Socks and jocks

My husband’s old pyjama shorts were wearing so thin that the elastic was showing through the waistband. It was time for new ones.

Each pair of shorts only needs 1.2 metres of fabric and a length of elastic, and I made both in one evening, so they are great home-made gifts.

This time, I did not find any bicycle-themed fabric, but you cannot go wrong with spots. He also loves honey and wants to keep bees one day.

Home-made boxer shorts

I made these in one evening.

I also finished knitting a pair of socks for myself. I bought the Supersocke 100 yarn many years ago. I started knitting them in March last year but put them aside because I was worried about the texture and colour of the yarn. I was so worried that I decided against making them as a gift in case they did not work out as I had hoped, so I made them in my size. Now, however, I am a fan.

I will not lie. This yarn is not the softest thing in the world, but it feels just fine on my feet. The nylon that has been added for strength will make them hard-wearing, and one ball was a very reasonable price.

What I love is how the stripes on the two socks match so closely. All I had to do was start each sock at roughly the same point in the stripe sequence, and the rest fell into place. I am looking forward to knitting up the other ball I bought.

Because the yarn has such a busy stripe, I used Wendy Johnson’s gusset heel basic sock pattern from her book Socks from the Toe Up. (The details are on my Ravelry page.) I learned the hard way that a busy yarn and a busy sock pattern are not a good combination!

While knitting the second of these socks on a 12-hour journey that included planes, trains and automobiles, I also learned that sock knitting is a great conversation ice-breaker. People start talking to you when you knit in public, especially in airports. I had a great conversation with a chap in the Qantas lounge, which started when he asked me what I was making. I had another long chat with a fellow passenger (a professional athlete, of all things) on the flight. Is this perhaps because knitting makes you look friendly or am I just a chatty soul, the sort some people might dread being seated next to on a flight?

10 thoughts on “Socks and jocks

  1. I read this blog post before I went to the movies this afternoon..and guess what?! The girl sitting in front of me during the movie was knitting!!!! I was dying to tap her on the shoulder and ask her about it! The stripey sox are great! Surely you wear boots and coats at some stage during a Perth winter and you can use them then?!!

  2. I bet everyone who talked to you was secretly hoping for a pair of hand knitted socks… I know I would. They are extremely handsome and I like the colour scheme very much. I don’t know if your husband follows any blogs (except yours, naturally), but I follow a blog called ‘The Byrd and the Bees – about Bees, Birds, Books, Bicycles and anything else that takes my fancy’. She’s a novice beekeeper and perhaps her learnings as she goes along might be of interest to him?

  3. Those shorts look great – I love the bee fabric especially.
    I would definitely ask somebody what they were knitting but that’s probably because I knit myself (and I’m nosey) but I’m sure it’s probably because you must look approachable too.

  4. Love the shorts! I had to go back and read your post with the bicycle ones and then off to look over the pattern. I LOVE YOUR SOCKS !! The stripe is wonderful and will jazz up a pair of boring slacks or leggings. (I enjoy purchasing socks with a fun pattern. I am not a knitter, just an admirer!) I agree about being approachable when doing handwork in public. So many have their faces in their electronic devices anymore, that to see someone with busy hands doing something “real” must be surprising. I work on my EPP when I travel and have had similar encounters.

  5. I love your socks. I want to learn how to make socks. Nothing I can think of that would be so satisfying as seeing socks on your feet that you made for yourself. I’m a beginner knitter. But my goal is to become accomplished knitter.

  6. I loved your story about the knitting and conversations. I was EPPing on a flight last week and twice, two different flight attendants stopped to talk to me about what I was doing. I also think people love the idea of needle arts, even if they themselves don’t do it–they want that craft to continue. (PS I loved your commenter’s story about someone knitting in the movies. Awesome.)

  7. Those socks are fun! I love handknitted socks. I’ve made one of a pair with Kaffe designed Rowan yarn that I bought at Crossways in SUBIACO. My daughter brought her knitting along out to breakfast yesterday morning.

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