You guys! I can hardly contain my excitement. I was overwhelmed by the response to my first completed box o’ sox when I shared it on Instagram. Some people were saying that I inspired them to knit socks, which is absolutely crazy to me! A year ago, I had knit a pair of socks, but I wasn’t enchanted by the process. So I resolved to knit socks all different ways to figure out what works for me! Twelve months and as many pairs of socks later, I can confidently say that I like knitting socks all kinds of ways! Anyway, after seeing comments that I was inspiring other knitters to make socks, I decided to share some of the sock-knitting ladies that have inspired me so much on my little journey. Some knit cuff down, some toe up. A few prefer two-at-a-time, while the rest knit one sock at a time. Whatever their preferences, they have each inspired me in their own way to try different techniques, play with color, and step out of my comfort zone.
Enter… the Sock Knitter Survey! I designed this survey to introduce you to amazing knitters you may not know about, or help you learn more about people you already follow! The idea of the survey is to showcase some of my favorite sock knitters and how they like to knit their socks. I hope you find it as fun and interesting as I do!
First up is one of the first friends I made on Instagram when I started my account four years ago… Christine @christine.knits! Christine is one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. She has always been willing to answer my (sometimes stupid) knitting questions and I love everything she makes! We’ve done a few swaps via mail (she’s in Canada and I’m in Tennessee!) and she always sends the most thoughtful gifts. Oh, and her little family – including two sweet pups – is the cutest! I’ve sprinkled a few photos of Christine’s socks throughout the post. So… here we go!
Sock Knitter Survey No. 1
Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! My name is Christine and I’m an avid crafter and home body from Wabush, Labrador on the East Coast of Canada. I’m a first time mom to my son, Ian, wife to my husband, Jordan, and proud, over-bearing dog mom to my two babies, Rhubarb and Honey. I simply adore knitting and there isn’t a day that goes by without picking up a project and working away. I also love spinning yarn, and I’ve recently been bitten by the cross stitch bug and am swiftly falling down that rabbit hole! Other things that take up my free time are reading and baking!
When/how did you start knitting?
I don’t remember what age I was exactly, but I was around 12 or 13. Knitting is something I remember my mom always doing when I was growing up. She learned from my Dad’s Mother back when her and Dad were just dating. It stuck with her and she continued to knit (and still does). My brother and I always had gorgeous, handknit sweaters growing up and I asked one day if she could teach me. She would cast on and knit a few rows to get me established, and then I would knit and knit and knit until the square I was aiming for was more of a wonky rectangle with dropped stitches and some very interesting increase techniques that you probably won’t find in any stitch dictionary! But I liked it, and I continued to pick at it all through middle and high school. It really stuck and became part of my every day like when I turned 18, and now, 11 years later, I’m still going strong!
What are your favorite things to knit?
Socks. Socks hands down for so many reasons! First, they are SO easy. I can knit a sock doing anything. I turn heels in waiting rooms, I cast on running errands, and I pick away at textured lovelies while playing with my son. They are so portable, so easy, and so meditative. Secondly, I’m kind of a neutral gal when it comes to dressing, but I love knitting with colour! So sock knitting is the perfect excuse to pick up bright, vibrant colours to work with. Lastly, and maybe the biggest reason for me, is that I was looking for something to knit that would get worn. I really wanted a project I can rely on and not knit simply for the sake of knitting. I wanted to have something that would one day be so worn down and loved that I would need to mend it, and I could look back on that project and think how much love was put into it and how much love I got from wearing it. Socks seemed like the best fit!
Favorite sock yarn base? I really love an 80/20 superwash merino/nylon blend, but I also have a soft spot for BFL and bases that incorporate tweed, cashmere or bamboo. I tend to like plumper sock yarn, on the side closer to Sport than Lace.
Preferred neeldes? I am all about wooden needles. I love how warm and flexible they are! It took me a long time and a lot of trial and error to find my perfect sock needle. I’m a bit weird with needles because while I am not a tight knitter, I am SUPER hard on needles and tend to wear grooves into the tips. I destroyed many a pair of Knit Picks wooden needles, Lykke needles, and even a pair of Karbonz. The only needles I’ve found that can hold up to my special kind of knitting are Deborah Norville needles. I like a US 1.5, 2.5 mm, 32” circular for magic looping.
Toe up or cuff down? Cuff down! I get the appeal of toe up, and I like the idea of maximizing your yarn and getting those socks as long as possible, but I just love cuff down. It’s how I originally learned socks and it stuck!
One- or two-at-a-time? One at a time. I recently did a pair of socks in tandem on two different needles and I can see doing that again, but my default is one at a time.
Go-to heel? Heel flap. I love heel flaps! That moment when the whole heel comes together and you’ve magically changed direction – it’s the best!
Rounded toe or square toe? Rounded toe! In particular I use the rounded toe in Sock Architecture by Lara Neel every single time. It’s a great toe! On another note, that is a killer book and a fantastic reference material to have if you are even remotely interested in sock knitting.
Shorties or longer legs? The longer the better! I like my socks to go up as far as possible to keep me as toasty as possible!
Favorite yarn brands/indie dyers for sock yarn? For commercial yarn, it’s no surprise that I love Patons Kroy if you’ve ever visited my Instagram feed. For indie dyers, I love Flock Fibre Studio, Lichen and Lace, Raven Wood Fibre Co., and The Fawn and the Fox (also, all amazing Canadian dyers).
Socks for yourself or for others? I am typically a selfish knitter! I love knitting socks for myself, but I also love knitting socks for my very knit-worthy husband. I’m also excited to knit socks for my son when he gets older! Right now he’s still in the phase of kicking all of his socks off so the socks I have knit for him haven’t gotten a lot of wear!
What’s a sock knitting notion you can’t knit without? A progress keeper! It’s actually the only notion I use when knitting socks! But I do really really love a progress keeper. Who doesn’t like a piece of jewelry for your knitting?
Are there any techniques you haven’t tried but would like to? I would like to explore knitting two-at-a-time and doing a toe-up sock pattern!
Any favorite sock patterns or sock pattern designers? I love Blueberry Waffle socks – I have so many pairs now! In all honestly, I haven’t knit a lot of textured socks but this is a personal goal of mine for my sock knitting in 2019! I’m currently knitting Snowfall socks by Tabitha Gandee and loving them! Every sock she designs is so gorgeous, so she would be my favorite sock pattern designer right now. I’m hoping to have a little collection of Tabitha Gandee socks at the end of the year!
Why do you love knitting socks?
They are just so therapeutic! I love the simplicity of a vanilla sock, but also how easily you can switch things up with a patterned sock and have a little bit more interest. With a 7 month old, knitting time can be a little hard to find, but socks make it easy to knit whenever you get a minute of two. It’s not uncommon for me to walk around my house with a sock project in my pocket for any free moment I get! I also love knitting socks for my husband because he simply loves them so much! I get so much joy giving him socks and seeing him get truly exciting about them and hauling them on straight away. It’s a fantastic feeling to share them with others!
Who else would you love to see do this survey?
Danaraeknits on Instagram is SUCH an amazing sock knitter! Her feed in constantly inspiring me and she is such an uplifting, positive person. My friend Julie just recently starting designing some beautiful sock patterns and they are gorgeous (julieannknitter on Instagram)! I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her for since I started knitting socks and we’ve done a couple little KALs where we’ve knit socks together and it was great fun!
You can find Christine on Instagram at @christine.knits and Ravelry @winterbirdknits! Thank you so much to Christine for agreeing to participate in my inaugural survey!