Archive for the “sock” Category

One of the works-in-progress that I want to finish during the Olympics is a project that I started a few months ago – my next sock design! It has a nifty twelve-row textured pattern that draws in like ribbing for a cushy snug fit. Knit with Patons Kroy Sock (one of my new favourite sock yarns!) in “Camo Colours” over 60 stitches on US2/2.75mm needles, it works up fairly quickly.

The only potential issue with this pattern is that each needle begins with a purl stitch. While this isn’t really a problem for me, I know that many knitters don’t like to do that. Fortunately, the pattern pulls in well enough that any looseness is taken up, and I’m sure a good soak or wash and wear would take care of uneven stitches. When knitting the foot, a few of the stockinette stitches from the sole can be rotated around so that the needle begins with the preferred knit stitch.

I’m reluctant to show this one off while it’s still in progress, so here’s a picture of the ball of yarn, half-knit up. I love the pattern made by the criss-crossing strands and gentle gradient. One day I’d like to see the machinery that winds balls of yarn. I’m fascinated by how the winding pattern on the inside of the ball is so different from the outside.

Sekrit Sock

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 going to offer this pattern for free! I hope to have it all typed up and formatted for publication in the next month or so. Keep an eye out!

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Last night I finished the first of the Rusty Stripes socks, and I tried an afterthought heel for the first time. With an afterthought heel, you knit in a piece of waste yarn where the heel will eventually go, and keep knitting the rest of the sock. That way, you don’t break up the stripe sequence with the yarn used for the heel. After the rest of the sock is done, you pick up stitches around the waste yarn and discard it, then knit a heel into the hole created. Here’s the sock with stitches picked up, ready for its heel:

Putting the heel in

Here is the finished sock. If my feet were fractionally shorter, the heel would be perfectly lined up with that stripe. Ah well, can’t have everything!

Rusty Stripes Sock

The pattern I used was actually for a top-down sock, but I changed it to be toe-up because I didn’t know how far the yarn would go. I did have enough yarn to make the sock a little taller, but I wanted to get the colour of the heel right – so I stopped where I did, and I think it looks just fine.

I did have a bit of a gap where the heel connected with the rest of the sock. On one side I used the yarn-tail to sew it shut, and on the other side I pulled the stitches tight to close it up. I’m not sure if this is just what happens with afterthought heels, or if I did something wrong – but it looks fine now, so it doesn’t matter! I’m sure it will even out more after it’s washed, too.

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Tropical Storm Andrea is making its way up the coast and it’s a cool, rainy day here. I’m working on the Rusty Stripes sock with the new aluminum needles, and the cats… well, they’ve gone into double-decker mode.

double-decker cats

They look so cozy and warm. I can’t really say I blame them.

double-decker cats 2

This afghan needs to be replaced as it doesn’t actually belong to me, so I have to decide if I’m going to make another ripple blanket (iconic! traditional!) or do something modular like this mitred squares pattern. There are pros and cons to each, and I really can’t decide! Which would you make?

Floyd and Kipling seem to like the ripple, but I’m pretty sure they’d like mitred squares just as much.

double-decker cats

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Yesterday I needed to do some grocery shopping, and my supermarket is in the same shopping center as a Michaels. I was just going to see if they had good afghan yarn, because I’m planning to make a new couch-blanket for Kipling. Then I was just going to take a look at the Sugar ‘n Cream colourways, because I’m out of variegated washcloth yarn. Then I saw this yarn, and I’m sorry to report, dear readers, that I said some unprintable words about Patons, right there in the aisle, for continuing to make sock yarn in colours that I cannot resist. The colours, and having a 50% off coupon in one’s pocket tends to make resistance a little… well… futile. As they say.


Patons Kroy Socks Stripes, in the “Rusty Stripes” colourway, came home with me yesterday. I called it a treat to celebrate almost having a new job! And after very little resistance, plus some advice from my #ravelry IRC friends about how Kroy is thicker than “standard” sock yarn, I decided to start a toe-up sock on US 2 / 2.75mm needles. I started with a fourteen-loop figure-eight toe and increased to 56 stitches, and knit all evening at Neighbour Sarah’s house whilst drinking beer.

This morning, tragedy struck.


That is – that WAS – a Brittany birch needle. I commented to Sarah last night how I felt it flexing while I was knitting, and this morning it flexed just slightly past its breaking point. Well, I’ve another 50% off coupon in my pocket, and I’ll be right near another Michaels this afternoon. How about some aluminum needles, this time?

The tricky part will be refraining from bringing more Kroy yarn home with me, especially now that I know how fast it knits up. Broken needle aside, do you see how much sock I knit in just one night? That’s a lot of sock! That’s only an inch or two from the heel turn. In just one night! Yup. Resistance is indeed futile.

(I should mention that Brittany needles are guaranteed for five years, and I’ve already filled out the replacement form. That is good customer service!)

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This afternoon I went again to the LYS for an hour or so of knitting. I had a plan; I was going to finish the gusset and turn the heel of a sock that I hadn’t expected to give me any trouble. As I got to the heel turn, I measured it up against the first sock and was surprised to find that my stripes were off by several rows. I’m usually more even with my gauge than that. (There was that one time that I knit several seriously tight rows on a scarf whilst having a stress-inducing conversation with my ex-mother-in-law, but other than that… *grin*)

I counted stitches, I checked the pattern, and then I realized… I’d made a mistake. I was supposed to have done the gusset over 34 stitches, not 32. The instep was supposed to have 30 stitches, not 32. I didn’t hesitate; I pulled the needles out of the sock and ripped back to just before I’d started the increases. Then I heaved a sigh, said something like “rassum frassum yar grr rar stupid sock, stupid gusset, arr yar grr rar,” and got the stitches back onto the needles, all in the right order, and lined up so that the heel will be in the proper orientation to the toe (I hope).

After that I didn’t really feel like knitting any more. But it’s ready to go… when I’ve forgiven it.

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Between going to the Sit ‘n Knit at the yarn store last week, knitting before the Tom Paxton show on Saturday, a meetup group on Sunday, and Hurricane Sandy, I was able to finish my very own pair of Cakewalk Socks! Hooray! Now, for each of those things in order:

My local yarn store is open until 8pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and last week I went to hang out and get some knitting done. There was one other woman there besides the owner, and we had a lovely time knitting and talking. She was working on an Advent Shawl, which is made up of 24 small sections of different lace patterns, one after the next. I did take a walk around the store, but bought nothing. Impressive, I think.

On Saturday I went with my parents and their friends to see Tom Paxton in concert. Mom’s friend Jan taught her to knit when they were in college together, and it was really neat to finally meet the person responsible for my addictionhobby! We talked about all things fibre while we were having a pre-concert drink, and I worked on the sock.

Sunday morning I went to a meetup group for drawing and other creative stuff, and knit some more on the sock until I got up to the toe. Without a measuring tape or the first sock with me, I had to put it away for later.

Then, of course, I was stuck at home for two days during Hurricane Sandy. I spent most of Monday cooking and being domestic, but on Tuesday I finished the toe, kitchenered it shut, wove in the ends (chasing Floyd away from the needles at every turn) and now I am proud to present my newest pair of socks!

Except there’s one problem. It’s been very wet, and now it’s also dark, and I can’t get a good picture of both socks together. The second sock looks just like the first… Hopefully I will be able to get a good picture soon! In the meantime, the pic at the top of the post is the first sock, taken in much better weather.

Tree Down from Hurricane Sandy

By the way, when I say I was stuck at home… there was a tree across my driveway. It’s been moved now, thanks to my awesome neighbours. We used the floor jack to lever it up and over the rocks, and now it’s the new border to my driveway. I should probably get my chainsaw fixed so if this happens again, it won’t be a problem.

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After the camp at Pennsic was set up, it was time to start knitting! I got out the Traveling Sock, only a few stripes from the heel, and… couldn’t find the pattern. The one with my notes on it from the first sock. The one without which I’m going to have some trouble making the second sock just like the first. Fortunately, I wrote down what I did in my post about the first sock, and that should help me out – but I didn’t have net access for it while I was at War.

So, without taking much time to worry about it, I thanked myself for having brought another skein of sock yarn, and over the course of the week knit the first sock and got a good start on the leg of the second! I’m using my own Cakewalk pattern, making it for myself for the first time!

The yarn is from Periwinkle Sheep, and I bought it last fall at Rhinebeck. I had a good time explaining to my friends how I buy souvenir yarn now, rather than stash-enhancing yarn, and then when I knit it I remember when and where I bought it… and when I wear it, I remember the knitting too!

The colourway is called “Grass in a Crack in the Sidewalk,” and as a result, my usual background of the rocks in my yard wasn’t the best. The tan rocks that were collected for the fishond give a better contrast.

Overall, I’m really pleased with this yarn. I found a few spots where the plies had become separated, and two of the strands had pulled so far out that it was impossible to work them back in. I’m sure it was my fault; it either happened when I wound the yarn into a cake or during its travels to the War. In any case, I folded them down and knit them in, almost like holding the yarn double, and I can’t find the spot now where I did it.

Can’t wait for these to be done – along with the Traveling Socks – so I can have warm feet this winter!

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“Do you think, if we blockade her bag, she won’t be able to leave?”

“I don’t know, man.”

“It’s worth a shot. Come on, I’ll take this side, you stretch out over there. She’ll never be able to get through us.”

“This has never worked before… but okay.”

I am heading off for a two week vacation! The hardest part of packing was choosing what knitting projects to bring. I’m just about up to the heel turn on the second of my traveling socks, so I decided to bring another skein of sock yarn with me. I chose the Periwinkle Sheep that I got at Rhinebeck last year, and I’m finally going to make Cakewalk socks for myself.

Then I thought, maybe that’s not enough. Maybe I should bring yarn for the fancy cabled kneesocks that I’ve been wanting to knit for years. Should it be Clessidra? Or Rhiannon?

Then I realized that as tempting as it may be to say that I’d have two weeks of pure knitting time, the truth is that I’m not going to work on something fancy or complicated at Pennsic. It takes too much concentration. I need something simple that I can do whilst holding a conversation, something I can put down and pick up without losing my place.

The yarn for my new dark green Fleeps is in the bag.

I don’t have any posts queued up for while I’m gone, but I’ll see you all in two weeks!

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I am doing the Tour de Fleece! I just don’t have any pictures yet. Soon, soon!

Meanwhile, here is a picture of Mom’s VERY FIRST SOCK. Isn’t it lovely? And it fits perfectly! I am so proud of her for taking on this project and doing such a good job of it.

I visited with my parents on Sunday and helped Mom with grafting the toe of her sock together. We had a good laugh about mistakes in knitting, and how I’m so good at fixing them because I’ve made so many of them!

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On Sunday I went to my parents’ house to celebrate Mother’s Day, and after lunch we sat on the screen porch and I helped Mom with the heel turn on her very first sock (and put some stripes on my own sock while I was at it). Here are the mother and daughter socks:

Knitting with other people is cool, but there’s something extra-special about knitting with my mom. L’dor v’dor, from generation to generation, this is what happy memories are made of. I’m going to have to start knitting around the nieceling in hopes that she takes an interest.

(Mom thought I would write it up to be embarrassing that she needed help with the heel turn but I didn’t, so there. And just in case, I will point out that on my Very First Sock, I was so confused about the heel turn that I set the sock aside and knit another project or two before I convinced myself to just do it. First heel turns *are* confusing and I wouldn’t hold it against anyone for needing a little help or guidance.)

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