Get a hold of yourself.

So really, I try to keep my sock knitting down to a dull roar. I think they are an ideal project and always appreciated by the local rabble and a pretty dandy thing to do with just a ball or two of yarn.

Since sock knitting has so many charms to seduce me with, I try to stick to a two pair guideline so that I don’t get carried away. No more than two pairs on the go at once. That’s it. So what’s going on here?


(I’m sorry. It’s a disease. I’m trying to do better. You will note a fairly vicious case of second sock syndrome here.) In the interest of full disclosure (and because I was knitting them in public and may have been seen by someone who will now totally rat me out to the blog) I also have to tell you that I was forced by circumstance to start these.


We went to that Sith movie and I needed something that wasn’t at a stage of sock knitting that required light. I really tried not to start them. I discussed with my inner sock harlot that I already had a lot of socks on the go. That I had plain ones and ones with intarsia and ones with stripes. Opal ones, Koigu ones…who could need more socks? I even tried Julia’s Jedi Mind Trick. “This sock yarn is not your sock yarn. This is not the sock yarn you seek.” Next thing I know I’m watching Star Wars Episode 3 with a brand new sock and a dirty feeling. I’m weak. I finished these to try and make myself feel better, but I’m still spiraling.


Clearly I’m breaking my sock rule. Clearly I’m out of control. We won’t even discuss that Laurie (That Laurie) gave me some of the deadly super sock yarn


and all that’s keeping me from casting that on is …well. I won’t say self control because nobody would buy that.

Maybe the Jedi Mind Trick is starting to work. (Maybe it’s the dark side.) I had completely sworn that I wasn’t going to cast on any more at all, when Cassie gave me these.


Cassie knit me these pretty, pretty socks which I have worn just about every single day since she gave them to me when we were visiting. (Stop that. It’s not like I haven’t washed them. I have a patented sock washing method. I wear them into the bath and wash them on my feet, then toss them over the side onto a towel on the floor. When I get out, I cover the socks in the other end of the towel and then step all over them while I dry off. (I use a second towel for that). As I walk to the bedroom I toss them over the bannister, or in the winter…onto a heating grate. When I get up in the morning they are dry and good to go again. I wash all handknit socks this way. I have attempted to develop a less odd routine for handwashing socks, but anytime I get more than one pair in a pile they become “laundry” and I am honour bound to avoid them. The method of sock washing recounted above is really more like personal hygiene than laundry.)

Now I feel like I need to drop everything and be knitting lace socks.

Do I give into the dark side? Do I resist? Do I use the force?

Care to vote for a position?

Position A. Who does it hurt to have a hundred pairs of socks cast on. Knock yourself out. Knitting is supposed to be a fun hobby, not about finishing anything…and who cares if your sock knitting mood goes up and down as fast as a whore’s nightie, resulting in half finished socks littering the house like fallen leaves in autumn. Knit!

Position B. A little self control is a good thing. Knitters with self control have more pairs of finished socks. You will knit them all eventually…have patience. Hold out. Besides, it entertains the blog to see finished things.

I will obey the blog.

Blog Business

I have just about finished adding the donations to the Knitters Without Borders total. (Only about 50 to go. Whew!) Check out the total, and know that I’m going back to giving away prizes as soon as I have all the eligible knitters on the list. (Yeah…the mittens. Other better stuff too.)

Happy Birthday to my buddy Tim!


(Ok, that wasn’t really blog business, but I got him to hold the sock so it would count.)

Finally, have I mentioned that I’ll be in Owen Sound this weekend?

Check it out, Saturday is “Knitterday” at the Ginger Press and I’m looking forward to the afternoon of spinning, yarn, books and yummies. If hanging out with me and a whack of knitters just isn’t enough for you, there’s a brilliant farmers market in the morning (Established in 1845), and naturally..the fact that Owen Sound has a whole pile of waterfalls should figure into your decision. Let me know if you are coming. They want to know how many sheep shaped gingerbread cookies to make. (Awwww….)

185 thoughts on “Get a hold of yourself.

  1. It’s spring. All things are fresh and new. Knitting should be that way too. Option A please. Enabling? Me? What is that pattern for the cute lace socks?

  2. Hee…I love your sock washing method…
    Sure wish I could come see you again at Ginger Press…sounds like a great place. Have a sheep shaped cookie for me!
    I vote for A.

  3. Position C: during the week, cast on as many socks as you want. On weekends, virtuously work on existing socks.
    (This from the author of the Socks That Do Not End. Only they do. I’ll send a picture.)

  4. well, my dear harlot, I have thought long and hard about this and I think that I must go with position B. You got me with the fact that all of us out here in blog land enjoy seeing pics of your finished socks. Besides, if you end up doing some “sneaky sock knitting” that will be a harmless pleasure that will fill you with guilty glee!

  5. Option A, anyone who says B hasn’t been reading you long enough to know that this is the only answer worthy of the Harlot!

  6. Oh, Position A. It’s Spring. Spring is for lacy socks that make your Birkies look fresh and new.
    (Lucia claims that the Socks That Do Not End are finished, but notice that she doesn’t mention whether or not the ends are woven in. Ahem. I hear music starting …)

  7. I say go with A! I love you blog, and your book is getting me through not knitting (as I for some inane reason packed my yarn FIRST in preparation for my upcoming move).

  8. My dear, dear, Stephanie. Position B, of course, is completely against your nature, you have to go with Position A. It would be nice if you set an example for others now and again, but I’m not sure it’s fair to put you under that kind of pressure. Besides, seeing all your unfinished socks makes the rest of us feel virtuous.

  9. I vote for option A – you’ll get them finished! You are after all the most AWESOME Yarn Harlot!

  10. I’m going with B. Only because I can’t conceive of having enough dpns laying around to occupy all those socks-in-progress. Especially without having the fear of sitting on a dpn be my constant companion.

  11. Option A. Socks, socks and more socks! You only need one of a pair for the sock calendar anyway. You’ll need 12 going at once for that, and you’re not there yet.

  12. Option A. Definatly A. There is nothing wrong with having many socks cast on. Otherwise, I’m a bad, bad girl. BTW, love the book, finally got it this weekend πŸ™‚

  13. I vote for option B.
    Unless I get a link for the pattern for Cassie’s socks. I’d have to cast on for those Right Away. (Well, except for the fact that I’m at work and don’t have yarn or needles with me.)

  14. Option A, all the way! Of course, that might mean you need to buy more needles…. and if you’re already doing that, more yarn would certainly be in order….

  15. The whore’s nightie description was the clincher. Definately position A. As a wannabe doctor, I’m curious as to whether or not your sock disease is contagious and how many you’ve infected.

  16. Position A – I recently purchased second sets of dpns to knit both socks at the same time avoiding SSS. So far I have 1 pair of toeless socks and 2 new socks that do not match. Seemed a good idea at the time.

  17. Hmm, it seems that after much debate I must go with Option B. It may be selfish and narrow minded of me, but I can’t in good conscience recommend Option A – it goes completely against my nature. That being said, I love sock and can’t wait to see what other lovelies you turn out.

  18. Having just finished my first two pairs of socks, concurrently, I’m feeling like this is quickly going to develop into a magnificent obsession. Enticed by Cassie’s lace socks, I stood in my LYS this week, thumbing through Socks,Socks,Socks and finally resisted.
    And now this…sheesh…

  19. The Dark Side in me wants to vote for option A. The Jedi in me says vote for B.
    Jedi wins. B.
    Oh – I love your sock washing method. Sounds like my shower cleaning method – clean part of it then shower. (I cleaned the floor one day earlier this week, then the tile walls, then the glass walls.)

  20. Option A absolutely!! You always have plenty of entertainment in the blog, we can wait for finished “pairs” πŸ™‚

  21. I vote for position A with one caveat – that you don’t use the yarn intended for sock #2 for a completely different type/style of sock, thus dooming both socks to be partnerless for eternity.

  22. come on! you really think we should vote for anything other than A?
    I mean.. even Sue turned to me the other day and said “I know I need to knit the scarf, but I am having a harlotty moment, let’s make a plan to knit something else, OK?”

  23. I’m with Allison. The description including the “whore’s nightie” capped all other arguments!

  24. knit all the darn socks and half socks and quarter pairs that you want!!!! That is why the universe came up with socks. They are so fun to start, and i am a firm believer(from personal experience) that every pair gets finished, even if it is years later. And besides, if they don’t there are people out there with one foot who like home knit socks.
    cheers harlot

  25. But you are showing the blog finished objects — are you under the impression that a second sock doubles our pleasure?
    Face it, The Blog is divided: the nice people (and the anal ones) cheer for finished objects because it’s the right thing to do and will keep you warm, while the less noble among us bang tambourines and barbeque fatted calves at each new cast-on project, grateful for proof that there are others as weak as we. Cast them puppies on!
    (Besides, it’s Spring, time of new beginnings. And That Laurie will think you’re ungrateful and don’t love her if you don’t cast That Yarn on. And it will keep you from thinking about The Gansey.)
    (But don’t let that stop you from posting pictures of cute guys.)

  26. Position A. Because I need company.
    My recent high (or low, depending on your point of view) was 33 pairs in progress. . .I’ve worked it down into the 20s using an unfamiliar technique called self-discipline. . .

  27. I wear boots a lot of the year. I do not do this because it is cold enough to justify them (frankly, they’re the fru-fru little heeled boots that don’t protect from cold or wet anyway)
    But if I’m wearing boots, you can’t tell that my socks don’t match.
    I’m just saying.

  28. A. Don’t be silly. You should have many socks going as you have sock needles at any time. This is why I seem to have a continuous order with beehive for their #0 needles – and I order 4 or 5 sets at a time (after all they only come in 4s).
    I only have 3 socks on the needles now – I would probably have more – but I don’t feel like balling the yarn. AND – I have lost the second ball of the very expensive yarn sock 3 is made of.
    I just want to get where I can start the yarn I got from Tess

  29. I say A. I am a firm believer in sock karma… that is, a sock will be finished when it is meant to be finished. One pair of mine went to Switzerland, Stockholm, and the Grand Canyon before coming home to New Jersey to be finished. Who am I to deny a pair of socks such wonderful experiences? (And think of all the wonderful memories I have when I wear them!) May the Force be with you, and with all your socks!

  30. I vote for option A. I happen to know you have plenty of needles in various sizes to work with. Besides, we all should be so fortunate as to have dozens of socks to choose from when knitter’s ADD strikes. Plus, your various socks give us inspiration, finished or not.

  31. I’ve been wondering if there’s a charity that collects single socks for amputees… Think of the good we could do, and we’d never have to knit that second sock!

  32. As someone who generally has more than 10 socks on the needles at a time, I would definately say position A. They’ll all be finished eventually and you always can find something at the right stage for whatever you’re knitting along with(plain for reading and movies and red lights, more complicated patterns or heels/gussets for waiting for the kids, traveling, etc.) Plus, when you need a quick gift, chances are you’ll have just the right thing already started and it won’t take too long to finish.

  33. Dude. I’m down with Position A. (And the dozen or so single socks hanging around here has nothing to do with it.)
    As for feeding the blog, you should know I am just as entertained by a sock-in-progress as a completed sock.

  34. i go with option A
    but then i’m someone who actually just knits swatches sometimes just for shits and giggles. and then unravels them so that i can knit them again.

  35. Having also fallen prey to Cassie and her feather and fan socks, I’d have to vote for A as well. Go for it. Cast on. Enjoy.
    Love the sock washing strategy. Cool. Anything to avoid laundry.

  36. Better than mittens? Yowza! Very impressive total. I know it’s been said, many times, many ways… Knitters Rock!
    Having shown absolutely not self-restraint myself in the month of May, I’m going to have to vote for Position A today regarding the socks.

  37. A, A, A, baby!! I make socks on ML, and usually have 6 or 8 socks going at a time. Actually, there is an advantage to this…you get the first one done and the second one started, then when you really need a completed pair you just kick it in gear and voila! a completed pair in no time.
    Oh, and by the way, today I am wearing my pair of Opal Lollipop socks like the ones you made at the movies. Yes, In South Carolina. We have fierce air conditioning here sometimes.

  38. I say go for A. If you own enough needles to be knitting that many socks, go for it! Where better to store needles than in yarn?

  39. Go for A. That is what I do! Plus if you go for A then I will feel better and it is all about me!

  40. As a lover of fraternal socks, I say that your second sock syndrome (aka SSS) isn’t the problem it seems. In that picture I saw two Tiptoe Through the Tulips socks. Since they both have tulips, and were essentially knit with the same pattern, you could call that a pair. I’d wear them!

  41. I vote A. What difference does it make if you don’t finish a pair. Cassie sent you a lovely pair and really with your sock washing method who needs more than one pair.

  42. Option A! Of course! Knit what you want to knit, we’re all just reading along for the thrill of it. If you tried to dutifully finish the socks-in-progress, wouldn’t you resent them just a little bit for not being the socks you really WANT to knit?

  43. i have to say i agree with Lucia… start as many as you want during the week and use the weekend to be faithful… although the other way around might not be a bad idea, faithful weekdays, super fun new sock weekends… hmmmm, now if only i can use this to explain to my bf why his socks won’t be getting finished…

  44. I would have thought you already had the answer for this: All the people who told you they read BookBookBook in one evening are the hedonistic (undisciplined?) Position A people. Those who spoke of spinning it out so it would last are the methodical (anal?) Position B folks.
    Just get Ken to generate a spreadsheet.

  45. Of course, the choice is A. And more sock needles should arrive any day now to help out.
    That Laurie

  46. If it were me, I’d go with B. I start to get stressed out when I have too many projects going on at once. For you though – A is the obvious answer. We wouldn’t want you to resent the blog for keeping you away from pretty lace socks. πŸ™‚

  47. Oooh! I like Lucia’s position C. It’s the best of both worlds! You get to cast on as many socks as you want with NO GUILT AT ALL, but things still get finished. And, if you happen to WANT to work on a sock that’s already been cast on, you can (you don’t HAVE to work on new socks all the time). Ultimate freedom, no guilt, gentle guidelines.
    I think that’s the way you should go.

  48. Regarding choice A versus B: Excuse me? What blog are we at? Look up at the top, up there where it says “YARN HARLOT”. H A R L O T. We’re not at the Finished Objects Blog, here, friends. We’re not at the One Pair Of Socks At A Time Blog. We’re at the blog of the one, the only Yarn Harlot, and we wouldn’t have her be any other way.
    For our Harlot, choice B is the Dark Side, the Evil Force that lures her away from her quintessential (and funny as hell) nature. Once she starts being faithful to one pair of socks, what’s next? Vows of yarn poverty? Giving away all her stash to the needy? I recoil with horror at the very thought. I need a lie-down in a softly-lit room. (Perhaps extensive chocolate therapy as well.)
    Steph: Resist the Dark Side. Spread the love. Buy more dpns, cast on with Laurie’s sock yarn, start three pairs of lacy socks, do whatever it takes to satisfy your inner sock harlot. A Sock Harlot are you. Deny it you cannot. Your destiny it is.
    Besides, if you cast on for another sock, I will know I’m not the only sock-crazed Yarn Jedi around. I just bought a seventh set of size 2 dpns so I can start yet another sock that won’t be finished right away.
    Hmmm…Yarn Jedi. I like that nickname. “Knit you must.”

  49. Option A, of course! Can one ever have too many pairs of socks on the needles? Well, of course you might run out of needles, but that’s easily arranged with a trip to the nearest LYS. (And while there, you get to buy more yarn too!)

  50. I don’t think I can participate in this one….to vote for A would be admitting that my wholly whore-ish tendencies with socks is ‘okay’, which would be continuing with my ‘denial of a problem’. To vote for B would be hypocritical, sort of a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ kind of thing. I keep finding socks I don’t remember starting. Maybe sleep-knitting, I don’t know. Maybe keep starting socks until you run out of needles and are forced to finish one pair to free them up. *grin*

  51. I vote for option A simply because you used a “whore’s nightie” as a comparison and it made me spew Dr. Pepper all over my monitor. Also, I personally don’t think I coud resist the yarn and the socks are gorgeous!
    Hope you have a great day!

  52. Is there a rule that one must wear matching socks? Can’t any 2 hand-knit socks count as a pair? My attention span doesn’t easily extend to repeating that which I have just completed. All that gets me through the 2nd sock is really wanting to wear or gift the things! Maybe taking pics of their progress in public might keep them moving along….

  53. And are you as excited and relieved as me that Norma is knitting socks?! Or is that some sleight of hand, or trick photography?

  54. Option A all the way! And I’d also like to know the details on the socks Cassie gave you — yarn? is there a pattern? (And I have to confess, I have no idea how many times you’ve been asked this question in the comments. There are so many of them. How in the world do you read them all?)

  55. “i go with option C – socks, schmocks; more cute guys on your blog”
    I second that. Does he go for older women?

  56. I can’t vote.
    I’m too appalled by the sock washing technique. At first I thought you were kidding but now I’m not sure.

  57. Another one for Option A. This coming from someone who has started more socks than I can count and finished…2 (which don’t match of course). Oh, and my first pair of “freak show” socks, but shhhhhhh – we don’t talk about those around here.

  58. Option A. Never too many things cast on! You never know when inspiration is going to strike and if you don’t grasp it, you might lose it….

  59. Position B
    Please, for the love of wool: Finish something!!
    (If only so I can hold you up as a role model!)

  60. Oh, A, no doubt about it. I took an environmental design class in college from a Scandinavian prof who was wonderful at putting all work into real life context. One thing really stuck with me – process is as important as product. The doing is as important as the end result. My visually impaired son taught me this again, with all his goofy drawings done with light yellow crayon on white paper – WE couldn’t see the pictures, but he had a wonderful time doing them! πŸ™‚

  61. I vote A. However, I am the one who just had to cast on a sock with my MS&W fest yarn to “cheer up” my broken ankle and toes! Like the pair I had just started wasn’t cheery enough…
    Knit on!

  62. It all depends on who the socks are for. Remember Uncle Tupper and his lone mitten? If the socks are for someone else they would probably appreciate a matching pair, but if the socks are for you, then cast on with abandon! Your frilolity is hurting no one (till you have to go somewhere important and all you can find to wear are one bright blue tulip sock and one varigated…)

  63. If you go with A, there will come a day when you will find yourself composing a blog entry with another, far more serious survey question: having run out of appropriate dpns due to the very large number of socks in progress, should you A) buy more dpns to enable casting on, B) seize the opportunity to knit a sock on two circulars, or C) put a sock-in-progress on stitch holders, freeing up a set of dpns for more casting on.
    Clearly, I totally agree with Rams that you don’t want That Laurie’s feelings to be hurt by neglecting the yarn she sent. (Also, I may make some extra yarn money by starting a pool on how long before you face the above quandry.)

  64. I am a less than noble reader and have to agree that Position A is the way to go!
    To quote my personal mentor, “Who does it hurt to have a hundred pairs of socks cast on. Knock yourself out. Knitting is supposed to be a fun hobby, not about finishing anything…and who cares if your sock knitting mood goes up and down as fast as a whore’s nightie, resulting in half finished socks littering the house like fallen leaves in autumn. Knit!”
    Kind of reminds me of my (too numerous to mention) scarf projects….

  65. i suggest you claim that you don’t knit matching socks. this reduces the number of socks you have going at any one time by pairing any on-the-needle socks with any that are finished but don’t have a mate. you could keep that one up indefinitely!

  66. I cast my vote for Position A. Your sock washing technique is truly genius. Efficiency experts would give you a gold star for this one.

  67. I know that this a radical position, but I really like making socks on one gigantic (5 foot) circular needle.
    1) I don’t cramp up my hands as badly.
    2) I am less likely to pull the needle out of the sock.
    3) (and this is the clincher) I can do 2 socks at once, thus avoiding my terminal case of SSS.
    Right now I can only do one pair at a time (only one huge needle), but I will be changing that status shortly.

  68. Hey, Happy Birtday Tim. I’ll be 37 tomorrow, and still feel like a teenager!!
    I’ll have to vote for B. I can’t stand too many unfinished things at one time. It drives me crazy!

  69. I vote for A. Hell, who am I to judge? I have either 14 or 15 projects going on right now. No socks at the moment, but that doesn’t mean there’s no sock yarn. It means I’ve temporarily used up the needles I need on my unfinished projects.

  70. This will most likely get lost in the swamp of voting comments, but:
    The socks are Feather and Fan lace, the original was in Socks Socks Socks but I modified it to use a heel and toe I like. And for anyone who can’t stand it, the yarn is Cherry Tree Hill supersock merino in Cabin Fever.

  71. Go ahead and knit as many socks as you want. you have an entire lifetime to finish them. And if you die before you fisih them then there someone else’s problem why should you care your dead. Try two circular needles if the second sock really bothers you. The you can put two or four on at a time.

  72. I vote for position A. I also vote that you tell me what pattern Cassie used for those gorgeous socks, so I can knit them too!

  73. Do whatever makes you happy. You only truly have too many socks started when you run out of needles (and can’t find a store to buy more).

  74. A: but only because I’m from the camp that doesn’t need to wear matching socks. (I like them to be the same general length but if they are handmade then I decided that they don’t need to match.)
    When I met up with Laurie (the etherknitter) she commented that she was suffering from SSS. My only comment to her was that it was no wonder her foot was still in the cast; the knitting god/dess were telling her she needed to cast on for the second sock (one working foot = one sock needed). I urge you to remember that, and if you suddenly find yourself with a foot/ankle problem, I’d drop everything and start casting on for the second socks…..

  75. I vote for option A.5 (yes, A-and-a-half). Finish the socks that you’ve already started – or at least the ones very near completion (so the copper stripey ones, and the swirling one to the right of those in your pic) and abandon the rest to the Knitting Goddess’ Will. If She should want you to finish them, let Her tell you Herself. In the meantime, have finished socks on the feet, and impulse yarn on the needles. Until you run out of needles. πŸ˜‰

  76. Who says all socks have to match? It’s not like they are specific to a right or left foot. I say cast caution to the wind and cast on all the socks you want. Then wear them proudly without or without an indentical twin. You may just start a new fashion craze. Oh and I second the motion for more cute guys on the blog!

  77. Pooh! There are more rules than air molecules in our lives. Knitting is your hobby, you do whatever the heck you want.
    I say knit lace socks until you have 365 pairs and then MAYBE you can start thinking about knitting some for Christmas presents…

  78. Option A wins – how can you say no to an option that includes the phrase “faster than a whore’s nightie”? I say as long as you have a sufficient collection of needles, knit on.

  79. it’s A all the way!
    and more cute boys on the blog!
    is he single πŸ™‚

  80. Oh, Maryse, the swatch thing for giggles is just Not. Right. You need professional help. Seriously.
    “Whore’s nighty” gets the vote.
    As does “more cute guys”. Lordy…and I’m an old married 38!

  81. knit away – go with A. One day they’ll all have their due. hmmmmm this makes me want to start some new socks too……………..

  82. A sheep can’t change it’s spots and neither, my dear Harlot, can you. Cast on those lace bad boys and embrace in your inner sock slut. I choose option A…

  83. Voice of Reason! You MUST go with Option B. How else will you get that Sense of Sock-tisfaction that comes from a freshly made pair–yes, pair–of handknit socks.
    I, for one, would never dream of having, say, fourteen different second socks on the needles at any given time. That would be wrong.
    Oh, who am I kidding? Cast on to your heart’s content.

  84. You are the Sith master Darth Sockious.
    “I give myself to you. I pledge myself to the ways of the Sock. Take me as your apprentice. Teach me. Lead me. Be my master.”
    (Now you must give me a Darth name.)

  85. Steph-
    Somehow I too have fallen into the trap of having many socks casted on at the same time. Too many in fact. Three pairs. Two have been unending socks – I don’t even want to work on them anymore, but am torn! I must work on them. On the other hand, I also really want to start on the new sock yarn that has remained untouched all month long! And since then I have purchased new sock yarn!
    I vote Option B. Finish the existing socks. Finish them!

  86. A of course. And I don’t feel guilty at all.
    Sheep shaped cookies, gotta love that. Why don’t I ever see those for sale at wool festivals.

  87. Be a sock whore!! Knit as many of these little babies as you can (maybe even a pair reminiscent of your TSF mittens). (I would be knitting tons of socks too if I had multiple sets of needles, so go for it!)

  88. Options, smotions–I want to know what yarn the Sith Sock (the sock in the second photograph) is made of! It looks so Spring-y!!

  89. Definitely A. If there are empty needles lying around then there obviously aren’t enough projects cast on. As long as you finish one of each you can wear a mismatched pair and call yourself eccentric!

  90. While option A is enticing, I believe you are an option B person at heart (only 2 pair of socks on needles at a time, really?). So, I vote for option B to help you feel some balance… unless you really want option A… Or, optin C – learn that technique for knitting both socks at once and avoid the second sock syndrome!
    I love your sock hygine system and will adopt it pronto… I feel so bad for those poor socks that sit off to the side, waiting to be delicately washed in the machine. Does it work for sweaters too?

  91. To cast, or cast not?
    That is the question.
    A. Dash the stash! Cast on and be carried off on the wings of wooly ecstasy…

  92. there is no such thing as too many socks on the needles. Only problem is when you run out of needles.

  93. Oh, position A, without question, and no guilt allowed.
    I love your method of washing socks, wish I’d thought of that.

  94. I’m going to have to say A, because I know you’re a thrifty person. At some point, one runs out of sock-sized needles, and is confronted with ripping the needles out of a project, an act we all know to be akin to life without parole in the WIP pile. When you run out of sock needles, the truth will be known: you will find out how much you want to finish the old socks vs. starting new ones.

  95. I am late to weigh in here, and it looks like the “As” are winning out, but I’m still going with my initial response to choose option B. Why, well there is the consideration of all the dpns you would need to acquire to keep a fleet of one-only socks going; there’s also the fact that you still have two feet. But most important, the soul likes the feeling of accomplishment, which would mean two socks completed that match. Love your sock washing method,

  96. Option A, as long as you never put socks on holders (or scrap yarn) in order to use the needles for something else. That way leads to disaster (and darkness).
    Although I do like the week/weekend solution – maybe that’s the Balance in the Force?

  97. A! Knit, baby, just knit! I’m jonesing for some socks to knit now. The last ones I knit were from Fleece Artist. The tilted blocks pattern came with the yarn. I LOVED knitting them. They turned out beautifully. It was only the third pair of socks I’ve ever knit, and the instructions were so good that I only had to frog once, when I got too cocky about the pattern.

  98. I have a question about the new ‘Carrie’ socks. I’ve been eyeing this broadripple pattern for a pair for my Mom. She’s diabetic and I was wondering how elasticy (yes, it’s a word!) this pattern was. She’s never had handknit socks before and she has to be very careful with her shoes and socks. It’s such a pretty pattern and I have the perfect opal greeny (that’s a word too!) yarn for them.
    Thanks for the help! (love the bookbookbook!) :)K

  99. Uh, I’m in NO position to vote on this topic. Really. However, I would like to know the pattern of the socks that Cassie sent you so I can start another pair.

  100. You shoulda done one of those cute little blog polls, because now you have to collate (or ignore) the results. I vote for A. Life is too short and death is too long to worry about which ones are finished and which ones aren’t.

  101. A! Keep that nightie moving! Finishing’s ok, but think of the alternative this way: we get to see more knitted yarn swatches. As for Second Sock Syndrome, I recently saw in a magazine that mis- matched socks are all the rage among tweens. You can even buy bunches of socks, none of which match. I think this trend was started by the child of a knitter with severe SSS!

  102. I always thought I’d never be a sock knitter…I didn’t think I was woman enough to work with dpns, and didn’t think I’d even want to wear handknit socks. But having seen the “cassie” socks…I’m a convert. Where can I find a good set of dpns and an easy to follow sock pattern? Damn you, Stephanie, for spreading your sock “disease” to innocent internet bystanders. [ok, not really. I’m looking forward to learning something new and making pretty pretty things for my tootsies.]

  103. Devin is right–there are, in fact, one-footed people out there who appreciate hand-knitted socks.
    It’s a joke in my family, in fact, since my grandmother only has one leg. And I have a serious case of Second Sock Syndrome. So whenever I confess I am knitting a sock, they say, “Another one for Gram, eh?”
    I vote option A. Start all you want. If you don’t make a second one, Gram will take it. Or whoever in your life functions as the one-footed Gram.

  104. A. At least sock yarn is required in less expensive quanities, and gives great enjoyment for the buck.

  105. Option A!
    You don’t even want to know how many socks I’ve got going right now. I’m considering going out to buy yet more sock needles.

  106. I say learn to use Photoshop, knit one sock and use the software to make pictures showing 2 finished socks in the same photo. Takes care of second sock syndrome and you can start ans many socks as you please.

  107. As if there is any other option than option A. I think either option would keep the blog interesting, but I love seeing all of the socks.

  108. I also vote for Option A. Come on now, what knitter wouldn’t?! Oh, and how could you not choose something that includes the phrase, “up and down as fast as a whore’s nightie”?!
    (I have a confession: I haven’t read your blog in months. Well, I’ve been around, but not commenting. Or reading your posts EVERYDAY. Here’s why: School has been kicking my butt and I have little time for anything else and your posts deserve undivided attention. Your posts are not something that I casually read while chatting on the phone with someone, pretending to be paying full attention to. School ends tomorrow though. So I am back…and looking forward to reading your blog on a daily basis with my morning cup of coffee. Oh, and looking forward to when you are in the San Francisco area!)

  109. I’m a happily married woman, and not on the prowl, but Tim is just the hottiest hotty and he should be proud to be 37.. 37 is great on him!
    Now back to the knitting thing, I think proposition A goes… you’ll have lots of grandkids who’ll need socks in the future.
    Loving your blog from Saskatchewan.

  110. well, A of course, it’s all about the excitement of casting on! of course, eventually you’ll have to finish something…but we don’t need to think about eventualities…distracts from the now…

  111. Me again. I just realised that those loverly socks you’re wearing look very much like the tilted block ones I made. Leaning closely at the screen is not making it any clearer, however.
    Oh, and Tim is quite as delicious looking as that cake.
    And I almost forgot! I bought your bookbookbook while on vacation in NYC. It fit perfectly in my little bag and I was able to read it while on the bus, the trains, while waiting for my SIL’s commencement ceremony to begin at Columbia University, and then finally, on the plane coming home to BC. I LOVE IT.

  112. AAAAA She who dies with the most socks on the needles wins! Besides, I’ve got 2 skeins of Tess’ just begging to be started, then there’s all that Fixation…

  113. I am firmly suggesting Position A. I mean, life is short! You might learn a valuable lesson from the experience of casting on this lace sock, one that might impact other areas of your life. This might be *the sock*, the sock that changes your life! You will never be able to live these moments again, knitting this sock, today! Go for it!
    Amy Lu (a.k.a. the enabler, the rationalizer, the sock lover)

  114. Stephanie, are those the exact same tulip socks you photographed for the Knitty article in the spring ’03 issue? Do you really expect us to believe that you are actually planning on completing their mates? I vote for A. Embrace your inner harlot and cast on as many socks as makes you happy. You will eventually finish some of them. πŸ™‚

  115. Oh, and I almost forgot. I know you’ve been crazy busy, so I haven’t wanted to bug you, but I still have an autographed Latvian Mittens book for you!

  116. you know dude, you’ve been challenging the overall concept of who the yarn harlot really is lately; all kinds of travelling by yourself, not chillin’ with mr.washie, being messier than the kids(i’m still laughing at joe’s reprimand), etc, so why don’t you continue on that path and go with OPTION B, since that clearly is against your established grain. maybe i’m thinking this because i can’t imagine starting a new sock before you finish the others….although, i have been known to have enabler tendencies, and there ARE some damn cute socks in the new interweave knits….ok, so what if you go with OPTION A, and claim all those single socks are “christmas stockings for gnomes”, or freak your kids out and tell them this year everything they get will have to fit in that sock!!!…or wait! what if you go with OPTION C, but in reverse, so you’re still in challenge mode! or, maybe just do whatever the hell you want, as long as you don’t blame us readers like you did with that mitten situation(which was clearly not our fault, since i don’t really remember seeing them both together until you discussed the situation openly).

  117. Gotta go with “A” since I just bought yarn for two new pairs this morning, all while having one and half mittens and one and one quarter socks in my carry-around bag, not to mention the million other projects that are still in skein incarnations. Good luck!

  118. um, Steph…. I don’t think that whores really wear ‘nighties’. That’s just something that they tell their mothers.

  119. I say go for A. It’s my attitude. As long as you can keep them all straight, what’s wrong with a little sock infidelity? πŸ™‚

  120. I would go with “A” but then “B” sounds good too, and “C” has its charms, but really, any one of those positions would be mighty fine if it included Tim.
    I’ll officialy vote for “A” cause you need to buy more tiny dpn’s.

  121. I’m going to go with B only because it’s my personal mantra as far as knitting is concerned. I’ve always FORCED myself to finish one thing before starting another lest I end up with a dozen UFOs (which is, by the way, in my nature). However, I’ve recently fallen pray to style A – I have a scarf I’ve been working on mostly off, hardly ever on, since November (a bloody scarf – half way done, 2×2 rib) and a poncho that is boring as heck, so I just today started a lovely lace shrug – who do you think was my inspiration for that one? So, I guess I’m being a hipocrite for saying B – but maybe you can do B for a week or two and then go back along your merry harlot-y way as an A?

  122. Option A, man. Embrace the true harlottiness of casting on whatever, whenever. Besides, don’t you find that it kinda makes the second sock go faster if you have let it simmer for a time while you go and start other socks?

  123. Option A. Because of your sock washing method, you only need one pair of socks that match. If those wear out and it is cold outside, you will be motivated to knit at least one second sock. Think of the others as swatches.

  124. Having scrolled through the 141 comments too fast to discover exactly what/where option C was located … (My excuse is that I want to get to bed before midnight tonight.)
    And because of the number of years my DH claims it took me to knit him a pair of socks … (My excuse is SSS, and I was working on a Master’s degree at the time, as well as doing volunteer stuff with the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia.)
    So I really do not feel qualified to vote.
    BUT … has anyone else noticed that we have passed Willie Nelson’s concert donation total?
    Yay knitters!

  125. In one blog thread alone, we got whore’s nighties, shits and giggles, Darth Vader, a one-footed grandma, a whole lot of Type A people, one cute guy, too many flaming cases of SSS to count, and about a jillion socks. I’m telling you: knitters are livin’ large.

  126. Phew! Room for one more comment? A girl is super busy for the day, sits wearily at her computer to read up on her favorite person’s blog1!(ALRIGHT, NORMA! You are tied for my fav peeps! )
    And everyone and their mother has already commented.
    It’s like being late to the party. Like showing up after the movie started. Like not going to MS&W.
    Oh, and I vote A.

  127. Stephanie I am so glad that you clued us in on the perfect way to wash socks!!! Hopefully this will allevate MY problem…although at times I am able to complete both socks to create a pair, somehow, someway the laundry gods laugh at me by losing 1 of the pair. So I have numerous hand knit socks that I can’t wear because I can’t find the *!##! other sock! And it is so hard when the yarn calls to you and I COMPLETELY understand about needing to have a sock at the perfect stage of knitting to take to the movies. I knew it. We really are soulmates!

  128. this is sort of the devil on one shoulder the angel on the other.The good angel would say dear harlot finish what you started…the devil is saying start another sock,whats another sock? nobody will know,it will be our little secret…so I wonder what you’ll pick? I have a sneaky feeling it will be the devil lol

  129. If you do enough (individual) socks without knitting the mate (SSS), do you eventually get to the point that doing a mate to an old, old sock is more attractive than doing the mate to a current sock? Anyway, go for option A; you are supposed to be enjoying this, and you can save all the unmatched socks for when you need a present in five days, and then you only have to knit one sock in a hurry to have a gift, not two.

  130. Glad to know my tween is hip, she’s been wearing mismatched socks since she could dress herself. How Punky Brewster.

  131. Based on the number of socks I have in progress, based on the fact that I just bought two more sets of size zeros, based on the fact that I just dyed some self striping yarn and it’s almost dry, I think that position A is the postion of all right thinking people.

  132. Option A. I may even have a larger stash of half knit socks and single socks than you do. Every now and then I finish a pair, and then start 3 more socks just to keep myself entertained. As DH’s TShirt says “I have a short attention.”

  133. i pick option A. i’m with fillyjonk. i refuse to be guilted by startitis. you will eventually finish all of them. (heavy mechanical breathing) there’s nothing more fun than having plenty of projects going at once. i feel lost if i don’t have 3 or 4 on the needles so when i do finish one, i’ve got the other ones to TURN to. (more mechanical breathing. luke, i am your father. . . . oops, wrong movie) go ahead, it’s easy. use your feelings. (I WILL CRUSH THE REBEL FORCES!) ok, i’m leaving, now.

  134. Absolutely A! Life’s too short – knit what you want, eat dessert first, launder your handknit socks in the bath!

  135. I know I’m totally and completely missing the point of this post when I say “Who is this Tim?” and “Is Tim spoken for?” and if not, WHY?
    That Tim is a looker. πŸ™‚
    Also, you scooped my post about knitting during Return of the Sith! I brought along my trusty Koigu sock.
    Oh, and, as for the socks…just do what I do. Start as many as you feel like starting and don’t worry about it. Eventually, a natural urge to finish a few will kick in and you’ll pick up the ones you haven’t touched in a while because they’ll feel new again, and you’ll finish them.
    Works every time. πŸ˜‰

  136. Apparently you’ve touched a nerve. Doesn’t every good (bad) harlot like the occasional tease? Delaying gratification for greater gratification?
    That Laurie’s yarn may be even more beautiful than the one that inspired the how-to-dye-yarn segment. It’s worth waiting for.
    That would mean option B.

  137. Definitely A. Who are we kidding?
    Reason #1 – do you really think our hearts could take the shock if you finished all your WIP socks before starting new ones?
    Reason #2 – it makes me feel better about that blanket I want to start when I really need to finish the romper
    Reason #3 – With your sock washing method, you are saving Mr. Washie the trouble of having to eat socks. And we all know everyone has a mateless-sock-quota to fill. It’s a lot easier to just have them mateless from the beginning. I mean really, who wants to have to lose handknit socks just to fill their mateless-sock-quota?

  138. Oooh OWEN SOUND… you pass through Meaford to get there, be sure to stop and visit my Aunt and Uncle’s store, it’s beautiful.
    It’s on the high street.
    As for the socks, do waht makes you happy, why not ive single socks to the local children’s hospital for Xmas.. so each kid can have a stocking on their bed?

  139. heehee – that sock washing in the shower thing is hilarious! perhaps i should learn from you how to be such a great multi-tasker. πŸ˜‰

  140. Position A. This is not the 1800’s, and we are not knitting socks so that our family members’ feet don’t freeze. Be happy and don’t feel guilty. Cast on all that you like and show us the works in progress.
    Oh, and I bought your book; I’m saving it to go on vacation with me — like a really yummy piece of chocolate candy that I’m saving for the perfect moment.

  141. I would have to go with Position A… for the mere fact that I have ADD and need constant stimulus and I have dropped projects littering my house! And, I need to be able to show my hubby that other people do these things too! LOL

  142. I am new to the world of sock knitting (on my 3rd pair with the 4th and 5th planned) and would have to vote for option A with the proviso that once you run out of existing sock knitting needles, you do not start any new socks until a set of needles become free – that is, you cannot purchase a new set of needles to support the sock habit.
    This would limit me to about 6 pair at a time. I would then have to resort to the size 00, 1’s and 2’s (knitting pins)I inherited from my mother-in-law, and using that small of needle would lead to blindness, insanity and a lot of cursing! (not that sock knitting does not cause that already).
    Or I could get stronger glasses and ear plugs for my children ….

  143. Are we all so blasοΏ½ about our success that we skip past seventy thousand dollars without a comment?
    Knitters. Rock.
    Take THAT, Willie Nelson!

  144. Come over to the dark side…we have yarn here. Position A. And start with Cassie’s sock. I did a similar (same?) pattern with a similar colorway. They were loads of fun to do.

  145. That lime green and red sock troubles me…
    I vote for B because then you will have actual pairs of socks instead of a pile without mates that make you feel bad.

  146. I vote for A. It would go against your personality not to.
    Anyway, on the bright side (or the Light Side) you would have more unfinished socks to chose from to “pose” on your bookbookbook tour.
    Do you or anyone else out there have an easy sock pattern for those of us newly addicted knitters contemplating entering the wild and exciting world of socks? Or a good book of beginner patterns? Am contemplating stopping by The Elegant Ewe to have a peek (and buy)….on my way up to Vermont for the weekend….since it’s on the way….

  147. I have to vote A, in spite of the fact that I am extremely anal (although most of that gets worked out in my day job, managing the business of the *least* organized Veterinarian on the face of the earth) and *never* have more than 2 projects going at once. I agree with Elizabeth, try working socks 2 at a time on 1 long circular needle. You will be amazed at how fast they are finished!

  148. They’re all so nice though! I vote for A. We can’t have you stifling your sock crativity. Your sock washing method cracks me up πŸ™‚

  149. I generally keep casting on until I run out of needles. Clearly you have more needles than I, I vote A, more power to you. May the force be with you.

  150. Add my vote for Option C – cast on until you run out of needles. Hmmm, I only have one pair of US1s. And here I was looking for an excuse to go to the yarn store.

  151. Dear Harlot.
    It’s all your fault. Yep…I’m blaming you and there’s no way you’re going to get out of it! First I stumble across your blog and spend a great deal of time mopping up tears of laughter. Then…I bought ‘the book’….yep, me, who doesn’t knit. Third stike against you is all the posting you’ve been doing about knitting (horrors) ‘SOCKS’. I hate knitting socks…I’ve knitted one pair in my life, which became the socks from hell…AND led to the early demise of my knitting career. Fourth WOULD have to mention how wonderful Romni Wools is (I swear you have a sadistic desire to suck everybody into your void). Of course I (knitting innocent as I am) had to pay a visit to said wool shop yesterday. Suffice to say I came home with a sock knitting book AND enough wool to make two pairs. I’m blaming you….

  152. B. Otherwise, sooner or later you’ll end up being unable to feed yourself because you spent all the food money on more DPN’s. Don’t Ask How I Know This.

  153. Definately option A. Variety is the spice of life!! Just be sure to cast on the 2nd sock as soon as the first comes off, otherwise, it’ll never get started and you’ll just have to wear mismatched socks.

  154. Option A, along with a “who needs matched pairs of socks, anyway?” Special Dispensation to get bored and move on to a new kind of sock once you’ve knitted one of a “Pair? we don’t need no steenking pairs!?!”
    I love your blog, which I have just discovered.

  155. hi steph
    do you have any plans to come to kitchener/waterloo? would love to meet you, love your blog

  156. I’d go for a variation of A. Put all the single socks into a box/bag, then designate one day a week as “Finishing” night. On Finishing night, pull a sock out of the box at random and immediately make the mate for it.
    If the singles outgrow the box, no more singles until you finish a few to make room.

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