“Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.”
Great abundance of riches cannot be gathered and kept by any man without sin.
Do you want to spend some money? Is your credit card lonely? Do you want some more colour in your life?
Here are a few shops that sell yarn (including handpainted sock yarn) online and ship internationally. As I find more good stores, I will add them to the blog.
The Loopy Ewe
Lots of great reviews. You can join a club and get free things and discounts depending on how much you order.
Specializes in closeout and discounted yarn. Good selection.
Search for yarn. Etsy is the best place for supporting independent designers and crafters. There are lots of handmade and hand dyed yarns.
Has Handmaiden and Fleece Artist yarn. Free international shipping.
The Yarn and Fiber Company
The website is not to easy to navigate, but you might get free or discounted shipping.
Simply Socks Yarn Company
This shop has lots of choices, ships to Korea in 4-6 days
Actually, I’m a beginner sock knitter, so even I don’t know the answer to that question yet. All I know is that I have been learning for a year now, and there is still so much to learn. I am on the quest for a perfect sock.
First of all, why knit socks?
1. They’re portable. It is easy to take a small project with you anywhere to knit while you are waiting at an office, or riding public transportation, or having coffee somewhere.
2. They’re great for testing out new stitch patterns or techniques. Why knit up a test swatch that you have no use for, or why knit up a whole sweater in a pattern when just practicing a few repeats is satisfying enough? Furthermore, there are so many interesting techniques that are used in sock construction that you will never run out of things to learn.
3. They make you look like an awesome knitter. Anything made with fine yarn on small needles just ends up looking more polished, no matter what.
4. Heels and toes are so much fun to make.
5. The yarn, oh, my, the yarn. There is so much beautiful handspun or handpainted yarn out there. It’s usually too expensive to buy the whole amount needed for a large project, but you can splurge on one skein and enjoy a luxurious fiber and miraculous colours.
6. You can play with colour. Watching the colours combine as you knit is absolutely mesmerizing, and the colours themselves are not as overwhelming as they would be if you made a large project. Highly variegated yarn doesn’t tend to look good in a sweater.
6. Handmade socks just fit better and feel better than store-bought socks. It’s a party for your feet.
(Most of these reasons are also why I like making dishcloths and lace shawls/scarves, as well.)
Socks are like sweaters. A pair of socks can have as many stitches as a sweater, and there are just as many techniques that you can use to create them. They aren’t exactly difficult to knit, but they are complex. Just look at the information available online. Out of the thousands of knitting blogs, hundreds of them are devoted to knitting socks. There are several people who have made a career out of developing sock techniques and writing patterns. To name just a few of the famous ones: Cookie A., Wendy Johnson, Ann Budd, Cat Bordhi, Charlene Schurch, and Nancy Bush. Search for socks on Ravelry, and you get 6,828 matches (as of today), 2,471 of them for free. Go to Amazon and you can find over a thousand books when you search “knit socks”. Then there’s the stuff on You Tube. Knitting socks itself has become its own culture within knitting culture.
You can knit cuff down, toe up, or side to side. You can knit them on DPN’s, magic loop, or two circulars. You can knit them individually, or two at a time. There are dozens of different ways each for cast-ons, toes, heels, and bind-offs. (Over time, I will try to collect information on these and post lists). And even after that, there are actually infinite patterns you can use for the instep and the cuff…..
So, what am I looking for in a sock?
I like to knit them magic loop. I personally think that it’s silly to spend hundreds of dollars for different forms of needles (straight, DPN’s, sock DPN’s, circulars in several different lengths), when one cheap bamboo circular needle in one length, used magic loop style will allow you to do everything you need to do. More money for yarn.
Also, I am extremely frugal about yarn. If I can manage to knit one pair of socks out of one ball of yarn, I will. At the same time, I don’t like wasting my time doing a gauge swatch (I know, don’t tell me, it’s not a waste of time…I know all the arguments….but if I can arrange things so it’s not necessary, I will.) Ergo, toe up is the way for me. You can knit until the very last few feet of yarn without having to rip anything back, and you can try them on as you go to get the right fit without having to calculate very much before you start.
I mentioned in my two previous posts which cast on I have decided to be the best for me, and which basic increases I like for the toes.
I still haven’t completely decided what kind of heel I like (I’m still experimenting), but I do know that a full short-row heel doesn’t fit as well as I would like, so I’m sure I will end up choosing some sort of heel flap. There are many different ways to do a heel flap, but I am also pretty sure that I don’t like the kind where you have to pick up stitches. So far there is one good heel flap that uses some short-row shaping to turn the heel, but I would like to find a heel flap that doesn’t even use short rows. Does that even exist?
Ah, the quest for a perfect sock…
There is no event listed yet for Seoul, but I’m really interested in getting something started!
From the website:
WWKiP Day is really about showing the general public that knitting can be a community activity in a very distinct way. In some places there are many different knitting groups that never interact with each other, on WWKiP Day they come together in one place, making them hard to miss.
2005 there were about 25 local events around the world. In 2006 there were about 70 local events. 2007 there were almost 200.
Over the years there have been local events in Australia, China, England, Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, United States, and so many more countries.
WWKiP Day takes place on the second Saturday of June each year.
These are my favourite increases for sock toes and gussets:
See this article for videos, and a few other types of increases.
For Baudelaire, my toe increases are as follows:
R1: [k1, KRL, knit across, KLL, k1]x2
Knit without increasing until the narrowest part of the sole. Then start the gusset.
For the gusset, my increases are as follows:
Odd rows: Knit
Even rows: Knit instep pattern as established, KRL, knit across, KLL.
Circumference: 60 (64, 68) stitches
Top of foot: 30 (32, 34) stitches
Bottom of foot: 54 (56, 58) stitches, after the gusset increases
How to do a Magic Cast-On for toe-up socks
Here is an article from Knitty, with photos:
And here is a YouTube video. Even though it is blurry, it is the best video I can find.
The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.
Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.
I am, as I am; whether hideous, or handsome, depends upon who is made judge.
It is easier to lead men to combat, stirring up their passion, than to restrain them and direct them toward the patient labors of peace.