Archive for the “sock” Category


After ripping back my failed attempt at a sock heel flap, I wound up the loose pile of yarn to keep it from tangling, waited for a quiet moment, and got to work on re-knitting the work I’d torn out. (My camera didn’t appreciate that the ‘quiet moment’ was also a dark one, so this photo’s a bit grainy. Oops!)

When the heel was turned, the gusset stitches picked up, a few rounds knit, that extra little ball was all gone, and I was pulling from the main ball of yarn again, I knew I’d gotten caught up. As a side note: I’ve turned lots of heels, but it still seems like a magic trick to make a three-dimensional pocket in an otherwise flat piece of fabric. I’m fascinated every time I do it.

Instead of following the pattern exactly, I slipped the first stitch of every row in the heel flap to make a much smoother edge. Not only does it look much nicer, but it’ll be far more comfortable to wear. As annoyed as I was to have to redo the work, I’m a better knitter for making (and correcting) errors – whether the error was mine, or part of the pattern as written. I won’t make that mistake again, for certain.

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I mentioned in my last post that I knit the heel flap and turn of the textured sock. Well. About that… The pattern instructions were to knit the heel flap in pattern, so I did. It didn’t mention that the first row of flap should be a wrong side row, so when I got to the heel turn and the pattern said to purl the first row, I was confused for a moment. But hey, whatever, I just knit a heel from the outside. No problem. (I’ve always started my heel flaps on the outside of the sock, but there’s nothing wrong with starting them from the inside. Either way works just fine.)

The pattern also didn’t say anything about slipping the first stitch of each heel flap row, and that sent up a number of red flags. But, trusting the pattern, I knit on. I turned the heel and picked up stitches for the gusset, and I started to have a bad feeling about the edge of the heel flap. No one else’s project notes mentioned a problem, so I decided to knit a few rounds of sock foot and see what was what.

It looks fine on the outside, with the new gusset stitches snugged up against the heel flap:

20161204_textured_heel_outside

But on the inside, there’s a nasty ridge of stitches. It might not look too bad in the photo, but in person it is, and it would be a really uncomfortable line down the sides of the sock if I left it like this.

20161204_textured_heel_inside_fail

The right thing to do is rip back and knit it again, with slipped stitches this time. I should have known better. Trust the pattern, but also trust your gut when it tells you that something’s going to come out wrong. It’s a minor setback, but still… Hrmph.

knits_angrily

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I bought this skein of Socks That Rock lightweight in the “Smokey Mountain Morn” colourway at Maryland Sheep and Wool in 2012, and last week decided to wind it up for a new traveling sock. The pattern, I thought to myself, should have some texture to it but a relatively easy stitch pattern to memorize, and after searching through Ravelry for what seemed like days I finally settled on Stanton. There were some runners-up that went into my library for later, too: Menehune Cobblestone, the Harris Tweed socks, and the very-popular Hermione’s Everyday Socks.

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On Friday morning, Michael and I boarded a plane to Las Vegas for our friends’ wedding, and I cast on and began to knit. (I was very pleased with myself for remembering how to do a slip-stitch cast on without having to look it up, too!) On Saturday I sat by the pool with the girls and knit…

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…and on Monday, when we had a five hour return trip on a plane without in-flight entertainment, I knit and knit and knit some more. The stitch pattern is fantastic. It was very easy to memorize (though I’m still figuring out how to ‘read’ it when I make the inevitable attention-wandering mistakes) and the texture works great with the spiraling colours. I’m just a few repeats away from the heel flap, which continues the textured pattern instead of going to the usual standard slip-stitch flap, and I’m excited to see how the colours will play out over the flap and gusset when the number of stitches changes.

I did feel a little guilty about starting a new sock when I have two already on the needles, but the Stripey Striped Sock is terrible for travel knitting as the yarn makes my hands ache, and I really didn’t like the idea of dropping a stitch of the Jaywalkers mid-flight. Both of those socks have been ongoing for way too long, though, and I really should buckle down and finish them.

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Hooray! I have a new pair of socks!

tiger_sock

I started the Tiger socks at the beginning of the year and now I’ve finished them just in time for fall. They’re a pretty standard 64-stitch sock, knit from Opal “Rainforest” yarn in the hard-to-find Tiger colourway. I bought two balls of it from a Raveler in Australia, if I remember correctly, way back in 2009! The white toes are knit with Valley Yarns Huntington that I bought at WEBS in January.

Usually, I try to make striped socks match each other. That just wasn’t possible in this case as the stripes were completely uneven – and towards the toe of the first sock, there’s a weird extra orange stripe in there. I don’t know how that happened; there wasn’t a knot or anything. But hey, real tigers aren’t always perfectly striped either.

Eventually, the other ball of Tiger yarn will become socks for Michael (though I think his will also have white cuffs, else we’ll never be able to tell our socks apart). There’s enough left over from the first ball to make a pair of fingerless gloves for myself, too!

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I started these socks back in January, and worked on them here and there without too much dedication. Although they came with me to many places, I neglected them in favour of other things. But then I had to attend a few long and boring meetings in an auditorium, and no one on the stage could see what I was doing, so I knit and knit and knit… and by late October I’d finished the first sock.

Then, I got a short-notice call that there would be a showing at my house, so I had to clear out for an hour. The yarn came with me, and I’d gotten halfway through the ribbing at the cuff before going home. A weekend of train rides followed, and with nothing else to do but knit, I charged through the leg of the second sock.

Several work-meetings and one long drive up to Vermont later, and I grafted the toe of the second sock just in time to get this project onto the 2015 list!

mindless_stockinette2

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I like to have a simple sock in progress that doesn’t take too much thought and is pretty impossible to mess up. Travel socks are great for knitting on the train or in the car on the way to ski areas, and I always have one with me just in case I get bored and need to kill time. I started this one last month on my way up to Hunter Mountain, and since taking this picture I’ve knit the heel flap and turn so it’ll be ready for my next train ride!

mindless_stockinette1

The yarn is Berroco Sox in the Mackintosh colourway, and I bought it last year when I went to Ottawa for Winterlude. I’m using a standard 64-stitch sock pattern that I’ve mushed together from a few other patterns: it has a 20-round cuff, a 32-row heel flap with a round heel turn that fits me well, and extra stitches picked up at the corner of the gussets to avoid the holes that often form there.

I’m not quite sure what I think of these colours together; do I like them even though they’re ugly, or do I like them because they’re ugly?

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I fell in love with this sock yarn as soon as I saw it, and I’ve finished the socks with plenty of time before winter! I have a daydream of showing them off, warming my toes at a ski lodge fire. They’re a standard top-down 64-stitch sock, no pattern in particular, though I used Jeny’s Stretchy Slipknot Cast-On rather than my usual long tail cast on. It’s a little more fiddly to get the tension right, but it let me start the yarn in exactly the right spot of the colour progression. This might be the first time I’ve deliberately made fraternally striping socks, rather than identical! The stripes were wide enough that I wasn’t sure I’d have enough yarn to make identical socks. As it turned out, I could have… but I think I like them better this way. I love how the heel takes up exactly one triple-stripe of the same colour. It prevents the “skipping” look over the ankle that some striped yarns have.

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Michael asked for some slightly more obnoxious socks than his usual subtle blues, and chose some Patons Kroy in Rainbow Stripes. The cuffs, heels, and toes are worked in navy just to make sure that the sock legs would be tall enough. (They’re almost. They could even be an inch taller.) I used the same basic pattern with a dutch heel that I’ve used before on his socks, because I know it fits him well. The second sock is still in progress.

kroy_me_a_rainbow1

And then there’s this… Dragonfly Fibers Traveler yarn, in the “Firecracker” colourway, that I bought at MDSW this past year and in three weeks, designed and knit the most delightful hat. I’m in the process of writing up the pattern so that I can share it. Trust me, you don’t want to try to knit from my notes – they’re covered in scribbles, doodles, design concepts, and lots of things crossed out. But the hat is beautiful, and shows off the variegated yarn perfectly. I hope to have the pattern published soon so that I can post pictures!

dragonfly_fibers-traveler2

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Introducing… the Choppy Seas socks!

choppy-worn

These textured socks are reminiscent of the ocean on a stormy day, and the stitch pattern rolls and breaks like choppy waves. The darkening sky is represented in the contrasting toes, heels, and cuffs. Knit with Patons Kroy Sock over 60 stitches on US2/2.75mm needles, it works up fairly quickly.

choppy-heel

Although the stitch repeat begins with a purl stitch, the pattern draws in like ribbing, and so laddering is not an issue. Because of the stretchiness, one size should fit most. Because I’ve only written the pattern for one size (though its stretchiness will accommodate a wide range of foot widths) and because of the potential annoyance of beginning needles with purl stitches, I’m offering this pattern for free!

Get it on Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/choppy-seas

And here are some more pictures:

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choppy1

choppy-cuff

choppy-pair

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One of the souvenir sock yarns I bought at Winterlude this year was a ball of ONline Supersocke 100 Paradise in a colourway that reminded me of skiing in 1986. (I didn’t ski then, but that’s what the colours looked like to me.) Then I took up snowboarding in February and realized that it’s 1986 all over again: everything is bright pink, purple, and turquoise. So I decided to bump this sock up to the top of my queue before the colours go out of fashion again!

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I knit much of the first sock’s leg on my way to the slopes earlier this month, getting close to the heel flap and turn before coming home from that trip. Last night I knit the heel flap, turned the heel, and sleepily picked up the gusset stitches before bed. I even remembered to take notes on the project page so I could be assured of making the second sock just like the first!

1986

This is my first time knitting with Supersocke 100, but it won’t be the last – I picked up a second souvenir in a semi-solid mauve colour, and am planning to design cabled socks with it. The yarn is a little bit slippery, but not too bad. I could see how it might be splitty if my needles weren’t sharp, though. I’m getting a nice fabric on US 1s, soft but not too loose, and I’ve been careful to rotate the stitches every few rounds so I don’t get too much laddering between the needles.

Of course, now that spring has sprung I have less need for wool socks, but I’m sure these colours will still be reasonably “in” next winter too.

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The new pattern is being proofread, and should be published early this week!

choppy-heel

Look for the “Choppy Seas” sock pattern here and on Ravelry. It’ll be a free download for your knitting enjoyment!

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