No More Excuses: Cast On a Pair of Handspun Socks

I’ve made dozens of pairs of handknitted socks, and I live by the motto, “Always have a pair on the needles.” But I have a confession: I’ve never knit a pair of handspun socks. So when Debbie Held commenced Spin Off’s Second Annual Spinalong and Knitalong, I had no excuse!

The goal of the spinalong/knitalong is to spin an adult-size pair of handspun socks. No problem, right? I’ve given handspun socks a lot of thought, but when it comes to casting on, I begin overthinking the whole project. Knitting with my precious handspun yarn has me skimming magazines, sock-knitting books, and Ravelry for a plan to use every inch of yarn.

The time has come to get over my handspun-sock hang-up and cast on.

handspun socks

Debbie Held’s favorite fiber for her handspun, handknitted socks is Targhee. Photo by Debbie Held.

Learning how other spinners spin and knit their socks is one of the joys of joining a group, and the spinners in our forum have provided great motivation. Debbie Held planted the seed for the spinalong/knitalong when she wrote about how she favors Targhee fiber for handspun, handknitted socks. Plus, in the Winter 2018 issue of Spin Off, Devin Helmen shared his adaptation of his great aunt’s method for knitting socks. He prefers to spin a tightly plied two-ply yarn on a low-whorl spindle.

handspun socks

Devin plied the yarn for his handspun socks with a 45-degree twist angle for better wear. Photos by George Boe.

It’s not too late to join us over on Ravelry for our 1st Quarter Sock SAL/KAL, and use #spinoffsalkal2018 on Instagram. Whether you’re knitting your first pair or your thirtieth, you’re welcome to join us! The spinalong/knitalong officially runs through the end of March, but if you don’t finish in time, no worries—there are no spinning police. I just now finished last year’s combo spin—well, the spinning part, anyway. We all spin (and knit) at our own pace.

What’s your favorite way to spin and knit handspun socks?


Featured Image: Two different ways to spin and knit socks by Ann Budd. Photo by Joe Coca.

Learn more about knitting handspun socks!

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