Second Sock Syndrome: You Are Not Alone (And How to Cope With It)

Many knitters suffer from second sock syndrome: Knitting one sock and then never quite getting around to finishing the second one. Once the mystery has been taken out of the pattern, it’s just not that amusing to go through again after all.

This malady is commonly known as second sock syndrome (SSS). Rumors tell there’s no known cure, but I strongly disagree: there is a cure for second sock syndrome. Actually, there’s more than one way of coping with it.

My Name Is Julia, and I Suffer From Second Sock Syndrome

But first, let me assure you suffering from second sock syndrome is nothing to be ashamed of: you are not alone. Recently, I asked my readers to take a survey about sock knitting. The results are clear: First, over 90 percent of my readers are sock knitters. Second, almost half of them suffer from second sock syndrome.

How To Cope With Second Sock Syndrome

Suffering from SSS means facing the horrendous fact that knitting only one sock means you’ll only have one warm foot, which has never been enough for me. Living in a country where it gets down to -20 degrees Celsius frequently during winter, I can tell you hundreds of stories about the tremendous importance of having warm feet.

So we agree one warm foot alone is not sufficient? Well, let’s come up with solutions then!

Solution #1: Who Says You Have To Wear an Identical Pair?

Nobody tells you to wear a matching pair of socks. Knit one sock, leave out the second one and repeat. As long as the sum of your total socks worked is a multiple of two, you always have two warm feet this way.

Wearing two different socks is not an option for you? Well, maybe I can motivate you to knit two identical ones then.

Solution #2: Motivation By Comfort

Imagine a cold, crispy Alpine winter night. Temperatures have dropped down to minus twenty degrees and you realize the fact you are about to run out of coffee. Facing next morning without coffee first is just not an option. Definitely NOT.

This day will come for sure. Just face it: you want to have warm feet then. So get up and actually KNIT THIS SECOND SOCK NOW! It will be done in no time and you will be oh so happy when this day comes – you will be free of regrets. (And be able to wear a matching pair.)

Solution #3: Knitting Two at a Time (TAAT)

The most pragmatic solution to avoid second sock syndrome from the very beginning is to knit two socks at a time. Have you heard of this technique? The trick is to use each end of a skein of yarn to cast on two socks at the same time – one sock uses the skein outside in, the other one inside out. (Here’s a link to a tutorial.)

Working two at a time, you’ll never have to face second sock syndrome again – by the time you finish the first, the second sock is done, too. Bonus: you never run out of yarn again on the last few rows of your second sock.

Do You Suffer From Second Sock Syndrome?

After reading this article you hopefully never have to ever again. So now that we can cope with it: what’s your funniest second sock syndrome story? I’d love to hear it – just leave a comment below!

Yours truly,

Julia <3


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