Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Socktober

Clockwise from top left: Unikitty, Cheesecake, Zipping Along,
Slutty Pumpkin, Reading Rainbow, Star Night

I know that right now a huge portion of the knitting community is all about "Slow Fashion October" but to me, October will always be Socktober. Maybe it's because I try to max out my Birkenstock flip-flop wearing for as long as possible before the weather starts to get really cold. Maybe it's because if I'm not wearing flip-flops then I'm wearing my rain boots, and nothing feels better in rain boots than a nice pair of hand knit socks. I know the onslaught of the rainy weather returning to the West Coast has been making me yearn for warm woollies on my feet. Even though I have a sizeable hand knit socks collection, such yearnings make me want to cast on ALL the socks!! Well, ok, what doesn't make me want to cast on all the knits? Let's not go there today. 

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Slow Fashion October. I think it's an awesome idea. Nor do I have a problem with anyone wanting to join in on that campaign as I think everyone should be more aware of how fashion and clothing are made, of what we buy, wear, and ultimately where our clothing ends up after we're done with them. I just generally don't think much about all that ever since I made the decision to swap out my bulging closet full of seasonally trendy clothes in which nothing matched for a small capsule wardrobe several years ago (here's a great article on what truly is a capsule wardrobe and what isn't - if you're pressed for time: basically a capsule wardrobe consists of staple pieces in coordinating colours that can be worn year round, not just a collection that can be worn per season). So I've already been taking into consideration what I buy and how it'll fit in with the rest of my closet (including the lot of crazy and colourful leggings that pair rather nicely with my basic monotoned shirts and hand knit cardigans!), and I already take care of my clothes regardless of whether they are fast fashion, high-end, or handmade, and I either wear them all to threads or donate them in clothing swaps. So you see, Slow Fashion October really has no impact on me. But I do enjoy reading how others are being impacted by this movement.

But this post isn't about that, it's about socks!! Socks, on the other hand, is something that I think about a lot. Seriously. It's probably abnormal. I always have a sock (or two, or three...) on the needles with skeins of yarn queued up to be cast on immediately before after I bind off a pair. Socks also make for great in-between-projects projects. You know, when you finally finish a sweater and can't decide if you should do another selfish knit or start your gift knitting early. Sock knitting is the perfect time filler. Waiting for your kiddo's track meet to start? It's sock knitting time. Waiting to pick up your kid or significant other from school or work? Get out that sock. Procrastinating from parenting and adulting? Oh yeah, you can find me knitting on a sock.

October in my household is usually nuts. The Mister is always working late or having to do events out of town, the Kiddo has to be chauffeured to his various activities, IEP preparations and meetings take place, and so.many assessments and questionnaires need to be filled out. And recently, we took in a cat. Sock knitting just somehow manages to calm down the stress levels. I'm going to assume that it's because it's easy to pick up and put down, and you can see progress much faster than say, a cardigan. Also, socks are just so incredibly portable. Ok, so are hats, mittens, cowls, and some shawls. But socks are small enough to shove into even the smallest of handbags (although, can a knitter truly sport a small handbag?? I know this knitter can't!).

So I'll say it once more, October equals sock knitting equals SOCKTOBER!! 

I know, I know...we're halfway through October, why am I talking about it now? Ah, life. Let's just say time got the better of me and I didn't realize just how far into October we were until the Canadian Thanksgiving (which was last Monday!) rolled around. I've also been wanting to talk about socks and share my basic "recipes" for a long time now, but that will have to wait for another post. Instead, I want to share a pair of socks that recently fell off my needles:


Seriously, these are the fastest socks I've knitted up in a long time. Let me introduce to you my Spree Socks. Earlier this month I volunteered to test knit these socks for Kemper Wray of JunkYarn. Designed to be knit with either DK or worsted weight yarns, this simple plain vanilla sock pattern will be released sometime next week. Just in time for the colder weather and for gift knitting!! 

I know several knitters who gift socks for the winter holidays and for some weird reason they usually start knitting them up in October. I, for one, have never gifted socks. Mainly because the people in my life are not "hand knit socks worthy". I'll knit them shawls, hats, and mittens, but not socks. That's a whole different category of knit-worthy people.

Anyhoo, when I got the go ahead to start test knitting the worsted weight version of the pattern I immediately knew what yarn I wanted to use. The worsted weight portion of my stash consists of mainly sweater quantities, a Rubbermaid tub of Cascade 220, and a few solo skeins of highly variegated yarns that I had purchased way back in the day when I had just started to take knitting seriously. Back then I had discovered there was more to knitting than Lion Brand, Bernat, Patons Classic Wool, and even Cascade 220. SweetGeorgia Yarns was my gateway indie dyed yarn that took my knitting (and my stash!!) to a whole new level. Through the Ravelry forums I discovered Sunshine Yarns and quickly became obsessed enough to stalk the updates. Soon I had quite the stash of highly variegated yarns (and a few braids of beautiful fibre...don't ask) that I had no idea what I was going to do with. Back then, I bought yarn without a game plan. I bought yarn because it was pretty. I mean, I still do but at least now I look up patterns and have potential projects in mind. In those days, I let the yarn fumes take over and I snap out of it half an hour later wondering what just happened and why do I have all my credit cards out in alphabetical order... ahem ...

Back to the socks. I blindly grabbed one of the variegated skeins and hoped that I would be able to get away with a decent pair of socks using only 160 metres/175 yards of yarn (the pattern calls for 200 metres/218 yards). Yay for small feet because I did knit the socks according to the pattern with plenty of yarn leftover. I didn't do any modifications because well, this is a test knit. I'm super happy with how these socks came out. They're so comfy and warm, which is perfect because the Mister and I refuse to turn the heat on just yet, and I haven't taken them off since I finished them!

I already have two more skeins of yarn lined up to make a few more pairs because you know, winter is coming and all (I couldn't help it!). It took me a few days to knit this pair and I think I would have gotten them done sooner had I stayed project monogamous enough. Either way, less than a week for a pair of socks is pretty good in my books! Wouldn't you agree?

Sock Details:
Pattern: Spree Socks by Kemper Wray
Yarn: Merino Worsted by Sunshine Yarns
Colourway: First Kiss
Needles: Signature Needle Arts Fixed Circulars in 3.25mm (US 3) and 3.5mm (US 4)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Spree Socks


♥ Happy Sock Knitting! ♥ 

1 comment:

  1. A capsule wardrobe is a brilliant idea! There's not a lot I can wear when it's both 28 C and -14 C, but I try to focus on purchased items that fit under the 'transeasonal' banner. I enjoyed your thoughts on SFO. and agree- Soctober!!!! Soctober basically fits under SFO anyways, since it's harder to get much more slow fashion than knitting socks. Those thick socks look SO cozy!

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