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. Hm, I had two answers that were C, lol as in neither or both. But I’m DEFINITELY a Frank. Just look at my Flickr Sockophile photo collection. My friends all say I’m a challenged oriented knitter. 🙂 I can never find a pair of socks to match my neutral colored outfits. I don’t even own any solid colored sock yarns right now!

  2. I am a Fratha or is it a Marthank- 4 of each. I am drawn to bright flashy colors and then at the last minute the more conservative part of me wonders if they will match anything I own. Basically I am a walking contradiction

  3. I am also split right down the middle, half Frank half Martha. Or a Marank. I love all socks in all colors. I buy whatever color suits my mood at the time, I knit whatever color socks fit my mood at the time. I have been known to rip out socks halfway done because the color wasn’t suiting me anymore.
    I have 2 socks I am focusing on right now. One pair is the Jon’s Anniversox using CTH Java I purchased from you, and the other pair are the RPM socks from knitty using Over the Rainbow Superwash Twinkletoes yarn in Freaky purple colourway. There you have it, 2 totally opposite pair of socks, very Marank of me.

  4. Hi Sheri,
    I just read this thx to your enewsletter. I’m new to making socks and am just venturing to make a pair. I took your little survey and I’m a “Frank.” Who knew?! besides red being my absolute favorite color and all. I will plan on joining in next quarter and I’ve already picked a very Martha colorway. Thx for the fun, I look forward to seeing all the photos for this round.

  5. I am a Frank! (But an organised one…)

    I know this quarterly challenge is over, but I’m going to do it anyway! I recently bought some Louet Gems from you in a soft pearl grey and the Cookie A German Stocking pattern.

    I’m going to get my Martha Sock Groove on. 🙂

    Thanks for the challenge, Sheri!

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