hey, remember when we used to knit socks all the time?

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Kitchenering sock number one, at the playground.

Well, here’s one! I cast on last week for an M-size sock (which, though noticeably smaller than a me-size sock, isn’t as MUCH smaller as you might think!) and was able to kitchener the toe shut while watching M play in the sandbox at the playground yesterday. She was delighted to model it:

All done!

Awhile back, I came across the Cat Bordhi’s “Sweet Tomato Heel” videos on YouTube, and was really interested in the “Padded” version she demonstrated – it has the same slip-stitch pattern as a traditional heel flap, but carried around the short-row heel (which is not a standard one – it’s a series of smaller wedges over 2/3rds of the total stitches). So, I decided that I’d try it out on M’s sock, and it worked great! She says it is very very comfortable.

The rest of the sock is pretty basic – I cast on 56 stitches with backwards loop, and did a picot cuff by knitting 5 rounds, then a *YO, k2tog* round, then 5 more, then knitting the next round together with the cast-on loops. Then 2×2 rib down to where the heel started, and once the heel was finished, I only kept the ribbing going on the top of the foot – all of the stitches that had been part of the slip-stitch heel were just knit in stockinette. (I’m actually curious, if I knit another pair, what it would feel like if I carried the slip-stitches all the way up the bottom of the foot. Would that be like the kind of “padded” soles on some storebought socks?). I really like the 2×2 rib, because the stretchiness makes it easy for M to put the socks on for herself, and the Sweet Tomato Heel also seems to be easier for her than either the heel flap or the short-row garter stitch heels on the other socks I’ve knit for her (which she has since outgrown).

M was having such a blast at the playground that I was able to cast on for sock #2:

Starting sock number two.

And by the end of the evening, I was almost done with the leg ribbing and ready to start the heel. Yesterday made me remember part of the old appeal of sock projects – they’re so portable! Though I’m a sweater knitter at heart, sweaters-in-progress (at least, the way I like to knit them, which is as seamless as possible) are not exactly easy to bring along to the playground. Socks, though? Socks are great. (Shawls are pretty good, too, though!)

I’m not promising a sock-knitting revival here, but it seems that knitting socks for my kid is WAY more exciting than knitting socks for me! It helps that she is such an appreciative recipient of them, but really, I just don’t get much out of knitting socks for myself anymore. For awhile I was really into my Smartwool knee highs, but they eventually wore through. I quite like the inexpensive (certainly cheaper than a skein of sock yarn!) Smartwool-knockoff socks from Costco that I’ve been wearing for the last few years. In the winter, I mostly wear boots, and thus need knee-high socks, and if I’m going to put in the time to knit a pair of knee-high socks, well, I’d rather spend it knitting sweaters. But I do have a bit of a problem, which is that the Costco socks that I love aren’t actually knee-high, and with my boots, I need the knee-high socks to act as a barrier between my boots and my tights, otherwise my tights get shredded. I’m actually tempted to get a bootliner kit from Craftsy and make myself some bootliners to wear with the Costco socks. Perhaps that will be my new portable project of choice (when I’m not knitting socks for M).

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2 thoughts on “hey, remember when we used to knit socks all the time?

  1. I just got the sock knitting bug again myself, and while I thought I was casting on a pair for myself, it turns out it’s been so long that I don’t remember my standard stitch counts anymore. So my sock is looking an awful lot like a knee high for Ada!

  2. Sock knitting for me is what I like to call “productive fidgeting.” I’m going to be either fidgeting or going squirrely anyway, so I might as well be making socks. They can go anywhere, and I basically don’t have think about it or pay much attention. Brilliant. And bootliners are definitely useful. I wear pretty much exclusively ankle socks, but those do not go well with my motorcycle boots (nor would I want to spend riding season in knee-high socks), so I have a pair of legwarmers that serve as bootliners, which I can take off when I take the boots off. Works really well.

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