Knit Without Ceasing

Sock it to Me?

The time is coming, friends, when I must start my socks for SockapalOOOza.

I’m nervous. I’ve only made one pair of socks, and they were more like SockaforLosers. (Ask #2 Son, who bravely wore them for a while.)

Sock_yarn_1Since these socks are for a stranger (this is a super-secret sock exchange, after all), I really want them to be nice. I’ve ordered two books about knitting socks. I’ve purchased the yarn, which I hope will please the recipient. I bought it at a posh LYS (that’s Local Yarn Store to you uninformed types), and I had The Princess along as a consultant.

I’ve been procrastinating, trying to finish all my other incomplete projects first. I’ve also finished one Prayer Shawl and started another, but I’ve always got one going to carry to church meetings, so perhaps that doesn’t count against me.

I’m just about there, however, since the last 90 or so rows of my clapotis are all that stands between me and THE SOCKS.

Tonight I was reading Femiknit Mafia, and I found another reason to fret. What is this Magic Loop of which she speaks? Is this something I need? Will I be able to find it? Is it an item or a technique? ACK!!!

Help me Obiwan Ke-nitters!! You’re my only hope!!!

19 thoughts on “Sock it to Me?”

  1. Inspired by you (and some others, too) I’ve been knitting a prayer shawl for my best friend – my first knitting project in 20 years (ever since The Long Purple Sweater Thing). I’ve been delighted that my fingers remember how to do it, but dont know how you Chiks Who Knit have time for both blogging and knitting – both so fascinating! How can you choose which to do?
    I cant imagine how Sr Pastor would react if I was knitting in a church meeting. With horror, I imagine.
    All this is just rambling – no sock advice forthcoming at the end, alas.

  2. Sandy, you’re my hero! Thanks!
    Jen, Sometimes the choice is very, very hard.
    On knitting at church meetings: I don’t knit at meetings where I am functioning as the pastor or the chair. At Small Church I knit at Knitters’ Circle and Book Group. At denominational meetings, I bring it along to Conference or Association meetings where I am just a face in the crowd and to Commission meetings where I am, again, just one among money and neither creating the container for the work nor managing the agenda. Make sense?
    And Emily? Where are you?

  3. Knitting is something that I have never done and I already have too many other crafts going!! ~laffin~ So I will pray for peace and knowledge for your socks! I am impressed that ANYONE can actually knit socks!

  4. I’ve made socks using all sorts of needle/needle combinations … dpns, magic loop, two circs, both socks at once on magic loop … each method has its use. I have found that I don’t really like using two circs, mainly because having the needle ends dangling along make me crazy.
    I am with you in your angst about knitting for a stranger … I’m fretting much more about these socks than I do about the ones I make for myself. It’s a struggle to resist the Pressure to be Perfect.

  5. There was a time when I remember knitting many many years ago, I keep reading about all you blogging knitters and wonder should I start again, then I find photo evidence of my handiwork and think my family might leave home…
    I’m just as good with haircuts!!!

  6. I’m here!
    You’re braver than I am to sign up for the sockpaloooza thing.
    I’ve done a few pairs of socks, some on DPNs and some using Magic Loop. In many ways I prefer Magic Loop, although I still get confused when I have to rearrange the stitches after the whole heel thing.
    If you don’t have a complex pattern, you will be able to take the socks along with you to meetings because they’re nice and portable.
    I learned the hard way that I knit too loose on my first pair, so they get a little floppy.
    The Yarn Harlot’s new book (and admit it, don’t you want an excuse to buy it?), Knitting Rules, has a whole chapter on socks, and includes her standard ‘recipe.’

  7. I learned how to knit socks before I knew they were difficult (if that makes sense?). I returned to knitting in college as a stress-reducer, and a friend gave me a handwritten pattern. Since then, socks have been my favorite “small” project.
    I haven’t tried the socks-on-circulars trick, but there’s a book on it called “Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles,” that apparently has both instructions and patterns that use that technique. Me, I’ve been satisfied with my DPNs.
    However, I’ve just recently learned that I knit inside-out when knitting on DPN – that is, I knit around the inside of the triangle of needles, such that my right side is inside and the wrong side shows. This is how my Sock Mentor taught me, and how she was taught. My socks come out just fine, and after finding a number of “This beginner mistake is very easy to correct” web pages, I also found a page that said “some people find knitting inside out gives them a more even tension and is preferred for Fair Isle work.”
    Which makes me think that it’s another one of those valid variants on a technique that is personal, like how you carry your yarn over which fingers… so you might try that for a bit to see if it improves the look of your final product?

  8. I’ve done a number of socks on DPN, and particularly love self-striping and patterning yarns like Fortissimo Regia. I have the “Socks Soar on Circular Needles” book but haven’t gotten around to trying the technique, though I have some sock yarn that is crying out to be knit up. I’m focused on getting a good start on the Norwegian sweater for my sister-in-law for next Christmas (yes, it will take me that long to get it done).
    The new Patternworks catalogue came the other day – too many beautiful yarns and projects in there! I gave it to my PH to put in his waiting room. If I kept it here I might be too tempted to order something!

  9. Hi, Sara! Welcome! That’s an interesting idea.
    I watched the magic loop video, and I don’t think I’m that coordinated!!
    Meanwhile, at Emily’s coaxing, I just ordered the Yarn Harlot’s Knitting Rules, which should be here by Wednesday. Time is getting short, but I want to do this right!!
    (Yes, Ruth, the Pressure to be Perfect is bearing down on me, too.)
    Sally, start a Prayer Shawl Ministry! They are wonderfully therapeutic to knit and not complicated.
    Thanks, everyone, for the words of encouragement!

  10. Okay, that link doesn’t look like it came out right… just go to and check the “how to” section of articles for socks. Hope that helps.

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