To knit or not to knit socks.

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To knit or not to knit socks.

I’ve just read this enjoyable post about sock knitting by Glenna from Ontario from the knitting to stay sane blog.

In the post she gives so many hints and tips about how to start, links to starter patterns and ponders why some knitters love to knit socks and others only make it past the first pair before they decide, ‘been there, done that’.

I have a different kind of view.

I love to knit socks.

I love to see them in my sock drawer. I love this little portable project.

However I am kidding myself. I never wear them beyond the first wearing. I never choose them over my rtw cotton, bamboo or even wool ones.

OK my early ones are a little large and therefore a little sloppy to wear.

First pair of Socks!

First pair of Socks!

And I got only half way through these ones before realising they were too tight.

Tanis fiber arts Business Casual Socks in Yorkshire Spinners Sock Yarn

Tanis fiber arts Business Casual Socks in Yorkshire Spinners Sock Yarn

I can completely understand that fitting was not going to be perfect in the early days.
My problem comes from finding them all jolly uncomfortable to wear. They seem so harsh beneath my soles. I can feel every loved stitch. I never thought I had sensitive soles!!!
I’ve tried so many different yarns but I’ve not yet experienced that ‘once you’ve worn homemade socks you’ll never buy shop bought again’, feeling.

I don’t even have a problem wearing any fibre next to my skin.
Am I alone? I’m sure others are actually wearing their knitted socks, not just poising in them for their blog posts.
Could you recommend me some yarn? Something to encase my feet in clouds? Something obtainable within the UK?

Or do I walk away, emptying my sock drawer into the charity bag?

Love, Lucie xx

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About lovelucie1

I cannot sit without something in my hands to sew, crochet, sketch etc. This becoming something of an addiction. In fact, I start to get twitchy if I am stationary somewhere, waiting for an appointment, waiting for my daughter, away with work, without some project to keep my hands busy. Minutes wasted make me anxious. This blog logs my progress to raise funds through my creations to feed my textile habbit.

39 responses »

  1. Oh, what a shame! I’ve made a few eons ago, and I must admit I only ever wore them a ‘slippers’ or bed socks. I found them far too thick to wear with any kind of boots too.

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  2. I have never made any, and I had wondered about the thickness of them in shoes. Good post and I will be interested in any comments

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  3. The one and only pair I’ve made are winging their way to my daughter, so I can’t comment on wearing, but I’m not rushing to make the next. Definitely feeling they were interesting to make, but do I really want to wear hand knitted socks? The only appeal is that they fit in your handbag, but so do other projects – especially gloves/mittens which I and the girls are always losing. I look forward to hearing what others say too.

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  4. I really enjoyed using a german yarn ‘Opal’. It knits up beautifully, is not too thick and the one I used gave a really good fair isle effect. I have worn them in the winter with boots and with trainers for Zumba class but, mostly, I wear them for the beginning and end of my yoga class. You can find some examples here http://www.loveknitting.com/opal-knitting-yarn?

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  5. Merino! Merino is definitely the way to go. Lovely and soft. I used just an ordinary merino dk and the free Violet Green dk pattern generator (think she only has the 4 ply generator on her site at the mo). It’s plain, but you could superimpose your own patterning on it!

    100g made one pair about mid calf length. Have worn the 3 pairs I did with boots, crocs and trainers – more of a winter sock, but am planning to make a shorter version in 4 ply for warmer weather at some point.

    Though, having looked at tialys’ lovely Opal link, I may have to break my own merino-only rule 😉 …

    Give it a whirl!

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    • Love that Violet Green link. Thanks for that. I don’t mind the price if I actually produce a pair I love wearing. Thank you for your comment. Do they pil? How do they last?

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      • Tiny bit of pilling, little bit of felting under the foot (this may be because I confess I did put them on the radiator once or twice in cold weather …). Think I got a bargain because I actually used Stylecraft merino from our local garden centre (!) at £2.75 per 50g, which appears now to be discontinued. The top-end yarns are gorgeous though. If I were going down the same road again I’d probably pick King Cole merino blend or something like that, for a trial run. Pop them in the machine on a 30 degree, 30 min delicate cycle and they’re done. Mine are around 2/3 years old and still going strong …

        Great blog, btw! Only discovered it recently and think I have now read every single post!

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  6. My first pair were made with Fyberspates 100% Merino Superwash which was quite pricey – it cost £13-95 a skein for one pair. I’ve not tried cheaper yarns but these socks are divine to wear, not at all how you describe your experience! So much so that I’ve just finished another pair in the same yarn:)

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  7. stitchedupsam

    I’ve only ever knitted one pair of socks and like you I could feel every stitch under my feet as I wore them. I think I wore them once, that was it.

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  8. I’ve never knit any socks. But my Nanny likes to hold a nylon thread together with the yarn when knitting the heel and toe for extra reinforcement. Probably a good idea if you use a soft fibre like merino. Also this post by the sweaty knitter is great for explaining why wool can sometimes be uncomfortable or itchy but not always! http://sweatyknitter.com/2014/11/10/but-it-itches-part-i/

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  9. I LOVE wearing my knitted socks Lucie but I do know what you mean about feeling them under your soles. I tend to wear mine around the house or under boots. My faves are two pairs knitted in superwash merino wool from five moons yarns. I discovered them at last year’s Yarndale and blooming love their wool, it’s so soft. I have annoyingly sensitive feet – most shoes rub them, so maybe this wool is worth a try for your discerning toes too?! x

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    • I will look out for it at Yarndale this year. I find the same with shoes! I embarrass my daughter by how long I spend walking up and down a shop making sure I can live with a new pair.

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  10. I’ve never made them, but always fancied having a go. I’ve been put off my the length of time to make something which might not get worn very often. I think I’ll stay clear until you can recommend some comfy wool and a pattern to go with it! Good luck!

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  11. I’m the same way — my one pair of knitted socks is too uncomfortable and I never wear them. They were in a worsted weight yarn though, so maybe a thinner yarn would feel better? Crocheted socks are a no-go, too, even in sock weight yarns they hurt.

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  12. I have yarn to knit my first pair of socks but I just want to learn how to use DPN’s really so it seemed the perfect project. I think I am going to be happy with one pair of TV watching socks. Keep you posted though! Jo x

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    • My first pair were for exactly that – to prove I can use dpns! But then I had to perfect the fit, and then try a different yarn …..but I still don’t wear any of them!

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  13. I have knitted more than 20 pairs of socks, and like you, don’t like to feel the stitches underneath my feet. I use 2.25mm needles to get a tight gauge and sometimes, I knit the soles in reverse stocking stitch, so I have the smooth side next to my skin. Try wearing a pair of yours inside out to see whether this would make a difference for you. Good luck.

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  14. maybe with some of the larger ones you could get some slipper sock grips (no idea where) and wear them as slipper socks?

    I personally am desperate to knit a pair of socks but i can 100% guarantee i wouldn’t wear them, they sound too warm, my feet puff up when theyre warm so i just feel theyd be too uncomfortable! i rarely wear socks anyway so im considering a big soft pair of slipper socks instead of ‘everyday’ ones

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  15. Wish I could help..I have a Cragtsy Sock class awaiting to be utilised. I do like your bright socks though. Maybe keep as ornamental socks…..

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  16. I can’t knit but my mum knits lots of socks, I’m pretty sure she gets a lot of wool from the lovely wool shop in Clapham, if ever you’re in that end of the dales.

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  17. Did you ever find a sock yarn that doesn’t hurt your feet? I have the same problem- love to knit socks but can’t wear them in my shoes. I have been trying all sorts of patterns and yarns, but nothing seems to help. I did have a little success with a princess sole, but purling the entire sole leaves huge ladders on the sides. My next idea is to go for a sport weight yarn in the really expensive stuff. Once I find what works I will buy every colorway!!!

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    • Please come back and let me know when you’ve found one. I’m loath to spend the time on more socks but would in a flash if I found the correct yarn!!!
      I can’t even bare to wear mine barefoot. We can’t be the only ones out there!

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