All of the socks pictured in this post can be found within the "socks" section of my Ravelry projects.
If you run into me any day between mid-October and mid-March I can almost guarantee that I'll be wearing a pair of hand knit socks. And not just any hand knit socks, one of the thirteen pairs pictured above. I LOVE my socks. The thing is, I knit them a lot faster than I wear them out (which I realize is not a bad problem to have) so I've got a pretty good backup collection happening too. The pair of socks on the left in the photo above were knit pre-Ravelry!!! If I had to guess I'd say 2006. I recognize the window sill in the FO shots from Chris and my first apartment together (awww!) And below are the socks when they were brand new, please keep in mind that many of these socks were knit years ago, before I was particularly adept at taking FO shots, forgive the crappy photo's!
You'll notice my collage only features 12 pairs, that's because one of the pairs in my current rotation was knit so long ago that I don't even have a picture of them. Imagine, knitting something and not snapping a photo, how can I even be sure it really exists if I didn't Ravel it!?
I don't have a favourite pair of socks or even a favourite style. I like fancy socks, cabled socks, lace socks and plain socks. Over the years I've learnt that I though I don't love knitting socks on 2.25mm needles (the gauge is just a bit tight for me in terms of comfort) that gauge definitely results in the best, most long lasting and hard wearing socks for me. Once upon a time I went up to 2.5mm needles for my socks, but I notice them wearing out a wee bit faster.
I don't have a favourite sock yarn (though I am especially partial to my Blue Label Fingering Weight!) I am pretty strict about only knitting socks with a yarn that has at least a bit of nylon content, I find that without it the socks wear out so much faster. 100% merino is good for so many things, but I don't think that it is especially well suited to socks, personally. I'll also go out on a limb and admit that though I love knitting socks in Purple Label Cashmere sock yarn, they do pill much more than my Blue Label socks, not enough to make me stop knitting socks with cashmere content, but enough that it's worth mentioning since apparently I'm doing an epic blog post about socks here (I swear I just meant to post a few pictures of socks in rainbow formation but I just can't stop talking about my socks!!!)
All of my socks are washed in the machine right along with a regular batch of laundry, and then hung to dry. I skip the dryer, but that's the only fancy step I take to care for my hand knit socks. I'm not especially hard on my socks. I spend most of my days shoe-less, which I think makes a big difference. I'm sure that heels wear out much faster when they are rubbed against the inside of a shoe. When my heels do eventually wear out I darn them, usually in a contrasting colour for fun. I've got a pair that needs mending, actually, so I'll post about that process soon hopefully. Eventually, even after being darned, a socks life just comes to an end. It's sad, and that's why you need to have a backup collection!
Below are the socks that I'm currently hoarding in my "gift drawer" but I don't actually intend to gift them to anyone. :)
A little while ago I realized that I was knitting socks faster than I was wearing through them. Instead of finishing up a pair of socks and then immediately putting them into rotation I decided to stash them in the "gift drawer" and then if I needed a pair for someone I'd be ready. I happen to have a few knit-worthy relatives who wear the same size socks as me, so it was actually a great plan. I have gifted many, but now all those relatives knit their own socks and I haven't given away a pair in ages! I can't say for sure if my hoarding is due to the fact that they all knit or wether it's just that I've given away all the pairs that I just liked and am now left with a "gift drawer" full of socks that I really love and can't bare to part with!
I'm not sure what's stopping me from adding any or all of these pairs into my current rotation of socks that I actually wear. Call me crazy but I think that it has something to do with the fact that I just love knowing that have a drawer full of these beautiful, pristine socks! I would not call what I do a "system" of any kind, I can't really explain why I don't wear these socks that I love... the more I think about it the more I think it's kinda weird!
What does your sock drawer look like? Do you knit more socks than you can wear? And if so, what do you do with them? Rotate through them all or save them like I do? Are all sock knitters crazy? Or is it just me?