This is the time of Winter where I wish I had more socks. Thick cozy socks to wear with clogs and boots. Thinner socks to wear with shoes. I’m imagining “basic socks.” In my mind “basic socks” have a bit of ribbing and then are smooth for a few inches on the calves.
The first two pair of socks I knit, many years ago, I knit from hand spun yarn. The first pair was chunky, masculine and great for wearing with boots. The second pair were a tube sock knit in a fancy spiral pattern. Feminine in color, pattern and in a thinner yarn. Both pair of socks were knit from hand spun, hand dyed yarn. I knit them to show off my spinning and dyeing skills!
Nowadays there are all kinds of sock yarns available in stores. Almost all of these yarns have nylon blended with wool. I’ve read that this makes the socks last longer. Since I’ve never spun nylon I decided to buy commercial yarn for a new pair of “basic socks.”
Then came my hunt for a pattern. I had totally forgotten where the patterns came from for the first two pair of socks. I may have made up the masculine sock pattern as I went along. The feminine pattern was from this old standby, “Homespun Handknit,” edited by Linda Ligon. It’s the spiral mitten pattern, adapted for socks.
I started out knitting the sock pattern that came with the commercial yarn. I found out that my ankles aren’t as big as the fictitious person the yarn company pattern was created for! So I ripped out the socks. Then I measured twice and cast on, for the third time if you count the gauge swatch! With size two US needles my socks are taking some time to knit, but now that I’m done with the ribbing the knitting should speed up.
Since I’m making up the sock pattern as I go along these socks should suit me perfectly. I hope to be able to use this pattern for another pair of socks, in a different color way. The real surprise for me is how thin commercial sock yarn is. It has me thinking about plying my hand spun yarn with nylon. I wonder if that would give my handspun similar wear to commercial sock yarn?
So there you have it. Winter has me creating my own sock pattern and thinking about plying my hand spun with nylon.
Spring may lead me down a less challenging path, but at least I’ll have nice socks to wear!