09 September 2010

Second Sock Syndrome

Sock HeavenSSS means so many different things, an entire Wiki page is dedicated to the acronym. My personal listed favorite is Sun, Sand and Surf, but that might be because I’m trapped at a desk in a cubicle, far from fresh air and all things fun.

Daisy SocksYears ago, a letter might end with SSS, meaning Sorry So Short. Short is the preferred way of communicating these days, and no one’s apologizing for it. This particular acronym hasn’t translated into texting and tweeting. Nor has its evil twin, Sorry So Sloppy.

Of course, it also stands for my favorite mosquito repellent, Avon’s Skin So Soft.

Surprisingly, one of the most common current uses of the Triple S isn’t even listed on the Wikipedia page. Second Sock Syndrome truly hasn’t infected me. Yet. I’m plugging away, one sock at a time, and still not tired of making foot coverings with small hooks, thin needles and skinny yarn.

Look up SSS on Ravelry, though, and you’re going to find plenty of knitters desperately seeking a cure.

Sunset Socks for ShonnaSecond Sock Syndrome means one sock's done, the second one is boring, and the needleworker can’t, doesn’t or won’t finish it.

Or, heaven forbid, the crafter ran out of yarn, purchased at tremendous discount because it was discontinued, and there is no more of that exact color anywhere on earth.

A tiny bit of research turns up a few interesting ways of treating this disturbing ailment, provided adequate yarn is available. Knit two socks at once. Knit the second sock first but don’t finish it, then knit the first sock, and then go back and finish the second sock. The best remedy I found was to rename the first sock Golf Club Cover and leave it at that; problem solved!

There's even a woman you can pay to finish that second sock for you. (Scroll down on linked page to find out more.)

Maybe crocheting socks instead of knitting them is a cure; I haven’t run across many sock crocheters afflicted with this frustrating condition. Of course, I haven’t met many sock crocheters.

rainbow monster sockWhen I finished my first pair of crocheted socks, I set out with a goal to make 11 more pairs as gifts for close family and friends of the female persuasion. The number kept growing as I thought of potential recipients I’d inadvertently left off my list, but I didn’t mind because I still enjoy the process, from combing the planet for sock yarn bargains to weaving in the ends after completing a sock.

I’m now up to 32 socks. (Insert 32 exclamation points here.) Here we go with exclamation points again... That’s pretty darned thrilling, and I tend to get carried away illustrating exclamation point excitement.

That said, I do have in my stack two unmatched handmade socks. But not because I’m bored.

lone wing butterfly sockAfter finishing my first pair of monster socks, in which I used sock leftovers to make stripes in a black pair of socks, I was so enamored, I wanted to immediately make another pair. Only one problem. I didn’t have enough leftovers.

But I couldn’t resist. So I started one more monster sock. I finished one monster sock. I ran out of leftovers. So I started another pair of socks, primarily to get yellow leftovers.

I got the yellow I needed using ONline's “butterfly color” in the next sock. The sock doesn’t look very much like a butterfly, and I’m not sure I like it. I’m not sure I’d wear it. So it might actually become a golf club cover.

lavender lavenderInstead of finishing the second monster sock, I had to make a pair of purple socks because lavender was blooming like crazy all over the place. I wanted to finish the socks while I could still get pictures of them with the flowers, and getting the socks too close to such heavenly smelling blossoms was an unplanned benefit.

A yarn shop announced it was going out of business. I seriously fell to temptation. One of the skeins was so luxuriously soft and harmonized so well with yarn I already had, I began yet another pair. This pair suffered from neglect for a while because I wasn’t sure I would have enough of the gray to finish. I decided to shorten the ankle and cuff instead of trying to hunt down one more skein of gray that most likely would not be on sale anywhere else. As it turned out, the second sock had a 16-inch gray tail when done. Now that’s cutting it close! Mission accomplished, and didn’t have to buy more yarn to finish this pair.

Too Close for ComfortMeanwhile, a package of yarn came in the mail… Ooooooooh la la! A new favorite! I began working on the Regia Mosaik pair immediately, before even finishing that previous By the Hair of My Shinny Shin Shin pair. I’m not the only one who loves this new yarn. You know a sock is beautiful when you get 15-20 comments a day on public transportation: “That’s BEAUTIFUL! What are you making?”

Hmmm. Shinny Shin Shin. Is that yet another Triple S? Regia Mosaik

Now I’m ready to start another pair of socks. I’m not ready to go back to the butterfly sock yet, and I want to build up a few more leftovers before I finish the second pair of monster socks. So I guess there is a bit of Second Sock Syndrome in my yarn basket. But just a touch...

Oh, here’s another Triple S they left off the Wiki list... Scrumptious Strawberry Sundae. I’ve got to have some strawberry-hued yarn in my stash somewhere!
Regia Mosaik sock


  1. I hate that stupid second sock syndrome. I suffer terribly. I think i may have to do what you suggested, half-knit the second, knit the first and go back and finish the second.

    I am loving the cream and rainbow sock by the way, gorgeous!

  2. beautiful colors! What a talent you have.

  3. Very nice, I enjoy watching you create the socks! Since I lack the skill and dexterity to even finish off a stitch, hopefully, I'll receive a MacGyver super secret sock for Christmas, preferably in blue and gray?

  4. Hm... I can't even get the first sock done, so I can't complain about SSS. Crocheting is faster, though. I'm almost 1/3 done crocheting my friend's sweater, and it's only been a couple of days!

  5. The crocheted socks look great.

    I did not know, there are people, who don`t have enough leftovers, OMG :D.

  6. love to hear about new syndromes. amazing sock photos, but they make my socks look just a tad boring

  7. Allow yourself to wear non-matching socks. Then all you have to do is knit one....

    What is the pattern stitch in the bottom picture? It's gorgeous!

  8. Thanks for the kind words! It's been fun finding out about the sock experiences of others! And the Lizard's sock wishes...

    LizzieK8, here's a post that includes a link to the pattern. It's just alternating rows of double crochet, chain and double crochet, double crochet. Super simple!

  9. I am such a finisher that I (so far) haven't had an issue. One sock = project half done. I also don't have a stack of old WIPs. For me it's about getting things off the list.

    Thanks for your comments of late while I have been holed up and silent.

  10. This had me Snorting, Snickering and Smiling! Golf Club Cover ... Ha! And only a 16 inch tail left is cutting it wayyyyyy too close for comfort. Seems like your sock making habit has turned into a rainbow circle of never ending fun. Love your crocheted socks!

  11. I love finishing the first one because it means I can start the second! I get impatient as I near the end of the first, and sad when I near the end of the second. :) No SSS for me ... but ... I heard so many ppl talk about doing both socks at once using circulars, I cast on a pair to learn it. lol That pair is taking me months to knit! I keep putting it down b/c I find it boring. Love your crochet socks ~ maybe I'll have to learn crochet!


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

All spam is promptly and cheerfully deleted without ever appearing in print.

If you are unable to leave a comment and need to contact me, please use the email address in the sidebar. Thank you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails