So This is Second Sock Syndrome

Stalled Out

I’ve been knitting socks since February of 2008 and in that time, I’ve made many pairs of socks, mostly for me, but not all. During this time, I’ve heard other sock knitters talk about “Second Sock Syndrome,” but have never experienced it for myself…until now.

First, let’s back up. Perhaps you are not a sock knitter, perhaps you haven’t heard of Second Sock Syndrome, and perhaps you don’t care (which would cause me to wonder why you are reading this, but go on). When you knit socks, you usually need two of them (and knowing some of the smart asses in my life, if I don’t put usually, I will live to regret it). Second sock syndrome strikes after the first sock has been finished and you lose all interest in completing the second. Of course, this makes the second sock seem to (or really) take forever to get completed and off the needles, which in turn makes you want to knit it even less, which in turn makes the project go slower, and I’m sure you can see how this quickly becomes a vicious circle occasionally resulting in a partially completed sock laying around at the bottom of the knitting basket.

Thankfully, for me, this is not usually a problem. The second sock goes faster than the first. I think because I can now see what the finished product looks like, and am very excited to get the socks on my feet. Until recently, I’d read other knitters writing about Second Sock Syndrome with a smug look on my face and think about how great it is that I don’t have to struggle with that.

Enter Hunting Socks for husband.

Months ago, husband requested a pair of socks to keep his feet warm while hunting. I agreed to make him a pair, found some yarn that he deemed “manly enough” and started the project. Currently, I have one sock completed, and have knitted through part of the heel flap on the second sock. And I am stalled at that point. Since completing the second sock, I have, however, completed a pair of felted slippers, finished the Mythos cardigan, and completed one of my Endpaper Mitts. Clearly, the problem is not that I don’t want to knit, the problem is I don’t want to knit on these stupid socks.

Having never faced this situation, I’m forced to wonder why this is such a problem. I only sensible conclusion I can come to is to blame the socks. Mainly for three reasons:

Blaming the socks isn’t probably entirely fair,
but who cares?
  1. These socks are boring to knit. Husband wanted plain, ribbed socks. Do you have any idea how boring it is to knit row after row of k2 p2 ribbing?  And, just in case the design itself wasn’t boring enough, the socks are knit out of a plain brown wool/alpaca blend. It is a lovely yarn, and I’m sure I would be quite fond of it in another project. However k2 p2 ribbing in a plain brown yarn? Boring!
  2. The socks are giant. I’m used to knitting socks to fit a woman’s size eight foot. Socks for a woman’s size 8 foot fit me, they fit my mother, they fit my mother-in-law. It is a pretty standard sock size, and I’m used to it. The leg is usually somewhere between 7 and 8 inches, and the foot is about the same length. On the other hand, these socks are designed to fit what I have now deduced is a super giant men’s size 11 shoe. At this point I shudder to think that really, as far as men’s feet go, size 11 isn’t really that big.
  3. These socks really do take forever to knit. At the onset, I thought these socks would go really fast. After all, they are knitted out of worsted weight yarn, which is considerably thicker than the sock yarn that I usually use. However, despite the yarn, they are still knitted on US size 3 needles, which comparatively are not that much bigger than my usual sock needles. The socks are knit on smaller than recommended needles to create a heavy, dense fabric (and ensure extra warmth).
Orginally, I saw no reason why these socks would not be ready for the start of deer gun season (the middle of November), but now I am starting to have some doubts. I’m equally anxious to finish the Endpaper Mitts, and get started on the next sweater I have planned. At some point, I also need to get started on the couple of things that I’m going to do for Christmas knitting. It is going to be a struggle to get these socks done by t looming deadline.

On a brighter note, I will be road tripping to Kenosha with a friend next weekend. Hopefully, if I just bring the Hunting Socks to knit on, I can make some serious progress on the socks while in the car. Provided, of course, that Shala drives, but she usually does.

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