2012: Year of the...Sock?!

2012 is over! 2013 is here!

Did you make any goals?

I have a handful, one of which is to knit 12 pairs of socks in 2013!

I learned how to knit socks last December with the encouragement of Kayanna, Amy & Angela. Most people think I learned how to knit last winter but nope! I learned how to knit in 2002 when I first started blogging but I never did more than ugly scarves for my moms cat Simon and lumpy hats for myself. Plus, the internet knitting world was incredibly inspiring but also intimidating/not super friendly to newbs.

Fast forward to me spending each winter knitting a handful of hats, scarves..lots of little things to keep myself warm.

One thing I always wanted to try. SOCKS. Now I'd tried socks three times before, epic fail. The most recent time was the first summer Chop & I started dating he took me to Reno for the first time in my life. I won $75 on a penny machine at one of the casinos. I decided I was going to Truckee (where Jimmy Beans Wool used to have a shop!) and buying sock needles and yarn and I was going to knit a pair of Jaywalker Socks that summer. I got to the heel flap and gave up. I'm pretty sure those teeny tiny bamboo DPNs and tangled yarn are in a box still. I remember it was Lorna's Laces and it was sort of hot pink & gray?!

So when I decided I wanted to do socks again, I hemmed and hawed for a few weeks. I researched. I bought yarn. I visited the library. I polled twitter. I stalked ravelry. I talked myself out of it a million times. My knitting confidence wasn't super high. Then those girls were basically like, BUCK UP! YOU CAN DO THIS YOU WEENIE!. So I made a Monkey Sock. Exactly as the pattern was written. And it fit! It was neat! But it wasn't exactly fun & I felt like I was missing something other than a second sock. So I decided I wanted to really, really, FOR REAL learn how to knit socks. So I took a Saturday afternoon class at Heartstrings in Chico.  Each Saturday they have a drop in time where you can ask a teacher questions for $10.  The gal next to me was using Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up book and knitting two Valentine's Day red heart socks for her daughter. She had two circular needles with one sock on each one and kept them in two separate zip lock bags. I took one look at her and said "I WANT TO LEARN THAT!"

One skein of Tosh Sock divided into two balls and I was ON MY WAY! I learned so, so, so, much! Magic loop, Judy's Magic Cast On, etc! I was EXCITED! I made a pair of socks that FIT! I went back and finished that pair of Monkey's, this time toe up and it was GREAT!

Since then, I haven't been able to STOP knitting socks. I knit in the car. I knit while watching t.v. I knit with friends. I'm by no means a pro but this year I knit 12 pairs of socks in the photo plus I have one pair on my needles right now, I knit a pair for my mom, I have a secret pair I can't share until the pattern is released, I frogged a pair and I was commissioned to knit a pair! So a total of 15.75 pairs. The .75 is because I only have an inch of ribbing on my current socks left to do ;)

I am *not* a hip knitter, I don't knit the most complicated patterns, I don't belong to any clubs & I'm not super active on ravelry. I knit for warmth, to keep my hands busy and to support my yarn dyeing friends. I found a sock "recipe" that works for me and I love that. I might knit nothing but plain socks all year and smile the entire time. The main thing for me is I love wearing hand knit socks. I see that stack of socks I made and I'm filled with a crazy amount of pride. They have mistakes, they aren't even remotely perfect but they are MINE! High 5! Things like quilting & cooking I am obsessive about and make sure everything is as perfect as I can possibly make it but knitting? Not so much. I just want them to fit, be warm and cute. I wear these socks daily in the winter and I like showing my friends the socks I'm wearing that day. I love buying sock yarn and have a basket full of the prettiest yarns ever. It's sort of like my therapy. Bad day? Knit socks. Tons of housework? Clean for an hour, knit for an hour. ;)

Here are my favorite sock-y things in list form:

Favorite Sock Knitting Pattern. I take this pattern and pop cuff down designs into it. It just fits my foot the nicest!

Favorite Sock Knitting Books. I had both books spiral bound together at Staples for $4.95. Now all my patterns are in one place. I can't say enough about these books, they help me so much! I think Wendy is amazing. They are just written in a way that clicks for me!

Favorite Sock Needles: Budget Friendly & Indulgence. I like point-y needles in either a size 0, 1 or 1.5 with a 32 inch cord. I can't use DPNs successfully. I like the 32 inch cord for both one at a time and two at a time.

Favorite Sock Yarns: Cakewalk, Hedgehog Fibres, Plucky Knitter, Phydeaux Designs, Pigeonroof Studios,  Madelinetosh (It drives me nuts that some yarns discharge color like crazytown, but when I contacted them about it, they were nice, so I can't complain too much!), Cephalopod Yarns!, The Woolen Rabbit

Sock yarns I'm dying to try in 2013: A Verb for Keeping Warm, Sunshine Yarns, idk what else...leave me some new folks to try!

Adorable Stitch Markers! I'd love that little heart shaped sugar cookie for Valentine's Day!

I bought myself a yarn bowl on Christmas Eve. I got it at my local yarn store and I'm not quite sure who makes them but I know they are in the Chico-ish area. I'm crazy in love with it. It's clean & simple, in my favorite speckled gray color. I know the yarn store ships things, if you wanted to be my twin you could order one over the phone. I'm pretty sure I got the large size and it held a skein of sock yarn divided in half beautifully.

I think that's it about socks! I'm hoping to finish my pheasant socks this week and share them with you. I'm crushing on these socks FIERCE and I'm pretty sure I'm going to knit all my socks this year 2 at a time, it just feels rad!

Also, don't forget, the sale on Woodland Sampler ends soon!

ps: seriously, let me know some sock yarn dyers I should try! I love new stuff! <3!