I like crafts involving string. Always have. My mother taught me to crochet when I was a pretty little kid; my first few projects looked like they were crocheted by nest-building rats. I remember riding in the car (on vacation somewhere, possibly?) and crocheting. I would make my mom do the second row because that's the hardest one. I'd do the first row, hand it off, then finish up whatever fabulous (often triangular) project I was making.
Fast forward ... we'll say .. several years. It'd been a while since I crocheted anything of consequence, but apparently it's like riding a bike. You get it out of storage, pump up the tires, then fall off a couple of times while you remember exactly how this thing works.
This brings us to the matter of project selection. There's really only a certain number of scarves that any one person can utilize. I mean, once you've gifted scarves to everyone you know, what do you DO with any more? Because I've also taken up quilting, making afghans seemed like somewhat of a duplication of effort. And really, I like my quilted blankets a heck of a lot more than I ever liked crocheted ones (too many air holes). I found an awesome book of crocheted hats at the fabric store and my best school friend bought it for me. However, there is also a limit on hat-usage which is similar to that on scarf-usage.
Considering the matter further, I decided on socks. Socks are an excellent project. They're small, so they finish up quickly which leaves one with a feeling of having actually accomplished something. They are something that one individual (say, myself) can actually rationalize having many pairs of. They are also something that everyone uses, so I can give them out as gifts.
I started with regular worsted weight yarn. This is really too thick to make socks unless you want to wear them sort of as slippers. They are also fairly textured on the bottom because the yarn is so thick, which makes them fairly unique to walk on.
Then, I discovered sock yarn. Even having crocheted for my entire life, I didn't realize there was such a thing as sock yarn. Apparently knitting socks has become quite popular recently, too... there's TONS of different options. I got several sock yarns and took off with them.
I started with this pattern. I'm using it mostly unmodified although the instructors for starting the heel make NO sense to me. I had to toss out that part and just mark where I want the center of the heel to be. I tried it a couple of times and even read through all the comments, but just couldn't get it to work.
Here's one of my pairs of socks, with the back of the dog at the top to make the socks look more colorful and attractive. I love the way the color looks almost like it's stripey on each sock. And the stripes match!
Then, another picture which shows the color a bit better.
This was some brand of Sox yarn. It's quite thin, which means that it doesn't feel like walking on marbles. They fit well, except the heel is maybe a little wide. I'm going to work on that in later sock editions.
I have several other sock yarns that I'm going to work up in the near future.