Newsflash! A Remedy for Second Sock Syndrome!?

I love hand knitted socks. To me, there’s nothing more decadent and wonderful as hand knitted socks. Lucy thinks so too 🙂 (Not really, but if I write that, I can insert a gratuitous Lucy photo. She actually is modeling a pair of baby socks for me.)

So you would think that I would have drawers upon drawers of hand knitted socks. But I don’t. Because I have been secretly (well….I’ve been out of the closet about this for a while, actually) suffering from an affliction that is common among knitters.

Second Sock Syndrome. That second sock is a total anathema to me.

I have been in search of a cure for a while. I’ve tried everything — knitting with fabulous yarns. Knitting patterns that are interesting. Knitting two socks at once. Toe up. Cuff down. Nothing has worked so far.

But here’s the newsflash. I finally have a cure, and it has allowed me to finish three pairs of socks in three months.

I can crank out a shawl in a few days. A sweater in a couple of weeks. But averaging a pair of socks a month? Total victory. I read some threads in Ravelry about how people completed the latest Cookie A. Sock Club installment in a couple of days. I can’t even imagine it! To me, they are superhuman.

Should I divulge my secret? How did I do it, you ask? Do you have sad, mismatched socks lurking in your drawers?

Here’s is the answer!

(1) Plan 3 pairs of socks. (Let’s call them socks A, B and C, with sock #1 and sock #2 of each kind.) I would suggest an easy pair (for me that means sport weight on #2 needles), a medium pair (sock yarn, #1 needles, moderate patterning) and a hard pair (something fiddly but gorgeous, like traveling twisted stitches).

(2) Cast on A1, B1, C1. For me, this means knit enough of the sock so you get a feel for how the knitting will go — so probably the ribbing plus a bit of the leg pattern. Yes, this requires you to have 3 sets of needles….but you probably have them in your needle stash, or were secretly coveting Signature DPNs in #1s anyway.

(3) Finish A1, cast on A2. Try on A1, photograph, put it up on your Ravelry project page and move the progress bar to 50%!!!

(4) Repeat (3) for socks B and C.

At this point, you’ve knit 3 socks, none of them matching, and you’re psyched. And it’s been long enough from when you’ve knit sock A that it takes you a pattern repeat to actually remember the pattern.

(5) Finish A2. This will feel like it is flying, until you are 80% done with this sock. Then, you will have to rely on the sheer power of the last 2 inches of the sock (the toe — decrease-city) to power you to the end.

Flaunt the fact that you have a pair of socks completed.

(6) Repeat (5) for socks B and C.

There you have it. From left to right, Simple Skyp Socks by Adrienne Ku (free pattern!) in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga (sport weight!), Turbulence Socks by Cookie A. in Socktopus Sokkusu-O, and Wayward in Hedgehog Fibres Sock.

(It goes without saying that using fantastic yarn helps too!)

  1. Nancy Charlton-Venezia said:

    Well, it’s certainly worth a try. That second sock for my husband’s size 12 feet seems to take FOREVER.

    • I find that I do better with a patterned top of foot. If I were to knit size 12 socks….I would probably opt for sportweight yarn!!!

      • Nancy Charlton-Venezia said:

        Yes, I would opt for the sport weight, but he wears them to work in dress shoes. His hand knit socks are his all time favorites.

      • Sigh. Good thing you love him 🙂
        See? He agrees with me. Hand knit socks rock. I’ll let you know when I have been successful in training my dogs to knit me some.

  2. caityrosey said:

    At first I thought you were going to assert that having a dog is the cure for second sock syndrome (i.e., they will run off with them to chew and bury, so you’ll never have more than one of a kind anyway.) Problem solved.

    • LOL. That would certainly be a solution.
      (I can get them to do that, especially if I stuff the sock and put a squeaky in there!)

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