Last year, I found the Sock Madness group on Ravelry after the madness had begun. It sounded like a crazy, fun, inspiring idea, but I had missed out for the year.
Sock madness is a 7 round, world-wide, sock knitting competition. In each round, people are eliminated until there is only one person left on each team of about 40 people. In the seventh round, the lone survivors from each team go against each other to see who can knit the seventh round (read this as very difficult) pattern the fastest.
Now, I am a slow knitter. So, whatever possessed me to join in on the fun? First off, the competition is for everyone. You are put on a team with people who knit socks at a similar speed to yours. So, until that last round, everyone has a chance to progress. I had three goals for Sock Madness: have fun, get to round three at least and focus on speeding up my knitting. I am definitely having fun (in a totally stressful, nerve wracking way), I made it to round three and I have found some strategies to help me knit faster (mainly, focussed knitting in limited time frames). As a bonus, I get socks out of the deal. It is a win-win situation all around!
The first round sock this year was Alohomora by Malena Andersen (her first ever published design — congratulations Malena!). It was an easy yet interesting knit. These are such a comfy pair of socks. I love them.
Anyone who finished Alohomora in less than two weeks moved on to the second round of the competition. In total, 521 of the over 700 registrants finished both socks and moved to the second round. Another 116 participants managed to finish at least one sock during the two weeks and became “cheerleaders”, welcome to knit along, but no longer able to advance in the rounds. Once the round was over, much anxious checking of website and email ensued while waiting for the specs for the pattern and then for the actual pattern to materialize.
The second round sock was a lovely cabled design, Cable Madness by Karen Buhr.
This time around, the first 32 people from each team to finish their socks, advance to the next round. After a concerted effort to knit as quickly as possible, I was number 6 to finish on my team. Woo hoo!
Once finished these socks, qualifying participants received a bonus pattern to knit while waiting for the round if so desired. I passed on knitting those socks for the time being as I have plenty of other projects to keep me busy. More on that later.
Now, I wait for the round to be over, admire everyone’s fabulous socks, knit on other projects and prepare to stalk the Sock Madness group and my email for the information for the next round.