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The most sockterful time of the year

I’m making socks. Big, thick, aran-weight yarn socks. These are excellent projects for many reasons.

Reason 1.
My feet are pretty cold: circulation pretty much stops in late March and restarts mid-September. I love thick woolly socks so I can (a) avoid startling anybody I accidentally touch with my feet; (b) cover up my pallid, pasty, pale-blue toes. Nobody wants to see that shit. Thick socks make snug feet. You’ve probably noticed.

The up-and-coming pair are mentored by the previous pair. Circle of life, yo.

Reason 2.
Making thick, aran-weight socks also helps cut through my Merino Supreme stash: I’ve got a sack of last-balls in various colourways, so I’m exploring the many options of contrast heels, toes and ribbing. It’s more fun than it should be, because with every stitch I break the cruel bonds of Merino Supreme. Oh, yes, Merino Supreme: that once-burning love has turned to burning vague disappointment! Merino Supreme, for those joining the blog recently, used to be my all-time love-you yarn: soft, springy, pretty and machine washable, it’s everything a yarn should be. Or is it? When you see a ball, check ye the ballband: 59 meters (64 yards). What the shit? 59 metres isn’t enough to…to…make a cap sleeve. After having my heart broken (O the trauma!) several times from running out of yarn, I learnt to give my heart to yarns of longer commitment. After a period of introspection and growth, I realised that there are no bad yarns, only poor pattern matches. Merino Supreme makes soft, cushiony socks, perfect for wintertime boots, so that’s what I’m using it for. The socks pill and wear through comparatively quickly (compared to standard sock yarns, I mean), but their short lives are gloriously warm and comfortable, so it’s worth it. Plus, being 100% animal fibre, they’re (slowly) compostable.

Reason 3.
Sock knitting rocks for reasons enumerated all over the blog-o-sphere: they’re portable and quick. When the conversation turns political and you’re not in the mood for conflict, you can pretend they’re super complicated and you just have to concentrate on them right now. But they’re really easy enough that you can keep working on them and have your bitter argument too.

THREE CHEERS FOR SOCKS PLEASE

Reason 4.
I’ve run out of reasons. Socks are fun to knit and make my feet happy. When my feet are happy, I’m happy. Well, mostly. Necessary but not sufficient. A good lunch helps too.

While knitting my purple-and-green sock (pictured above), I reached into the yarn bag to see how much yarn I had left and discovered a whole first sock to match the one I was working on. Can’t beat that for progress.

These are my standard toe-up socks: I use Judy’s Magic Cast On, a short-row heel, and then Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. Not just because I like techniques with adjectives and/or adverbs in their nomenclature, but because they’re damn fine techniques. I love toe-up socks because I can try them on as I go and because they look like socks while they’re coming off the needles — I’m not sure why that’s so satisfying, but there we go.

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