Every month when the time rolls around for Yarnbox Socks to ship out again, I find myself thinking about why a sock club is such a special thing. Sure, there are clubs out there for every type of specific project -- hats, shawls, cowls, and even sweaters! We run several great yarn based clubs (obviously) that revolve around a constantly changing array of accessory projects, but I really felt strongly that a sock club was the right way to go when we decided to expand our offerings for 2015.
People love to extol the virtues of socks as a project -- they're portable, there are so many easy sock patterns that work up quickly for instant gratification, you can try new techniques and skills on a smaller scale, and they're a great way to play with some of the most unusual dye methods without feeling overwhelmed by crazy speckles, stripes, or variegation. Sock yarn in and of itself is fun to buy -- one skein is fairly affordable and doesn't take up a lot of room in your stash, yet can provide several hours of enjoyment.
That said, I think that part of the true beauty of sock knitting is that it combines a need (warmth) with a jollifer (there is nothing as fun as a pair of bright colored socks on a dreary day), instant-gratification and long-term use. Socks purchased commercially are often a one or two season item, before they get a hole and are no longer useable (cotton socks are the worst for this, in my experience.)
Hand knitted socks, on the other hand, often last a whole season with minimal washing and can be darned in the summertime so that they'll last winter after winter. You can make lightweight, lacy ones with smooth superwash wools or blends, or thicker, wooly ones for deep winter days. Wool socks have so many virtues: they are warm even when wet, wick away moisture from the skin, and don't retain scents.
Yarnbox Socks allows our members to experience so many of the different types of sock dyeing, textures, brands and designers that make sock knitting so fun. When we started this club, my goal wasn't just to add another 'sock club' to the list of those out there, but to create a community of people who each month join together to add yet another sock to their growing fall and winter stash. I really hope that as we move into the fall season together, I can start seeing these socks in action, paired with cozy layers, denim, clogs, boots, fireplaces and fun gatherings. It's like a little piece of my work gets to travel the world, and I find that extremely exciting.