|A box of handknit socks.|
I also like to knit socks. Socks are easy, fast, colorful, and at the end of the process, I have a pair of (mostly) matching sweaters for my perpetually chilly feet. After knitting a couple dozen pairs of socks in the past seven years, I have sock-knitting down to a system: 2 US#2 circular needles; figure-8/"magic" cast on; either a "flat" or "star" toe; increases to 60 stitches, then knit plain until 60 rows from the cast-on. I now use a short-row (aka "Fleegle") heel, then knit the leg until the sock (or stocking) is as long as I want: if it's just standard socks, I knit the leg until it's as long as the foot, then do a couple inches of 3x3 ribbing before using a super-stretchy bind-off. It takes me 30-40 hours to knit a pair of socks--spread out over consecutive evenings, it's a pair of socks every 7-10 days.
As a result of my love for sock-knitting, I have quite a collection of socks. They are neatly stored in a large box in the bedroom, paired up and folded so I can pick through them easily. There have been a few discards over the year. The first pair of socks I knitted--out of Patons Classic Wool--suffered the usual fate of all-wool socks: an accidental trip through the washer and dryer. I'm sure they made a very nice pair of slippers for some child. Another early pair was knit of 100% alpaca yarn. A word of warning--alpaca does not work for socks. I have no use for size 14 socks, so they went away. The latest sock purge were the pairs with "afterthought" heels. I like the afterthought heel, especially for yarns that make interesting patterns, but I can't do a Kitchener stitch to close the heel to save my life. As a result, those socks had a 3-needle bind-off that put a seam right at the bottom of my heel. They weren't comfortable, and now they're gone.
The periodic sock purge still leaves me with handknit socks and stockings. I have blue and green striped stockings, made with naturally-dyed yarns. I have a pair of truly wild self-striping variegated stockings made from handspun. I have tall socks for wearing with hiking boots, and regular socks for wearing with sandals (and tennis shoes, if forced). However, a sock purge also means I have an excuse to knit more socks.
On the Loom: 15 yards of 6-shaft broken twill out of Astra 10/2 cotton, on Mongo. The Gem is nekkid, in preparation for a doup leno workshop in 7 weeks.
On the Needles: Number 26 socks (see above).