Collecting my attempts to improve at tech, art, and life

Amicable Socks

Tags: knitting socks craft


They follow directions from Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks with “Woven Stitch” as the repeating pattern. I used Shoalwater Bay Bamboo/Merino yarn, which I purchased a couple years ago at the Seattle University District Street Fair.

That takes care of the technical details, more or less. What made this project interesting enough to blog about?

I Kept a Journal

Knitting is detail work. You need to remember how many stitches you knitted, how many more you need to knit, and how far along the increases or decreases you are. I usually handle this by counting stitches constantly, getting bored, and loathing the fact that people have two feet because it means I need to knit a second sock. I often take months to finish a single pair of socks. Knitting two at the same time just confused me more — though I plan to tackle that eventually.

I decided to log my work with the Amicable Socks. Part of that involved breaking down the generalized instructions into something specific for my chosen pattern.

in-progress socks laid out on project page
I knew I'd find a use for my Moleskine eventually

I also marked off rows as I finished them. I pondered tracking individual stitches, but realized that would result in too much detail to be useful.

These socks took me six weeks to finish, significantly beating my previous record of 3 months. And that was with a week and a half of idle time while I worried about whether I had enough yarn to finish the pair.

Oh, about that.

I Weighed My Yarn

@vmbrasseur suggested that I weigh my in-progress sock and the amount of remaining yarn, then compare the two weights.

sock laid flat, with remaining yarn on scale
The sock weighed 1.3 ounces

It turns out I had plenty of yarn to finish the project. This knowledge kept me moving at a steady pace even when the yarn ball got alarmingly small.

I Blocked Them When I Was Done

Every knitting book I read tells me to block my projects, but I never did. These socks were special, though. I decided to block them.

finished socks on sock hangers
The important thing is the blocking, not me going crazy with filters.

The result amazed me. The stitch pattern pops out. The yarn feels soft and luxurious to the touch. The socks lay flat. I plan to block all of my future projects.

What Next?

Next I’m going to try something else new to me. I will make socks for myself. Never did that before. I’ll log. I’ll block. If I get nervous, I’ll weigh.

Added to vault 2024-01-15. Updated on 2024-02-01