Martha, Frank, and The Loopy Quarterly Challenge

DSC00069.JPGRemember this photo? Perfect example. Please note that the two socks on the right and the one on the left are not for me. The socks “for me” are the other three in the middle. Now read on to see what this has to do with anything.

There are two distinct types of sock yarns – the Marthas and the Franks. Take this quick quiz to see which describes you best:

1. When you have a crisis in your life, you: a – scream and then vent to a friend, or b- you are never in crisis-mode

2. Your coffee of choice is: a – Vente Mocha with 2 shots, or b- regular, black

3. Your knitting basket contains: a – what knitting basket? or b – each of your projects in Ziploc bags

4. What’s for dinner? a – whatever you can find in the freezer when you get home, or b- whatever is on your menu calendar for that day

5. When reading the newspaper, you: a – skim the front page & head to Lifestyle, or b – read the main stories & editorial pages

6. In a crowd, you like to: a- stand out, or b – blend in.

7. The number of knitting projects you have in the works: a – more than five, or b – less than five

8. These kinds of test: a – amuse you, or b – annoy you.

Score yourself. Mostly A’s? You’re probably a Frank. Mostly B’s? You’re probably a Martha. (Yes, very unscientific. Very stereotyped. No real rhyme or reason to it. But I think it’s a good basic indicator. What do you think?)

So who are Franks? Franks are people who like to wear bright, flashy, “look at me” types of socks. You figure, “What’s the point in wearing anything that isn’t fun?” We named it Frank after a guy we know who has worn red “look at me” socks with every outfit for as long as we’ve known him. He makes a statement with his well-known red socks.

And who are Marthas? Marthas are people who like to wear classy, conservative, “normal” looking socks. You might love big jewelry or have a fancy car, but in socks, you prefer them to blend in. We named it Martha after a calm, soothing, classy teacher I once had. When you were in her room, everything was right with the world.

Personally, I am a Martha with my socks. I confess to loving the color red (and carry a red purse) but with my socks, I tend towards the dark jewel colors and more subdued tones. I am in a rut. Thus, The Loopy Quarterly Challenge!

The Loopy Quarterly Challenge is simple: Every quarter, I will issue a new sock “challenge” for anyone who wants to participate. Everyone is welcome! In this first quarter of the year (Jan – Mar), move beyond your normal sock color choices and pick something in the other camp. If you’re a Frank, pick a nice, classy Martha sock yarn to knit up. If you’re a Martha, pick a fun and wonderful Frank sock yarn to knit up. Send me a picture of your Martha Socks or your Frank Socks (socks on rocks, socks in trees, socks in bushes – remember our fun sock photo-taking themes) and you will be entered into a drawing for a great First Quarter Prize! (Actually – we’ll have more than one drawing. We’ll have one drawing from the pool of all participants, and we’ll have the Reader’s Choice Award for the one that all of you vote on as being the best representation of the challenge.) All photos must be in by the last week in March, and the drawing and voting will take place the first week in April. So get knitting!
DSC00425.JPGHere is the yarn that I have picked for my Frank Socks. I love the colors in this Tiger Lily by All Things Heather, Penllyn pattern. I thought it was beautiful when it arrived. But I also thought I’d never wear it. You know what? Now that I’m knitting it up, I absolutely love it! I’m calling these my Happy Socks and I can’t wait to finish them and wear them. Life’s too short to wear boring socks. 🙂 (Psst – I’m using my amazing sterling silver Celtic Swan needles. Want some? I have two sets left, here.)

So are YOU up for the challenge? Are you a Martha or a Frank? (I wonder – do you think there are more Marthas in the world or more Franks? Leave a comment and tell me which you are, and we’ll do our own informal poll.)

Sheri maybeIoughttoknitALLFranksthisquarter


  1. I’m split right down the middle. 4 a’s and 4 b’s. I just kinda go with whatever cactches my eye when I decide to knit socks. I’ve been working on steadily building my sock yarn stash over the past 6 months, so I now have both Franks and Marthas to choose from. I’ll have to take a look at my last few sock projects and see whether a Frank or Martha is due next.

    Your socks look gorgeous, by the way!!!

  2. Oh – I am a frank – the wilder the better if not what would be the point in wearing them. I guess that Black cherry tree hill I got from you would make a great Martha sock.

  3. I’m a Frank, for sure, Sheri. I love the pattern of your socks. I’m going to look seriously at WHF patterns with my next order, which I hope, by the way, will be soon!
    Sue J.

  4. I am most definately a Martha – I love colour, but give all my beautifully colourful socks as gifts. I wear brown, black, the boring sensible colours.

    I will go through some of the wonderful yarn I have purchased from you and pick something I would not normally wear and find the perfect pattern to go with it.

    I’m in – might even send a picture of me wearing the socks, how adventurous is that.

  5. I also split right down the middle on the quiz but I am totally a Frank. ALWAYS love color in my socks. I knit Martha for my man, he’ll never be a Frank:-(
    So…guess I had better knit a Martha for me!

  6. I, too am a Frank sock knitter. Off to look at Martha sock yarn for the challenge.
    I was pretty split on the quiz…..but I think when I look at my sock stash and socks in drawers…..they are bright and fun and cheerful.

  7. I will admit to being a Frank. I love crazy wild socks. I guess I want people to notice my socks so I can tell them that I knit them myself. I guess I am just going to have to get a Martha becaust I don’t think the Fleece Artist Jester counts.

  8. I am sure you have figured out that I am a Frank since I like bright colors and I don’t care if my socks match my outfit. Right now I have on a pair of orange running socks that have a fuschia hand 10 sign on the cuffs.

    I just received my Martha color without even realizing it. Now I have to think of a quick pattern to use to knit a pair for this quarter.

  9. I’m so totally a Frank! My children (18 and 21, hardly children anymore, are they?) HATE my socks. They appreciate the knitting, but are horrified by the colors. For example, I have socks knitted in the Cherry Tree Hill Sugar Maple colorway and Lorna’s Laces Daffodil. And I wear them with metallic gold Crocs Mary Janes or hunter green Birkenstock clogs, which my husband believes to be the ugliest shoe on the planet. For my sock challenge, I am digging from my stash some ash gray wool for either a gansey or cable pattern. I have to say it’s not very exciting. However, that Fleece Artist Jester of Robin’s sounds gorgeous!

  10. I am a Martha in many ways – I have a routine, and I usually follow it, I do not like to draw attention to myself… etc. But, when it comes to socks, I have always been a Frank. Even before I began to knit. I really like the idea that I can be sneaky by wearing brightly-colored socks (or underwear) that no one will ever see. It’s a personal statement to myself.

  11. I’m definitely a Frank when it comes to socks. Unless it’s a formal occasion, why where anything but brightly colored socks. However, the husband (who is definitely a Martha where socks are concerned) wants me to knit him a pair, so I think I’ll take up the challenge and knit him some socks that aren’t in some bright, crazy-colored yarn.

  12. How did you come up with this Frank /Martha idea?…it’s hilarious and it has generated so much conversation….I love it and I’m a bit of both, but mostly a FRANK

  13. I’m a frank frank FRANK!! So, I’ll be knitting that Fleece Artist Arctic I bought not too long ago.
    I am not a pastel person… I don’t know why I bought it… I think I smelled the wool fumes and went off on a bender.

  14. I am so happy here in Marthaland………but I do have some hot pink yarn in my stash.
    Didn’t really plan on knitting it – it just made me happy to look at in the basket!!

  15. I am half Frank and half Martha – I guess that makes me schizophrenic… I am working on an extreme pair of Marthas right now for hubby, but I should finish in a week or so and start my pair for the challenge.

  16. I am half and half which I believe categorizes me in the third, unmentioned category, which is the Loopy category!! Frank: Bright colored socks; Martha: Conservative colored socks Loopy: ANYTHING from the Loopy Ewe.
    Am I right? Or am I right? 🙂

  17. I’m a total Frank. In fact, I have no “quiet” yarns in my stash. I think the closest I can come is the camoflauge Lorna Laces. Hmm….. It may take some thought to knit like a Martha.

  18. OK Sheri, I think after all my purchases yesterday in the Loopy Room I’m automatically taking part in the challenge. I scored highly as a Frank, but while my socks are not boring, I do tend towards the same general jewel and earth tones. So I hope my breaking out into light springy colors will qualify as my Marthas! Anyway, after I left the Loopy Room I went out and bought 8 balls of the WILDEST colors of Noro Kureyon to start The Afghan. Lizard Ridge. Yup. I spent a glorious evening yesterday with my swift and ball winder, and now I have LOTS of balls of yarn lined up waiting to be knit into lovely socks. I’ve decided to do this Penllyn pattern in the Viola. Ah yes, another thing…I noticed when I wound up my skein of “seafoam” Fleece Artist into two balls…the two socks are going to be totally different colors! I think I’ll call them “sunlight on the sea foam” and “bottom of the ocean foam”.

  19. when i first started coming to your website and then noticed the blogs, i read about martha and frank yarns from your side list. i was quite amused by your comments too. i thought it was very interesting and since i have a wish list of CTH yarn, i just looked to see which colors on the list were frank or martha. so, today after reading this blog, i looked back to see what the list was in the first martha and frank blog. i’m definitely more in the frank category. i think like robin, i want the socks noticed so i can say i knit them. but, i don’t wear flashy clothes to be noticed in any other ways. definitely a mix of martha and frank but i love the analogy and humor i see in it. i don’t think i can participate at this time in your challenge. i’m so challenged already at all my previous sock commitments! but, i’ll enjoy coming and seeing what is happening with the rest of you. maybe i’ll be ready to join the next quarters challenge, if it isn’t too challenging! happy knitting.

  20. I’d have to say I’m a Frartha. I’ll go either mild or wild, depending on my mood! I do probably lean more towards the Martha side though… So I guess for the challenge, I need to go Frank!

  21. I am definitely a Martha. Not just in socks, but in every way, shape and form. It will be fun to shake things up in the new year and knit something in a Frank — the total opposite of what I normally wear. Should be fun and interesting to see what I can come up with in my Martha brain!

  22. I don’t know, Sheri. Those middle socks of yours look a bit Frankish to me, especially compared to the conservative stripes on either side of them. Maybe you have been a closet Frank and didn’t even realize it!

    I guess I am like Claire, and I am a Frartha, or maybe a Mank. I like both plain and wild when it comes to socks. I am sooo glad I found your site and I am looking forward to knitting my first pair. I am terribly frustrated with my store-bought ones. Once I can rip myself out of my sea of undecision and and actually make a choice, I am going to order some of your yummy yarn!!

  23. I’m middle of the road on this but lean toward Martha. I like the Frartha thing. I did buy some bright red/purple yarn from you last month trying to expand my more neutral color selection I lean towards.

  24. When I answered the questions I’m a Martha. However, with socks, I like to be bold and cheerful like Frank. I don’t normally wear bright colors, but I love to wear bright socks.

  25. Huh. My earlier message didn’t post for some reason. Here it is again, more or less.

    I am making my Q1 socks from Interlacements Tiny Toes ‘Woodland” colorway in my stash. The dark colors are Martha-ish which my sock drawer tells me I like. The cool changes of color are more Frank-ish though which the quiz says is more me. I just like it is all I know.

    Sheri, I’ll be buying something soon. Yay!

  26. I’m definitely a Martha — I love deep, rich color schemes because I’m conservative like that. I think I’ll try using one of the colors from my recent stash enhancement for the Loopy Quarterly Challenge – to be more Frank-like…I guess I was already trying to broaden my horizons!

  27. I’m most definitely a Frank–down to the fact that I like to knit crazy socks with lots of leftovers from different crazy yarns. I’ll take you up on your challenge! I’m off to choose a Martha color now. 😉

  28. I split right down the middle. I think I like to believe I’m a Frank but tend toward the Martha side of life. My current socks in progress definitely qualify for the contest. I’m knitting the Fancy Silk Socks from Knitting Vintage socks using Grapevine from LL. Both the sock – very girlie and lacey – and the color – very purpley and girlie – are not my usual “thang” but I am loving them.

    I’ve got the first one done and I’ll be sure to send a sock tree pic when I’m done.

  29. I scored 3 on Frank and 5 on Martha, so I’ll knit a flashy sock next. Funny, I got into sock knitting for the crazy yarns, but have recently begun embracing the solids (or nearly solids. I really like the subtle hand-painted solids) knitted in cables and other pattern stitches. But back to Frank it is!

  30. i’m definitely a frank. i think i answered one question both, lol. it was the crowd question. and i’m definitely in this one! i’ve got some trekking XXL in lovely browns that i’ll use. i even know what pattern! it’s the wyvern socks over at marnie’s. wheee!

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  32. I’m totally a Frank. Even with my store bought socks. Today I’m wearing socks that have flying pigs on them. I’d love to take this challenge. I’ll send some pictures soon.

  33. I am definitely a “Frank” those bright, wild colors appeal to me. I am in the process of knitting some rather Martha (for me) socks. Solid blue Lorna Lace’s Worsted weight. Now they are a “bright” blue, so not too sure if they will qualify. But for me they are very staid. Love the contest. I will post a picture when they are done!

  34. In life, I’m totally a Frank (ask my husband after he wakes up from his latest seizure over what I’ve done!) but in my socks, I’m totally a Martha. I like the Mank categorization, myself! I do have some absolutely beautiful hot pink and lime green yarn that I have been wondering why I bought it…I guess I was just waiting to find this blog! So, as soon as I get done knitting my brown or my grey martha socks (or I get out and buy another set of needles!) I’m casting on those beautiful Frank socks–thanks for that little push I needed!

  35. I am a Martha but have knit Franks socks for a people. I must admit that when I knit a Frank sock I don’t knit as much at one time. But when knitting a Martha sock I get done in record time. solved that problem by having two pairs going at all times each in its own project pack. Qhen I am tired of Frank I pick Martha up.
    That way I am always knitting socks!

  36. I was very happy to see my true desires for the colors on the photograph actually matched the colorways I work with in yarn. But I do have a dicotomy. I also love those gorgeous deep jewel colorways. I am a F – R – A – N – K. I am up to the challenge and I will try by best get a hidden characters out of me that cries, LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT!

  37. I think I have a dual personality when it comes to socks. Almost all the store-bought socks are Marthas. I open the sock drawer, and it is dark – lots of black and navy. But I’m knitting mostly Franks, so I guess I like knitting with the brighter colors. So today I ordered some Martha yarn for the challenge.

  38. I am a Frank. I don’t think I have much in the stash that will qualify as a Martha. I will have to take another look. I will have to visit the shop on Monday to look at all the new colors, searching for the right Martha.

  39. Where do we post our Frank/Martha socks. I have my Martha socks done. Come visit my blog to see them. They are doing double duty as “Box of Chocolate” socks too.

  40. The quiz indicates I’m a Martha, but really, when it comes to socks I’m a Frank. I guess I figure I can always wear them with boots or long jeans. 🙂

  41. I am so confused. My name is Martha and my brother’s name is Frank. He is conservative and I am not. After taking your test I should be a Frank and my brother should be a Martha.


  42. I am a Mank, Part Martha (the one to go for a job interview) and most of the times Frank, orange being my favourite colour.

    In the test it was 4/4, and in life it is that, too, depending on the mood.

    Does this mean I can combine? Like the toes and foot part of the sock is Martha style and the cuff is Frank?

    WOuld be interesting 🙂

  43. I’m definitely a Frank…although I don’t mind wearing Martha socks…I feel bored while holding Martha yarn. 🙂 Frankie Baby all the way!

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