A couple of weeks ago I was hanging out in Copenhagen munching cake and knocking back syrupy coffee with fellow yarny blogger Michelle, feeling overly excited and keeping a beady eye on Ravelry on my phone. Along with hundreds of eager sock-obsessed knitters across the globe, I was waiting for the first pattern to drop that marks the start of this year’s Sock Madness.
Sock Madness is an intense Ravelry-based sock knitting challenge running over 7 rounds for a couple of months each spring, which I get is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I feel very fortunate to be living in the Øresund region which is a bit of a hotspot for amazing hardcore sock knitters who love to sign up each February to take part. This is my third year taking part and as the sock knitting Gods have determined that I will be otherwise unemployed, I am determined to lift my spirits and do my best to complete all 7 pattern challenges.
The competition begins march 1st each year with the release of the “qualifying” pattern that determines who will be put on teams to continue. This start pattern is usually something that is reasonably simple and to be placed on a team we have to knit the socks to exact requirements within 2 weeks. For following rounds we’re put on to teams, with only so many spots per team available for the following round. The patterns get more complex, with different heels and toes, and the needles click faster until one superhumanly freakishly fast knitter is declared the winner!
Although it’s a competition, Sock Madness is more of a knit-a-long challenge where you can participate as a team member or a cheerleader (not competing), depending on how you go with the qualifying round. This year the qualifying pattern was Twisted Madness by Gina Meyer, a top down pattern with a LOT of twisted stitches. I really love how the socks turned out and the thick textured fabric that’s created by the stitch pattern, but they were very, very slow to knit and the texturing meant that they used more yarn than usual. So, for me these were quite a time challenge, but…..I did it! In the end, I even had time to redo my first toe, which i knitted totally wrong. I added in a couple of extra repeats too to fit the feet they’re intended for (this is a birthday socks gift) :)
Now I’m back to some good ol’ plain TV knitting until the competition really gets going in a week or so…I’ll keep you posted!
Let me know if you’re also taking part in Sock Madness 11 and where you are! Are you as excited as i am? :)
Wishing you joy in your knitting wherever you are,