Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wash Day


Hi, Knitters,
There is nothing much better than a stack of freshly washed handknit socks. They feel bouncy and fresh and new again. I wash all of my handknit socks by hand using Soak Wash. It is fast, easy and gives me ease of mind that my socks won't felt or distort when being washed. I fill a tub with room temperature water, squeeze in some Soak, drop the socks in, let them sit for 15 minutes or so, gently roll out the excess water in a towel and...


.... lay them out flat to dry.


This winter some of my socks have taken a beating with my constant wearing and washing. This pair popped through at the toe which I haven't ever had happen before. Who knows maybe I knit the sock a smidgen too short? This hole I grafted closed. It's pretty much as good as new. 

This is Kristin Nicholas' Best Foot Forward sock yarn that is no longer available. Good thing I still have a few balls in my stash. I love this yarn and Kristin's colors. Her Regia Garden Effects sock yarn is still available and that's just as pretty.


The other day I discovered a hole on the bottom of the heel in these handspun socks I made last year. This hole isn't so easily repaired. The yarn I spun and used to knit these was only a 2-ply so I didn't expect them to last forever. I did get a lot of good wear from them and they are beautiful so all has not been lost. 

I have taken to wearing mix-and-match handknit socks around the house so I will just throw the sock without the hole back in my drawer to match up with another single sock. I actually really like wearing the unmatched socks. The older I get the stranger I get. I'll also wear single socks of different yarns together while I finish the second matching sock. I shouldn't do this because then when I finish the second sock the first sock is already worn compared to the brand-new sock. I know better, it's just kind of fun. I don't ask for much.


If I had to place a bet on the next pair of socks that will wear a hole I'd say it's a pretty sure bet that it will be my Door County Cherry socks (shown above). These are knit in a single-ply yarn (not the best idea but still fun and pretty). It is Madelinetosh Merino Light and it really isn't meant for making hearty-wearing socks. They still look really great and are beautiful and soft but the bottoms are wearing thin and even the color has worn off. It's just a matter of time. 

I still love these socks as the yarn was purchased at Spin yarn shop on a family vacation to Door County. Fond memories included. 

Those are Swedish Troentorp clogs the same brand and style I wore in the 70s. I have a couple pairs of Troentorp clogs and I love them as they bring me right back.


In order from left to right are the Door County Cherry Socks, the Patchwork Socks (seen in my blog banner - those are my feet in the clogs by the way, not a little girl's feet as many think), the Kristin Nicholas Best Foot Forward socks, Vesper Candy Corn socks, and my handspun Dyeabolical socks. 

All of these socks were knit using my free sock pattern/recipe called How I Make My Socks. I can knit these socks in my sleep. They are all cuff-down, heel flap with gusset. I love how they wear and how they fit. The heel is the best part.

Surprisingly enough the Patchwork Socks which are from the How I Make My Socks pattern (and use leftover sock yarn knit in 10 round increments) are wearing like steel so far. I have worn and washed these a lot this season. I think the Patchworks are my favorite socks. They are just fun. I should do some more Patchwork socks. It wouldn't matter much if they were just single socks knit one at a time because they don't match anyway. That may be the way to go. Things to do!

Oh, and I get lots of questions about care and washing of woolens. I handwash superwash wool and regular wool socks the same. I don't know if that's what is recommended but it seems to work well for my sock longevity. Some handknit socks I have had and worn for years and years with no holes or problems.

That's my sock story for the day. I have five unfinished pairs on my needles right now. That seems to be a lot. I think I'll finish those all up soon. That's the plan.

Happy Sunday to you. 
best, susie

16 comments:

Betz White said...

I love my socks I made using your pattern! This winter though I found holes in 2 pairs! I think it was moths because of where the holes were. My darning technique left a lot to be desired. BTW, are the clogs in your banner Troentorp too? I love Mary Janes!

Susan B. Anderson said...

The clogs in my banner are Dansko. They are getting pretty old at this point but are holding up remarkably well.

Dorothy said...

I love this post so much-I feel just the same about my handknit socks! It never occurred to me to wear my remaining single socks together, I must admit, but I think I'm going to start doing that; now, I just wonder what derogatory term my kids will use for my behavior. Heh heh.

bitten78 said...

They are all lovely socks. I admit I always have a sock on the needles for easy knitting to take along with me, and thanks to your pattern I only need to peek at the heel instructions every now and then. I love Soak wash as well, what I can't figure out though is how my pre-teen boy seems to felt the bottoms of his knit socks just wearing them? I am muppet flailing over those clogs, now that I've got knits I love to show them off, and mismatched socks is a funky fun idea! thanks for the link.

Harriett Basham said...

Your sock pattern is the only one I have used for awhile now. It's the best. Thanks!

Amber said...

I love that stack of socks. It is so funny how you say you get stranger (I think that's the word you used) with age. I find that to be true for me, or maybe we just let our real inner selves out! What will happen in another 30 years?

Really enjoyed today's post!

Johnston4kids said...

I really enjoy my patchworks as well, thanks for the idea and the knitalong! I'll be making more as well and I used the idea to do fingerless mits recently.

Johnston4kids said...

My patchworks are a favorite as well--good memories of the kal! Also will be making more and recently made fingerless mits in the same manner that I like equally well.

Nickycarp said...

Love your post, because I just learned I could throw my superwash socks in the washer. But I'm sure they will last longer if I do what you do and hand wash them. I find my Patchwork Socks to be very warm, too, now in the winter, compared with my single-yarn socks! I thought that was kind of neat! Great blog post! Enjoy--you are the best sock/shoe girl! Nicky momoffour

Suzanne said...

Wearing mismatched socks is trendy right now--not strange at all! In fact, they actually sell mismatched socks as pairs.

Shing said...

I really enjoyed your post today and loved the photos of your very colorful socks! I was always curious about repairing socks because my hubby and now my teenage boy wears through their socks so quickly. When you say you grafted the toe hole closed, did you weave the replacement yarn directly onto the sock? Maybe I'll look on-line for any tutorials. I love those Danskos - all I wear!!

Susan B. Anderson said...

Hi Shing,
I just used the kitchener stitch to close the hole back up with some similar sock yarn. Nothing fancy.
susan

Betz White said...

I have a quick sock question if you have a moment! I wish all of the socks I've knit with your HIMMS pattern were just a teensy bit snugger on me. They are just a little sloppy in the foot. What would you recommend, going down a needle size?

Susan B. Anderson said...

Betz - definitely do your next pair with a size smaller needle to see if that helps. You could even do the cuff in the same size and then go down a size for the foot if that is the only spot it is too big.

Keep me posted!

Unknown said...

I've been knitting just over a year and am self taught. I'm ready to tackle socks and understand your pattern. However, what advice can you give for choosing yarn. I don't know what to look for and I don't want to spend a fortune. I have the regular big box stores (JoAnns, Michaels etc.) that sell sock yarn and 1 LYS but he only sells one kind of sock yarn and I don't know what it is. Can you give me a few pointers on picking out yarn?

Susan B. Anderson said...

superwash yarns are nice for socks for easier care, you may want yarn that contains some nylon for longevity. other than that any fingering weight or sock yarn that you like will do just fine.