Do I Have To Knit Two Socks?

As I write this post, it’s a cold, rainy, dreary day in central North Carolina. Blueberry’s upstairs in her bed, trying not to drift asleep while she plays with her socks and her stuffed animals. I just brewed up a nice hot cup of peppermint tea. It’s a good day to snuggle up inside, preferably with some yarn. I’m going to write about my adventures in sock knitting today, but first, let’s take a quick look at what’s been going on in my knitting life this week.

My First Real Adult Sock

I finished this sock last week. Do I have to knit a second one?

This Week In Podcasts

It’s been a slow week for podcasts, and that’s actually been fine for me. With not much in the way of current weekly knitting podcasts to listen to, I was able to spend a little more time catching up on the CraftLit podcast, where Heather is currently taking us through The Age Of Innocence. I still have 14 hours of listening before I’m completely caught up, but the story is beginning to draw me in. And I love listening to Heather chat about the various topics she covers before and after the audiobook reading.

The one weekly podcast that did hit my iPod this week was Knit 1 Geek 2, and they put out 2 episodes! I skipped over half of the first episode, though, because it had spoilers for the new Hobbit movie, which I haven’t seen yet. I don’t know if/when I’ll get a chance to see it, but it’s on my list of films I want to see, and since I’ve avoided spoilers so far, I didn’t feel the need to let the podcast spoil anything for me. The other episode they released this week was a “watch-along” for the Series 2, Episode 3 of the BBC TV show, Sherlock. As it happens, I’ve recently been watching Sherlock, and watched that episode Friday night. So it was great to listen to the podcast Saturday while I was straightening up the living room.

This Week In Ravelry

I’ve been mostly quiet in the Ravelry forums this week. The IBK group is going to have a Valentine’s mini-swap, and I signed up for that. I’m starting to be a little more talkative in the Ewe University group, too.

As far as my queue goes, I added 2 sock patterns:

  • Haystacks by Louise Tilbrook — This looked like a fun pattern, and there was a coupon code to get it for free when I picked it up.
  • Socks on a Plane by Laura Linneman — Several people had nice things to say in some Ravelry forums about this pattern, and it was free, so I thought I’d check it out. It’s toe-up on 2 circulars, so I’m definitely interested in trying it.

I also spent a little more time playing with how to organize my queue and projects. It’s still not “clicking” for me yet, but I’m getting there.

This Week On My Needles

My needles have been clicking a bit this week. I got a few more rows on Blueberry’s Adaline, but there’s still a long way to go. I haven’t measured, but it looks like I’m about 1.5 inches down from the underarm, and I need to get to about 5 inches before I do the picot bind-off. And then there’s the sleeves to do, yet, too. I’m actually getting more than a little concerned that by the time this comes off the needles, it will be too small for Blueberry. I’ll just keep chugging along at it, and we’ll see what happens.

The big accomplishment on my needles this week was finishing a sock for my dad, which brings me to the question of the week.

Do I Have To Knit Two Socks?

OK, that question is mostly a joke, but it is a common question knitters ask. It seems that once we knit up the first sock, the motivation to knit the second sock isn’t always there. The phenomenon is so common, it even has a name: Second Sock Syndrome.

In my case, I’m not really suffering from Second Sock Syndrome — I have the desire to move on to the second sock, and after having gone through the first one, I think I’ll be able to knit the second one faster. My problem is that I don’t have enough yarn to knit the second sock.

This is my first real pair (OK, half-pair so far) of adult socks I’ve knitted. Previously, I’ve knitted some easy-peasy socks for first timers. I highly recommend that pattern as a great first set of socks to knit. Lots of advantages: it’s worsted weight yarn, so it knits much quicker than sock weight yarn, the cuff is short, so there’s not a lot of mindless stockinette. Basically, it’s a great pattern for learning how to construct socks. In addition to the easy-peasy socks, I’ve also knitted a pair of socks for Blueberry. Those were also great to learn with because baby/toddler feet are so much smaller than adult feet, so it finishes up so much quicker.

Baby/Toddler Socks

Baby/Toddler socks are so much fun to knit, and they knit up pretty quickly!

These socks, however, are honest-to-goodness real adult socks. I’m using a sock pattern generator to get the instructions for them. I’m really happy with this particular sock pattern generator: the instructions are clear, and seem to be spot on — my dad’s foot is similar in size to mine, and the sock fits me well, so I have high hopes it will fit Dad well, too. It’s a cuff-down pattern, which I enjoyed knitting. Once I got about halfway done with the foot, though, I was starting to worry that by the time I was done with the first sock, there would be more yarn it in than left on the ball for the second sock. Now that I’ve finished the first sock, it’s pretty obvious that is the case. I ordered a kitchen scale from amazon.com, which should arrive Tuesday, and I suspect it will prove that the finished sock is heavier than the leftover ball of yarn.

Sock And Yarn

The first sock, finished (but unblocked), and enough yarn to *almost* make a second sock.

My first thought was to just get another skein of the yarn — Wisdom Yarns Marathon Socks: Seattle. Sadly, it’s discontinued. I can’t find it on any of the online retailers. My next thought was to look for people on Ravelry who had it in their stash and might be willing to sell or trade it with me. Since I have the same yarn, but in a different color, I’ve been hoping that I’ll be able to find someone who would be willing to trade. There are only a few people who list that yarn and colorway as in their stash, and none of them have it marked as for sell/trade. I’ve been emailing each of them seeing if anyone is interested. Mostly, I get no response at all. The one response I did get indicated that their yarn was a Christmas gift and they might be able to help me if I completely strike out. Goodness! I don’t want to take someone’s Christmas gift! I’ll keep going down the list on Ravelry and see what I can come up with.

I do have an alternate solution, though! I could knit the second sock in a different color. Dad likes to intentionally wear mismatched “crazy” socks anyway, so that’s not an entirely unreasonable solution. As I mentioned, I have the same yarn in a different colorway already. The thing is, the sock I knitted is mostly purple. The other yarn I have is pink. It could work, but the pink would be quite a stretch for a mismatched sock. Poking around on amazon, ebay, etsy, and other sites, I did find another skein of that yarn in a greenish colorway, which will work much better. I went ahead and ordered it as my backup if nothing comes through on my Ravelry fishing expedition.

It’s a comfortable sock, and I’m looking forward to knitting a mate for it. Going forward, I’m going to try to avoid this in the future by considering buying two skeins of sock yarn at a time (my, that could get expensive!). I’m also going to try to learn how to knit toe-up socks, so I can just quit knitting the cuff when I run out of yarn. This will be especially true if I learn to knit two-at-a-time, which has several advantages — the socks come out exactly the same, and they’re both finished at the same time.

In the mean time, I’ve got to finish this pair of socks. Dad got a half-finished single sock and an IOU for Christmas this year, and I’d like to make good on that soon.

Do you suffer from Second Sock Syndrome? How do you cope? What do you do when you run out of yarn before you run out of project? Join the conversation and leave a note in the comments with your ideas.

Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!

-greg

Ravelry: KnittingDaddy

10 thoughts on “Do I Have To Knit Two Socks?

  1. If it is very close you could do the toes and or heels in a different color.
    I knit much slower when I think I am running out of yarn. I don’t know if my brain thinks if my fingers slow down I won’t run out or if I lose interest because I think I will run out. And since men’s feet are a bit bigger than women I get that feeling quite a bit when knitting socks for the men in my life. On future socks for men you may want to consider a stripe or bit of color work in the cuff. Of my favorite toes and heels in a different color. This works real well for me since my current favorite heel is an afterthought.
    But don’t lose hope the scale might prove you wrong and you may have enough yarn left.

    • I thought about heels and toes in a different color, but it really wasn’t close enough. When I weighed them, I had a 52g sock and a 42g ball of yarn. I’m just going to go with a completely different colorway, and it’s going to be lots of fun.

      In the future, for men’s socks, I’ll almost certainly do heels and toes in a different color, probably the top of the cuff will have stripes and/or color work, and I’ll learn two-at-a-time-toes-up, so it’ll be just fine every time. After doing this for dad, I definitely want a pair for myself, so I’ll be in the same boat again.

      I absolutely love your Night & Day socks — it’s been fun watching them progress over your last several blog posts.

  2. Do you have a Tuesday Morning near you? I see Marathon Sock there all the time, although it’s not always the Seattle colorway. Worth a shot.

    Anyway, I almost always make my socks toe-up to avoid this very problem, since I have very large feet. And I do them two at a time so I don’t get second sock syndrome. If you like magic looping, it might be worth a try.

    • We do have a Tuesday Morning near here — I’ve actually got reasonable access to two or three between near my home, my office, and my in-laws’ (where we visit often). The Marathon yarn I have came from Tuesday Morning, in fact. My wife gave it to me for 2012 Christmas, and when I started running out of yarn before I ran out of sock, I asked where she got it and said Tuesday morning.

      I should swing by, just in case. I’ve just figured that since it’s been discontinued for so long, my chances are slim. But, hey, it’s not like a trip through Tuesday Morning would be an unwelcome activity, anyway….

      Thanks for the suggestion! Also, I’m checking out your blog now, and really enjoying it.

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