Archive for the “Sibling Socks” Category
I’m just past the gusset decreases and into the foot of the first Timey-Wimey Jaywalker, and very near the toe of the second Sibling Sock, so I’ve swapped them out: the Jaywalkers are going to become my traveling sock and I’m cranking away on the Sibling sock right now, hoping to finish it (and the pair!) tonight. Pirate-Husband and I are going to be at a party from tomorrow morning into Monday afternoon, so I should be able to put a few more inches onto the Jaywalkers then. One of the goals of the gathering is to fell three large trees, something I’m just not physically up to right now, so I plan to knit and watch stronger people swing axes and wield chainsaws.
The math to convert my Fleep-Tops to a larger size for Michael was giving me fits. I mis-read my notes, then I mis-judged, and then I mis-calculated, but eventually figured out what to do. The numbers should all be right now, but there’s only so far I can go before I’ll want him to try them on for perfect sizing. Once I have the first one done, the second will be much faster.
Happy news: I just found out that my friend Angie is pregnant with her first! She’s only seven weeks along, but I’m already planning out what to knit for her. I ordered the yarn from WEBS this morning, and downloaded some patterns from Ravelry. Knitting babyclothes is total instant gratification!
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I’d been putting off writing out the pattern for the Sibling Socks for too long. There were a few portions of my notes that made sense to me, but I knew that I’d have to be more clear if I wanted to share the pattern. So after I made myself sit down with my notes and just write them out already, I felt that I deserved some kind of prize for getting the pattern published and released into the wild.
There are some things I’m already wondering about – should I have made the heel flap longer on the larger size, or is that the kind of thing that knitters will adjust based on the sock’s recipient? Did I describe what I meant clearly enough? Are there any horrible mistakes or typos? I’m sure it will be just fine, and if it’s not, then surely the first few people to knit the pattern won’t hesitate to let me know if I’ve made an error.
My reward for publishing, with some poking from my sister the Ninja, was to cast on for a new pair of Jaywalkers with the Felici Time Traveler yarn. First, I figured out that if I wanted the socks to match, I’d lose the least amount of yarn by starting with the red stripe. Then I cast on and worked on the cuff while we watched Saturday Night Live. I knit while we watched the F1 race in Monaco, I knit while Pirate-Husband watched the Mazda MX-5 race at Virginia International Raceway, and I knit (and drank beer) while he played Assassin’s Creed 2. I haven’t had a whole day to just sit around and knit in a long time. It was lovely.
I like the Felici yarn, but I’m not yet sure if I love it. It is soft and it smells nice, but it feels just slightly thinner than what I think of as ‘standard’ sock yarn like Regia, Lang, or Lana Grossa. So far I’ve had minimal trouble with it being splitty, even in working the double decreases. The real test will be how well the finished socks wear, but they’re going so fast that it won’t be too long before I find out. (The socks are further along than this now, but it got too dark to take good pictures.)
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This snugly-fitting ribbed sock design grew from a shortage of fine-gauge sock patterns. I was working with Trekking XXL to make a pair of socks for my sworn-brother Michael. When I swatched on size 0 needles, I got an gauge of 45 stitches to 4 inches – somewhat incredible, since most of the sock patterns I’ve seen are written for more like 32 stitches to 4 inches. I decided that I would just design my own pattern for this fine yarn, and I called it “Brother’s Socks.”
After I knit the same pattern in a slightly smaller size for myself, they were given a new name – “Sibling Socks” – and I am pleased to be able to share the pattern in both sizes! The ribbing means these would be great gift socks even if you don’t know your recipient’s exact width, since it will stretch to accommodate his or her foot.
SIZE: M [L] (blue colorway #71 shown in size L, brown colorway #90 in size M)
FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: To fit a foot that’s 8.25 [9.5] inches around at widest point.
YARN: Trekking XXL [75% wool, 25% nylon; 100g/459 yards] or any other light fingering weight yarn to get gauge. I needed 1.25 balls of Trekking to knit the larger size, because they’d been requested with longer legs. You could probably get away with only one ball if you make the leg shorter or if you have smaller feet. I made the leg shorter on the smaller size, and had plenty of yarn left over.
GAUGE: 45 sts/42 rounds = 4″ in stockinette stitch
AND ALSO: five US 0/2mm double-point needles and a stitch marker.
Sibling Socks pattern – pdf format
Sibling Socks page on Ravelry.com
Important Copyright Information:
The Sibling Sock Knitting Pattern by Knitting Pirate is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. You may make copies for your own personal use, but you may not sell copies of the pattern. You may sell the socks you make provided that credit is given to the Knitting Pirate for the design. If you have any questions about what you can or can’t do with this pattern, please feel free to contact the Knitting Pirate.
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Like so many people I know, I am a procrastinator. Getting started is the hardest part of a project for me. Once I get going, the momentum will keep me working for a while. The other day I was linked to an amazing post from Make Great Stuff titled Getting Jump Started, and I thought it would be a great thing to try.
Sometimes I’m hesitant to start working on a project because I don’t think that I have enough time to really get into it. But most of my hobbies are cumulative, in that I don’t have to work in big chunks at a time. If I read a chapter a night, I’ll finish the book eventually. If I practice for twenty minutes a day, I’ll actually improve faster than if I spend two and a half hours at it once a week. And if I knit a few rows whenever I have some down time, I’ll have new socks sooner than if I only pick up the knitting when I have a lot of time free.
But twenty minutes… I have lots of twenty minuteses. Last night I had an hour free with nothing planned – I had three blocks of twenty minutes! Suddenly I felt as if I could do three things instead of none! So I read two chapters of my book, played guitar for a little bit, and finished the heel flap and turn on the second Sibling Sock (this bit took more than twenty minutes, but that’s kind of the point; you don’t have to stop working just because the timer goes off). Tonight I’ll pick up the stitches for the gusset and work on the decreases, and pretty soon I’ll be able to take the sock along with me again. I tend to leave even the simplest socks-in-progress at home when I’m at a section that requires counting (like a heel flap) or concentration (like a heel turn). Now that my wrists are feeling better and the sock will soon be past the heel, I can bring it out in public.
I did have some trouble with the heel turn numbers until I found where I’d scribbled notes for new numbers on the back of the pattern. Before I publish this, I will either have to knit sample heels in both sizes to check that I’ve got it right, or I will have to recruit some test knitters. I’m excited to be preparing a second pattern to share with the world! When I’ve finished the pair, I might treat myself to a pair of nice sock blockers so that I can take better pictures of them.
For the curious or potentially-interested, the Sibling Socks are knit with Trekking XXL on size 0 needles at 45 stitches/4 inches. There seems to be a lack of free fine-gauge sock patterns out there, and I hope this pattern will help fill that gap.
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Sometimes it’s difficult to choose a traveling project without casting on for something new, and sometimes it’s really obvious. Fortunately for me, this is one of the obvious times! On Wednesday I’ve a four and a half hour train trip, followed by an eight hour drive on Thursday, and then a long weekend in Ottawa with my sworn-sister, the Knitting Ninja and some of our friends.
In preparation, I cast on last night for the second of the Sibling Socks, an easy project to bring along that not only won’t take up too much space, but also won’t be too hard to work on while drinking beer and playing games. I haven’t traveled by train since I was in college, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to knit without getting motion-sickness. I’m going to give it a try!
Here’s something that you might find hard to believe: I turned down a trip to WEBS. One of the potential routes to Canada puts us in the neighborhood of America’s Yarn Store, and I actually said “let’s not go this year.” We’ve stopped at WEBS for the past few years, so I feel as though I’ve accomplished my pilgrimage as a knitter. I really don’t need any impulse yarn, and I’m sure to buy some if we stop. And… we’re going to visit yarn stores in Ottawa. Not that the exchange rate is super-favorable to American dollars at the moment, but I’d rather see if I can pick up a souvenir from another country that I might not be able to get in the States.
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This is the first of the Stripey Striped Socks. I don’t think I’ve had a love-hate relationship with a yarn like this before. The only thing that might come close is the Plymouth Sockotta that I used for Pomatomus. The colors are just perfect, but knitting with the yarn… not so much.
I hate to admit it, but I’d kinda like a second pair of these. I’ve seen some gorgeous knee-high versions that alternate white with the colors. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the stripes!
The Sibling Sock is stripey in a whole different way. Trekking XXL is a beautiful thin yarn which comes together in completely random stripes. This is a skein which Janis gave me as a gift a few years ago. The leg is a little short because I was paranoid of running out of yarn, but that’s all right; I’m sure the leftovers will be put to use somewhere. When the sock is done, I plan to write up the pattern for it in two sizes, and then publish it.
One of my goals for 2010 is to finish all the socks I have on the needles. Another is to publish at least two patterns. I have the first one nearly done and ready to go… but I don’t yet know what the second one will be.
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Last night, I went out with Pirate-Husband and a bunch of his now-former co-workers to celebrate his last day at his job. He is moving on from being “Field Services Manager” at a construction engineering firm, to being “Vice President of Business Development” at the marketing arm of a company selling energy management services. It is a big, exciting step up!
Anyway, because it was his celebration, I volunteered to be the designated driver, but I got a little restless after I had switched from beer to water and everyone else was still drinking. Fortunately, I had the Sibling Sock in my purse. (Why yes, I did choose that purse specifically because it has a compartment which is perfectly sized for a 100g ball of sock yarn and the in-progress sock!) I thought about it for a while. After all, you never know how people will react to knitting, and–
Then I came to a conclusion: Who cares?
I knit about an inch of sock while we sat and talked, and at first everyone was interested – ooh, what’s that? I can only knit scarves. I never learned to knit but wow, that looks great! After about five minutes, my knitting just sort of faded into the background, and became a non-issue. It was perfect.
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With very little complication, the second edition of the Brother Sock is well on its way towards completion. I did have to futz with the heel numbers a bit – how do those numbers work? They never seem to come out even when I try to make them up myself. I bet there’s a formula… or maybe it will just become intuitive with time and practice.
I really like the colors of this yarn, sand and blues and peaches in random striping. It’s Trekking XXL in colorway 90, which Janis gave to me as a present some years ago. I’d started a ribbed sock with it that came out way too tightly, but with 80 stitches instead of 64, it’s fitting much better now! I deliberately made the leg of this one on the short side, so that I won’t run into the same problem as the last time I knit a sock with Trekking XXL. There’s always the possibility of reknitting, if I find I’ve got lots of yarn left over at the end, and if I decide that I really do want taller socks after all.
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Here is a not-so-great phone camera picture of the beginning of the smaller size of the Brother sock pattern I am designing. I cast on 80 stitches on Saturday morning, after some “emergency” text messages to Michael to find out how well his pair fit him, and to remind me of how many stitches in the ribbing. He gets brownie points for being able to read knitting, that’s for sure, and I lose points for not taking better notes the first time I knit this pattern. How silly of me!
I like fine-gauge socks, and there aren’t too many patterns for them out there. These are knit at 45 stitches to 4 inches, which is not really too hard. I have to keep in mind that the legs should be made slightly shorter than usual, because the fine gauge uses up more yardage than a thicker yarn would. Even with my size 10.5 feet, I can get a pair of crew-length socks, just below my calf muscle, from a regular 100g ball of sock yarn – so I should be able to knit something taller than anklets from the Trekking. I thought about knitting the cuffs, heels and toes from a contrasting color of yarn, but decided that I didn’t like the way it looked with the options of colors I had in my stash. I will write it into the pattern as a suggestion for other knitters with large feet.
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I don’t know why this is, but it’s true: lots of new and new-ish spinners have never knit with their handspun yarn. Oh, maybe a gauge swatch, a little test here and there, but never an actual finished object.
Janis and I learned to spin at exactly the same time, at the 2007 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Two years have gone by and neither of us has ever knit with our own handspun! How crazy is that? So we’ve committed to each starting a sock with our own yarn. I’ll be using the BFL, and knitting toe-up and plain stockinette. I haven’t yet swatched, but the yarn is fine enough that I might have to go down to size 0 needles, and I want to get as much sock as possible from this yarn.
Just to hedge my vacation-knitting bets, I’m also going to bring a ball of Trekking XXL with me. I have been wanting to knit a pair of “Brother’s Socks” for myself in my own size, so that I can write up the pattern in two sizes and get it published already. I just need to work out the heel and toe numbers; the rest is almost exactly the same. Conveniently, I already know what gauge I get with Trekking; a horrifyingly small 45 stitches to four inches. I’ll be using the yarn that didn’t work out for my previous attempt at ribbed socks. Now I know I need many, many more stitches than what I cast on last time!
I briefly considered bringing the green yarn and chart for the “Verdant” socks that I began in the class I took with Cookie A. last year, but I think those may take too much concentration to be vacation socks. I still need to come up with a ribbing that flows into the pattern, and the charted lace takes all of my brain-power… which is in short supply in the heat of the day.
Anyway, I’ll only be gone for nine days! As much as I think I’m going to sit around knitting, I’m not very quick at it. Not to mention all the spinning I’ll have with me. I think I’ll be able to keep myself occupied with two socks and a half-ton of fiber.
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