Looking for the Perfect Pair

Posted October 14, 2019 by Maire in Hobbies / 2 Comments

A basket full of brightly-coloured balls of leftover sock yarn.
A full metric schwack of leftover sock yarn

I spend a lot of time in search of the perfect yarn for the perfect pair of socks.

I love boutique yarn. I mean, I really love it. I hoard it. I have bins full of it. I have more than one cube shelf bin full of unique, handpainted sock yarn. I am fully aware that the blog’s SEO readability checker is going to dock me points for starting multiple sentences with the same letter/word. I don’t care.

I love sock yarn and I cannot lie!

Sock yarn is great for shawls and mittens and hats…and socks. Lots and lots of socks. So many socks that I kinda burnt myself out on the sock-knitting a few years ago. Behold the drawer in which I store my socks. Alas…it is — well, not empty. But it could use an update because many of my hand-knit socks have shrunk with age.

I knit at least four pairs of socks per year. One pair each for my parents and my in-laws. Some years I get ambitious and make an extra pair for a family member who hasn’t experienced the awesome that is hand-knit socks. But often I’ll stop at four. The husbeast has indeed made passive-aggressive comments about cold feet, so I may have to rethink my position on four as the total number of pairs of socks.

Making socks fun again: Plain stripey socks

A ball of yarn and half-knit brightly-coloured sock resting atop a Kobo and a copy of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicket This Way Comes.
Creative Distractions

Having sock-knitting burnout, though, means I generally don’t indulge in a lot of the hip and trendy sock patterns the kids are knitting these days. I usually head to one of the local yarn stores and pick up some self-striping stuff. Regia or Lana Grossa or OnLINE or Zauberball…yarn that keeps me entertained through colour changes instead of memorizing lines of lace.

This year is different. We have one family member who has been fighting cancer for a few years now. They’ve just started chemotherapy. Another family member was diagnosed at the beginning of the year. They’re doing well, so far. As this year isn’t yet over, there is a good possibility I will be knitting chemo caps to keep someone’s head warm. Chemotherapy causes a lot of skin sensitivity. I’m sure you can see where this is going.

I’m going to need to knit socks for sensitive skin.

Will Perfect Pair make a perfect pair?

Now, my mother knit a chemo cap for a friend of hers at the beginning of the year, and we did a little research. There are some really nice super-soft acrylics that are ideal for chemo caps. You can also use silk or bamboo. Or you can use a blend. I noticed that at Michaels, they had a really soft acrylic, bamboo, polyester blend called Perfect Pair. They may not be the warmest socks in the world due to a lack of wool, but they should be soft. I often find that when your feet are irritated, it really kills your mood. Better to have slightly chilly but comfy feet than warm feet that are extremely itchy, rashy, and irritated.

So I’d picked up a couple of balls of the Loops & Threads Perfect Pair Yarn at Michaels earlier in the summer, in case I wanted to do a little summer sock knitting. Unfortunately, I had another pair of socks on the needles that needed to be finished first. Now that they’re done, it’s time for a new pair. The yarn I picked up featured pinks and lavenders, so I had to go back to the store and find some yarn that was a little less girly. Let’s just say I needed to strike a balance in my colour choices.

Someone at Michaels has a sense of humour.

From the top: Drive All Night, Born to Run, Pink Cadillac and Walk like a Man.
Springsteen-themed yarn

Something I noticed as I was looking at the Perfect Pair colour way names: They’re all titles of Bruce Springsteen songs. Someone at Michaels likes The Boss.

I’ve cast on for my first Perfect Pair of socks. So far, so good! I’ll keep you updated as the socks progress and we find out if they are, indeed, perfect.

Anyone else out there knitting for folks with special requirements this year? I’m thinking our Cancer Conquerors might need a hat to go along with their socks. We’ll see just how much time I’m able to put into this!

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