Sorting socks

Posted by on Monday, February 7th, 2011

I learned to knit so that I could knit my own socks, and it shows. I decided to tally up the hand-knitted socks I’ve kept, and was a bit surprised. I knew that they took up a large portion of our drying rack whenever I washed them, but I hadn’t realized how large the collection had gotten.  It got to be large enough I had to give some away. I just had to.  My sock drawer is small, and I only have these two feet, and it seemed silly that excellent socks were going unworn.  So, a pair went into our living history group’s silent auction, and I made sure to cast on a pair for someone else, and I studied my collection to understand it better.

Forgive the darkness–we’re still short on sun during the hours I spend at home.  This does include Scott’s socks, but he’s down to three pair at the moment, so I own the lion’s share.  Let’s look at them in groups.

These are the green ones.  The pair on the far left are Scott’s current favorites.  I have a lot of green socks, which I’m sure surprises no one.

But even more common than green in my world–blue.

These next few batches are socks made with yarn from small, independent companies.  I love yarns like these best, particularly since many of them don’t have much or any synthetic fiber in the blends.  Mountain Colors Bearfoot is one of my favorite yarns, and it shows.

It should surprise none of you that I have a lovely collection of Spirit Trail socks. She dyes the best greens!  I’ve given away several pairs made with Jen’s yarn, and all of those are well loved and wearing well.  I do check up on them so I can darn them before they are beyond saving.

These are socks made with yarn from other indie dyers:

Sanguine Gryphon Eidos, Colinette Jitterbug (squeaking by as Indie), String Theory, Koigu, and the terribly elusive Brooks Farm sock yarn.

These are socks made from yarn made by major companies.  I hope the socks can’t hear me, but I love them the least.  Cruel, I know.  But these all have nylon in them, and none of the yarns were dyed by friends or loved ones.  I think I’ve kicked this particular habit for a better one.  I’ll use up the commercial sock yarns I have on hand, but I doubt I’ll buy more.

Finally, these are my super thick socks.  The ones on the left are made from Rowan Cork, and I love them so very much.  I wish that yarn was still available.  Those felted ones on the right are made from a yarn I can’t remember the name of, and they are nearing the bitter end.  The Peace Fleece socks in the center are astoundingly warmed.  That matters for we winter campers.  Oh, how it matters.

And once the collection was photographed and ready to return to my sock drawer, which ones did I reach for?

My simple Brooks Farm ribbed socks.  The combination of the almost powdery wool, the simple ribbing, and the round toe makes these perfect winter socks.

Filed in blather,knitting | 6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Sorting socks”

  1. bullwinkleon 08 Feb 2011 at 5:01 am 1

    Did you do laundry? Or are those just “clean” pairs?

    Do you count the ones that worn out?

    Awesome collection – but (obviously) what amazes me most is the ability to gather them all in one place 🙂

  2. Jenniferon 09 Feb 2011 at 1:06 pm 2

    So many beauteous socks!

    Hey, have a I got a green for you. It’s new. Just made it up. I’ll send you some 😀

  3. kon 11 Feb 2011 at 3:11 pm 3

    My grandmother knit socks for the guys in my family, so they’ve always been part of my life, even if I didn’t get any. I wonder what people who don’t knit socks really think of “us kind of people,” that have a personal relationship with their socks.

    I can certainly vouch for Spirit Trail yarns. Rosebyany gave me a couple of skeins in the world’s brightest yellow; I have those socks on right now. Alas, I am poor, and can’t afford yarn right now – and don’t have the time, so no harm no foul.

  4. bibliotecariaon 12 Feb 2011 at 5:36 pm 4

    Hey, have you done any with some of the socks yarns that are singles? I bought some not realizing and started to knit them with the singles, and I am not impressed. (Mini Mochi) At least not for socks; I may do a hat.

    I’m still accumulating a drawer-full. I try to produce one a month.

  5. Pam J.on 14 Feb 2011 at 5:31 pm 5

    Very impressive! The colors, the styles, the volume. I’ve just started knitting socks and am, of course, fully addicted: over-buying yarn and needles, gathering patterns from online sites and books, etc. My biggest problem is that the socks I knit wear out so fast. Granted, I do wear them around the house all day without shoes, so they serve as slippers more than socks. I’m using only 100% wool, but given how quickly they wear out I’m seriously considering using some synthetic yarns. Any advice?

  6. Laneaon 14 Feb 2011 at 5:46 pm 6

    How fast are they wearing out, Pamela? Mine last a long time, but I’m a little crazy about making them last.

    Be careful with synthetics. I don’t find that they wear much longer, but they do end up being less comfortable, at least for me.

    I do a few things:
    – I knit socks at a tighter gauge than most. A few of mine can literally stand up on their own, they’re so dense.
    – I take good care of my feet. Callouses eat socks. I never polish my fingernails, but I get pedicures a few times a year and make sure to moisturize.
    – I wash them carefully. No matter what the yarn band says, I always wash them in gentle and dry them on a rack.
    – I keep an eye out for any wear and duplicate stitch over thinning areas before they need real darning.

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