This year, though, my mind is on other children, the street children of Nepal. I'm still really stuck on that image of homeless children wearing flip flops in the winter. In our comfortable western world, the closest we get to this experience walking to the car after a pedicure in January. My son will surely get his socks, but he'll have to wait. He has a drawer full, sometimes to overflowing, of hand knit and commercially made socks. He has sturdy shoes and footie pajamas, a warm bed and a full belly every night. So right now, I'm making socks for kids in Nepal. I made these two pairs, and started a third this week.
If you are knitting socks for the kids in Nepal, please consider the following:
- use the sturdiest yarn you have. I used Regia and Lang Jawoll (I even knit the heels and toes using that cute spool of reinforcement thread that comes with the Jawoll), but Opal, Trekking XXL, Lion Brand Sock Ease or Patons Kroy would also be good choices, and I'm sure I'm forgetting others in this wool/nylon blend category. Assume that these socks will see constant, hard wear, will rarely be rotated, and almost never washed.
- Knit at a tight gauge to ensure sturdiness. I knit my socks at 8 spi. You could also knit a bigger yarn at a tighter gauge. If you have some really sturdy wooly worsted, for example, you could knit it at 6spi and get a really firm pair of socks.
- One 50g ball of yarn was enough for a pair of child's socks, but just enough for adequate cuffs (about 5"). Make the cuffs as long as possible. I happen to have several 50g oddballs saved up for my boy's socks, but if I had more yardage, I'd make the cuffs longer. This is a great time for you to stash-bust your balls of leftover yarns and make your own stripey or wild-self patterning socks.
- I used used my Ann Budd's Knitters Handy Book of Patterns as my guide for stitch count and lengths, but there is any number of generic sock patterns out there for children. Skip the lacy patterns, and crank out simple stockinette or ribbed socks. This is why the self-patterning yarns are ideal.