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Starting Striped Socks

Despite the fact the the autumnal equinox isn’t due for another two weeks, many people are bemoaning the end of summer. The kids are back to school (ish), the sun is setting earlier, and we will be saying Happy New Year before you know it, but this is my favorite time of year. Fall isn’t here quite yet, but I can feel it coming.

Even though I am an avid knitter year round, September still marks the beginning of Knitting Season and is the harbinger of Sweatah Weathah. While I do have sweater plans, for now I am focused on socks — specifically striped socks.

Five small cakes of yarn -- purple, speckled, orange, black & white, and black & orange
Mini skeins caked and ready to knit

One of my goals this year is to work some of the bundles of mini skeins which I am never sure how to use but can’t seem to resist into projects. In a moment of weakness or enthusiasm (depending on one’s point of view), I ordered a Halloween Advent set from a dyer I have wanted to try for ages. That’s 31 mini skeins headed my way for October 1st. Typing it out loud makes it sound a bit insane. Ah well.

Since I placed my order I have been debating what to make with these treasures because I really want to start on October 1st and work my way through the lot, finishing on Halloween. I struggle with structure and discipline and good habits. I fall hopelessly behind in knitalong events. No sooner do I get my needles into one project than I am distracted by something shiny (or fuzzy) and new.

This time, I have decided, it’s going to work. I am going to start with skein one on day one and work my way through the day’s mini each day, and I am going to make socks. They might be marled. They might be color blocked. They might be striped. The might have a stitch pattern, or they might be plain stockinette. But they will be knit in October, which is also known as Socktober in the knitting world. It’s going to be EPIC!

To that end, I thought a little practice was in order, so I pulled out some Halloween themed mini skeins which I purchased several years ago and have already been wound into cakes. I have two each of two sets (the equivalent of four skeins of yarn). I originally had notions of making knee socks, but I decided to make shorter socks and play with stripes instead. I have knit the first sock and am quite pleased with the results, although I decided to change up the stripe order on the second sock. The orange stripes will be on the foot rather than the leg.

I thought about taking the change further by reversing the purple and the orange completely. Maybe on the next pair.

This is both the fun and the challenge of knitting socks — there are so many possibilities, especially once you find a fit and structure which works for you so that you can just cast on and knit rather than relying on a specific pattern.

The corollary to the Socktober knitting goal is to document the progress with photographs and posts. September is going to be preparation and practice for that goal, too. Stay tuned!

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