Yesterday, I…

Yesterday, I finished one of the socks I'm making Kevin, using this free toe-up crochet pattern, super-simple to make (it's all single crochet). I did it in Lion's Brand Wool-Ease, a wool-acrylic blend in 'woods print', pleasant to work with, machine-washable, and cheap! (on sale $2/2.5 oz.) Some reviewers note pilling problems over repeated washings, but I'm not going to worry about that for socks. For now, I'm liking this yarn a lot, and will probably be buying more of it.

The sock ended up a little big, but I'm expecting the wool to shrink when washed. I'm not sure how to account for that, actually. Do I trust that Kev will always wash them in cold and dry flat, so they don't shrink at all? That seems a lot to ask of a man and his socks. If I just throw it in with the other laundry, will it keep shrinking every time it's washed? I had a cashmere sweater that did that (accidentally got into the laundry a few times instead of being dry-cleaned), and it was very sad. How do other sock-makers deal with this?

The sock is pretty darn comfy; the wool blend feels very nice on the toesies. I could just buy him wool socks, of course, which would be way more efficient and even cheaper. I'm not sure how long my sock enthusiasm will last. Right now, I'm just charmed by the very idea of crocheting a sock for Kevin. It's so insanely domestic. Old friends Tasos and Alex were around when I was working on it yesterday, and Tasos commented that once the socks were done, Kevin would have to wear them constantly or I would get upset. I think that might be true, because I am ridiculously proud of my not-so-little sock. Maybe once I make more socks, I'll get over it. For now, I'll enjoy feeling like an old-time gal, making socks for her man (and eventually complaining about how he goes through the heels so fast. :-)

One thought on “Yesterday, I…”

  1. yippee! Handcrafts are a great antidote to all the delving into words that I do, so this is a favorite subject of mine.

    So about socks: I don’t know much about crochet, but knitters who make socks have a few answers:

    1) you can sign up for a login at ravelry.com. It’s a social networking site about knitting and crocheting, and there are tons of searchable fora (forums?) about things like yarn and patterns. You can throw out any question in the right place and get an answer. Such is the internet.

    2) Swatching. When you use a new yarn, start by making a little square of the stuff, say 4″ x 4″ (if you know the beginning dimensions you can measure if it shrinks), and treat it like you want to treat the finished project, including washing and drying. See what happens. Then you know how the final product will hold up. You can also swatch after the fact.

    3) Lion-brand Wool-Ease actually gets good reviews for machine wash-and-drying.

    4) If you want more wool in your wool socks, consider superwash wool. It has been treated to prevent shrinkage and felting. Different superwash wools have different levels of tolerance for agitation and heat, but if he machine washes cold and air dries, he’s safe. If he likes the dryer, make sure you read yarn reviews (see tip number one) and swatch ahead of time.

    5) finally, about heels: if you decide to take up knitting, there are ways to knit a sock so the heels are replaceable–you can actually remove the worn heel yarn and replace it with new yarn without reknitting the rest of the sock. I suspect crocheters may have similar solutions. Also, there is stuff called sock yarn, and it has a bit of nylon in it, to help it wear longer.

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