors sweater kits to knit beautiful simply knit socks. I often use small bits of yarn for color patterns when I knit homespun socks. For this socks are more fun than mittens. And besides the family can use more socks than mittens.

Learning to turn a heel has taught many of us more about knitting construction than any other piece of knitting. It is one of the few skills in knitting that we just have to take on faith until we see our completed work. But then we can use that ability on any project. Have you ever wanted stuffed animals to have bent knees? Ever wanted to knit a stove pipe hat for the cat in the hat? Wanted to put pipe bends into a long stocking cap? Or even wanted a bit more ease at the knuckles of gloves?

Shawls are a passion of mine but socks are a close second.

Angel

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Dot
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2002 :  06:12:21 AM  Show Profile Send Dot a Private Message
Angel, check out Clara's review of Classic Elite Inca Alpaca. She mentions using it for socks but she added another yarn to it. Love your characterization of turning the sock heel and the need to take it on faith. My eyes got bigger with every row as I saw that yes indeed, a heel was forming!

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Denise
Warming Up

70 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2002 :  07:44:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit Denise's Homepage Send Denise a Private Message
Thank you for all of your answers. I can just tell that I will be knitting socks at some time in the near future. Right now I just want to get through my Christmas scarf making venture. Scarves from Chinchilla bulky for my favorite adults; for my neices, I am using Funny. But I keep looking at some great sock yarn. I know I won't be able to resist for long, especially with the answers you all gave me.

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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2002 :  5:44:16 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Hi, Denise: Speaking of scarves--I have a great pattern for a hat-scarf. The scarf is actually attached to the hat. If you would like it E-mail me your postal mailing address and I shall mail it to you directly. Beverley

Bev
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2002 :  08:35:41 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
Speaking as one who is allergic to wool--yes, you can knit socks, but use another type of yarn--not wool. If you are truly allergic to wool you will not be able to handle it when knitting with it.

Socks can be made with acrylic yarn--I hate them(make my feet perspire), my kids love them. or a cotton, acrylic blend. or a cotton lycra blend (97% cotton, 3% lycra) 100% cotton socks stretch out and don't wear as well although you can use a reenforcement yarn in heels and toes.

Cotton stretches out more than wool and socks may become baggy so you might want to incorporate some elastic in cuff if you do not use the cotton lycra blend which already has elastic in it. There are a lot of free patterns on the web for cotton socks especially with Fixation yarn which is the cotton lycra blend.

Fran

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Sky
Chatty Knitter

Canada
100 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2002 :  6:24:32 PM  Show Profile Send Sky a Private Message
I am currently knitting my first pair of socks -- a 2 needle version with Regia. These are for my son for Christmas (Sshhh....) and I am really enjoying making them (although after using Rowan Biggy Print to make a five foot scarf in two hours flat I don't really find sock making a quick knit). My son has always wanted me to knit him something, but I hesitated because he grows so fast and he tends to lose things. The sock have lots of stretch and hopefully he will not be taking them off in public so if they are "lost" they are merely lurking about the house. I keep them in glove compartment and knit when I'm sick of traffic. I just pull over, knit ten rows, and then serenely continue on my way.

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Sky
Chatty Knitter

Canada
100 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2002 :  6:27:26 PM  Show Profile Send Sky a Private Message
Oops I forgot to ask Fran. Who makes this Cotton/Lycra Yarn? I love knitting with cottons and some additional Lycra would open up some design possibilities -- not just for socks.

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achrisvet
Permanent Resident

USA
5986 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2002 :  7:55:43 PM  Show Profile Send achrisvet a Private Message
I didn't think I could wear wool. Not exactly allergic, but I thought all wool was itchy. I'm finding that I can wear certain wools, like merino. And the sock wools I've handled so far have been fine. When I go ot a yarn sotre I hold the yarn against the inside of my elbow for a minute to see if it itches. So far so good.

See my completed projects!
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?p=999&gid=977585&uid=619962&members=1
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 10/13/2002 :  10:23:46 PM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
Greetings!

For me it's the amazing variety. I had always hated wearing socks - barefoot and un-pregnant is my motto! I decided to knit my mum a pair of socks out of the neat new sock yarns - she never got them because I started wearing them! They are comfy, funky, and fast when I use the two circular needle method. If I knit full time on my two days off per week then I can get two adult pairs done. I also knit on my luch hour and when waiting for a lift home, or while on the bus. I don't even bother matching up the yarn unless I'm using Ringel!

"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness." Gandhi
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lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
993 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2002 :  09:46:49 AM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message
Dear Denise,

Couldn't resist adding my . I made my first pair of socks last Dec/Jan for DH for his Christmas present. He really loved them, and I must say I had so much fun! That was Nature Spun on DPNs and I cobbled a pattern together from several sources. One of my patterns was worsted weight, but plain, and the only other pattern I had was Seeded Rib but DK. My Knitter's Companion told me how to Kitchener.

Anyway, I just made another pair for youngest DS on circulars with Wool-Ease, also in the seeded rib. He just loves them. And I can't wait to make my next pair!

Anyway, I think the reason socks are so addictive is you get so much bang for your buck! Along with all the other great reasons already mentioned, quite frankly they're the most impressive thing you can give. They SEEM so difficult to the "lay-person" even when they've been watching you make the socks.

Luke dances around the house in his, just tickled pink. How could I not want to make him more? Right after DD and me, of course! And oldest DS, if he decides he wants a pair.

Melanie



"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10
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