While I wait for my next student loan payment, I am whittling away through my stash. I quite like to have something large on the needles at all times – a cardigan, a blanket, a pullover – so that I don’t get bored with a single project, but my stash is primarily single or double skeins of any given yarn, so I am currently in Accessories Mode.

Socks seemed like the next step. However, I have attempted socks several times, with the first undertaking resulting in a sock big enough for both feet. I very happily frogged it, since I didn’t enjoy painstakingly picking up each short-row in the original toe-up pattern, but I don’t see any logic behind making a traditional ankle-down sock. Socks, I thought, that would be a waste of good yarn.

Yet, socks are ever-popular on Ravelry, and on any given night in one of my knitting groups, there always seems to be at least one person diligently working away at their socks. I’ve seen some really intricate and interesting socks made, whether they start or end with the toe, and more than one person has raved to me about the benefits of traveling with socks on the needles.

Now that my Manu is nearing completion, I’m running out of simple projects to take to my knitting groups. Everything else in my queue takes a bit of concentration, but aside from the toes and the heels, simple socks are just stockinette stitch, with some ribbing thrown in. Perfect!

There are loads of sock patterns out there, many of which are free, but they all seemed to start with either a provisional cast-on, making short-rows inevitable, or the figure-8 cast-on, which I couldn’t wrap my head around. I’d heard about Judy’s Magic Cast-on, but this was back when I was afraid of circular needles and magic-loop, and it looked so fussy. But it also seemed like the solution to all my problems, so I found an excellent video on how to work the cast-on and got to it! It really is brilliant, and if I end up frogging my first sock, I won’t dread having to restart that pesky toe. More importantly, when it comes time to start Sock #2, I may actually defeat second sock syndrome!