#OperationSockDrawer

I think I’ve got…. sock fever! This is a little odd because I don’t tend to wear wool socks, but as is the case with most things I knit, I like making them more than I like wearing them! C’est la vie.

I shared in a recent post a photo of a pair of socks I finished while on vacation in Canada (seems like SO long ago) and then I got started right away on another similar pair. I just listed that 2nd pair in the shop (pictured below). I had no idea this colorway was going to come out so heavy. For some reason, I got the impression that it would be softer. Well anyway, they are pretty funky and I do like them, but… they’re just not “me.” So into the shop they went.

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I’ve decided to go with the wisdom of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which I’ve never actually read)Β and only keep the handmade items that truly “bring me joy.” These psychedelic socks would certainly keep me warm, but like I said… they’re just not “me.” So that is how I’m deciding what to list and what to keep. One caveat is that if something has critical errors or is truly ugly, I’ll probably have to keep it even if it doesn’t “bring me joy,” but hopefully that won’t happen too often!

Speaking of critical errors, I’m working on my first pair of “toe-up” socks (socks that are knit from the toe and worked up to the cuff, rather than the traditional cuff-down method), and I think I might have screwed up the increases for the heel. Thus, they might be going into my sock drawer, which is fine by me because I think I would have wanted them for myself anyway. Basically, I was supposed to increase every third round when I increased every second round, and I think this means the sock will be a little “bunchy” around the ankle.

I’m using the Straight Up Socks pattern by Kelie Oreb, which I really appreciate because it’s so customizable for different size feet. The pattern does, however, have the common issue of making pointy toes. I don’t know why sock patterns always have pointy toes, but I think I’ve figured out a way to fix that for the next pair. The pattern calls for two circular needles and not DPNs and now that I’m about down I see why. I’m going to try that method as well next time. Below are the pointy toes of my first ever toe-up socks (photo taken about a week ago, I’ll probably finish these tomorrow):

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I adore this colorway from Piratenwolle, a German yarn-dyer, who offers extremely reasonably priced, hand-dyed yarn (which usually sells for twice the cost). The yarn isn’t as soft as a Madeline Tosh, but for the price I’m happy with it. We’ll see how it holds up in the wash – I’m optimistic.

And as far as price goes, if I’m going to sell socks, which I apparently am, they’re going to be sold at a break-even price. Yes, hand-knit, wool socks shouldΒ be quite expensive, but I just don’t think my socks are perfect enough for the typical price, so until I am more confident with my sock skills, I’m pricing them at about $35 – which to some may still sound expensive but hey, these aren’t your mass-produced Target socks! They’re wool, they are one of a kind, and they’re made by someone’s own two hands – mine!

In other news, I’ve applied for a table at two holiday fairs in December. I have mixed feelings about this, and frankly wouldn’t be too disappointed to learn I’m not accepted. On the one hand, selling at a fair is something I’ve always wanted to do, but on the other – I now once feel the urge to crank out a bunch of the same items so that I look more “professional,” which I just said I wasn’t going to do anymore! Since I’m on such a sock kick, I don’t think it will be too burdensome, but….. I just got my yarn to start my very first pullover sweater – something that will definitely be a “for-fun” project and not a “for-sale” project.

I have been drooling over Andrew Mowry’s “So Faded” sweater since it was published, and I finally found a set of 5 colorways that I think will work nicely for a light-to-dark fade in cozy autumn colors. I’m crossing my fingers that I’m up for the challenge and don’t screw up the pattern because the yarn is so dreamy that I’d hate to see it go to waste. Cathy at Hooker’s Corner Yarn helped to confirm that my color choices would work when I was paralyzed by indecision, and I can’t wait to knit up a fade swatch tonight!

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It’s a little hard to tell in this pic, but the second colorway has a slightly mint green base that I’m hoping will fade nicely into the third also green-ish colorway. I love the names that Cathy chose for her colorways. Here they are in case you’re interested in using the same fade:

  • Starfish
  • Anne with an E
  • Cleo
  • Honeycomb
  • Wildfire

And a photo of the finished sweater in case you haven’t seen it (Andrea Mowry’s photo):

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So, I’m a little torn. Do I power through #operationsockdrawer and get enough socks ready for those holiday fairs (even though I have close to enough necklaces) OR do I jump right into this sweater – this sweater that I have been dreaming about for ages? Oh yeah, and that Deep End Shawl still needs to be finished… (okay, and a few other WIPs that have been on my needles for over a year).

I know having multiple works in-progress is a common issue practice for knitting folk, but it gives me a bit of anxiety – what if I never finish anything???? The sweater might just have to wait a sec. (I’m still swatch-ing it tonight though!)

Nonetheless, I am appreciating my newfound freedom. While I do feel somewhat compelled to churn out a bunch of socks for those holiday fairs, I absolutely love making socks (for now!), and frankly I don’t really have enough time to make a whole mess of inventory between now and December anyway (hard to believe!).

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