The post contains affiliate links.
Let’s have a Sock-A-Long! Those are like knit-a-longs and crochet-a-longs but for your feet. Your feet deserve an a-long. You’ve been making things for your shoulders (shawls) and your head (hats) and even your hands (mitts) but when was the last time your feet got some yarn-y attention? Well for me its been a while; since early this spring I think. And you know what happened to me this morning?
I woke up with cold toes.
Now just two days ago I was outside at a picnic sweating, sticky, and covered in bug spray. But the before-sunrise temperature this morning was in the fifties. Its only going to get worse. I’m in for many mornings with cold toes. So I’m making socks and you can make them with me if you like.
I have two other projects going (a wedding shawl for a friend and a blanket for Mom) but I need a project that is for me. If you join me in the Sock-A-Long I highly recommend you make socks for your feet and no one else’s feet. Its okay to be selfish with the stuff you make and believe me when I say no one will appreciate your hand knit socks the way that you do. Several people may in fact insult your precious hand knit socks and compare the to store bought crappy socks. You don’t want to live though that moment. Trust me. That moment can easily lead to you inflicting grave bodily harm with a knitting needle and then you will need a lawyer. Just be selfish, and happy, and warm, and make your feet some socks.
I’m making Cirque Socks, a free pattern by The Sexy Knitter, aka Sara Wilson.
You may have participated in Sock-A-Longs before. In my Sock-A-Long there help, tips and some mini-tutorials. If Cirque Socks seem a bit beyond your knitterly capabilities I encourage you to give them a try anyway. You won’t be on your own. Also, every project seems overwhelming at first because you are looking at the whole thing. But when you make it, you only make one part at a time. Socks in particular are like that. First you figure out the leg (these are cuff-to-toe socks), then the heel, then you breeze with the instep, and then you figure out the toe. You’re never trying to turn the heel while doing toe decreases. So if you are backing away from this screen while shaking your head… let me say “there, there little knitter! don’t be scared of the sock!”. And its a freebie of a pattern so what do you have to loose?
However… I feel I should warn you that in my Sock-A-Long there will be rambles. I like wearing socks. I like making socks. Being able to make myself socks is a big part of what drove me to learn knitting in the first place. And so I have plenty of opinions about making socks. opinions like this:
Ramble #1: When you make a sock, use the right yarn
Not all fingering weight yarn is sock yarn. True, socks are usually made with yarn that is fingering weight. But socks need to be made with tough-stuff type yarn. If you’ve gone through the trouble of making a stock, you want it to last a while. Socks get a lot of wear, lots of rubbing and friction. That’s why a good yarn for socks will have some nylon in the blend.
Save that 100% wool, or wool/silk blend fingering weight yarn for a shawl or a cowl or something. Get some some wool/nylon for your feet. Most good sock yarn is 75% wool and 25% nylon. Its also superwash. Socks need more washing then most other knits.
I also think a good sock yarn is a 3 or 4 ply yarn. Don’t use bouncy one ply yarns. All that rubbing and wearing will make a one ply yarn pill like crazy. The only exception to this is when you are making bed socks in which case go for the soft, cushy one ply! I certainly do. But for me those bed socks are more like slippers. I don’t put many miles on them. If I’m making a pair of socks to walk around in, I use a tightly spun, multi-ply yarn.
(One more note about yarn: for any cabled project, like this one, you’ll want a solid or semi-solid color. Variegated yarns never show cables well.)
For this Sock-A-Long I’m using Stroll Fingering in color Matcha. Its perfect, just what I want in a sock yarn.
Its got the 75% superwash merino wool with 25% nylon. Its made from 4 plys of yarn twisted together so the pilling will be minimal. And its soft to the touch. That doesn’t matter much to my feet but this yarn feels great in my hands; I love to work with it. For me that really adds to the enjoyment of the project.
Also, Its the yarn that’s recommended in the Cirque Sock pattern, lol. Its always nice when you can use the actual recommended yarn right? Right.
I hope I’ve made you yearn for a new pair of socks. I hope you are mentally inventorying your stash for a good sock yarn. I hope you’ll make a pair of Cirque Socks with me because your feet deserve these awesome socks almost as much as mine do.
I’ll get the first post up in a few days. It will be about getting gauge, btw. Yes, gauge. Gauge is muy importante when it comes to making socks so we’ll start here. And by we I mean you all because I’m going to get started right now! I need to get out ahead of all you uber fast knitters.