Socks on the Brain (& Introducing the True North Yarn Social!)

With a new year comes a new class schedule, and with the new class schedule comes a sock-along! I’ve been in the mood for sock knitting lately, and it’s no coincidence that this KAL comes first amid the frosty temperatures we’ve been having. Who couldn’t use a pair of wool socks or two right about now?

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I am warming up for the KAL by casting on Skew, a pattern available for free through Knitty. My goal is to have the first sock done for the first meetup of the Sock KAL on February 7th, as Skew’s construction can be hard (read: impossible) to explain well without a visual reference.

My very first adult sock, after a few practice pairs of baby socks, was Rivercat, quickly followed by several pairs of Wedge from Cookie A.’s Knit Sock Love. If you’re looking to pick up short rows, by the way, there’s no better way than Wedge – you pick up short row stockholm syndrome by the end, that you never really escape.

The KAL system on our schedule is focused on introducing a variety of techniques and ideas while you work on a project of your choosing over the course of six weeks. With less than two weeks to go until the first session, let me share five of my other favourite sock patterns for your sock-inspiration!

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1. Afterthough a la Carte

I love afterthought heels. I can’t resist them. I love how they let you choose when you do your heel for optimal knitting comfort. Don’t feel like working the heel at the movies? No worries! Want to do both heels at the very end, together? Sure. How about an alternate colour for a classic look? Yep! Oh, and they make repair of disastrous heel blow-outs a breeze because you can replace the whole heel all at once if you feel like it. This pattern provides a recipe for top-down and toe-up socks with instructions for an afterthought heel, as it can be worked easily in either direction.

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2. Super Stripey Silk Garden Socks

Stripes are the best comfort knitting. You get visual interest, as much funkiness as you like, no charts to worry about. None of the boredom of plain sock knitting, but all of the perks – easy and fast stockinette. I can’t imagine making a pair of knee socks without striping – I’d probably go crazy. Add in fun self-striping yarn like Noro Silk Garden and you have socks that you’ll speed through just to watch the colours change.

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3. Cubist

I know I already mentioned Wedge, but no sock list is complete without plenty of Cookie A. Available for free, the Cubist pattern somehow manages to unite texture and lace without being overpowering. I love the idea of delicate knitting that is an optical illusion at the same time. Rad!

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4. Dither

I do not know exactly how many yards of leftovers Dither has salvaged from my stash, but I’m sure the number would be scary. Dither has a simple chart that leaves a lot of room for you to personalize your sock – three different colours, two, solids and variegateds – it all works and looks great.

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5. Rumpelstiltskin

Last but definitely not least, Rumpelstiltskin was the runner-up in my personal battle to pick my project for this Sock KAL. I love the look of its cables – they flow so beautifully and look so different from traditional cable patterns. I imagine, based on the name, that the pattern is supposed to resemble a sort of spinning-gold-from-straw motion that the designer has personally experienced. Please knit these and let me ogle them in person!

Before you head off on a ravelry voyage of your own, don’t forget that its advanced pattern search allows you to narrow down the candidates by sock techniques such as heel and toe methods, and fabric characteristics such as cables or lace.

And, speaking of ogling, this week is the debut of our new True North Yarn Social – every other week we will be hosting a free two-hour knitting/crochet drop-in on Thursdays (at 1PM and then again at 7PM). This week we’re having one at 10AM on Saturday as well. Bring your works-in-progress and get some moral support! This week I’ll be focusing on magic loop, so if you’ve ever wanted an in-person demonstration, here’s your chance~

Every week for the foreseeable future we will also be open until 8 on Thursdays to accommodate both our Yarn Socialites and any evening owls who need something a bit later than our usual 5:30. Needle emergencies, dessert yarn shopping etc.

Happy sock dreaming~

Chloe