The day has finally come. You can feel the yarn on your hands, warm and light. You knit, furiously and expeditiously. Nothing can stop you now. Suddenly, your knitting comes to a prompt halt when you realize that you only have 6 meager inches of yarn left. You look down. Has the time really come?
You have finished your socks. You proudly hold TWO completed pairs, showing everyone you know… your friends, your loved ones, your Angora rabbit… you’ve finished socks!
And then, you take a second glance. Your Angora rabbit has a glint in his eye, laughing at you and your false reality. When you look down, you realize that you didn’t complete two pairs. You’ve only completed your first sock.
And so, it begins. The infamous Second Sock Syndrome(SSS) has taken hold of your knitting needles.
Now, monsters can be defeated, illnesses are usually curable, and everything has a bright side. Does SSS indeed have a cure, you ask? Why, yes, it does my dear. Let me impart my secrets.
There are 3 main types of Second Sock Syndrome, and each of these has a different cure. Go ahead, grab a cup of tea. But promise you’ll come right back to get your diagnosis! The matching socks that lie in your future are begging you to find a solution to your SSS.
Diagnosis: Sock boredom.
This is most common in people currently knitting the more “peaceful” types of socks, like plain vanilla stockinette stitch and rib socks.
- Sudden cravings for chocolate ice cream when you think of knitting the matching socks.
- Looking for people wearing mismatched socks who might want a pair from your growing collection of single socks.
- Vowing never to knit socks again.
Although there are usually no cures for this after the fact, it is possible to create a matching pair if you knit one toe up and one top down. Consider knitting a shawl with that sock yarn next time.
Diagnosis: A dread of knitting a difficult sock again.
Most common in dare devils and beginners.
- Wistfully looking at knitters with boring socks.
- Wishing you could just switch to knitting a garter stitch sock.
- Crying while knitting because you keep messing up that 12 stitch cable and lace pattern.
Find a more advanced knitter to knit the second sock. Perhaps someone at your knitting group would be willing? You can also ask for help at your LYS, or reach out to the designer who wrote the pattern.
Diagnosis: Fear of socks with different lengths.
Most common in perfectionists.
- Wishing you counted the rows for the first sock.
- Trembling at the thought of knitting the second sock.
Magic loop is one of the best methods to prevent this type of SSS because it allows you to knit two perfectly matching socks. To knit a second, matching sock, count the rows of your sock, rather than measuring length.
A few other measures can be taken to prevent SSS before it occurs. First, try variegated yarn. Knitters can be easily thrilled by yarn. Have you heard of double knitting socks? It’s a way to knit two socks at a time on DPNs.
If you have trouble self-diagnosing your SSS, feel free to describe your symptoms in the comments below. Do you have any other tips for overcoming SSS?