Tag Archives: socks

Georgeous Plum Yarn and a New Indie Dyer

I recently discovered Mellifera Yarns. I ordered Tuesday and this lovely package arrived Wednesday with faultless customer service from Mel.

New Yarn!

The yarn is a merino blend (75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon, 420m/460 yards) and I’ve decided its going to become a pair of socks but I’m still playing around with design ideas, twisted stitches? Mini cables? Slipped stitches? I can’t wait to get swatching and try them out!

Darn it!

I’ve got a few pairs of socks that have reached the ‘won’t survive another wearing’ stage and are awaiting repair. Darning them is one of those jobs that I’m always going to get around to doing and then never do, after all it’s boring and fiddy and I could be knitting instead!

There are several ways to fix a sock. For toes and after-thought/short-row heels you can simply snip a couple of threads of yarn, remove the offending heel/toe and pick up the live stitches to knit a new one. Or you can use Swiss darning which is a form of duplicate stitch to go over the weak spots and create a patch. And there’s also the more traditional darning technique of creating a frame using thread to make new stitches over a hole.

My heels are mainly heel flap and gusset and I don’t think they’d survive an attempt at Swiss darning however, last week I found Knit Picks’ tutorials on darning socks and realised that it would actually be very simple to just knit a patch onto the sock. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before!

Before: (You can see why I didn’t want to attempt Swiss darning!)

This sock has no black in it.

After:

Darned!

With over 3 years of wearing and washing I had forgot how vibrant the colours originally were! I did wonder if I’d be able to feel the edges of the patch but I thankfully can’t, the heel feels a bit more padded than my other socks but its comfortable and will probably fade when the original sock heel wears away completely.

The socks that have worn out quickest have been (perhaps unsurprisingly) pure wool socks, either 100% Merino or Blue Faced Leicester. I’m not saying I’ll never knit 100% wool socks ever again, they did alright for a few years not weeks, but I’ll certainly think twice now before using a yarn without any nylon for socks.

Wimblelympic Socks

I’m just past the heel on my Wimblelympic socks (confused? Look here to find out about the Wimblelympics.)

They are turning out perfectly so far! I’m very pleased with them. I love the colour, the stitch pattern and the speed its knitting up with. I have just 62 stitches on the needles which stretches nicely to open up the lace and is a lot less than my normal 68+ stitches I usually have for socks. Add that to the fact that every other round is only knitting and you get very speedy knitting!

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The little details are what I think really make this sock shine, like this motif on the gusset:

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I figured there was no real reason to leave the gussets plain so I embellished them, the motif is one I used as a leg detail on my Embellishing the Colour socks (which is a free Ravelry download if you want to use it yourself).

DSC_2130

I’m still a little shy of halfway through my 50g ball of yarn so the knee high socks are looking more likely. I’ve added a little cable detail running up the back of the leg which will look great if I decide to add calf increases. Can you tell how proud I am of these socks? They’re going so smoothly that’s I’m half expecting something to go wrong soon. Maybe the problems are going to come when I write the pattern up… I haven’t started that yet! :)

Swatch This Space

Over at the Knitting Goddess (and Gods) group on Ravelry, there’s a tonne of Wimbledon themed fun courtesy of the lovely moderators. Amongst other things, there’s a quiz (of which I knew no answers but I think my mum might have done rather well) and a knit a long which is similar to the knitting olympics with various events.

I’ve entered the ‘Short Volley’ category (for Socks, Stockings, Slippers, Bootees, Leg Warmers) and I’m planning on using my semi solid gold yarn to design some lacy socks for summer.

Semi Solid Gold

I’m tempted to make them knee-high (I seem to want make all my socks knee-high at the moment, not sure why) but I think that might be a bit too much to do in a fortnight. Since I’m doing them toe-up I can see how it goes and decide later. I’m also going to challenge myself to write the pattern up within the two weeks.

I’ve been swatching

More swatching

and swatching

Swatching

and even more swatching

Even more swatching

and now that I think I’ve decided on a design I can’t wait to start! Which swatch do you think I’ll have gone for? Pictures coming soon!

Aims and Goals

I’ve decided to try and finish the socks on the my needles this month. I have 3 and currently they look like this:

3 Socks on the Needles

The orange socks are my Rick socks.
The purple and black are my Gothic Anastasia Delight socks.
The grey pair are my Bootiful socks (aka Rhiannon Socks.)

It might be a bit amibitious as I’ll need to finish a sock every 4.3 days but it’s doable and by rotating which pair I’m working on I’ll stave off Second Sock Syndrome. I may make it even more doable by frogging the Rhiannon socks. It turns out the yarn (Zettl Sockenwolle Treviso) is not superwash like it says on the label and apparently felts easily. I don’t mind have a pair of handwash socks, but if they’re going to felt quickly with normal wear then I’d rather make socks that aren’t as time consuming and pretty as Rhiannon. I’ll see how a small swatch fairs and let you know.

I’ve also been reassessing my New Years Resolutions. I set myself Eight Knitting Resolutions which works out to two every three months, so I’ve picked out two to finish by the end of March:

1. Write up and publish a pattern for sale. Also, spend more time writing up patterns in general.
I’ve spent more time writing up patterns. I’ve got a pattern test knitted and almost ready for release. So I think I will be able to tick this one off by the end of March.

3. Blog regularly(ish).
There’s been a couple of ‘ish’ spots since January but on the whole I think I’ve already achieved this one. :)

Roll On Rick

After a tonne of stocking stitch knitting and ripping heels multiple times I decided my next sock needed to be something both easier and more challenging . Something with interesting stitches and a pattern where all I had to do was follow the instructions.

My copy of Sock Innovation is due back at the library soon so I figured now was the time to start on the Rick socks I had earmarked my bright orange yarn for.

Progress so far:
The Leg

The pattern is easily adjustable so to accommodate my 9″ foot I’ve added on an extra pattern repeat and cast on 72 stitches. The first couple of chart repeats I had to take on a bit of faith. It seemed strange to me to not have a plain round between the decrease and YO round but after checking I was reading the chart right I just blindly followed it and sure enough the pattern began to emerge.

The YO increases at the end of each repeat looked a bit messy to me, especially when compared to the ones between the ssk decreases. When you ktbl in a YO it twists the YO closed, I figured that had to be the problem so I’m knitting each one now and it looks a lot better. However, I’m not going to rip back the repeats I’ve already done, no one is going to notice a slight difference in an inch of sock that is probably going to spend much of it’s time inside of my jeans!

I spent a bit of time today trying to figure out the heel turn, I wasn’t sure how to size up Cookie A’s instructions for 60 stitches into 72 stitches. Then I remembered that this was supposed to be an easy pattern where I just followed someone elses instructions and as long as the stitches aligned for the foot chart did it really matter what number of stitches I used?

I’ve decided it doesn’t. I’m doing my heel flap over 36st and I’m going to work the foot chart with 2 stitches either side in plain stocking stitch.

Keep an eye out. My next post will probably be titled: Yes, it does matter.

Yummy Socks!

I really love these socks, they’re so pretty!

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The yarn is The Knitting Goddesses Take Five sock yarn (75% superwash merino, 25% nylon). They are the first pair of socks I’ve knit using magic loop and I think my dpns might get a little neglected now because I really enjoyed it!

Although it is pretty much just a vanilla sock I did make some modifications. I wanted the look of a short row heel in the contrasting colour but unfortunately I’ve always found that style of heel doesn’t fit my foot that well. I could have done a gusset and heel flap but I would have lost the look and probably ended up with pooling. I really didn’t want to break up the colours like that, so I experimented with using a combination of a mini-gusset and a short row heel turn and it fits perfectly. Really, really perfectly. Makes having to rip out the heels twice totally worth it!

I’ve also avoided major pooling, you can see the purple around the ankle has striped a bit but it’s the only section and it’s not very noticable.

DSC_1914

There are few more pictures on my Ravelry project page.

I wrote the pattern up mainly for my own use on future socks but as it might be useful to others too I’m sharing it here. The pattern is designed for feet measuring 9″ in circumference. However, as it is simply stocking stitch you can easily add or subtract stitches to achieve your perfect fit. Keep in mind that the stitches need to be a multiple of 4 if you want to use the same cuff that I did.

This is proof read but not test knitted so if you see any mistakes or something that doesn’t make sense to you, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’d also love to know if you use the pattern (or are intending to), partly because I love to see what other people knit and partly because if there is enough interest I may write it up formally with extra sizes and add it to Ravelry. :)

Take Five Sock Recipe

Gauge: 8st and 13 rows = 1″
Needles: 2.25mm or size required to achieve gauge
Yarn: 100g 4ply yarn in 5 colours (20g per colour)

Using Magic Cast On, CO 24st (12st on each needle)
Work 1 round, placing markers at the beginning and half way point of the round.
Round 1: (kfb, knit to 2st before marker, kfb, k1) rep. twice per round
Round 2: Knit
Repeat last two rounds until you have 68st.
Work 2 rounds in stocking stitch.

Change colour and continue to work in stocking stitch until work measures 2.5″ less than length of foot. Change colour after every 13 rounds.

Gusset
Next round: K34, k1, M1R, knit to last 2 stitches, M1L, k1.
Next round: Knit

Repeat these two rounds until you have 82st (7 repeats total).

Heel
Next row: k36, sl1, change to heel colour and k40, wrap next stitch and turn.
Next row: p39, wrap next stitch and turn.

Repeat last 2 rounds a total of 11 times.

Row 1: knit to first wrapped stitch, pick up wrap and knit with stitch, wrap next stitch and turn.
Row 2: sl1, purl to first wrapped stitch, pick up wrap and purl with stitch, wrap next stitch and turn.
Row 3: Knit to next wrapped stitch, pick up both wraps and knit with the stitch, wrap next stitch and turn.
Row 4: Purl to next wrapped stitch, pick up both wraps and purl with the stitch, wrap next stitch and turn.

Repeat rounds 3 and 4 until all wrapped stitches have been worked, ending with a purl row. Break heel yarn.

Return to previous yarn colour, ssk (the first stitch of the ssk will be the stitch you slipped in the first row of the heel), knit 40, k2tog, knit to end of round.

Post Heel Shaping
Next round: k54, ssk, place marker, k1, k2tog, knit to end.
Next round: Knit
Next round: Knit to 2 stitches before marker, ssk, slip marker, k2tog, knit to end.

Repeat last 2 rounds until you are back to your original number of stitches (68st.)

Your heel should look similar to this, you can see the decreases centred above the brown heel:
DSC_1917

Work in stocking stitch continuing to change colours every 13 rounds until leg measures 1″ less than desired length.

Cuff
Next round: (k3, p1) rep. to end.
Work last round until cuff measures 1″ (or desired length).
Cast off (recommended method: Sewn cast off.)

Pull onto feet and enjoy! :)

Pattern and images copyright 2010 Nativestar Knits. For personal use only.

Chocolate and Vanilla Socks

I’m going to Brighton for the weekend, partly to support my brother who is doing the half marathon and partly to see one of my housemates from uni and I want some don’t-have-to-look-at-a-pattern-or-count-my-rows knitting so this:

Chocolate Box

is going to become vanilla socks. :)

The yarn is Take Five sock yarn (75% superwash merino, 25% nylon) in the colourway Chocolate Box. I’m going to do stockinette stripes with chocolate toes, heels and cuffs. Yum!

I’ve also mastered managed magic loop knitting this week! My previous attempts were hindered by an unflexible and short cable. I ordered some KnitPro needles and they have a wonderfully flexible cable (I also love that it’s pink!) and I’m now confidently knitting magic loop. So confident in fact that I might even try to do my vanilla socks 2 at a time on one circular…

Gothic Anastasia Delight

4ply Gothic Delight 80/20 is a combination of 20g of black yarn and 80g of violet streaked with black. I had no pattern in mind when I bought a skein but that was fine because 100g is plenty for a pair of socks. However, as I sat fondling admiring the yarn I realised that I didn’t want to make a regular pair of socks, I wanted to knit knee-high socks.

So one skein wouldn’t be enough. And it was sold out. And different hand-dye lots are never the same.

*headdesk*

So I bought another two skeins when it came back in stock. You can’t have too much of a good thing, right?

Gothic Delight

And look! I photographed purple yarn and it actually looks purple!

Since then I’ve been having fun trying to decide what exactly to do. I did some stockinette knee-highs last year and I’ve also started Rhiannon, a cabled knee-high. The stockinette pair shows off colours while the Rhiannon pair are very much about showing off the pattern. In this case I want to show off the colours more than a pattern but I don’t want the socks to be entirely plain.

I thought about having a small detail, a cable twisting up the back of the leg, or a zigzag or small lace panel. Then I remembered Anastasia. Anastasia is pattern with a simple lace stitch that spirals around the sock and is very adaptable to changing sizes. I can easily do wide repeats for the calf and narrower repeats for the foot. There’s a fair bit of stockinette so they’ll knit up quickly and show off the colour nicely.

Anastasia was also the first sock pattern I ever attempted, and unfortunately it really didn’t go so well. I used the wrong size needle for the yarn, I didn’t realise the sole of the sock should be stockinette and I didn’t notice the cream flecked stripes in the yarn before I started (I didn’t like them). Eventually I frogged, changed needles and knitted them up for my mum instead. Although it didn’t go well, it was great in some respects because I learned so much from them.

However, now that I’m at the swatching and planning stage I’m not entirely sure I will be knitting an Anastasia sock. The pattern is for toe up but I want to knit cuff down, it has a wrap and turn heel and I’m going to do either a heel flap or an afterthought heel, I’ll have to include decreases down the calf and I want to do a different cuff. So in construction terms it’ll be virtually unrecognisable when compared to the pattern but the finished sock will still look almost the same. I’m not sure whether to link to the pattern on Ravelry or just acknowledging where my inspiration came from.

Either way, I won’t be casting on immediately no matter how much I want to. In an attempt to get some WIP’s out the way I’m not letting myself cast on until I finish the second of my Popped sock. I only have the foot to go, I really really want to cast on for these socks! :)

Sock Innovation Revelation

Last week I visited my local library to pick up some books on teaching (I’m looking into teacher training) but of course I couldn’t resist looking in the knitting section as well. To my surprise, I found Cookie A’s Sock Innovation, which I quickly grabbed off the shelf.

I was expecting it to be good.

However, after reading just a couple of sections I’ve realised it’s not good at all, nope, it’s really, really good. The first section on sock construction and designing is fantastic. There is so much information and inspiration here. Right at the start Cookie A writes “I hope this book will enable knitters to take more control of their knitting.” and I think the first part of the book achieves exactly that.

Two patterns have jumped out at me as MUST KNIT. Firstly, Kai-Mei. I love how the pretty stitch pattern loops around from the side of the heel and when I read that the pattern’s namesake was also a physicist like me, well how could I resist? I haven’t got a suitable yarn at the moment though, so this one is going to have to wait in my queue.

The second pattern I really want to knit is Rick. A very neat and bold pattern which I think calls for a bright and bold yarn. Happily, I already have a yarn that fits that description and I’m sure it will be perfect for this:

4ply, BFL, semi solid orange

I also got this yarn last week:

4ply, BFL, Semi solid blue

It’s such a gorgeous colour and will also solve the problem of no blue socks in my drawer. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet (other than make socks!) but I’m thinking after reading through Cookie A’s section on sock designing I’ll be more than inspired to find something to do with the yarn. :)