I think I may have a problem

This is my sock-yarn stash:

There’s enough there to make at least 40 pairs of socks, which is more socks than anyone could possibly need. Also, I usually wear skirts with tights, or bare legs if it’s hot, and therefore need even fewer pairs of socks than average.

I love knitting socks, and I’m happy to make socks for other people (and fortunate to have a husband who thinks that handknitted socks are the Best Thing Ever), but I would quite like to be able to keep some of the fruits of my knitting for myself, and I suspect this means finding things to make with sock yarn that aren’t socks. Hats are a possibility, although I usually end up wearing the same hat all winter long; fingerless mittens would be very useful for someone who works in an office as cold as mine is, although again I can’t imagine needing multiple pairs; the best idea I’ve come up with so far is shawls and scarves. I already want to make an Ishbel sooner rather than later, and there are lots of other patterns for little shawls made with a single skein of sock-weight yarn. I often wear scarves and pashminas; even in summer it’s sometimes nice to have something to keep the draughts off when I’m wearing a top with a lowish neckline, and I do like to have lots of different scarves to go with different outfits.

What have I forgotten? What are your favourite non-sock patterns for sock yarn?

(Mind you, it’s not just the sock yarn stash that is getting out of control. I also have all this yarn earmarked for larger projects:

and a fair number of single balls/skeins of DK, aran and laceweight. I think I should probably stop buying yarn for a while.)

14 responses to “I think I may have a problem

  1. Is that all? ed.

    Other than scarves (and I think my Fraoch is going for a scarf), fingerless gloves/mittens are win for sockyarn. There are some lovely elbow length ones out there too.

    • I’m certainly intending to make at least one pair of fingerless mitts for the office next winter, although rather like hats I don’t know if I’d wear more than one pair on a regular basis. Then again, I used to think there was no point owning more than one necklace, so I guess maybe I just need to change my attitude a bit!

  2. If you wear shrugs, Moggle has just made her liquorice shrug pattern available.

  3. I was going to say shawls – I just made my first Ishbel in some Noro Kureyon and I am so pleased with how it has turned out.

    The other thing you could try if you are really serious about using up the stash, is a blanket of some kind. Something like this mitred square blanket or this striped version will not only destroy the stash, it’ll also use up all the odd and ends of wool you get after knitting a pair of socks.

    • It’s not so much that I want to use the stash up immediately, just that I plainly have far more sock yarn than I am ever going to need socks! The blankets are a terrific idea for using up the leftovers, though, except that the idea of sewing all the squares together puts me off rather!

      • I think that with the mitred squares you don’t sew, you pick up stitches and knit the pieces together as you go. There’s still a lot of weaving in of ends, though.

  4. My mother is currently doing a mitred square blanket (of her own invention) with her leftover sock yarn. Each new square is picked up form the last, so no sewing together – just millions of ends to hide.

    I tend to keep a toning pair of gloves in the pocket of each winter coat or jacket, and then there are the fingerless gloves at work (for when the heating breaks every November), at home (because I am miserly with central heating) and in my handbag (for waiting at the bus stop when it’s not quite cold enough for gloves, but too cold for bare hands).

    And at the moment there are baby clothes, since so much sock yarn is machine washable, hard wearing, and pretty soft – and a cardigan for a six month old takes well under 100 grammes.

    • I can see that baby clothes would be a perfect way to use up a sock yarn stash, but I’m not certain that would be a good enough reason to have a baby! I had thought I might find myself making things for my nephew, but we don’t see him very often and I’m not entirely sure my brother and sister-in-law are fans of handknitted baby clothes.

      Perhaps I just need to recognise gloves as an accessory and not just a practicality!

      • I know your office is not as cold as mine, but I e.g. leave a pair in my office drawer, and will get round to stashing a pair in all my coats, as I never remember to pick ones up on the way out in the morning.

        • I was thinking about keeping fingerless gloves at work, because the office does get very cold in the winter, so that would be one pair, and I do need a new pair of outdoor gloves, but I usually just wear the same gloves all winter long rather than having lots of different pairs (I also normally wear the same coat every day, so don’t need a range of gloves to go with different coats!).

  5. Pingback: Redefinition « Knitting up the ravelled sleeve of care

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