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Conquering Second Sock Syndrome

April 1, 2010

It is a common disorder among knitters. You pick up some beautiful yarn from the store and conjure up all the lovely sock patterns you have been dying to try. You get home and even though the dinner needs to be cooked and the laundry needs to be dried you put it all aside for your needles. “I’ll just start the sock. Really, I can take 30 minutes or so just to get it going.” Three hours later they are begging for food and the laundry has dried itself, unfortunately into a massive wrinkled ball. But you are fine with this, you have been knitting and loving every minute of it!

It’s a very different story when you’re on to the second sock. The thrill of the colorful yarn, the new pattern, and the desire to knit immediately after a purchase has all subsided. You are somewhat bored of the color, have tackled the pattern, and used your new yarn rather than letting it sit there and taunt you. Or perhaps, like S, against your better judgment browsed a LYS swearing not to make a purchase but failing, again. You cannot go on like this, knitting tons of single, lonely socks. Recently I have knit myself some very simple socks and implemented some techniques in conquering my recurring syndrome.

Knit in only 10 days! Much better than my previous record. 😛

First, a tip I had heard from friend was implemented immediately after finishing the first sock. “Never leave a sock project without beginning the second! Just don’t do it, it’s suicide!” So, I cast on, organized my stitches, and knit a few rows before I left the project. To my surprise, I noticed the WIP and felt very inclined to pick it up and continue the next day! Second, I told The Knitting Club to bug me about my socks…words of encouragement (or peer pressure) can take you pretty far sometimes! Last, I wore my previously finished sock projects as inspiration and imagined the new ones on my feet.

Other tips I have heard of and will try next time are (1) knitting two socks at once (gasp!) known as the Magic Loop method, (2) considering the second sock a challenge, either refusing to look at the pattern or telling yourself you will get it done in the same time or less than the first! (3), knit one sock cuff-down and the other toe-up! Feels like two different socks even though they will be a beautiful matching pair!

I’d love to hear of any other ideas, since tricking myself and keeping it fresh seem to be the only ways to conquer second sock syndrome for me!

– L

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