Pack up the roll-y cooler. Find that water bottle with the solar-powered fan on it. It’s the season of road trips and ball games, wading pools and bug spray. We’re packing light, and we’re packing sock yarn.
A knitalong is coming!
The Wandering Socks Knitalong will begin on Monday, June 24.
If you’ve never knit a sock before, or if, like Wendy Bernard, you’ve knit over 100 pairs, or if, like Ann Shayne, you’ve stealthily knit five-and-a-half pairs in the last six weeks while waiting for Field Guide No. 11 to finally get itself launched, this is the knitalong for you.
The concept: an endless parade of socks from Field Guide No. 11: Wanderlust. Socks will be stowing away on all our travels this summer, near and far and even just staying on the porch trying not to melt. The idea is to illustrate the extreme portability of socks as a knitting project. Fanny packs are back in style—don’t think we haven’t noticed that. Any fanny pack worthy of its pleather can hold a skein of sock yarn, a set of needles, and a copy of Field Guide No. 11.
You will feel: light as a feather, clever as a spider, and smug as heck at how far ahead you are getting on that holiday gift list, as you crank out pair after pair of everybody’s favorite gift: handknit socks.
WE TRIED TO FIT ALL OF ANN’S RECENT SOCK PRODUCTION INTO A SINGLE SHOt. she is unstoppable.
Permission to take it easy: granted. Have you ever eavesdropped on a bunch of sock knitters talking about all the ways of making a sock? Just the heel options could shut down all brain function in a sock newbie. Eye of partridge? Gusset? Afterthought?—none of that for us!
With this knitalong, you will be freed of all that complexity. In Field Guide No. 11, Wendy Bernard gives us two supremely simple sock patterns: one that starts at the cuff and knits down, and one that starts at the toe and goes up.
The heel is the same heel, every time. The cuff options are also simple: there are just three (and we don’t mind saying, they are the best three cuffs). Get this: you can knit plain stockinette socks, and nothing else, all summer long. You’ll never be bored, because sock yarns—especially the sublime ones we’ve laid in for Field Guide No. 11—are endlessly entertaining in their own right.
Looking for more variety, and manageable challenges? Wendy has cooked up 13 stitch patterns that you can swap into either the cuff-down or the toe-up pattern. You can knit socks with an all-over texture pattern, or a panel of pattern down the center, guided every step of the way by Wendy’s experience and clear instructions.
when a “plain stockinette” sock is not that plain, thanks to an amazing yarn. ThiS is kay’s first-ever adult sock, by the way. It’s in neighborhood fiber company’s studio sock, shade: alice Gadzinsky.
You will have: a veritable hop-on, hop-off tour bus full of knitters to keep you company, in the Lounge, on Instagram, on Ravelry, pretty much everywhere you go.
There will be: weekly prize awards on Fridays, starting on June 28 and continuing through August 30. Really great prizes! Possibly sock-related prizes!
- Begin, continue, or finish any one of the socks in Field Guide No. 11.
2. Snap a picture of your sock or sock-in-progress in situ and post it on Instagram under the hashtag #mdkwanderingsocks, or in the Lounge here. Have fun with it! Exotic backgrounds encouraged, but not required.
3. Does the sock have to be made with one of the ultra-special sock yarns we’ve got in the Shop? No. (But we will admit to being very partial to those yarns. We put our heart and soul into picking them.)
4. Because we know we’ll get this question: YES, images of socks with sandals are allowed. Geez, who do you think we are? We like a Chaco-sock combo as much as the next glamorous knitter.
Every week our Chief Justice of the Supreme Sock, Cristina Shiffman, will post the winning photo in the Lounge and on Instagram. Prizes will include sock yarns and other delicacies, which will be shipped to the recipient at any address in the United States or Canada.
The goal here is mutual support and momentum sharing. We knit more when we see other people knitting. It’s contagious! We will keep our knitting going through the summer, and have socks to show for it. Now’s the time to build that sock drawer you’ve been dreaming of.
We have a fresh, new topic over in The Lounge: Summer of Wandering Socks KAL. Share your strategies, lists, accomplishments, and photos. We will Like every single one of them, and you may win a prize.
#MDKWanderingSocks on Instagram.
But Wait—There’s a Bonus Hashtag!
To cheer on the blushing sock novices out there, we’d love to see all the first socks people make. Use the hashtag #MDKmyfirstsock, or just loudly proclaim THIS IS MY FIRST SOCK over in the Lounge. At the end of the knitalong, three of those photos will win a First Sock Prize, to be announced on August 30 with the last weekly prize winner.
Start and End Dates
The knitalong will begin on June 24, and the last prize will be awarded on August 30, so pictures must be posted during that time window.
The official start is one week away, so there’s plenty of time to order up your copy of Field Guide No. 11 and perhaps a skein or two of one of our exciting new sock yarns. (Here’s our handy one-page pop-up shop for all things Field Guide. No. 11.)
Your purchases support MDK’s content, which is free to all and served up hot every single day of the year, and allow us to keep doing this thing that we love so much. For all of your support—of all kinds—we’re truly grateful.
IT’S SOCK TIME, Y’ALL!