A time and place for tedium

The thing about the Jaywalker socks, and why they work so well for me, is partly because I have managed to happen upon a combination of pattern, needle size, and yarn that produces really great socks for my feet. I love that they fit so well and that I can wear them when I want socks that look just a little bit dressier than normal, and that they’re sturdy enough to wear week after week. Me and the Lorna’s Laces and the Jaywalkers, we are friends.


However, the other reason that I have managed to keep on knitting this pattern eight times now (the 1st pair didn’t fit, the 2nd pair was in a different yarn, and the last 6 pairs, well, you know how the rest of that story ends), is that they have managed to be really great travel knitting. I have started to get into the habit of casting on a pair before I leave on a trip, and that becomes my dedicated knitting in buses, subways, airport waiting rooms, airplanes, cafes, and pretty much where ever I feel like pulling them out. The same repetitive 2-row repeat that felt tedious and boring and unbearable when I started with the pattern suddenly becomes a lot more manageable – dare I say it even enjoyable – when I’m struggling for patience in various forms of transit or periods of waiting largely beyond my control.

Then, of course, what inevitably happens is that I finish the first sock on my trip, start the second one, and when I’m at home again the second sock which should really only take a week or so of knitting ends up taking a month, and I start to despair of ever having another sock knitting project in my handbag, ever.

And then I get over myself and just finish it already. This pair – in two beautiful skeins of ‘Mixed Berries’ Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock – came off the needles on Friday and then I took all weekend to getting around to sewing up the toes. (Have I mentioned that me and kitchener stitch are not friends?)


One interesting fallout from knitting the same sock over and over again is that I care a lot less when I make mistakes. On pair #1 or #2, a glaring error like this in the middle of the sock probably would have driven me nuts. By pair #8, I just keep on knitting. It becomes a unique “design element”, making this pair in some way different from all those that have come before and those that are yet to come. Totally cool with it.


I’m not sure which colourway I’ll pick next – probably around the time I leave for Rhinebeck in October – but judging from this little collection of leftovers, I’d say I’ll probably try to steer away from the pinks and blues and try something a bit different. So many colourways to choose from, so little time.

At least until the next pair.


  1. barefootrooster · ·

    gorgeous socks, and what lovely leftovers!

  2. that’s so funny because i have been knitting these socks for a week, and i am now on sock 5…and soon to be sock 6…i know the pain 🙂

  3. Got any plans for the leftovers? You could make a really fun pair of striped socks! You’ve got me itching to try the jaywalker pattern again. I’ve only knit it once, but I think I chose the wrong yarn and don’t really like the way they fit, so I rarely wear them. Maybe I’ll have to give it another chance with Lorna’s Laces yarn. Yours are so lovely they give me hope!

  4. Oh wow. You could make an awesome blanket with those leftovers. Of course that means you’ll have to knit a LOT more socks. 😉

  5. Your leftovers look like a lovely plate of bon-bons. Or petit fours. Yummy colors! You have lucky feet, and don’t let them whine about cute shoes. The cute ones invariably end up making my feet hurt.

  6. Maybe you need to schedule in extra yarn expeditions, so you can get the second sock done more quickly! They look great.

  7. Annette had the same idea I had: make a blanket with the leftovers. Which could then justify staying in the pink / blue theme.

  8. Jaywalkers are not too dissimilar from Broadripple (Knitty.com), and I knit 4 or 5 pairs of those out of Fixation. I agree – it was so great to have the pattern down cold and just pick them up wherever. I’ll look forward to the next incarnation – the current ones are lovely!

  9. Hi Glenna,
    I love the socks and I do feel for you for the left overs, those would make lovely fingerless gloves knit side ways as tube with the thumb guset.
    I have been looking for the pattern for the Basic Black gardigan I would love to have a copy of it if you have it. I could download a PDF or of the e.mail. Please do let me know. I am Tobby on Ravelry.com. Are you on Ravelry too.
    Your blog is very interesting./

  10. Hi Glenna just wondering whether you have thought about using the knitting Kitchener method of casting off, you don’t need to get out a sewing needle, you just have the two knitting needles (or ends of dpns) with the top and bottom stitches on them and and a third to do the knitting bit with. Back needle has the yarn tail at the right, front needle has no yarn tail.
    Then you just cut your yarn leaving a truly decent tail (10-12 inches, it’s way too much but better more than not enough!) and keep working with your needles.

    Order is as follows:
    Front needle: purl first stitch, pull yarn tail all the way through and drop stitch off needle.
    knit next stitch, pull yarn tail all the way through, leave the stitch on the needle.
    Back needle: knit first stitch, pull yarn tail all the way through and drop stitch off needle.
    purl the next stitch, pull yarn tail all the way through, leave the stitch on the needle.

    Repeat until you run out of stitches and you are done in about 5 minutes flat.

    Extra notes: don’t pull the yarn tight when you pull it through, just to tension and it seems to work easier if you can manage to keep some space between the front and back needle, I hold a finger between the two to keep them spaced. I got this method from the Techknitter website (search for Lord Kitchener), there are photos there if you need them.

  11. ladyoctavia · ·

    Yeah! Another pair! They look great (and your ball of leftovers is giving me leftover-lust).

    Now that you have over a week’s worth, is the next goal a month’s? I think you’re going to need a bigger sock drawer…

  12. Great attitude about the mistake. Life is too short to not just get on with it and enjoy wearing them.

  13. such pretty jaywalkers!! I tend t be pretty cavalier with minor flaws in my knitting too- I remind myself that Turkish carpets are woven with a flaw deliberately in them, since nothing but Allah is perfect, or something like that. It works for me. I love your little collection of leftover yarn balls!

  14. My friend who works at Shall We Knit tells me that a brand new colourway of Lorna’s Laces (from Cookie A!) will be debuting at their stall at the K-W Knitters’ Fair. So you’ll definitely want to check it out!

  15. Love the colors. I knitted a pair of Jaywalkers a couple of years ago & also with Lorna Laces & they pooled quite badly. I was really disappointed until I saw yours – they are all so lovely. Maybe I should give it another try.

  16. […] knew, I would tell you. I have no freaking clue. Sometimes it pools in crazy wicked ways, sometimes not at all. It’s all part of the glamorous and exciting world of sock […]

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