Design Processes

Well, it had to happen eventually.

Everyone’s design process is different, and here’s mine: I get the idea. I sketch. I swatch copiously. I write the pattern, and print it out. I knit the sample from the pattern, essentially test-knitting that size and working out any language kinks. Then I send it to the tech editor, pull the layout together, get the photos done, and finalize everything.

Now, I know sweaters. I’ve been a sweater knitter since I picked this hobby back up so many years ago, and I know their ins and outs like the back of my hand. (Better, since I don’t actually spend much time looking at my hand.)

Hats are a different story, apparently. I finished the Shoshana Set a few weeks ago, and now the pencil scratchings on the printed pattern are taunting me. What on earth could I have meant by all that?!

Oh, well, Luckily bulky-weight hats and scarves are quick to knit, so I can afford the time to have the set test-knit (for reals) as well as tech edited. On to nicer (for you) topics…

One of the unexpected twists of designing has been the utterly sad state of my sock yarn usage. I have a lot of sock yarn:

In fact, my bin is overflowing. And I’ve knit all of two pairs of socks in the past 12 months.

Brief diversion: For the first year after I started knitting again, I had no stash whatsoever. Eventually my very good friend showed me the error of my ways and I accumulated a respectably-sized stash, but I have to say that the more I design, the more I want that tiny stash back. I love exploring new yarns for new designs, since a lot of the inspiration for my designs comes from my yarn. And the big stash just seems to be weighing on my mind lately.

Here’s where you come in: I’m going to give a fair percentage of my sock yarn stash away over the next 12 months. The first lovely skein to part ways will be this Colinette Jitterbug in “Velvet Plum”.

Leave a comment to this post relaying your favorite sock story, whatever it may be, and I’ll draw a random comment next Wednesday the 19th to pick the winner!

189 thoughts on “Design Processes

  1. I have been a sock knitter for several years, but the most rewarding pair of socks I ever made was a luxurious pair of cashmere-blend footies for a dear friend of mine who was suffering from cancer. Although she has since passed away, I will never forget how those socks made her smile and feel more comfortable.

  2. I love socks and sock yarn! I just started knitting (self taught) about 2 years ago. I managed my way through my first pair of socks about a year ago and was sooo happy to finally be able to have two different sized socks to fit my two different sized feet. Since then I’ve been on a sock roll. I recently knit 5 pairs as gifts. I received a new set of DPN’s for Christmas and declared that I’m going to knit one pair of socks for myself each month this year. That lovely skein of Jitterbug would certainly make a beautiful pair!

  3. My knitting goal this year is to knit a pair of socks every month. I absolutely love the one pair I’ve made before. Next Wednesday (19th) is my birthday, so it would be really cool if you picked me.

  4. I remember when I first learned how to knit, I thought I’d jump right into cabled sweaters. Maybe too ambitious? How about socks? Smaller! Easier! I stumbled across a bin of sock yarn on sale at a LYS and bought enough to make two pairs of socks. And then got the corresponding tiny toothpick needles with which to knit them. Having not the slightest idea of what I was doing, I cast on with no concept of gauge and proceeded to knit the start of a bulletproof baby sock when it had originally been intended for my size 9 foot. Oops. Years later, I still have both skeins of sock yarn… and they’re going to be knit into SHAWLS.

  5. I was knitting a Alpine Socks from Knitter’s Magazine in the Kenosha WI train station, when the lady from Turkey, who hung out to drink coffee there announced, ‘You are knitting them wrong!” I almost dropped the needles, I was so surprised. then remembered that Eastern socks start from the toe, smiled, and said, “Turkish socks start from the toe, right?”
    She had to look at my magazine to satisfy herself, shaking her head the whole time.

    I haven’t knit socks since, but my feet are cold πŸ˜‰

  6. I found my first knitting group because I had a sock-in-progress (my first, I think) in my purse. I had stopped by a local coffee shop because my internet was on the fritz, and i was in the middle of applying to grad school. I sat down with my laptop and my coffee, and turned around when i heard lots of laughter. I saw a table of 4 or 5 super nice looking ladies knitting. So when I finished my work, I walked over to them and said “Um, I have a sock in my bag. Can I join you?”

    And that was that — I had found my weekly knitting group. I don’t live there anymore, but I miss them lots!

  7. I love knitting socks. That yarn is gorgeous. I have one pair of socks that have completely beaten me. I was knitting ‘skew’ two at a time. One sock is normal and the other sock is a hat. How I knit two at a time and ended up with such a crazy result is beyond me. They’re stuffed in the bottom of my yarn box just waiting for me to frog them and get rid of the yarn–I can’t even look at the yarn anymore.

  8. I made a pair of socks using the Absinthe pattern from, and used the same lime green yarn called for. I wore them to church one day: but they were they only color, everything else was black: black pants, black shirt, black Mary Janes. I was showing them off to a friend who is a knitter, but doesn’t believe in socks and she thought they were cute, but said something about how she didn’t understand putting that much effort into a sock, because who would see your socks?

    I didn’t say it, but I thought: “HELLO? I’m wearing LIME GREEN socks, with Mary Janes and all black clothes. I’m pretty sure people can see my socks.”

  9. Although I love knitting socks and sock yarn shawls, I rarely have more than three skeins of sock yarn lying around. I feel like it’s a big treat when I finally am out of sock yarn and “have” to go buy more.

  10. I was with a performing group on a one-week stay in Beijing for the Beijing International Dance Festival. We had exactly ONE day when we were allowed out of the “compound” (hotel, theatre, restaurant where we ate every meal for a week.) We were taken to the usual sights: at the inner entrance to the Forbidden City, two rosy-cheeked older Chinese women sat on the sidewalk, leaning against the fence, in the single ray of sunlight to light that courtyard. Bundled up against the December cold, they chatted and knitted. I wandered over, and using knitter’s sign language, determined that they were knitting … wait for it … yes … socks!

  11. My favorite sock story is all too common – my very first semi-successful sock (you’ll see why the semi in a moment) was a Jaywalker. I had never successfully used dpns, so that was my first hurdle. Then it came to turning the heel. Then the heel gussets – I had also never picked up and knitted before. Finally the toe, where I learned to Kitchener. When it was finally done – perfectly constructed in every way – I realized it would probably fit a small elephant. The one thing I neglected to do was check gauge.

  12. My favorite sock moment was knitting and finishing my Leyburn socks on a train from Honzhong to Changsha in China – I finished them during a particularly sunny part of the day and I got some of the best action shots wearing socks in my train bunk. πŸ™‚

  13. I started knitting socks a few years back, and I was prepared. I had already bought sock yarn in anticipation of learning the following year! My husband was very confused :-). I now have a sizeable sock yarn stash that I mostly use for shawls and baby things :-(. Jitterbug is an awesome sock yarn.

  14. Love this yarn! I am not a sock knitter but it is on my list of things that I need to learn. My current project is a merino baby blanket then I will be knitting alpaca for myself.

  15. Gorgeous stuff! My sock story? I knit a beautiful pair of stranded socks from Tongue River Farms (now closed down, which made them ever more precious). They even won first place in a local fair. I wore them for the first time proudly, thinking I was hot stuff. The best knitter ever! No one could match my prowess! Then I washed them, and they felted. A lesson in sock humilty. They do make gorgeous wall decoration though…

  16. I just finished knitting a pair of socks earlier this month that took me one year to the day to knit!! No, I wasn’t knitting just them for the whole time – they were my stashed at work “emergency” knitting – you know, you have a few minutes at lunch (or any other time of day!!) and you need to knit SOMETHING… ! They have gone into my ‘present box’ and will likely go to my sister in law for Christmas 2011 – so I have also officially started holiday knitting without meaning to!

  17. Ha! Once again proving that you and I are the ying and yang of knitting buddies. My big stash is now teeny, and you know all about my backwards knitting process. The “what did I mean??” is my constant companion. But that hat and scarf set is amazing and I can’t wait. The hat will be mine!! πŸ™‚ (bwa ha ha) I may not have time to do the scarf, but would totally test the hat for you when it’s time.

    BTW, I did put an email out and am getting myself some Canopy after touching yours! It’s been in my head ever since, and the needles are itching to do something w/ it πŸ™‚

    (I won’t enter for the sock yarn, since you know it’ll sit in my house even longer than it will in yours!)

    chatty mood this AM. Since I’m still in MA, I have Xtra time on my hands!!

  18. A very wise person has taught me that sock yarn doesn’t count as stash.

    Anyway, my first pair of socks was in the Pomatomous pattern by Cookie A. I figured that if I just followed the directions, then there was nothing that could go wrong. And thus, the directions were followed closely. I used the required needles, I swatched, and off we went. At the end of my top-down sock, I had a beautiful product in lovely pinks/oranges/reds. That my foot would not fit into as a result of my tight (but good-looking) cast on. It was a sad day. I believe my frustrations caused me to leave the sock at a friend’s house, vowing never to make its mate. I have never seen it again.

    Now, of course, I know that DPNs are comfortable, but the occasional hour spent on lengthy circs can really go a long ways to establishing “fit”.

  19. My favourite sock story was when I was sat outside a cafe last summer with a non-knitter friend. I was knitting. A woman came up to me with a huge grin on her face and said, “Is that a sock?” I showed it to her, and she cooed over it, and then said, conspiratorially, “I knew it was. I’m a sock addict too.” And then she went off. It still makes me smile, I love the capacity of knitters to spot a sock from forty paces!

  20. The first pair of socks I made were horrible. I was a very new knitter (i.e. 1 month), and didn’t really have a concept of gauge swatches, appropriate yarns, or ease. On my not-honeymoon I bought some beautiful bamboo yarn, and proceeded to make my first pair of socks out of it. Did I mention the yarn is white?

    The socks are, of course, too big, and the cuffs couldn’t stay up if I starched them. They’re still around, though, and every once in a while I’ll wear them around the house, slipping and sliding around on the too-big bamboo socks. They help remind me of where I started, how far I’ve come, and how much farther I have to go!

  21. My new year’s resolution is to knit lots of socks. That yarn is beautiful.

  22. wow – that’s gorgeous yarn! my favorite sock story? well, I’ve only ever knit 2 pairs of socks, plus some christmas stockings, but I guess, looking back, the fact that I tried my first pair of socks when I had only ever knit a few hats, a cowl or two and that first epic scarf is pretty amazing. they looked terrible (and I gave them to the person I knit them for anyway! what could I have been thinking??), but I did it. now I’m working up the courage to knit a pair for myself. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  23. I actually don’t particularly like knitting socks. Well it’s not that I don’t like knitting them, it’s that I don’t like wearing them. However this year I have convinced myself that I should knit a few pairs, if not for me than for other people.

  24. I started knitting socks for my hubby, because I don’t really like socks, so who else would wear my learning-to-knit-these-things creations? I never really knew if he like them or was more forced into them … until we were with his family one day and he, out of no where, said ” Yeah, Susan knit these socks for me. You know, once you wear handknit socks, you don’t go back! Except when they are all dirty.” I thought it was so cute, and now I feel he certainly deserves every pair I knit — plus he loves purple!

  25. Years ago I knit my very first sock – plain stockinette in a pretty, self-striping yarn in colorway that reminded me of cheery Easter eggs. It was my first knitting project that wasn’t a garter stitch scarf and it fit perfectly. This was the project that officially made me “A Knitter.” I especially loved how the sock’s stitches looked like tiny little fish scales…until I realized that stockinette isn’t supposed to look like that. Turns out I knit ALL the stitches twisted. That was a few years ago and that stock is still in my WIP bin waiting for it’s match. I have knit other socks since, but I don’t think I can bring myself to knit another whole second sock in twisted stitches. Most of my sock yarn stash now is earmarked for hats or shawls!

  26. My first real pair of socks were for my boyfriend. He’s 6’1″ and wears a men’s size 12 shoe. I knit said socks with standard sock yarn on US1-1/2 needles. I finished the suckers in time for Christmas and they are TOO LONG. How on earth did I knit two huge socks and they are too long? I offered to take them back and shorten them by about an inch. The next pair is for ME.

  27. I’ve never knit anything for myself before – well, I’ve tried, but never knit anything that I loved enough to keep. In December I started my own socks in Opal sock yarn… and I love them! I’m just about to finish, and I see a year of sock knitting for myself ahead…

    Not as amazing a story as the others that have commented so far, but it’s a huge deal to me!

  28. My favorite sock story is a scary one but has a happy ending. I spend a few weeks working on my first pair of socks for myself (I’d only knit one pair before). I was so happy and proud to have my very own pair of handknit socks. I promptly wore them. The next day as I was getting ready to leave the house and turned around and caught a glimpse of my new sock behind our recliner, with the toe chewed off. My dog had stolen the sock in the night and chewed it up. I actually started screaming, “Nooooo!!!!” Then yelling irrational things to my dog, “You’re three years old and I can’t even trust you! How could you do this to me?! I can’t even look at you!” I eventually calmed down and was able to repair the sock by just snipping the toe off and reknitting it. But that was like two weeks later.

  29. My favorite socks stories are the ones where I’m knitting in public…in the doctor’s office, at the library, before and during athletic events, etc. I always get questions, mostly “What are you knitting?” My favorite was the 5ish year old child who came up and watched me for a solid 10 minutes, asking the normal questions, feeling the yarn and the needles, and then walked back to her mom and proclaimed “YOU should knit all our socks, too. Ours are boring!”

  30. Ha! Whenever I think of socks, I think of Shirley’s wedding. Shirley is my mom’s cousin and I was in 6th grade when she got married — and I was FORCED to wear lacy anklets with my patent leather Mary Janes when I was CLEARLY too grown up for lacy anklets.
    ; )

  31. well, i don’t know if this qualifies as a sock tale, since it’s an “every time i knit a sock” deal, but here goes. when i get to the heel and gusset part of knitting socks — every single time — i can barely stand myself because i get so amazed by my genius mad skills at what i’m doing. πŸ™‚ (i’m a top-down sock knitter)

  32. I actually gasped out loud when I read Andrea’s comment about her dog chewing off the toe or her sock. My story is not quite so dramatic. There was a hank of sock yarn that I had coveted at the LYS for ages, but I have a very strict yarn budget. My mom finally bought it for me when she was visiting and I made a most lovely pair of socks with it (the Bacchus socks from Interweave). I wore them several times and loved them, but alas – my poor dear husband accidentally put them through the washer and dryer. They’re still adult sized, just not my size anymore. I guess they’re destined for a friend who has smaller feet than I.

  33. In 1975, I was on a junior-year-abroad type semester in France, and to continue my always-knitting behavior, I offered to knit a pair of socks for my French mother. She picked out the yarn, and not being a sock knitter herself, wasn’t sure how much to buy, so she just weighed a pair of cotton store-bought socks and bought the same weight of sock yarn. Of course it wasn’t enough yarn, but we were able to get more. On top of it, my French family was astonished that an American actually knew how to knit! (You should have seen their astonishment when I made bread for them – during the whole process, they believed that it was really going to end up as cake instead.)

  34. I finally taught myself to knit during the winter when I lived in Indiana. We moved to southern California for hubby’s work and I was without anything to do. Our belongings were still making their way to us (with my knitting stuff – won’t do that again!), hubby was at work and I was bored. I managed to find a knitting shop, find my way there to look and perhaps find something to help me with the time. The lovely woman in the store helped me to find an easy sock pattern and some nice yarn so I could attempt to knit my first pair. They are still wonderfully comfortable and warm.

  35. That is gorgeous! I just started knitting socks… actually that isn’t fair. I’v been knitting socks for a while but I’ve just started finishing actual pairs of socks. Anyway, I don’t have any good sock stories but I hope maybe I can make one out of that gorgeous skein???

  36. I love knitting socks because they are a nice small project to bring on the subway with me to work!

    My favorite sock story was the pair of boyfriend socks I made for my boyfriend while I was away for the summer. They were the first things I ever knit him. They took me a month and I was so proud of them! He loved them, worshiped them, and wore them for 2 weeks straight. Until he put a massive hole in one of them. πŸ˜› I patched the socks and we’re still together, but I still tease him about “wearing out my love in 2 weeks flat”. πŸ™‚

  37. My saddest sock story is that last year I knit 3 pairs of socks for my brothers and sister-in-law, but when I went to wash and block them, the color bled terribly on all 3 pairs. I was soooooo disappointed!

  38. Favorite sock story? I’ve only knit 5 pair: 1st-Silvers Sock class, too big. 2nd-Sunday Swings, 1st sock too big, next 2 socks perfect (note: 1 skein of Knitpicks Stroll Tonal will make at least 3 socks!). 3rd-Knitmore Girls Vanilla Sock, perfect (note: Red Heart Heart & Sole ROCKS!). 4th-No Purl Monekys, just finished and need to block but pretty sure they are going to be a tiny bit too big. 5th-St Brigid something or others – awesome!

    !!I want your yarn!!! πŸ™‚
    Rav ID: rethers

  39. I don’t know that I have a particular favorite sock memory. Maybe beholding the beauty of my finished pair of Pomatomus socks. Or my mom repeatedly telling me how much she loves the socks I made her. I haven’t tried Jitterbug yet, but it’s on my to do list. Fingers crossed that it’s sooner rather than later. πŸ™‚

  40. I (re-)taught my mom how to knit this summer; the project she picked as her first? Socks. She’s super busy, but her last question was about how long to make the foot, before starting decreases for the toe! She’s getting there. πŸ˜€

  41. My office is freezing, and my handknit socks keep me warm πŸ™‚ Unfortunately I have only three pairs. So sad for me.

  42. I knit my boyfriend ONE sock for our first valentine’s day. It was my first sock and a good one (thuja from knitty) but it was ONE sock. πŸ™‚ He’s now my husband of 5 years, so I guess it worked better than the sweater curse. πŸ™‚

  43. I don’t have many sock stories yet…I’ve only done one pair! So I guess my story is that they actually worked out! I was amazed the whole time, especially at the heel. It’s like magic.

  44. I tried making socks once, but was using alpaca yarn, which I now realize wasn’t the best choice. I’d like to give it another try with a more appropriate yarn!

  45. I’ve been knitting socks from the start, but since my little one came along my favorite smallish projects are sweaters and vests for him. One day I was rooting… ahem… sorting through my stash looking for something and he found my box of sock leftovers. Fascinated by the colors, he promptly chose one and asked, “This one’s for me?” Which of course warmed the cockles of my knitter’s heart, and I immediately cast on for a wee pair of toddler socks. He loves, them, and brags that his mommy made them wherever he goes… and I have a renewed love for sock knitting!

  46. My roommate is a great appreciator of knitted goods, and especially loves the socks I knit for her. I knitted her a pair of socks out of Malabrigo Sock in Botticelli Red which turned out to be her favorite pair — she wears them at least once a week! She works as an animal control officer, and while wearing her Malabrigo socks, rescued a dog with some nasty injuries on his head. The dog was the same color as her socks — so I used the leftover yarn to knit him a head cozy to wear over his bandages so he wouldn’t be embarrassed!

    Well, dogs are rarely embarrassed but he looked so cute in his hat as he healed — and he still wears it now that he’s gone on to his forever home! And THAT is why I love knitting socks — the love knitted into them keeps going.

  47. Not an amazing story, but pretty amazing to me… I made my first pair of socks on DPNs last year, a simple Ann Budd basic sock with a 2×2 rib on the leg — and they fit beautifully! (OK, I did the toe decreases wrong on one foot, so the toe is a teensy bit longer and pointier on that side, but it doesn’t show in shoes, right? ;-D ) When I posted them to my Ravelry projects page and mentioned them in a forum post, I got a lovely comment about how nice they look. I’m now on my second pair, after a fair bit of holiday knitting — the same pattern, because I wanted to try the two-circ method. I’m still not sure which I like best, and will eventually try the Magic Loop method as well. (Toe-up and two-at-a-time are also on my mental “try this someday” list.) I love socks for their portability — and for all the people who express their amazement/incredulity that anyone would actually knit SOCKS!

  48. I made my first pair of socks when I was heavily pregnant. I’d been knitting heaps of baby stuff and needed to make something for me. They’re not the nicest socks – acrylic and easily washable as I planned to wear them in hospital (a pregnant brain is not interested pondering what the weather will be like in November in Australia – hot for that year!) – but I’m never going to get rid of them because the fact that I could make socks got me so excited and happy, and helped distract me from the fact I was 2 weeks overdue.

  49. I think the best story for me was knitting socks for my Dad. It was my first socks to knit for a man and it seemed to take forever. I didn’t even know if he would want a pair. He opened the package and had a huge smile. He loved them! And he seemed to “get” that it had to have been a lot of work. Makes me want to knit him another pair.

  50. I don’t have one really funny story yet, but my sock knitting life is a comedy of its own. I have 4 preteens, all who demand knitted items. Problem? They outgrow anything I knit for them before I’m finished with it. I’ve started knitting their things 4 sizes too big πŸ˜‰

  51. I don’t know if this is much of a story, but I just finished a pair of well-traveled socks. I started them at the beginning of last summer back in Boston and they moved with me (lingering at about 30% completion) through customs at Heathrow and then on to Munich. Now that they’re finally done, they actually look kind of at home here in Bavaria with their twisted stitch pattern.

  52. I’m still working on my first sock. It’s been cast on 3 times so far, but I am sure that this one will not be frogged! I’ve made most of the mistakes that can be made on first time DPN knitting… I hope.

  53. Mostly I knit socks for my mom. She is old and has cold feet. I use really nice yarns because I really love my mom and I can. I was surprised when I got hammered by a LYS clerk about how stupid it is to make mom cashmere socks – they will wear out. My reply…life is short, wear cashmere socks. I hope she lives long enough to wear out many generations of luxury socks.

  54. My favorite sock story is about my nephew (who is 9). I made him a pair of socks (Lorna’s laces bumblebee) when he was 5 & hi mom called me laughing about a week ago – she saw him pulling the socks on (mind you the heel was in the middle of his foot) & asked him why he was wearing them when he could barely get them on and they were obviously too small. His reply “But MOM, they’re my favorite & Auntie Jen made them for me. Besides, they’re the only socks that keep my feet warm & they’re the best for sliding around on the floor.)” I think this boy has earned himself socks for life – I only feel bad that I haven’t knit him any sooner.

  55. Love Jitterbug sock yarn! Sock story. I love knitting socks, using the magicloop method usually toe up. I usually have sock in progress in my purse and work desk… My father has been asking me for a pair for more than 2 years, this last year i consented and CO in September with Black Yarn, on US 2’s, toe up magic loop two at a time! Oh man were they ever a challenge! super simple, but soo difficult with the black yarn and being HUGE! he has size 12 eee feet (long and wide!)

    Anyways… I actually finished them in time for Christmas! and he is a happy camper! It will be a VERY long time before I knit black socks for him again!


  56. I love that when I gave my husband his first pair of hand knit socks he bounced up and down in his socks and shoes talking about how soft and squishy the socks were. πŸ™‚ He still acts that way when he wears them and likes to rattle off the fine qualities of wool for socks to anyone who is interested.

  57. Maybe not the best sock story, but the most recent: I was knitting a pair of socks for my SIL for Christmas this past year, and since I wasn’t seeing her on Christmas day, my sister was going to deliver them. I went to my sister’s house on Christmas eve, still needing to finish the last toe decreases and kitchener. After dinner we exchanged gifts with her kids, started chatting, and got ready to go home. Then I remembered the sock! I was supposed to be knitting this whole time! I sat down and finished the sock, my husband waiting patiently to leave. I tucked in the ends, threw them in the package I brought, and off they went to my SIL. She loved them!

  58. On New Year’s Eve, I saw a friend I hadn’t seen since before I went to England for school. I’d brought him a present: a pair of doctor who socks i bought at the doctor who museum in cardiff. i’d been keeping it a surprise when i talked to him before i came home… well once i’d had a couple new year’s drinks, I said to him, “Oh no! I forgot your socks!” And he responded with “What socks?” so then I had to explain about the doctor who socks.

    And now I won’t see him for a few months while we’re both busy at University, but he knows that I’ve got some doctor who socks waiting for him.

    not exactly a knitted sock story, but good enough for me!

  59. Every time I knit socks my 4 year old insists they are for him, especially if they have even a hint of blue in them.

    Thanks for the contest!

  60. Two years ago I decided to knit socks for everyone in my group of friends. It was lovely to spend an entire year knitting for other people and fun to burn through so much of my sock yarn stash. I still get a thrill when I see them wear their handmade socks!

  61. I honestly don’t know if this is my favorite sock story, but it IS one I tell with some frequency…I wasn’t sure if Hubs would like hand knit socks, so the first pair I knit for him was a hold-the -breath affair for me. I chose some Lorna’s Laces DK weight yarn, in what I hoped was a manly color, checked out a simple pattern of ribbing for humber to cast on…and went for it. First sock done, I said, try it on! He did, and hemmed and hawed and was not quite sure if he liked the fit. Second sock done, (exactly the same) he tries it on and pronounces it perfect! I mix up the two so he doesn’t know which is which, and Mr Fussy-budget suddenly can’t tell which is the ‘funny’ one any more. Heh..He’s had several new pairs knit for him since then.

  62. Mine best sock story has to be my dad. After I knit him a pair of socks, I’m talking to him on the phone. And he’s going on (and on) about what wonderful socks they are and how they don’t even think about falling down, and they are so comfy and the only problem is … he only has one pair.

    That isn’t even a hint. And yes, I have knit him several more pairs.

    (Of course, purple is more my colour, which is good because all my handknit socks are hole-y beyond darning and I need to knit more for myself.)

  63. A long time ago, way back in the late 1970’s, I met a guy who would later become my hubby. At that point in time, although I was a knitter and hung out with lots of knitters, it was not at all common to meet someone who wore handknit socks, but this guy exclusively wore handknit socks (knit by his Mom). Anyway, the first time I went to his house I was greeted by a sight that shouted bachelor pad — there were dozens of pairs of handknit socks hanging over every curtain rod in the house airdrying. LOL! How could I not fall for a guy who treated his hand knits so lovingly :D? He still wears only handknit socks, and though his Mom still knits him socks, the majority are now knit by me.

  64. I made my dad a pair of socks, at his request, for his size 13! feet. They striped and pooled interestingly. While on the bus, a woman asked him “Where did you get those socks? The colours, the design. I adore them!” Turns out she is a fashion designer. So he then told her his loving daughter knit them for him and then rushed home and told me the story. How chuffed was I?

  65. I made a pair of socks for my grandfather back in 2009 and I recall going to one of my interviews and explaining what I was trying to stash in my purse. I gave him the socks not long after then and every time I visited him, I noticed that he seemed to be wearing the socks I made for him. I haven’t any idea if that was on purpose or not, but it was a lovely gesture and I smiled every time I noticed my grey-blue socks on his feet. He passed away last summer, and I was very glad to have made him something he enjoyed.

  66. I made my husband “lucky football socks” out of Jitterbug in one of our school colors. I made them a little long in the leg and didn’t have quite enough to finish the toe. I bought another skein for just a few rows – and now will be making myself a “lucky basketball scarf.”

  67. I pretty much only knit socks for my husband. He is always sheepish when I start a new pair because he feels like I shouldn’t “waste” my knitting on him because he always wears the socks out. That’s when I tell him that’s why socks are the ultimate expression of knitterly love because socks don’t last and they are a lot of work but we knitters make them anyway because we want our loved ones to have warm feet. πŸ™‚

  68. You’re so generous, to give away your stash like that, but I totally understand you, as I am very generous, too, with the items in my stash I know are likely to remain untouched forever.

    My sock story does not concern hand knit socks (but was the seed for my taking up sock kniting), so here goes. A couple of years (in early 2009) ago I flew to Paris, France to meet there my life partner for a 4 day mini break, only to find out that these 4 days of early January were to be of the coldest of that year, with snow covering the entire city. Now, it made Paris all the more enchanted, but darn cold. Now, my feet were frozen, much colder than usual (I suffer from very cold feet during winter), and with no serious socks (this was before I started knitting socks, of course). So I decided one of my first goals should be purchasing some warm socks (and gloves, my hands were freezing too). A quick glance in the sock department in one of the big department stores (don’t remember which it was exactly) revealed that a single pair of wool socks was priced at 18 (!) euros. Didn’t have much of a choice there, so I got two pairs of socks, one made of silk-wool mix and another of angora-wool, paid cash, and went on my way to change my socks in a nearby bench. At that precise moment, I made the conclusion that maybe sock knitting, though time consuming and costly (because I liked fancy sock yarn, of course, even then) might actually be better for my pocket, and shortly after I knit my first pair of socks.

    BTW, these french wool socks are still my best store-bought socks, and I just love them πŸ™‚

  69. My “favorite” sock story is more of an “uh-oh” than anything else, but it may support the theory that no good deed goes unpunished.

    I knit, with much taking of notes and making of sketches, a very specially fitted sock for a family member with chronic ankle problems — in one ankle, mind you, planning to knit that sock’s mate from the standard, as-written pattern.

    Came time to do the second, non-modified sock, and — you guessed it — I ever-so-carefully duplicated that first made-to-measure sock, which would not fit the non-problematic ankle/foot.

    Lemons to lemonade? Barely … Said family member has a tripart “pair” of socks: One standard, one custom, one “spare” custom.

    Don’t I need some yarn for admitting to all that? 8^)

    Yarn aside, thank you for your excellent “fit to flatter” approach to patterns; it’s really great!

  70. just this past christmas, i decided to knit a pair of bed socks for the mother of the friend i’m living with. she’s almost 90 years old and always cold. things started getting down to the wire though since i was designing on the fly, and i had no choice but to knit them in front of her. she kept asking me “what are those? who are they for.” and i kept telling her they were for me.
    finally i gave them to her on christmas day, and she was so so happy and they fit perfectly. and she said “oh, i was hoping they were for me. they didn’t look like they would have fit you.”
    probably the most successful knitted item i’ve ever given as a gift.

  71. OH my goodness – that’s gorgeous!!

    Favorite sock story – my mother’s maltipoo puppy came to visit a few days ago and I was in charge of him. He found a sock. Up till now, he’d basically stayed in one spot, licking the kids, but I thought he probably shouldn’t have that sock, so I reached down for it. At which point he took off running. Do you have any idea how fast a Maltipoo can run? I do now. We’ve got an open floor plan, with basically a big circle around the stairs in the middle of the house and I did 10 laps, chasing that puppy. He put his little head down and his ears flew out behind him…. then he’d dodge and go the other way. I thought I had him at the end of 10 laps, but it took 10 more before he slowed down. I finally got the sock. πŸ˜‰

  72. My daughter begged for a pair of socks right after I knit my first pair. So, I did a little math and knit her a pair to fit…they were soooo cute (pinks, browns, a little purple) She wore them for about 5 minutes and then started complaining that her feet were too hot. Little turkey πŸ™‚ That was 2 years ago and she just asked for a new pair. I still haven’t decided if she’s going to be receiving any for her 6th birthday in a few weeks πŸ˜‰

  73. I’ve knit a couple of pairs of socks for my dad. He wears them to bed every night in the winter, but won’t wear them out of the house because he’s afraid to ruin them. It’s pretty damn cute.

    (Please, no sock yarn for me! You’ve already tried once and I’ve resisted once. My sock yarn drawer overfloweth.)

  74. Hmmmm sock story.

    Well…I didn’t think I would get addicted to sock knitting…but I totally am.

    I decided I wanted to learn socks. I was sitting in my former LYS…at the SnB night…and mentioned this wistfully…everyone there squealed at me that I MUST LEARN SOCKS!

    One of the older ladies took me aside, walked me to the sock yarn and said “Here, pick something.” She bought me my first sock yarn, first size 2 circs, sat me down, and helped me learn Magic Loop. She said someone had done the same for her when she wanted to learn sock knitting, and just asked that I pass the tradition on.

    I knit backwards for a long, long time. I knit the sock inside out, basically, until I got to the heel. I finally figured it out…got it under control…and have had a pair of socks on the needles somewhere for over a year.

    Pairs knit to date: 6 (7 and 8 are on the needles)

    <3 SOCKS!

  75. Ohhh! But you are generous! I finally saw some colinette in person and fell in love, but then missed my chance to buy some. favorite sock story… that would be my first sock.
    I was determined to learn, even though i’d only been knitting 6 months. I got a pattern from the internet (before I knew abour ravelry) and faithfully followed the directions. I also got the bright idea to not take it to my knitting group (you know, the girls that had taught me to knit) because i wanted it to be a “surprise.” It didn’t seem “right” but I followed the pattern so it *must* be right, right?

    When I was done, I tried it on. I took it to knitting group with the hope that they’d tell me that it was fine. They didn’t. In fact, they asked if I knew anyone with a club foot and barring that, save it in case I ever broke my ankle and needed to put something over a cast. The gusset decreases are every 3rd row and it created this bizarre ballooning effect… I still have it. I keep thinking I’ll tear out the foot and reknit it. Three years later, and I keep telling myself that…

  76. Sadly, I have no sock stories. But I would love to create one with that beautiful colorway. Thanks for the giveaway.

  77. I make socks for my uncle, who is suffering from Parkinson’s. He once called me at around sunset and told me, “I think of you every day at this time.” When I asked why, he said because that’s when he takes his evening walks and pulls on his handknit socks.

    He gets two pairs a year, every year. I’ve never met anyone who appreciates my knitting as much as he does.

  78. I’ve never finished my first pair of socks. I knit one, full of mistakes, but I finished, and it fits! Then I got distracted by a new pair, and another… Two years later, I’ve knitted dozens of socks, had my designs published, and yet I still haven’t gone back to that very first one. It sits all sad and alone in my sock drawer. Poor thing.

  79. What a nice giveaway! Not that I need more purple yarn, but still…

    My favorite sock knitting experience is also my most recent (completed) one. After knitting the first sock, I decided to do a different pattern for the second. People — husband, MIL, friends — kept telling me not to, that folks would think I mismatched my socks.

    But I loved the process and the results! It was so much fun to find two patterns that seemed harmonious to me, to knit two different, lovely patterns, and to enjoy seeing both whenever I wear the socks. I may never do a complete pair of socks again! Second sock syndrome? See ya later!

  80. So far I’ve only made a few socks. Never a pair. The second sock I ever made was a knee sock that I think I’m going to have to take out even though it’s almost done because I was so new I messed up royally several times, but was too stubborn to take it apart THEN and convinced I could fix it. I adore sock yarn though, and every now and then buy a few skeins cause ONE day, I will make an awesome pair!

  81. Every now and then I suffer from sock knitting exhaustion, but generally I always have a pair on the needles. I particularly like knitting them for my significant other, even though his feet are epically huge. There is currently a little pile of sad, holey socks sitting outside my office door, waiting to be darned. And yet, the very first pair I ever knit him (also the pair that fit the best) are still worn regularly. Needless to say I’ve ordered more of that long wearing yarn! (Briggs and Little Tuffy, if anyone’s wondering).

  82. One of the first things I knit was a pair of socks for my dad. I’d only made scarves and maybe a hat before that, so it was fairly ambitious. I didn’t knit a gauge swatch because I didn’t really know what it was or why, and I didn’t know how big to make a sock for my dad anyway. I went at it and ended up making the world’s biggest sock! It was terrible but there were only a few days until Christmas so I had to make another quickly. He ended up loving them, but they were more like slippers than socks. They fit him, but if they stretched at all they’d be ridiculous. I’ve since learned the importance of swatches.

  83. Well, technically I have yet to finish a pari of socks, so I’m not really sure I have a sock story. Just two pairs of in-work socks (the first sock, naturally, I haven’t even finished a whole sock yet!), and a grwoing stash of sock yarn that I don’t seem to go through very fast. But I do love it. My goal for this year is to put a considerable dent in my stash (overall, not just sock yarn). And, I just got a book of knitting patterns just for sock yarn! Maybe that’ll help…

  84. My favorite sock story would be that right now over half my stash is sock yarn. Because I only knit two pairs of socks last year and it took me, yes, all year. But I can always use more, right? That plum is so pretty. I’ve already knit one sock this year and hope to have its mate finished by the end of January. Onward!

  85. I love knitting socks for my boyfriend; not only does he love the warmth and softness of hand-knit socks, he really appreciates the labor that goes into them (since he usually watches me knit a large portion). And as a bonus, his feet are relatively small (the same size as mine), so the socks don’t take forever to knit, and I can try them on myself as I go!

  86. My favorite sock story is a recent one. I knit my hard to please dad a pair of worsted socks for Christmas, thinking he’d use them as house slippers. A couple of days ago I received an email that was a glowing review of how the socks performed while he was snow shoveling recently. He loves them!

  87. My favorite sock story is a sad one: I’ve knit so many socks for myself that I no longer measure. I don’t need swatches or gauges.

    So, on a plane, on the way to meet Alice, my new sister-in-law; I mindlessly cast on stitches and knit. It was a cross-country flight and I was through the heel by the time I arrived. Alice – despite being seriously ill – noticed the socks and teased me about her knitter friends who wouldn’t knit her socks because she wasn’t ‘family’ but I was ‘family’ now.

    The socks turned out too big for me, but fit Alice perfectly. Alice died 2 days later. But she had new socks.

  88. My grandmother and I learned to knit together in 2005. She was a fearful knitter and hated nothing more than weaving in ends. When she died in 2010 I inherited her stash and tools, but found a beautiful pair of finished striped socks at the bottom of one of her bags! Jackpot! A pair of socks that my grandma made and they’re all mine! I slipped them on immediately and whatdoyaknow….she didn’t weave in ANY of the ends inside.

  89. I knit a pair of socks for my mom and another pair for my dad awhile ago and didn’t really hear too much about them later on…never raved about the warmth or wanted more socks. My mom fractured her pelvis 2 weeks ago and is constantly wearing her one pair of socks and has taken over my dad’s pair. I have just finished a sock in a yummy MCN base – it will be hard to part with this pair when I finish, but I think she deserves them πŸ™‚

  90. I’ve only knit a few pair of socks – but my favorite ones traveled through Greece with me the last time I spent a summer there. I was traveling with my best friend for two months and we spent a lot of time on boats, overnight ferries and a cruise of the Ionian sea. I would sit and knit my socks during sunrises and sunsets and world cup football games. I finished the first of the pair while waiting at the Acropolis theater to see a performance of Turandot – the Greek grandmothers sitting next to us thought I was crazy for carrying wool around in 100+ degree heat. But the socks ended up being the best souvenir of the whole trip πŸ™‚

  91. my favorite sock yarn story is my first ravelry trade. I loved the beach towel colorway, but when I got it, realized I would never be able to wear it, so I made my first pair of baby booties for a pregnant friend. It is the perfect, gender neutra but colorful, choice!

  92. When I first learned to knit, I had a really, really hard
    time, because I have some problems with spatial thinking. So as I
    struggled, my knitting teacher sat nearby knitting a sock on
    toothpicks (ahem. DPNs). I watched in horror and said “NO WAY. I’ll
    buy my socks for a buck, thanks!” She just smiled knowingly and
    wisely said nothing. Fast-forward a bit, and I knit my first pair
    of socks – you guessed it – on DPNs. My Ravelry page is called “I
    Swore I’d Never”. I am currently almost finished with my 23rd pair
    of socks, and I am addicted!

  93. my favorite sock tale is that i spent an enitre weekend
    leading girls at a girl scout weekend while knitting a sock, and
    none of them could really figure out how it was “supposed to go”
    until it was done and i could try it on. oh the magic of

  94. My first socks were the project that defined my knitting as
    loose, as I had to go down to 000 needles to get gauge. I had been
    told that my knitting was tight, but it was the tight cast-on that
    I had worked out on my own. It took several tries to get reasonable
    gauge, but I persisted and finished them, learning a lot. I’d been
    knitting over 20 years on and off by then, and what I learned with
    those socks cranked my knitting (and satisfaction with it) into
    high gear.

  95. Such wonderful stories from everyone! I don’t have a great
    story as I only started knitting socks about a year ago, and I’ve
    only finished 2 pair – one for me and one for my mom. I am forever
    thankful to my knitting friend for helping me to learn and for
    doing a knit-along with me, although she is a much, much quicker
    and more experienced knitter than I am!

  96. Often when I knit socks, I don’t know who they will be for
    – so as I knit, the socks tell me who is destined to get

  97. I have a lot of sock yarn which I love to use for shawls
    and mittens and anything other than socks. I knit one pair of socks
    and haven’t gotten used to how they feel on my feet yet. Shoes fit
    differently with them on. I’m determined to learn to like knitted
    socks – it only seems right. So I’ll keep knitting them until I
    love them… bring on the sock yarn!

  98. How generous of you to gift away such yummy yarn…I’m sorry I cannot attend your workshop in Salem – have so wanted to but am away that weekend…don’t have too many sock stories – much of my sock yarn goes to shawls – but have begun to finish more since I discovered toe-up construction…cheers to you,

  99. Is it sad that I don’t have a sock story??? hummm not a dang one! I think you should break and knit yourself a nice pair of socks!!

  100. I have never knit a pair of socks. Why? Because when I took
    up knitting I mentioned making my husband a pair of socks. He
    emphatically told me I could knit away, but he would never wear
    them. So, why waste my time? However I find lots of uses for sock
    yarn. Shrugs, hats, color work…

  101. As I don’t have ANY sock yarn, I think that you should be
    pick me, just kidding. But I would love to have this sock yarn to
    start yet another addiction. Thanks for the chance to win, and even
    if I don’t I will still be reading your blog!!

  102. A few years ago I said to my knitting friends “why do all
    these people knit nothing but socks all the time? why would you
    bother” About six months later I knit a pair of socks just so I
    could say that I had done it. Then I wore them. Now most of my
    stash is sock yarn and most things in my rav queue are socks. My
    friends love to remind me. “What’s with all the crazy sock people?!
    I’d never be bothered knitting socks!”

  103. When I started knitting several years ago, I was quite
    young and didn’t have an income of my own so my parents would buy
    my yarn. In return, I promised to use some of the sock yarn they
    bought me for socks for them. Years passed. My interest in sock
    knitting waned. Eventually, I turned my mom’s sock yarn into a
    shawl. But I’ve still got my dad’s sock yarn, which stares at me
    balefully every time I root through my stash. Next Christmas, I

  104. It made me very happy last month when a friend asked me to
    darn the socks I made for her a few years ago. So nice to know a
    gift is well-used and loved!

  105. I made some bright orange socks for my father, who could not see very well in his later years. He wore them frequently, and made complete strangers stop to admire his socks. This may or may not be why his doctor started testing him for dementia around that time.

  106. i kept offering to knit a pair of sox for my husband but he
    kept refusing — i think he was afraid they would end up being
    purple. then one day, i had just finished the first of a pair made
    from yarn i had dyed with cake frosting. the yarn was the prettiest
    blue/gray and black. i got up for something and when i came back to
    the couch i found my husband wearing the sock and asking me when he
    could expect to have the second one.

  107. I still say I’m not a sock knitter. But I seem to have amassed a quantity of hand knit socks. So really, I’m just not a *fingering weight* sock knitter. And that’s why I have a stash of fingering weight sock yarn…for shawls and scarves and…

  108. In 10th grade I knew the very very very basics of knitting – k, p, k2tog. But I decided I was going to make a pair of socks.

    Somehow I ended up confusing the metric/US conversion and ended up getting size 9 DPNs. For socks. They were massive and unruly acrylic monsters. And I also wasn’t thinking about the material, as my conclusion was I could just shrink them in the wash/dryer. Four cycles later I still had the same size acrylic sock.

  109. One of my very best friends bought this pretty silver ring. Loved it. I may have snatched it off her finger and worn it all night, and then just maybe I “accidentally” went home with it. Well, she really liked it too and she had a few things to say about that. I asked if I could buy it from her and she flat out refused, so I offered a trade – handknit socks for the ring. Well, let’s just say that the ring has a lovely spot in my jewelry box these days. The power of handknit socks!

  110. I once asked my daughter who was then living in England to
    get me some sock yarn when she asked what I wanted for my birthday.
    Three beautiful skeins of Colinette Jitterbug duly arrived – along
    with with the request that I don’t use it for socks because it was
    too pretty to hide in shoes! They later turned into a pair of
    gloves, a scarf and a newborn size baby surprise jacket. They would
    have made lovely socks though!

  111. I have lots of sock yarn, but mostly those that require
    socks are of the male persuasion. I LOVE the color, and it is not
    blue or gray or brown or black!!!. I think that skein should come
    to MY stash and beome something gorgeous.

  112. We were on holiday in the US and planned to meet some
    bloggy friends in Minneapolis. My husband was asking me lots of
    questions on landing such as ‘Do you know what these people look
    like?’ etc and I reassured him that we would know precisely who
    they were when we saw them. Lo and behold, she was there with her
    sock knitting! πŸ™‚ We met some other bloggy friends in Paris and
    Lynne was also standing outside the Notre Dame knitting a sock πŸ™‚
    So socks are the universal sign of friendship πŸ™‚

  113. I knit my husband some socks for his birthday last March, and he wore them ocassionally, with mild enthusiasm. Then he got a new pair of work boots and suddenly the only socks that were any good under them were the ones I knit. Having to steal them to wash them after 4 days wear is not uncommon. So of course now I have plans to knit him some more (although my Christmas attempt were a disaster). Makes me smile to see him love them so much!

  114. I’ve fallen completely in love with making and wearing
    handknit socks. I bought Cookie A’s book, Sock Innovation, and my
    friends now use it as a catalog to request the socks they want me
    to make for them!

  115. I was told several years ago to “just do what the sock
    pattern says even if it makes no sense to you”-and indeed a sock
    was knit and a second joined it! It made me realize that sometimes
    not knowing that something is “difficult” is the best way to

  116. I learned to knit socks while on our road trip from Seattle
    to St. Louis. I decided that moving cross country sight unseen was
    the perfect time to learn a new knitting skill. I had no idea what
    a delight handknit socks could be, there’s no going back! But in
    addition to having the honor of being my first socks, the pair I
    made on that journey also carry the memories of that wonderful trip
    and the start of our big new adventure.

  117. I tried to knit some heavy socks to walk around the house in. It was my intention to felt them so they would be thick and sturdy. So of course before it was felted, it was really big and not knowing the process, my kids would say, “If that’s a sock, it must be for the Loch Ness Monster!”. So afterwards when they realized that they were very comfortable, etc., they ask for a pair of Loch Ness Monster socks. Not the name I intended but there all the same.

  118. This isn’t a knitting sock story, just a regular sock story. My most memorable sock moment was early one morning when getting ready for work, I dug around in my sock drawer for some black socks to wear with black pants and black shoes. It was pretty dark in the bedroom, so I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had selected one black sock and one very bright blue sock. When I got to work, I noticed it right away since most of my foot and ankle was visible.

  119. I am a new sock knitter. I was never interested until I learned I could make two at a time from the toe up. I’m now kind of crazy about them – all the yarn!!!

  120. I converted my husband to enjoying handknits via a pair of wonderfully squooshy handknit socks πŸ™‚ now he is always on the lookout, wondering if the next pair on the needles is for him!

  121. I “collect” sock weight yarn but usually make anything but socks out of it. Why not consider designing something out of fingering weight yarn that is not a sock?
    The purple plum of your give-away with the specks of hot pink is gorgeous

  122. I knit my best friend a pair of socks back in 2007. It took me TWO YEARS to get her to actually wear them. She didn’t want to ruin them.

    Thankfully, her MIL bought her a pair of awesome boots that fit properly only with my hand-knit socks and thus, she’ll actually wear them now.

    And has requested more socks.

  123. Every pair of socks I knit is my favourite sock story! My last ones were my favourite because they were so squishy and I knit them on vacation with my in-laws, who I love.

    My new favourites are the Hederas I am knitting now. They are my favourites because I adore Cookie’s designs and these are my first pair of hers. I am knitting them out of Colinette Jitterbug in Velvet Damson, so if I win this skein I will knit the other sock with the Velvet Plum and have a velvet pair.

  124. I looooooove hand knit socks. I would wear them everyday. But they take me so long to knit that I only have two pair so far.

  125. The first pair of hand-knitted socks I knit came out way too big for me… but I didn’t care, I wore them anyway. One day I asked my husband to do some wash… Oops. Thankfully, I intercepted the socks before they made it to the dryer (not superwash, obviously) and guess what, they fit me perfectly now!

  126. The first pair of socks I knit I now wear as my lucky socks. I swear they have the power to make what I know will be a tricky day into something happy — a degree, a job, and a move to another country (among other things I was hoping for but doubtful of) have all come out of days I wore my lucky socks. Time for more of them I think!

  127. I love socks for travel knitting – on the train, bus or plane. It did get me into trouble once when the airport security guys in Peru CUT my needles off the cable(they were circs). I still haven’t forgiven them for that!

  128. I love handknit socks! And so does my 3yo son. Every time he sees a pair on the needles, no matter the size, he asks, “ooh are those for ME?”

  129. I only have one hand knit sock story – my very first knitted sock was completed last week. Admittedly, after only one I already have second sock syndrome. We’ll see how it goes… πŸ™‚

  130. My very first knitting project was a cabled & bobbled Christmas stocking, knit up in big Lopi yarn. I gave it to my mother, and she hangs on the staircase railing every year. My dad pretends to be Santa and puts chocolates and tiny boxes of raisins inside.

  131. My first sock (I didn’t end up knitting a mate) was knit with worsted weight at such a tight gauge as to be practically bulletproof. The class I took gave us a materials list w/a needle size and no suggestion to check for gauge before class.

    I was a new knitter and super, super, yank-each-stich tight & I knew I usually had to go up 1-2(or more)needle sizes but I just didn’t.

    I ended up with one ankle sock that can stand up on its own. Really. I can put it on my foot, but it is more like a foot corset than a functional sock, but it’s pretty and I joke that one day I might get it framed (:

  132. I was a crocheter – and it was socks that drew me to knitting. My first official pair was men’s size 13! Thankfully the DH knew to be appreciative.
    To this day, it just doesn’t feel right unless there is a pair of socks on the needles somewhere.

  133. I have to say that I’m secretly (hum, guess not anymore!) dreaming about designing a knit sometime… but I still have much experience to build… You are so generous, this is a great contest (I’ll have one of my own on Monday for my 2nd bloggyversary and I can’t wait)! I have only one sock story because I just knit one pair so far! I loved it, they were the Monkeys by Cookie A. in Malabrigo Sock (mmm) and that was during the Ravelympics so it was a great challenge! I loved the tiny yarn and needles! Have a great weekend!

  134. I am tired of the way the socks I buy get holes in them so quickly. I have not tried knitting socks but I am determined to do it this year to stop my sock problem. My feet put socks through hell.

  135. Sock knitting has taken over my life, and I couldn’t be happier.
    I’ve been out of work for over a year now, and haven’t been quite “right” in the head. Knitting socks is my favourite therapy: they give me a sense of accomplishment in a relatively short amount of time, and make me feel as though I’m spoiling myself rotten πŸ™‚

  136. The first socks I knit were years ago when I was in college — an argyle pair for my father. They’re pretty awful, but I think he treasured them for the effort. Now I sometimes wear them at home on cold winter days and remember him.

  137. After I learned to makes socks a few years ago, I had a customer colorway designed by an indie dyer to match the colors of my daughter’s elem. school. My thought was to make her a pair of striped knee socks in her school colors. Needless to say, that was three years ago and the yarn is still wound in a hank. I guess I’d better start moving because in three years she will be out of elem. school and probably won’t even like knee socks by then!

  138. I learned to knit my first pair of socks, coached by my daughter, while six of us were traveling to Nepal and Tibet. There were many hours in planes, airports, and in hotel rooms in dark little towns at night.

  139. I don’t have any great sock or sock yarn stories…..but sure do covet that yarn!

  140. Every time my five-year-old sees me casting on for a new project, he asks if it is socks for him. The answer is always “no” — his feet are growing too quickly for me to invest the time in knitting him socks, though I do knit him lots of other things.
    Finally, at Christmas, he was so frustrated with his lack of handknit socks that he took to wearing the enormous stockings I had made around the house, tripping everywhere but quite pleased with himself that he’d scored himself a pair of “socks”.

  141. My favorite story is simple but meaningful to me — it took some months but after a badly broken arm I was able to finish a pair of colorwork socks. When you break something on your hand or arm you are scared to death that a doctor will tell you that you can’t knit for … X months. If I could knit for 10 minutes at first I was thrilled , so finishing the socks was my “Mt Everest”

  142. Maybe not my favorite sock story, but the most complicated pair I ever made was a pair of simple toe-up 2×2 ribbed socks with short-row heels and toes. I got to the heel on the 2nd sock, finished it, joined back up to knit in the round, continued knitting across the instep, got all the way around to the second-to-last stitch of the heel, and dropped it. It unraveled down about half the rows in the heel and I had no idea how to pick it, and the short-row wraps, back up correctly. Rip, redo. 2nd time, exactly the same thing happened again.

    Ravelry tells me I did not pick up the sock again for 4 months, I was so frustrated with that heel. The weird thing is, when I did pick it back up ready to work on the heel, I found a sock with a perfect short-row heel and at least 2 or 3 more complete rounds of knitting beyond that. At some point I had knit the heel the 3rd time and done it right, but I guess I’d put up some sort of mental wall after the stress of the first 2 attempts.

    I finished that pair in no time and they were my favorite warm socks for a while. Until I ran them through the washer and dryer. My friend Amanda’s 4-year-old had stylish wool-and-silk clad feet that winter, and I’ve had an irrational aversion to Knit Picks Gloss ever since. I don’t know why I blame the yarn, but blame the yarn I do.

  143. My favorite sock story? The first pair of lace socks I ever knit, a few years ago, and my then-toddler daughter kept pulling out the dpn’s (I use magic loop now), and I didn’t know what a lifeline was, and I had to restart those darn socks 3 times. And wouldn’t you know, they are one of my favorite pairs now.

  144. I made my best friends opposing socks for their marriage 2 years ago. I thought that was pretty cute. So, pick me!

  145. I love to knit socks, and took it upon myself to knit a pair for everyone in my family a couple of years ago. I sent an email asking for precise measurements of everyone’s feet with a diagram. Everyone laughed at the time, but now their feet are warm and cozy! Now it’s time to knit myself a pair, and that Colinette looks good to me!

  146. I love sock yarn! I have only knit a couple of pairs but I use it for all kinds of projects because of the weight and the color options. I loves cowls out of sock weight yarn and my fingerless mitts from sock weight yarn are just yummy.
    Thanks for sharing your design process. Very interesting.

  147. I have a rather large stash of sock yarn too but do not have THIS color :>)

  148. I am absolutely in love with sock yarn – not as the name of the yarn implies for the sake of socks, but for shawls. My Ravelry favorites overflows with shawls, shawlettes, wraps, and scarfs, all in this lovely, lightweight yarn. I cannot get enough or knit with enough of it. Right now I’m working on two projects one with sock yarn and one with dk weight. I find that I have to “school” myself constantly to stay on top of the dk weight project – my sock yarn keeps calling to me.

  149. For a long time I’ve been dying to knit my boyfriend a pair of socks. Now, if I’m making socks for me one sock will take me about 2 or 3 days depending on how dedicated I am. One sock for my boyfriend took me about a month.

    Men have humongous feet. It’s ridiculous.

  150. My problem is that my feet are size 10 1/2, so I can almost never knit a pair of socks from just one skein of sock yarn. The first pair I ever knit (Monkey by Cookie A) were about 1 inch too long, just because I was so SURE they would be too short and tried to overcompensate, making my already long feet look like they are wearing canoes. It’s why I hate posting pictures of my socks on Ravelry, because my feet look like some photography foreshortening experiment gone awry!

  151. I’ve tried knitting socks on several occasions. I’ve accumulated a few books, many patterns and a lot of sock yarn. I just can’t get into it. I’ve decided that sock knitting is just not for me, and I’m now trying to find other uses for my stash of sock yarn. I do love Jitterbug, and wouldn’t mind adding another skein to my stash…

  152. My first pair was my favorite! (Doesn’t the first – anything – always hold a special place in your heart?) Toe-up, purple with a little pattern. Will love them forever, even though they’re pilling and a little threadbare.

    I love your blog. And learned ALOT from your fit to flatter series. Thank you for sharing your know-how!

  153. the sock yarn is beautiful! I have a woman at work, who relayed to two of us, who love to knit socks, that we could make a lot of money knitting and selling our handcrafted socks, why she said, I bet you could sell those for $10 – $15 dollars a pair! The other knitter and I looked at each other and blanched, and I said oh the yarn itself cost $20- $25, so it wouldn’t really make us any $, being very polite about it. She then said, oh you would have to make a lot of pairs ,but eventually you would make some $. LOL! We knitters just smiled and kept on knitting socks for ourselves πŸ™‚

  154. I have yet to knit a pair of socks, but I LOVE sock yarn. I have recently invested in the new book “Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders,” and now I am really in need of sock yarn! I would love to win some. If not this month… maybe next!

    Pick me! Pick me!


  155. My story of socks…. It’s all in my dreams! I knit, i knit, for so many years… and i never knit socks… So i engage myself to knit red socks if i win that yarn! Thank ya!

  156. My favorite sock story has to do with the misconceptions non-knitters have about socks. They don’t realize there are as many stitches in a pair of socks as in an average sweater. I knit a pair of Cat Bordhi socks for my daughter a few years ago. These were short socks knit with the yarn doubled, so they were on 4’s or 5’s, and they knit up fast. I blogged my joy with knitting a pair of socks in just 3 weeks. A dear friend commented how astonished he was that they took THAT long. He thought a person could knit up a pair of socks in just a couple of days! (Well, maybe the Yarn Harlot can, but we mere mortals….)

  157. A couple of years ago DH and I were both out of work for a long long time and, since I had just learned to knit, I decided to knit everyone something for Christmas. Our families tried to be supportive even though they live in hot climates and have no need of warm fuzzies.

    However, this act of gift desperation on my part resulted in some of them thinking that I wanted to knit everyone gifts every year, and comments like, β€œIt’s almost cold tonight… I could have brought that, uhhh, thing you made me…” and β€œYou should make me socks this year… I’d actually wear socks” ensued. Sigh.

    So with my usual foresight and planning, I turned procrastination into an art form once again and didn’t start the socks and slippers for my Mom until three days before we met for the gift exchange. I’m a slooooooooow knitter, and New Years Day (Happy New Year!) found me still up at 7am trying to get the rest of the slipper pieces finished so I could felt and dry them in time, and only 1 sock done.

    Sunday came along too soon, and unless Mom had one shin 4 1/2” shorter than the other, they didn’t qualify as a β€œpair” of socks. In desperation, I switched from DPNs to magic loop for the drive to lunch, then kept right on knitting after lunch all through the drive to their house. I gifted my mom with Sock #1 to unwrap, and she said, “A pair of socks!” “No, Mom, that’s, um, a bit embarrassing…”

    It turns out that when she was a teenager, she had also gifted her brother with a single sock and a ball of yarn for Christmas. He never did get sock number two. She laughed when I pulled out the second sock, knit for another 45 minutes, and handed her a finished pair of socks. Victory, snatched from the jaws of defeat!

  158. My husband begged for a pair of hand-knit socks after I made a pair for one of my sons, so I dutifully complied. They were completed and gifted in a timely way. A year later, he pulled them out of his drawer and said, “maybe I’ll wear these today.” We tease him about his habit of “aging” his gifts by putting them away and finding them at some time in the future — still pristine, new, and sometimes still in the package!

    I’m going to be in your class in Brunswick in a month and am so looking forward to it!

  159. I’ve only knit 2 pairs of socks in my life, but the one that is knit from a wool/bamboo blend has almost NO “give”. It’s hard to get those socks on my feet but I don’t know anyone with feet smaller than mine to give them to. I just do the work to wriggle my feet into them, lol.

  160. When I started knitting only a little over a year ago, I didn’t understand the drive to knit socks, which is something that it seemed everyone at my knit night did…it just looked dangerous (with the DPNs) and complicated.

    And then I was introduced to the magic loop!

    Socks are no longer dangerous, but I’ve still only made one pair, which I love and wear on especially cold nights!

  161. My favorite socks are the ones I knit on the flight over to Italy and on my first few train trips over there. They have a lot of meaning when I put them on now.

  162. I don’t think I have a good sock story, but I love that yarn!

    Oh wait, I do. I decide to knit my first wollmeise socks. Cookie A’s monkey pattern. I even carefully checked gauge–something I never do.

    They were too small. My wollmeise socks. My best friend got them.

  163. I sprained my ankle two summers ago and decided to make a pair of socks for my oldest. I am super-slow, but well, immobilized and child-sized worked in my favor. Of course, I divorced my brain for the week and made the heel flap only half as long as it should have been. Whoops. Not only did the 7 year old reject them with a polite “No thank you,” but the 3 year old tried them on and took them right off and left them for dead crumpled in a corner. All the more reason to knit for myself.

  164. My favourite sock story has to be the pair I made for my husband (his first), the yarn was dyed for him by someone on an online group I belong to and I really couldn’t see it on him; however after struggling through knitting the socks for him he loves them!

  165. I have knit several pair of socks for my son, who is almost two – because they are so dang cute and so dang fast – the duck socks are my favorite. I went from those to knitting a pair of regulation socks for Socks for Soldiers, but I have not knit a pair of “normal” socks yet. Maybe 2011 will be the Year of the Sock for me, I’d love to do the Yarn Harlot’s self imposed sock club, but I’m not nearly organized enough!

  166. The first thing I ever knit without a pattern was a pair of socks. My first design success!

  167. When I finally figured out how to use dpns (that’s a story in itself)I knit a pair of socks for myself then a pair for my 2 sons – after realizing they had NO idea of the work involved, I’ve only knit them for myself- I love them dearly but I’d rather knit each a sweater than another pair of socks

  168. Sock yarn is good not just for socks,this is why it is nice to have a good stash of it πŸ™‚ For example making a nice warm shawl for the cold winter days!

  169. I knit my first pair of socks out of Opal Hundertwasser yarn, and sent it to my knitting “mentor” – girlfriend from college who taught me how to knit. It felt symbolic, like an offering of gratitude πŸ™‚

  170. I try to knit sweaters, I love handknit sweaters, I’ve even finished a few. But I always end up knitting socks…I must live in your mirror

  171. I’m making a sweater out of sock yarn, on size two needles. Sock yarn is amazing!

  172. I have a pair of socks (Rick, by Cookie A) that I knit while on vacation in the UK. I love the memories of pleasant train journeys past gently rolling hillsides that they invoke.

  173. I love the sock yarn, so pretty! But, I think I love your notebook more…lol. What kind of notebook is that? It looks like it has charts ready for you to go and create designs on…lol

  174. my favourite sox were knit while on vacation. I had forgotten to take a knitting project with me and the weather turned nasty, so I went to a local crafts store – not even a LYS and got a ball of yarn and some dpns, then started on the first sock with no clear idea what to do, they ended up with an improvised mock-cable pattern. Naturally, I did not take many notes when I knit the first one, so I had quite a busy time trying to reproduce it, but it all turned out fine and I actually managed to finish the second one on the train ride home, kitchener stitching the toes with a plain sewing needle from my traveling kit with a tiny little eye.

    They remind me of that vacation whenever I wear them, I absolutely refuse to let them go and have darned them twice already.

  175. socks socks socks. i can’t stop knitting socks. colinette is a lovely yarn and velvet plum is an engaging color!
    i hope i get picked… i love your site. i am now going to be brave enough to make a sweater thanks for your tips!

  176. I go on sock knitting jags where I will start several pairs and mostly finish them… and then life gets in the way, and they sit for months. I love finding all my mostly knitting pairs, gathering them up, and finishing them all at the same time. It’s like a treasure – the time-lapse cure for second sock syndrome because the socks seem new and exciting again, and a bounty of new socks will only a little bit of (recent) knitting.

  177. My story is this: I love and I mean really love sock yarn. I love the color, the texture, all the things you can make the sock yarn do. But I am not so enamored with knitting socks. Every once in awhile yes…but based on all the sock yarn I stash, you’d think I would have a house full of hand knitted beauties! But I love it all! Including the one you’re giving away. I love jitterbug!

  178. My favorite pair is my first. This is probably because I followed the pattern to the letter and they came out to the correct size even though I didn’t swatch. But that was just too easy! Now I try to change the yarn and the gauge and I swatch like crazy but can never quite get things to work out. I need to just stick to following the patterns down to the [email protected]

  179. I’ve never made socks! I’m not sure how that is, but there you go. I’ve made a couple of really cool shawl/scarves with sock yarn.

  180. I’m still on my first pair of socks. The heels are so daunting. Someday I will have these beautiful socks adorning my feet. And when I do I will make sure my pants are short enough so everyone can see them. Here’s hoping…

  181. I tried to stop smoking and I was really struggling with it…and I have a neighbor who knits. I asked her to teach me to knit to help aid in the not smoking. She agreed to. The very first thing she taught me (at my request) was how to knit two socks at a time on one needle. I have been knitting ever since. The running joke is by the time I finished my 1st pair of socks she was ready to start smoking. I have not had a cigarette since, Thank you Debi(my neighbor)

  182. My best sock story would have to be buying Beth Brown-Reinsel’s gorgous Fair Aisle Autum sock kit years ago at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I did this even though I had a) never knit socks and b) never knit fair isle. Oh, and I had never made anything from a chart either! The first sock probably took me two years to make! Each round was painful and slow. The sock was completed and second sock syndrome set in. The kit went to the bottom of my stash. Fast forward about 10 years…I found the kit, wondered why I had never completed my second sock and finished it over a two week period. It was a great way to realize how much I had learned over the last decade and how comfortable I finally am with knitting!

  183. So far I’ve only knit 3 pairs of socks, but my favorite was made out of a beautiful skein of Malabrigo. They were so yummy and soft! I only got to wear them 2 or 3 times before I snagged them on something and ripped a giant hole in the bottom. So now I need to learn some repair skills because I love them too much to give them up!

  184. It would have to be my New Year’s Eve story. I decided to make this a very productive sock year and I choose a skein of Fleece Artist SoMoKo and wound it into a nice cake early in the evening, to be all ready for my first socks of the year, and then I went off to play on the computer for a few hours. My husband and grown daughter were off camping- that’s right, camping in 20 degree weather, on the Washington State ‘Wilderness Coast’ so I was doing New Year’s Eve at home with just the pets. So, while I was having some fun, my 8 month old puppy decided to have a good game with that yarn cake and she very quietly ripped it into a huge tangle. I don’t know why I bothered, but I did spend the next 4 hours untangling that mess and I did it! It is now 1 and 1/3 pair of socks! I had made the mistake with this puppy of knitting her some very cute stuffies with squeekers- out of sock yarn! My mistake, but I did give her a harsh scolding and I think she knows how upset I’ll be with her if she does it again. She did hang her head and slink away- she got the point.
    Beautiful skein you’re offering. Thanks for the giveaway!

  185. When I was pregnant with my twins, my aunt knit several pairs of socks for the babies. I was a very new knitter and decided at that moment I would knit socks. I had had barely knit in the round, done ribbing or even tried DPNs. That first pair of socks started when I was 6 months pregnant and I finished them 51 weeks later.

    When I wear those socks I think back at how much I’ve learned and grown as a knitter. When I see them in my drawer next to my more polished versions I appreciate the fact that even though they were a learning experience, they are still useable.

  186. I was walking down the hall yesterday at work and felt something move in my shirt. Without thinking, I reached in to see what the heck was going on. Pulled out a sock. Oh,dear.

    Not sure where it’s mate is (yes, I checked my pants) so I guess I need to knit more.

  187. I’ve knit several pairs of socks but my favorite have been Embossed Leaves… so simple, easy to memorize, and beautiful as a finished product! This pattern would look especially lovely in the Jitterbug yarn you’re generously offering to give away!

  188. My favorite sock story is the handknit pair of argyles I inherited as had me downs about 40 years ago. I have a small foot and they were knit by a family friend for her son that outgrew them. I still wear them occasionally, but they are wearing thin.

  189. I was just wondering what design program you use for your charts. Thanks πŸ™‚ Also, that green vest below is gorgeous!

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