Mindful knitting - A foot wearing a short hand knitted sock

The Magic of Sock Knitting – A Mindful Meditation

Sock knitting is just magical. Seriously. I can totally see why some knitters only knit socks. We know there’s something very meditative about knitting in general, but sock knitting soothes the soul. Just taking a peep at the hashtag #sockknitting on Instagram will show you how loved and admired this fibre art is.

Rose city roller socks in progress

Sock Knitting

I knit my first pair of socks just over 2 years ago. I used DK weight yarn and bigger needles because 2.5mm needles and sock yarn scared me. That first pair turned out pretty good, but I ended up giving them away as they grew over time and ended up too big. No fault of the pattern, just a rookie error on my part when choosing the needle size and yarn.

My first triumphant sock was a confidence booster. It showed me that I was capable of new things. It also introduced me to a knitting sweet spot.

That same sweet spot is where the mindful meditation lies, and that’s what I look for in all of my creative projects projects.

Hand dyed yarn by Fruitfusion.co.uk
Hand dyed yarn by Fruitfusion.co.uk

Mindful Sock Knitting

The act of mindful knitting can be described as the point where you are fully present in the moment. This could look like being fully engaged in your project, noticing the yarn, the stitches, the needles and acknowledging how good it feels while you are knitting each stitch (don’t forget that part).

Knitting is a craft that lends itself very easily to mindfulness and contemplation. With the right project, all those the repetitive stitches will have me in a state of meditation that can help exchange anxiety for calm and slow down my racing mind. Having a project that doesn’t require too much focus is the key ingredient to a mindful knitting session. For example, something with a stitch pattern and a method of construction that is both simple and memorable. For me, knitting socks ticks a lot of those boxes.

Sock Anatomy

Handknit sock cuff
Beginnng of heel flap
Beginning of heel flap
Heel flap
Heel flap
Heel turn
The magical heel turn
Sock gusset
Sock gusset

Give thanks for the sock anatomy. Each section generously blesses the knitter with time to practice mindful knitting and not think too much about the pattern.

The anatomy doesn’t change and a traditional sock usually has a a cuff, leg, heel, foot and toe section. However, you can change the way you knit the sock. You can knit a sock from the toe up or the cuff down. Some are even knit as a tube with heels added in as an afterthought. Being able to change up the method of knitting a sock means you can find a style that suits the way you approach your mindful knitting practice.

A foot wearing a short hand knitted sock

Second Sock Syndrome

The second sock can sometimes be the source of what is commonly known in the knitting community as “Second Sock Syndrome”. After the beautiful first sock has been lovingly created in the haze of new project bliss, the momentum for knitting the second sock can often be lacking. Some knitters will ache to start another project and the poor first born sock will languish in the unfinished project pile forever (guilty as charged, Your Honour).

However, when you knit from a standpoint of mindfulness, you can welcome the repetition and use that second sock as a tool for building consistent practice,

finished hand knit socks
Finished pair of Rose City Roller socks

Knitting Socks On The Go

Socks make the perfect portable project. Whether you knit with double pointed needles or magic loop, socks are small enough to carry around with you. This attribute makes sock knitting so desirable to me so I often keep a sock project on the go. I usually get the urge to knit when waiting around in queues. Taking my socks on the road also gives me an excuse to sew up some cute project bags.

It’s The Process For Me

Sock knitting, for me, has become more about the process, than the end result. I say this because, to date, I have knit more socks than I currently own. I have knit socks and then frogged them, I have given pairs away and I have socks waiting for me to pick them up again. But that’s OK, I allow myself some grace and I don’t get too hung up on whether I finish a pair of socks before starting something else. This is my creative outlet. I intend to continue making for my soul and if that keeps my feet warm in the process, then that’s a bonus.

Sock wips
Unfinished sock using hand dyed yarn from Fruitful Fusion.co.uk






4 responses to “The Magic of Sock Knitting – A Mindful Meditation”

  1. Nik avatar

    You inspire me, I can’t wait to make my first pair of socks!

    1. mirrymaker avatar

      Thanks Nik! I really hope you do make a pair of socks one day, but most of all I hope you enjoy the process

  2. Abbey avatar

    These socks are so pretty! I’m not a knitter, crochet was always more my speed. So I’ll continue to live my best knitting life through your makes! ?

    1. mirrymaker avatar

      Thanks Abbey. I have dabbled in a little crochet too, I started a blanket project earlier this year and I really want to resume it soon before it gets cold again. You must share more of your crochet to inspire me to do more! 😉