Why Knit Socks?

Why would anyone bother to knit their own socks?

When I first started knitting, I wanted to make sweaters and baby things. The thought of making socks didn’t even enter my mind, I couldn’t even begin to contemplate why anyone would spend the time on such an item that is so rarely noticed.

Then I went on my honeymoon to Japan where I learned a great many things – and one of them was the importance of socks.

As tourists in Japan, our socks were frequently on display as we visited a lot of temples and stayed in a ryokan, whereby shoe removal was mandatory (and wonderful for it). One of the great pleasures I experienced during the trip was walking across tatami mats. The only thing that would have made this experience any nicer would have been to walk across tatami mats whilst wearing hand-knitted socks. And not just for the aesthetic value, but for the wonderful texture of hand knitted stitches across the soles of my feet.

I bought 52 Weeks of Socks (what a wonderful name for a book) – it contains 52 sock patterns contributed by knitwear designers from all over the world. If this book doesn’t make you want to cast on socks, nothing will! My only criticism of the book is that it doesn’t include explanations from the makers about the design of their socks – although, happily, this information is available on the Laine website, here. For example, the morning coffee socks, to wear “while your morning coffee is brewing, filling the house with its roasted and warm smell“.

Here are my first socks – knitted for my husband. The pattern is Emily’s favourite sock pattern, a pattern I would highly recommend as a sock starter pattern, or if you want to make a plain pattern to show off some special yarn. I made the largest size and adapted the lengths here and there to fit his foot exactly.

The yarn is RiverKnits Blueface Leicester 4-ply (colourway Cairn)– it’s hand-dyed on a narrow boat on UK waterways – I mean, dream dreams!

News in Brief

On my needles: my own pair of socks! 34. Gerste (from 52 Weeks of Socks), which I am also knitting up in BFL by Riverknits – the colourway is called ‘Eve’s Birthday‘, and it’s a sweet pink and green. I have just reached the second cuff, so almost finished.
On my dress-form: Tilly and the Buttons Indigo in gingham from Merchant and Mills – I am taking my time with this one, it’s going to be a fantastic addition to my wardrobe!
On order: yarn! Ready to make the Udo sweater (I have chosen Biches & Büches Le Petit Lambswool).
On the table: apricot and almond cake with cinnamon topping by Ottolenghi (I used tinned peaches and feel no shame for it)!

Pattern: Emily’s Favourite Socks
Yarn: BFL 4-ply by Riverknits
Needles: Chiagoo interchangeable (2.25mm)

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