My Epic Sock Challenge

…Or, Sock Binge Knitting

Apparently, if you are a habitual sock knitter, it is not healthy to go cold turkey for a couple of months. It can have some unexpected repercussions.

Feeling the compulsion need to knit a pair of socks, I re-wound a skein of Opal sock yarn into two equal balls. Then, I started a pair of simple ribbed socks in a yarn I thought would go well with a couple of outfits. I knit (almost) all my socks in the Toe-Up, Two-at-a-Time on One Needle method. I can’t face doing a second sock when one is finished. Two-at-a-time allows me to end up with a pair – and not a drawer full of sock orphans. These look a little bulgy because I store my yarn in the toe of each sock as soon as the toe is big enough to hold it. It saves on time spent untangling two balls of yarn – or worse, two ends of one ball (shudder). DH says these look like….

Well, let’s not go there.

Grey Socks In Work
Grey Socks In Work


But, one pair of simple ribbed socks was not enough to satisfy the craving. Hence, this pair is also in the works. Knitting on Tofutsie with a mini cable for summer.

Green Tofutsi Socks In Work
Green Tofutsi Socks In Work


I was showing off my socks to the girls at work. Someone (Clara!) challenged me to knit two pair at one time (4 socks on one needle). I knew this would be easy (you are still only knitting on one sock at a time) and fun (it’ll look cool and impress my not-so sock savvy friends) so I grabbed one more skein of sock yarn and split it up. While casting them on at knitting group the next day, my knitterly buddies scoffed at my four-at-a-time challenge and claimed it was too easy. They upped the ante to three pair and three different patterns; six socks at one time, on one needle, with three patterns to keep track of.

Six toes, one (long) needle
Six toes, one (long) needle


Now, I’m not a total idiot. I wanted the challenge to be fun and not make me a raving lunatic. I settled for two toes the same, standard figure-8 cast on, flat toes. The third (dark teal pair) are a spiral toe. I got them cast on to a 60”, US 1 Addi turbo lace, my weapon of choice for socks. While increasing the toes up to their requisite 64 stitches each, I planned the patterns for them. I looked through some of my favorite sock books for patterns that were fairly simple as I’m using printed (as in dyed to look like Fair Isle knitting) commercial sock yarns and I didn’t want anything too busy. In Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks, I found three patterns I liked for the project.

Socks, Two-at-a-Time yarn control and Traditional flat (figure 8) toe
Socks, Traditional flat (figure 8) toe and Two-at-a-Time yarn control.


For the Dark teal I chose Laburnum on page 43. A five-stitch repeat so, I had to increase this pair to 65 stitches.

Epic Sock Challenge 1
Epic Sock Challenge, six at a time on one needle, 1st sock


For the purple(ish) middle pair, I chose Open Work Rib on page 37, an easy four-stitch repeat.

Epic Sock Challenge 2
Epic Sock Challenge, six at a time on one needle, 2nd sock


The third pair, denim blue(ish) got Corded Rib from page 38, also a four-stitch repeat.

Epic Sock Challenge 3
Epic Sock Challenge, six at a time on one needle, 3rd sock

So, nothing too busy or complicated. In a rare moment of clarity, I also made sure all three patterns were 4 row repeats. This would make it easy to keep track of all the patterns with one row counter. The down side is that I’m spending a huge amount of time just keeping the yarns untangled. I know from past sock projects that keeping them in a sandwich bag until the toes are big enough to hold them will help control the balls. But even so, three baggies is a challenge! It will take me some time to work through these. Each round is 386 stitches.

Epic Sock Challenge - All
My progress so far…

Yep, a little time will be needed. But I’ll have three pair of socks, all done at once! Cool, huh?

Meanwhile happily knitting away on these 5 pair of socks, I open a project bag looking for stitch markers and what do I find? More socks-in-work. I don’t even remember starting these although I remember buying the yarn.

Migration Socks
Migration Socks


Deb H

Art-scale Your Wearables
one button at a time…
My Epic Sock Challenge

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