In case you haven’t noticed, it’s #Socktober. And I have a self-imposed goal of four pair of socks this month. Which means I really want to finish like six pair. No one has told me this is a good goal, or a realistic goal; and nothing will happen to me if/when I do not achieve this goal. Some knitters feel pressure to make these goals. I really don’t. I’ve seen some knitters who had about seven pair of socks on the needles in anticipation of Socktober, which is awesome, and I do wish I had done that, but I also knit a shawl for me and an adorable baby sweater during September, and I’ll still get points for the socks I complete. I also started Philanthropy University last week, and realized I will be taking up to six concurrent classes, and that’s kinda silly with work, a spouse, dogs, trying to get back in shape and yes – knitting. But spouse, dogs, work and class come first. And to demonstrate how busy I am, I probably won’t link a lot of stuff in this post. My brain is fried, and it is only Monday (most assignments are due tomorrow).
In late September, I cast on a sock using some old stash yarn. It is commercial yarn, Sock Ease from Lion Brand. It’s a good, solid yarn, with a high nylon content, and pretty toothy, so the socks will last. It is also bright pink with cute stripes. And it’s been the bane of my stash for some time. I’ve tried to knit socks with it before, but they just were not happening. I’m not sure what happened, but I’ve frogged this yarn a few times (so it’s even toothier now).
I cast on a circular Addi Turbo 9″ with 56 stitches for a toe up sock (OK – I cast on 28 and increased to 56), using a 3×1 rib. I knit through the whole foot, turned the heel and while the thing looked super long, and it worked on my FLK template, it turned out to be WAY too small. I ripped back the OMG heel, and knit another inch or so, and did the heel. Now the sock was long enough, but the fact was that it was tight. It just didn’t fit. So I frogged the whole thing, decided it would become a pair of Crazy Monkey socks using the Spacious OMG heel.
That evening I went home and grabbed the lovely sock blank I recently purchased from Mothy and the Squid. It had been a busy and tiring week already, and I needed a #$%^#$^ rainbow. Holding the yarn was so wonderful. It was soft, smooth and round. It is 100% merino, so it has NO tooth. I cast on the Swirl E Socks, and started knitting. And I was happy. I cruised through the cuff and a pattern repeat in no time. I didn’t want to stop knitting, it was such a lovely yarn. Will it hold up as long as the yarn with nylon, probably not, but as a process knitter, I was having a great experience.
I am now on the foot of these socks, so it is time to cast on another project. I looked through my stash, and decided I wanted some stripes, and I knew I had striped yarn from my Simply Socks Club earlier this year. Before work this morning, I wound the yarn into two cakes, and I can’t wait to cast on Rack ‘Em Stack ‘Em or Whiz Bang which I think will be fun to knit and break up the stripes a bit. That or I’ll just do one at a time stockinette socks on 9″ circs, because I will know when to make changes based on having matching stripes. We’ll see what moves me.
I have a LOT of nice sock yarn in my stash. I also have a good amount of commercial workhorse sock yarn. Each serves it’s own purpose. While I have a goal of knitting through more of my stash (HA) this year, I don’t have to do it all at once, and I know there will be a sock pattern that calls for my cute pink stripes down the line. I knit as a hobby. I knit to unwind after a day at work, or rather than zoning out in front of the TV (somehow zoning out in front of sock knitting is somehow more appropriate?). I am a process knitter. I wear my socks, but if they are slightly imperfect, the odds of me pitching them are pretty low. I pretty much know along the way if they are not good enough to finish, and that’s why I am coming to terms with frogging things.
If you knit as a hobby, and not a job (if it is your job, I’d love to meet some of the folks who pay you what your time is worth!!), I feel you should knit with what you love. If that is commercial yarn, right on. I LOVED knitting my rainbow sweater out of an acrylic blend I knew would wash and wear well. I didn’t get snobby about the yarn. I have some Premiere Wool Free yarn that I love to work with, and it’s about $3.99 a ball. It is as pretty as the $30.00 sock yarn I buy off etsy. I like knitting bias shawls – I have like 20 of them. And I keep knitting them, because I like it. Knit what you like. Knit what you love. Just enjoy your knitting!