Knitted Socks – The New Luxury Accessories?

I’m always amused by what the New York City media discovers as new, hip, and exciting – pleasures the rest of have experienced for years. I’ve rolled my eyes in the recent past as the New York media has discovered Krispy Kreme doughnuts, heirloom tomatoes, the joys of shopping at Target, and the saintliness and cultural significance of Dolly Parton. 

So I shouldn’t have been a bit surprised when I opened the weekend edition of a major New York publication this past Saturday to see that “fancy socks” are the new fashion hot ticket. The subtitle of the article of the publication’s fashion page speaks of “fashion hosiery” as the next best thing which will – gasp – even rival your fab “five-figure handbag.” (What universe does this writer live in?)

I sighed, gazing at the lovely ankle socks featured on the newsprint in front of me. Those bright green socks on the end, I thought, look like a pair I knitted just a couple of months ago. I had no idea I was so hip, so fashion forward. 

Despite my eye rolls, I have to agree with the assessment of socks as high luxury. I knitted my first socks about two years ago. Socks are not easy, they take a while to knit, and do a number on your eyesight. But I decided right then and there that handknitted, custom made socks were the most luxurious things I had ever put on my body. As I slipped on my first pair of all-wool, handknit socks, I audibly groaned in pleasure. And they fit perfectly…because they were made to measure for my very own feet. 

But we knitters knew this all along, didn’t we? Bold, bright colors – we’ve already got that yarn in our stashes. Sparkles and intricate patterns – heck, we use those design elements as a matter of course. 

We’re just glad the New York media is finally getting a clue.

*Update! I tried to publish this blog post twice, but I found it “trashed” and blocked on my social media platforms. Hmmm…some really large publisher doesn’t like anything even close to criticism???

Happy Sock Knitting, Cindy

P. S. There’s a new sock knitting book coming out soon, Knit 2 Socks in 1, by Safiyyah Talley. Publication date is March 1. 

This method of knitting socks is an interesting concept is you’re a fairly accomplished knitter and want to try something new and different. The concept is to knit one long tube with some safety lines, then put a toe, a cuff, and “afterthought” heels onto your set of socks later. Highly recommended for hand knitted sock aficionados who grow weary of “second sock syndrome.”

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a collection of interrelated short stories about knitters and those they meet through knitting and sharing prayer shawls. 

Copyright 2022 Cynthia Coe

Legal Disclosures: I provide links to products (including books I have written), and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases (which means I may get a very small fee if you click through the link and buy something).

So Have You Started Your Fall Knitting Yet?

It’s mid-August, when days are getting shorter, though temperatures still hover in the hot zone. With the first whisps of fall breezes that occasionally waft by in the evenings, I’ve started to think, “what’s my first knitting project of the fall season?” 

Here in the heat and humidity of the Tennessee Valley, I haven’t thought much about wool sweaters lately. Though I’ve ordered a few skeins of wool (on sale), the thought of even touching fuzzy wools gives me hot flashes. But the time has come to get busy if I want a new project on my knitting needles at the first sign of fall leaves. 

What do the fashion magazines say is going to be in style this year? We knitters can probably whip it out pronto.

  • Cropped sweaters and jackets. In looking at fashion websites, I have seen slews of “cropped” (i.e. short, stopping at the waistline) tops, sweaters, and jackets. No problem. Just knit shorter pullovers and cardigans than you usually make. Save yarn in the process.
  • Sweater vests. I’ll believe this when I see it. I’ve seen very few of these for sale on the websites. However, I’m game, having fond memories of a navy-blue sweater vest I wore often back in the late eighties and nineties. Again, these are easy-peasy to whip out; knit a front and a back of a sweater and you’re done. 

Of course, fashion is what we actually wear and feel comfortable in. Personally, I can’t wait to pull on one of the oversized, striped wool pullover sweaters I made at the end of the season last year, along with a couple of late spring cardigans I barely wore before the temps went up.

For knitters, we make and wear what we love. If it’s considered “fashionable,” more power to us!

Happy Knitting, Cindy

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a collection of interrelated short stories about knitters and those they meet through knitting and sharing prayer shawls. 

Copyright 2022 Cynthia Coe

Knitting Fashion Forecast: Big Sleeves, Argyll, and Chunky – Will They “Take”?

Hello Knitting Friends! I’ve just returned from Vogue Knitting’s Live Event, ready to report on upcoming fashion trends in knitting. 

If you’ve never attended a knitting convention, by all means give it a go. If you’re a fan of the Vogue Knitting magazine, it should be on your bucket list. Some of the best events were actually seeing the sweaters and knitwear from the magazine modelled on the runway (with a front row seat to boot!) and getting to hear the editor-in-chief talk about designs in the magazine.

What knitting fashion trends will you soon see? Here’s the fashion forecast from Carla Scott, the new editor-in-chief of Vogue Knitting:

  • Big, unusual sleeves (bell shaped, oversized, and highly embellished with design elements). 
  • Argyll: Lots of Argyll diamond-shaped patterns were featured, looking timeless yet fresh
  • Fringe and Embellishments: Beads, embroidery, long fringe, and other blingy design features, along with metallic yarn
  • Chunky hats and sweaters: slouchy hats and big, oversized sweaters are here to stay

Some of these trends I really liked. I loved the Argyll designs, and I’ll definitely add one or two patterns to my works-in-progress line-up. I’ll also keep knitting slouchy hats for the young adults in my life, along with some big, chunky sweaters for the deep winter. I’m intrigued by the technique of embroidering on top of my finished knitting, and I’m eager to try it. 

But the huge, bell-shaped sleeves? Not for me. I imagine such things picking up every scrap of dust and debris everywhere I go, struggling to get a coat on over them, and generally finding them more of a nuisance than a fashion statement. Ditto the fringe. I love the oversized sweaters in January, but by the middle of February, I need something much lighter here in Tennessee. 

Once upon a time, fashion magazines set the trends and determined what we would wear in coming seasons.  In this age of Ravelry and a plethora of media outlets online, how do we decide what we’ll knit in coming months? In my mind, “fashion” only matters if people actually like and wear these types of knitwear. Just because a fashion magazine tells us that oversized sleeves are “in style” doesn’t mean we all have to start knitting them.

I’ll be watching carefully to see which of these trends actually “take.” In the meantime, happy knitting of…whatever you want!!!!

Blessings, Cindy

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a collection of interrelated short stories about knitters and those they meet through knitting and sharing prayer shawls. 

Copyright 2022 Cynthia Coe