These are a few of the socks I made last year. My two favorite pairs are not shown--at least they used to be my favorite pairs. For the two "missing" pairs, I used a sock yarn that was alpaca, wool, and nylon. I love knitting with alpaca--it's like caressing a baby's cheek.
The pictured socks were made from various types of wool with nylon or polyamide to help them hold their shape. The last two pairs on the right in the lower picture are made from a yarn that contains "chitra", a fiber made from shrimp shells. It is supposed to be antibacterial. Where you see stripes, those were self striping yarns.
Like all the yarn I buy for socks, the yarn in the missing socks was purported to be machine washable in cold water. Unfortunately, about the tenth time I washed them, they must have felt the cold water was too warm, because they felted. I'm gifting them to my friend Lori for her little girl. They will be blissfully warm for her--and they're as soft as a bunny! I'm finishing a third pair in the same kind of yarn, but this time I'll stick with hand washing.
Most of the socks I've made are also supposed to be machine dryable. There is no way I'm going to risk that now; I dry them on a sweater drying rack.
Recently a research study was published indicating knitting is as effective as antidepressants. I'm sure the pharmaceutical companies will be less than pleased if that becomes common knowledge. I heard someone suggest that the reason knitting is so calming is that it engages both hemispheres of the brain. I think there's more to it that than, but I do concur that knitting has many positives. I love making socks because not only does winter always seem too long and too cold, even here in New Mexico where we do get some sun almost every day, but also sock yarn and six-inch double pointed needles are small and convenient to carry with me for when I get caught waiting or when I just want something soothing to do.
I didn't even try knitting socks for years because I thought they would just be too hard. I didn't understand that like sewing clothing or quilts, knitting socks is more about process than patterns. I also thought it would take forever with thin yarn and tiny needles. I use size two needles but with only 60 stitches around most of the socks I make, we're not talking exhorbitant amounts of time--although I don't think I'd like it if I had to make a pair every week. I love the way bamboo needles glide against the yarn and each other.
I am getting closer and closer to finishing my current sock projects, and I'm so excited about choosing which yarn I'll use for the next pair! It's nice how little things can make me so happy!