no 1: swish dk dove heather
no 2: schoeller+stahl fortissima
no 3: noro silk garden
no 4: (l) swish (r) noro
it seems all i knit this summer were socks. it was an unexpectedly busy whirlwind of a couple months, and having a small, easy knitting project with me at all times was such a stress reliever. i knit the majority of the swish dk dove heather socks during the emergency hospital trip for doug's uncle. another pair over the three-day trip for his memorial service. you'd think it would be time for a break, but i'm halfway through another pair using this amazing wool.
i find knitting socks on small circular needles is the most comfortable and fastest method for me. i started the noro silk garden socks on the magic loop method, but switched back over to smaller circular needles halfway through the cuff. everything kept getting so tangled and i just couldn't get the feel for it.
i found this sock chart to be my absolute best friend, no matter if i'm making a sock with a gusset or doing short rows for the heel and toe. i heard a lot of people discourage short row heels saying the fit wasn't as nice, but i find it to be just as comfortable and a whole lot easier and nicer looking. i read this tutorial to help me out.
out of this group of socks, i really love knitpicks swish (knits up fast and is so soft), plymouth zino (no. 10 colorway is beautiful) and schoeller+stahl fortissima (first yarn i ever bought - i still hadn't used it!) sock yarns. i was pretty disappointed with the noro silk garden wool though. to me, it was overpriced, not that soft, uneven (i kid you not, both the cuffs are the exact number of rows, and one is shorter! gah!) and extra work to knit since the wool was broken in a couple places, making more ends to weave in.
no matter, i'm pretty pleased with my growing arsenal of hand-knit socks for this upcoming winter!
edit: i got a couple questions about what type of circular needles i use, so i thought i'd answer here. i really love hiya hiya 12" in either steel or bamboo. the 9" circulars are just a teeny bit small and awkward in my hands, but those are great if you prefer them. except for stretching that first row in the round on the 12" circulars, i think the larger size is perfect for an adult sized sock. my favorite needle size for socks depends on the yarn, but my US 3's and 4's always seem to be hard to find, meaning i use them a lot!