Archive for the “sock” Category

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.

skiing1

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:

choppy2

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!

online_supersocke_paradise-1444

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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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_rusty_stripes

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.

rusty_stripes_socks

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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