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Beginnings: Sharing Your Sock History
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Beginnings: Sharing Your Sock History

Many Socktoberists signed up for this project having never knit socks before.  Why not join a group where there are hundreds of crafters who can lend a helping hand?  a word of encouragement? or some helpful advice (or tutorial?) 

My first handknit socks were far from perfect.  They were way too big, as I could not regulate my gauge on the double-pointed-needles, and they took me a long time to complete.  I have to admit, I was not feeling the sock love while working through my first sock way back when (summer 2005). 

Trekking XXL Socks

It was not until I finished the second sock and slipped them on my feet did I realize the allure of the handcrafted sock!

With each sock I have made over the last year, I have enjoyed the process more and more. Bonne Marie often talks about "the magic of the heel turn", and you know what?  it still gets me every time! 

There are new sock crafters and experienced ones gathering in this virtual space to share our love of handcrafted socks (I say handcrafted as we have many sock crocheters in the bunch as well!)  I am very excited to see this broad range of crafting, and if one of the sock crocheters out there is willing to share, I would love to learn more about the technique!

Several of the beginners among us have shared their desire to learn more about what sock patterns, needles, hooks, and yarns work well and stand the test of time.  There are many experienced sock crafters who have great information to share, and I encourage you to do so!

  • When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
  • What was your first pair?  How have they "held up" over time?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
  • Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
  • Which kind of heel do you prefer?  (flap? or short-row?)
  • How many pairs have you made?

Feel free to answer one (or all!) of these questions, here in the comment section or on your own site. Feel free to share pictures too! I will do the same in the coming days.  The Socktoberfest Flickr group is a great place for the non-bloggers among us to share their work, and to receive feedback. If you do in fact choose to answer these questions on your own site, please leave a comment here to direct others to your page.  Plus, click around and meet some new friends!  Our group is so large and diverse - Socktoberfest is being celebrated on all of the continents! (okay, not Antartica… still waiting for that one…)

I find it very interesting to learn more about your personal craft history – share your sock making experiences with us all.  We can all benefit and learn from each other, beginners and advanced crafters alike.

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194 Responses

  1. Alexis

    Yay, I’ve just started my first pair and I’m so excited I could spit.

    Answers are on my blog :)

  2. Jenny Z.

    I just answered on my blog. Happy Socktoberfest, everyone! Thanks to Lolly for putting this together!

  3. Kessa

    Another sock knitter newbie here! Check out my answers on my new blog!

  4. Emily

    I answered on my blog http://www.whatsthatgonnabe.blogspot.com

    Thanks to a blog vote, I guess I’ll be knitting this month to make the mates to the nine (!) single socks I currently have.

    Yes, I have a problem.

  5. kristi and otis

    Just completed and posted on my blog. Thanks for organizing this!

  6. Val

    I started knitting socks earlier this year. I used to knit a lot about ten years ago, but had given up the hobby. Then my friend Bridget took up knitting, and every time I saw her she was knitting socks, and I thought what the hell, I’ll give ‘em a whirl. And now I love to knit socks, toe-up on two Addi circs, natch. I’ve knit a couple of lacy socks; latest pair OTN are “plain vanilla” because the wool is too pretty to mess with. The first pair I knit (Falling Leaves in Koigu) were just a tad too big for me, so it was only fitting (ha!) that I should give them to Bridget, since it’s her fault I knit them in the first place.

    I love Monarch Super Sock and Koigu PPPM. I have some Cherry Tree Hill and Lorna’s Laces on stand-by.

  7. JessaLu

    I finally had a chance to answer your questions – they’re on my blog :o )

  8. Kelly

    Thanks for all the great sock stories — Here’s mine.

  9. Lolly Knitting Around » Blog Archive » Getting Around To It

    [...] I posed some sock knitting history questions to you this week, and I finally got around to answering them for myself!  Thank you for posting your answers here and on your various blogs – I have really enjoyed reading the answers and learning more about you, your knitting style, and your techniques.  It is quite fascinating! [...]

  10. Cathy S.

    There sure are tons of people signed up for Socktoberfest! At the local yarn shop, they call me the “sock lady”. Happy to hear that there are so many people knitting socks!
    Fun to read what has been posted. I’ve posted answers on my blog. .

  11. Ginger

    I finally posted my answers to my blog. I have enjoyed reading others’ sock histories.

  12. ampersandebeth

    i’ve answered on my blog as well…and enjoyed myself (but w/o sock knitting) at the world beer fest in durham nc yesterday! :)

  13. Eva

    My answers are in my blog. You’re welcome to stop by :)

    http://nogenlunde.squarespace.com/journal/2006/10/8/socktoberfest.html

  14. Kat

    I will get my answers posted to my blog tonight. However, any ideas about the best heel for someone with a very wide heel at the base and a VERY NARROW heel at the top. Heel flaps are always gaping at the top of my heel and snug at the base. Short row heels seem very low, but at least never gape at the top.

  15. celeste

    I’ve also answered on my blog.
    Back to my sweet socks.
    Thanks for hosting this great KAL.

  16. laurie

    * When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

    Taught myself

    * What was your first pair?
    Knitting Pure and Simple worsted weight sock.

    How have they “held up” over time?
    Great

    * What would you have done differently?
    These were too bulky so I joined Jeanne Townsends’s sock group at yahoo groups and knit up a pair of her Maple leaf socks with Mountian Color’s Barefoot sock yarn. ‘

    * What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
    Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sport or Worsted is fantastic

    * Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

    DPN

    * Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

    Hummmm… Short row

    * How many pairs have you made?

    so far — 4 pairs

  17. Deb

    I’m having fun reading everybody’s sock histories! I finally got mine posted if you’d like to come by my blog.

  18. Wendy

    Posted my rather short history on my blog, look forward to meeting some more sock knitters and getting some tips from some more experienced hands!

  19. Diana

    Hi everybody! I am in the process of answering the questions while I work (not having internet at home makes blogging life complicated). You will be able to check soon in http://bagfullofyarn.blogspot.com
    Also, I have a question although it’s not week 1 anymore: does anyone know the sizes or has a pattern for baby socks, from 0 to 12 months? Thanks a lot!

  20. Megan

    I’m a little behind, but I’m answering on my blog today. (Right after I finish reading everyone else’s! :D )

  21. Hillary

    Started to answer the sock questions, but it took me a week to actually finish the post! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  22. allena

    i’m going to post my answers soon it’s the 9th of oct so tonight!!! thanks for all the fun!

  23. jackie

    i just started my first socks a week ago, so i think i am not really qualified to answer all these questions yet–ask me next october… i HAVE already bought more sock yarn, however–that has to count for something! :)

  24. Jen

    A few days late, but I’ve finally gotten around to participating – the answers are at my blog — with pictures!

  25. Socktoberfest! « Lair of the SilkWyrm

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  26. Knit*Six

    Hey, better late than never, right? I love reading people’s answers to these questions. Mine will be up on http://www.knitsix.blogspot.com by the end of the day…I’ve also posted photos of my recent socks :-)
    Happy Knitting,
    Hannah Six

  27. Anita

    I answered on my blog, at tribe.net. Unfortunately, no pix yet!

  28. rebekka

    I posted my answers here: http://www.skumring.dk/index.php?id=47

    Good questions :)

  29. Tan

    I’m excited about Socktoberfest! Apfelbier (Virgen) und Socken! My answers to The Questions are at http://chaosvortex.blogspot.com/2006/10/spinning-such.html

  30. Ann Marie

    When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
    I taught myself using the book Sensation Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, and I didn’t find it too difficult to follow.

    What was your first pair?
    My first pair was this Koigu pair.

    How have they “held up” over time?
    Well, since I live in NC, I have only been able to wear them once. So far so good.

    What would you have done differently?
    I can’t say that I would have done anything differently.

    What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
    So far, I have used Koigu, Sweet Georgia Yarn, and Vesper. I would have to say that the Sweet Georgia yarn is my favorite so far. The Koigu is growing on me a bit.

    Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
    I started off with 5 DPN’s, and I like them. I may try 2 circulars or the Magic Loop for the heck of it, but I think I am happy with the DPNs.

    Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
    So far I have only made heels with flaps. Might have to try the short-row heel.

    How many pairs have you made?
    I have made one pair, and I have two that are currently missing mates. I plan on finishing these pairs in honor of Soctoberfest.

  31. kathy

    I was anxiously waiting for Socktoberfest to begin, yet I am ever so late with this post!!

    Answers to the sock survey along with pics of my latest sock FO can be found on my blog:

    http://k2blogs.blogspot.com/

    More sock goodness to come!!

    Thanks Lolly for this great venue!!!!!!!!!

  32. Hanna

    You can find my answers on my blog. http://puikoissa.vuodatus.net/blog/271695

  33. Rain

    When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
    I just started two days ago. I have help from a book I received, called Knit Socks! by Betsy Lee McCarthy. Websites and online tutorials helped me keep my sanity.

    What was your first pair? How have they “held up” over time?
    Well I’m knitting a starter stockinette pair and I hope it holds up over time.

    What would you have done differently?
    Oh yes, smarty pants me, decided to use some excess cheap acrylic I have to start off with (so that I don’t ruin the one beautiful colorway that I have. And sock yarn is NOT available in Malaysia :’( so I have to use with care and neither do I have a credit card to order online :’( oh sigh, this is depressing) and well since the yarn is thicker than sock yarn, I casted on and knit away happily with dpns flying all OVER the place to realise its too big (the acrylic is way thicker than the sock yarn but duh, y’all would know that) for my calf. Next time, I’m going to first buy tons of sock yarn (from?) and then try it all out properly.

    What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
    Uh…no idea just yet.

    Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
    I’m using DPNs

    Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
    I think I’m doing the flap one now…I think

    How many pairs have you made?
    Barely one sock, 65% of one sock actually. But I’m enjoying every minute of it!

  34. OzKnitter

    Hi Lolly

    Finally got around to answering your questions!

    My answers are here: http://ozknitter.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for hosting Socktoberfest!

  35. kelp! knits » The history of kelpsocks

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  37. Ariannah Armstrong

    Responses are on my blog
    - Ariannah of http://ec.lecti.ca

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  40. Jeanne Berry

    When did you start making socks?
    In 1995; they were disastrous. I was sock-free until the urge hit me again this fall.

    Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
    Though my older sister was an amazing knitter, she was not a patient teacher, so I learned from a class at a local yarn store and via books, TV shows and the internet.

    What was your first pair? How have they “held up” over time?
    I was given some hideous brownish-grey handspun wool left over from someone else’s project (hey, it was free), so I made a pair of boot socks. Though they fit wonderfully, they were such a disaster in every other way (color, rough, itchy) that I promptly decided sock knitting is not for me. Eleven years went by without so much as a thought to cast on to DPNs. The socks are in perfect condition, having spent the last decade hidden deep within my sock drawer.

    What would you have done differently?
    Chosen a softer yarn! LOL! And a more appealing color.

    What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
    Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes). It’s very cozy, comes in the most beautiful stripe blends, and one skein makes a cuffed average-size sock. Also, I’m loving the new Cascade Di.Ve Autunno (merino wool). It’s luscious and the colorways are gorgeous. Technically, it’s not sock yarn, but I love it.

    Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
    Five DPNs. I’m a traditionalist. It suits me and I don’t feel like I’m wrestling a tarantula or being a puppeteer. I do crochet also, and might try that method one day. I am unfamiliar with the Magic Loop.

    Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
    Heel flap? I think?

    How many pairs have you made?
    Three pair finished. One on the needles. About 15 in the wings.

  41. Everything you ever wanted to know about my socks « Dyed in the Wool

    [...] Well, tough luck! You’re getting it anyway! Here’s the Socktoberfest questionaire: [...]

  42. CarrieScribe Knits! » Blog Archive » Sock History

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