I wasn’t considering myself as a sock-knitter until this summer (I have knitted a few pairs over the years but I gifted them all), honestly, now I don’t know why. It is probably the second sock syndrome, as they call it… but I think I have a more possible explanation.
I am a really anxious person, even the simplest things can make me very nervous (like answering phone calls or going to a hair dresser for a hair cut – and I could continue all day long with the weird things…) but I have a way to overcome these worries: I am overstimulating them until they are gone. For example when I got my first company car, I had a fear about parking in reverse speed. So I decided that I would park in reverse every morning for 30 days (that was so successful, I still park like that anytime I can ever since). This method is obviously not working with all my fears (like the hair cut -thing…) but it is a good way to cope with most of them. And I realized over the years that overstimulating helps not only with my fears but any other things that I don’t particularly like or understand. Practicing, doing things over and over help me obtain a deeper knowledge, a better understanding, which can result in changing my mind about certain topics that I formerly didn’t like.
I believe this could be the case with sock knitting, too. That is why I went from not being a huge fan of hand knitted socks to reading books about them and designing my own sock pattern in 2 months. But let’s not jump that far ahead.
It all started this spring when I realized that my son goes to 1st grade of school in September, and we urgently needed a few special farewell gifts to his teachers in kindergarten. So I thought it would be a great idea to knit a pair of socks for each of them. I considered this as a chance to immerse myself in the world of socks. I was also lucky enough to have a local yarn fair organized in Budapest in May, where I could meet with awesome Hungarian indie dyers and manage to get my hands on a few skeins for my project.
My first project was the “Kávés zokni”, which is a fantastic Hungarian cooperation by Szila (@szilacreativedesign on Instagram) as the designer, and Adri (@yarndreamstextiles on Instagram) the yarn dyer. I really love how these socks turned out:
Then I started to knit another pair designed also by a Hungarian designer, Zsuzsa (@zsuzsanna.orthodoxou on Instagram), called Melissa Socks (available on Ravelry: by clicking here) with using another one of Adri’s yarns.
I soon realized that I may not have enough yarn for 2 pairs of these socks (I wanted to make 2 pairs for some reason) but I really liked how the color changes of the yarn affect the stitch pattern, so I decided to rip it out and revert the pattern to toe-up (the Melissa Socks are originally cuff-down). Now, this challenge meant some exploration in the world of socks… which resulted in me ordering and reading books about sock knitting… :
But at the end it was all worth it, I was very satisfied with the result (yes, they are knitted with different size needles, and one pair is a tiny bit smaller than the other but it was on purpose…):
The next project was very exciting, too, because I have never used self-striping yarn before. I have met Dóri (@dodekadyeworks on Instagram) at the yarn fair in May, too. I wanted to purchase some Lykke circulars from her but as we were talking, my eyes kept on focusing on a skein of yarn dyed by her, because I really liked the colors. So this one came home with me too. The project was quick and simple but very satisfying (I have added some dark brown color as contrast of a leftover Cascade Heritage Sock yarn to the toes, heel and cuff):
Actually I liked these ones so much, I knitted another pair, which became my first pair of socks knitted for myself.
The next 2 pairs were Rye by Tin Can Knits (pattern available from here) and A Good Nights Work by Bitta Mikkelborg (pattern available from here), both knitted with some hand dyed leftover yarn (all three colors are the same sport weight – and discontinued – yarn, which I don’t remember what they are called because I seem to have lost the labels):
And the last ones were the Woodland Walk Socks by Olivia from This Handmade Life (her pattern available here), knitted with some Schoeller+Stahl sock yarn:
My Summer of Socks project would have been over with this one as I now had a pair of socks for each teacher and even one for myself. But it would have been a denial of myself not to try to design a pair of child socks as a closure for this project… so this is what I came up with (the model on the second photo is my 6 year old daughter):
The yarn I used was Cascade Heritage Silk.
Summing up this project: I am really happy that I have created this little challenge for myself, as I learnt a lot about sock knitting and designing. I still don’t think I will be designing socks for GK in the near future, but I have definitely learnt how to love to knit them, and I am sure I will knit some more for myself. Until then, I return to designing garments for children, and by next time I will be able to show you what I am working on right now!
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