Socktoberfest

An assortment of hand-knit socks

An assortment of hand-knit socks

Lolly from Lolly Knitting Around initiated this fun experience and since I’ve got quite a few socks coming up for the holiday season I thought it would be fun to join the Socktoberfest.

And off we go into the fun with the Socktoberfest meme:

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
My grandma has been knitting socks as long as I can remember. One time I asked her about how she does it and she taught me to turn the heel, to pick up gusset stitches and to do the toe. That has been years ago when I still was a teenager. All the other flashy techniques like short row heels, toe-up-socks or socks on circular needles I learned from the internet. I enjoy varying the techniques I use depending on pattern, yarn or situation but I’m still doing most of my socks the way my grandma taught me – heel flap and nordic heel.

What was your first pair? How have they „held up“ over time?
As sad as it sounds, but I cannot remember. It has been so long since I’ve startet sock knitting. I seem to recall some cheap acrylic yarn in an apricot colour, but I might be mistaken.
My first pair out of real sock yarn I knit while I was in college. They where out of Regia 4-ply in a variegated camel colour. The socks did hold up admirably and I’ve worn them for years before even thinking about throwing them out.

What would you have done differently?
Being more careful with picking up the gusset stitches. It took some time to get the hang of that.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Most of the socks I’ve knit over the years were made out of variegated Regia yarn. It’s the yarn most readily available around here and you can get it on discount quite often. I’ve used Opal yarn too and some skeins I liked, some skeins not such much. I’m not quite decided about the colours Opal yarn comes in. Some of their colour combinations are freaky. It makes you wonder about potential colour blindness in the designer. Lana Grossa sock yarn is nice too. They’ve got some cool stripe patterns. Oh, I’ve got one pair of socks out of Lorna’s Laces Shepard sock yarn. Love the feel and hand of the yarn but it’s definitely way too expensive compared to the wonderful Regia and Opal and Lana Grossa yarn that’s available in the local stores.
I also like to work with cotton sock yarn from time to time.
Still on my list to try out one day are Trekking XXL, Koigu and the handdyed yarn from Wollmeise.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
Since I’m a clumpsy chrocheter I refrain from doing it all that often let alone crochet socks. I’m most comfortable with 5 dpns, size 2.25 to 2.5 mm. Lately I’ve discovered the magic loop method which I like for the projects I take on travel or public transport – no having to worry about needles to fall out is a real relief.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
For myself I still prefer grandma’s nordic heel with a flap and the little short row cap. I still think it’s best fitting heel. I do a short-row heel from time to time especially with toe-up-socks.

How many pairs have you made?
Too many to count. I’ve been knitting socks for at least 10 years now and each family member gets at least one per year, be it for Christmas or their birthday. This adds up to quite a few pairs over the years.

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