Summer School, party tricks
Published On: July 27, 2020

Now look, I am a fan of fairly sedate socks.  Well no, that’s not quite right.  I’m all about flashy stitch patterns and lovely lines and the occasional bit of arch shaping or gusset shenanigans.  But in my heart of heart, my favorite socks are top down (because that means you can try them on after an inch and know for sure if they’ll fit over your heel), with a heel flap (we talked about my love of adjustable heel flaps the other week), and a fairly mellow foot.

But, there’s something about socks that brings out the mad scientist in some knitters.  It’s almost as if having a lot of constraints (because really, a sock needs to be a fairly particular shape and a fairly particular size and needs to withstand a certain amount of abuse) makes some people feel extra creative.  And that’s really rather delightful.

So, while I’ll use the other days this week to show you a few of the places where I departed from the bog standard sock template, I wanted to take today to point you toward a few nifty socks by other people that do no end of clever things, just in case you want to try something spiffy.

Knitty has published rather a lot of innovative socks over the years.  If you’re looking for something brain bendy, these are a few especially delightful ones: Skew, Wraptor, Achilles Heal, Ornamental. But seriously, there are oodles more (and all knitty’s patterns are free).  Check out knitty’s page of sock patterns (scroll down to the ‘piquant’ ones, a bunch of those have some special tricks up their sleeve).

If you like books better, there are oodles of sock books out there.  New Directions in Sock Knitting is all about socks put together in unexpected ways (full disclosure, I have one in there, and it’s by far the most sedate of the bunch, oh and while we’re disclosing things, amazon links are totally affiliate links because hosting bills are a thing and affiliate links help with that).  If you want a nice mix of traditional construction along with a few more unusual options, Sockupied is a great place to start (I’ve got one on there too).  And if you’re looking for more of a ‘ack, socks, I need to learn the basics before I get into party tricks’ sort of guide, then either Custom Socks or The Knitter’s Book of Socks will get you started!

Really though, if you look at a sock and think ‘yeah, that looks fun, but let’s make it weird’ you are not alone.  And you can totally find someone who feels the same way you do!

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