3 May 2018

Sorting the Second-Sock Syndrome

There is a wonderful feeling when you finish a knitted item. This is especially true with a sock. You admire the knitting, the skill involved in turning such a beautiful heel, the way that yarn really suits the other items in your wardrobe. You imagine wearing them tomorrow.

And then you remember — you haven't worked the second one yet....

Oh gloom. The Second-Sock Syndrome has settled over you. You have to start all over again and do another cuff, then another heel and all the way down the foot again. Or consign the first one to the Lonely Sock Basket waiting for a partner that never appears.

So here's a solution: work them at the same time! And I don't mean with two socks on the same set of needles. I don't know about you but I've never managed to make that work. At some point I forget where I am or get the yarns all tangled up. No, what I am suggesting is to work them both in tandem. 

You do need two circular needles or sets of dpn's of the same size, but if you're anything like me that won't be an issue. I always like to have back-up needles anyway, so they're always on hand if I want to use them both at the same time.

So, first you cast on for one and start the cuff, then cast on for the second and get it to catch up and overtake the first. Now there is a race on: which one is going to finish the cuff first? I have some "Needle Keepers" to protect my needles so I have the green tube on one sock and the pink one on the other. Will the green sock succeed and get to the leg first or the pink?

OK, I have mentioned before that I am easily amused. And yes, I did use to play myself at chess. It's surprising how satisfying that is, if you haven't tried it!

So now they are both at the leg and before you know it you are working the heel on one and while the technique is still fresh in your mind, you can polish off the second one. Funnily enough when you work them together in this way, the second heel always seems easier than the first...

Now it's the race down the foot. Just make sure that one of them doesn't make a mad sprint to the toe before the other can catch up.

Then one toe, and now the next. Then it's time to find your tapestry needle for the dreaded graft of the toes (Kitchener Stitch as it used to be called). Once again you might be surprised at how easy the second one seems once you have done the first. It's all a matter of recalling the skills that you had last time you made a sock, isn't it. 

And there you are. Two socks finished in double quick time. 
Now you really can wear them tomorrow!

Btw, the socks here are one of favourite sock patterns, the Mentmore Socks. These are snug, comfy, cushioned socks and one of my regular go-to patterns when I want to make a new pair of socks. I'll post some more pictures of the ones I'm currently knitting next time. I'm working these in Austermann Step Classic yarn and I'm loving how they're coming out.

Btw #2, I have just updated the pattern with the details of the cuff I have worked here. You can read more about that in the next blogpost.

Until next time,

Happy Sock Knitting!


Last Blogpost: A Scarf for Spring
Next Up: Hiking Socks

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