Sunday, December 3, 2006

International Sock Day

I have always loved to knit socks. A sock is a perfect project. It can be simple or complicated, practical or luxurious, silly or dignified. A sock is portable and is a neat little palette for experimentation. I knit about a pair a week--there's always at least one pair on the needles for someone. I keep a little list of everyone's favorite colors and then set aside yarn I know they will actually wear. Here's the current content of my Gift Socks workbasket:

From left to right:
Schaefer Anne in Moss, Gypsy Knits in Forest, Socks that Rock in Lemongrass, Fleece Artist in Glacier, and Jojoland Cashmere in C255. If you are wondering why four out of five are green, it's because the Japanese seem to adore this color. When I asked four Japanese friends what their favorite colors were, the answers were dark green, green tea, bright green, and pale green. Everyone has the same size feet as me, so I don't even have to wonder if they will fit. The Japanese even have conformal foot sizes :).

My father wants his pair made with blue cashmere, which was suprisingly difficult to locate. I ordered a skein of what looked like a medium blue from HipKnits. It turned out to be a hideous shade of dark gray and it had all the softness of cheap wool. I gave the skein away because I wasn't going to knit with it. Half the fun of knitting is the tactle feedback. If it doesn't feel good, I refuse to knit with it.

The Jojoland cashmere is lovely and their prices are excellent. Take a look at their entire line of yarn here:

At some point, I'll order some of their cashmere merino sock yarn. I have one ball I picked up somewhere, but it's not enough for a pair of adult socks. Some lucky kid in a Croatian orphanage will get a really nice pair at some point, though.

When I first started knitting socks, there was no such thing as sock yarn. I wrote to Elizabeth Zimmerman, who recommended her Shetland 2-ply and loaned me her book on Turkish socks. Here is the result of that consultation. Alas, it's totally unwearable--the yarn is so itchy that I can hardly bear to pick it up. They look cool in the sock drawer, though.

Not to be discouraged, I purchased some alpaca, and made a pair of Norwegian socks. These aren't terrifically wearable either. Alpaca has no stretch and it's really difficult to get my feet in place. Another decorative addition to the sock drawer.


zippiknits...sometimes said...


I agree with robnits, those should be displayed where they won't fade of course. =o)

Anonymous said...

Sensational socks! And thanks for the link to JoJoland - hope they ship to Australia. x