Tag Archives: knit socks

Electric Socks

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks (as you might imagine).  As I’m writing this, the baby is just about 4 weeks old, and has not quite figured out the whole I-should-sleep-at-night thing.  He’s pretty great though.  I certainly won’t be complaining (except about the being awake at night thing).

The biggest surprise to me, about the last few weeks has been that I’ve actually had time to get some knitting done!  (Mostly when the grandparents have been visiting, if I’m being honest.)  I even managed to finish a pair of socks!

I started these bad boys a couple days before the baby was born, with the intention that I’d want something simple and small to work on when I was hanging out at the hospital (what was I thinking?).  Of course, one of the first things they did was put an IV line into the back of my hand, so knitting was completely out of the question the whole time I was there. (Not to mention, I was having a baby.  What was I thinking?)

But, despite that, over the last almost-month, I managed to cruise through these socks while the kid was napping, being held, or otherwise engaged.

I love a good, sturdy sock, and these just fit the bill.  They’re knit up in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Electric Slide (one of my favorite brands and colorways), so I know they’ll hold up well.  I used my basic sock recipe, and decorated them with a simple knit-and-purl basketweave pattern- juuust complicated enough to keep me interested, but not so complicated that I’d have to anything as difficult as counting past 3.I did not, however, bother blocking them.  Because that seems like a lot of effort right now.  Perhaps I’ll block them later, but honestly, I think I’m just going to start wearing them.

Have you been up to anything lately?

Pattern: Socks for Everybody

I’ve got a heck of a surprise for you guys!

It’s big news!  Exciting news!  Guess what?!

I wrote a book!Look at that!  It’s got my name on the cover and everything!

It’s a super-comprehensive “how to knit socks” book!The book is basically one big old recipe for making socks of every possible variety.  You want to make top-down socks with cables? Covered.  Want to make toe-up socks with stripes? No problem. Are you thinking about baby socks with afterthought heels? Done.

Socks For Everybody is a big a la carte instruction book that lets you make any sized socks using any yarn you prefer with any heel/toe/cuff/design combo you want.

I’ve included tons of tutorials detailing how to get through the trickier parts of sock construction (with lots of beautiful pictures to help you on your way), making this book perfect for people who have never quite gotten up the guts to try sock knitting before.Sure, this book is great for people who are new to the amazing world of sock knitting, but it’s also great for experienced sock knitters who are looking for help with designing their own socks.  I’ve included instructions on custom-fitting socks to your feet (and your yarn), as well as tips on picking the right heel/toe combo and design elements.I think this book has the potential to become a great resource for any sock knitter- a book that you can come back to again and again, whenever you need a new, customized pattern for that next pair of socks.I’m super happy with how this book turned out, and I really hope that you guys are as excited about it as I am.

If you want your own copy of Socks for Everybody, head over to Knit Picks.  (Or, if you prefer an e-book, follow this link.)

Pattern Spotlight: Hermione’s Everyday Socks

Sometimes you find a perfect pattern, and all you want to do is to keep making it over and over.  Sometimes it’s a perfect in its complexity and detail.  Sometimes it’s perfect in its simplicity.

Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder is one of those patterns.I’ve made socks every which way- plain stockinette, lace and cables, toe-up and top-down.  But I think Hermione’s Everyday Socks are on my Mount Rushmore of knitting patter designs. They’re simple, but interesting.  They’re easy but don’t not boring.  They’re sturdy, but not bulky.  And they’re truly unisex (in fact, my husband claimed my first pair of Hermione’s socks that I made… It was a sad day, but it did give me an excuse to make a second pair).I’ve been playing with the simple construction and knit/purl texture with some of my more recent socks- adding stripes, or changing the frequency of the purl bumps.  I’ve worked them top down and toe up, with a variety of toes and heels.  It’s amazing how many different variations you can make from such a solid starting-point. If you’re looking for a perfect-sock-for-everyone, you couldn’t do much better than Hermione’s Everyday Socks.

Little Green Socks

OK, if we’re being honest, there’s nothing little about any socks that I make for myself.  I’ve got great big feet- the better to stop me from falling over.  (Oh, if only that were true… I’m such a klutz!)

But, these socks are coming along great!

I decided that I wanted to have tiny mirror-image cables running up the sides of the legs like this:  And at first, I thought that was all I wanted.

But you know me- never leaving well enough alone.  If there’s a way to embellish.  I’ll find it, and sew sequins to it.

So I decided to take one of those cables and run it down the top of the foot, too.  (I actually had to rip back a little bit when I decided to change it, which I think was worth it.)

Right?!  I love how this sock is turning out! The color- the tiny cables, the excitement of making them toe-up! (Yes, I’m a dork.)

I can’t wait for the other one to be done (and the weather to cool off again) so I can wear them around!

Are you working on any project that’s gotten you excited lately?

New socks!

I’m on a sock roll! And you can’t stop me!

(Actually, you probably could, I’m pretty distract-able.)

I’ve been digging through my overly-extensive sock yarn collection and trying to use up some yarn that’s been hanging around for way too long.  (I once got overly-excited about a sock yarn sale and ended up coming home with about 2 dozen skeins of yarn… that was probably three years ago, and I’ve still barely made a dent in it.)

Anyway, I found enough turquoise-blue for a pair of socks, and I thought I’d get cracking.  But this time, I feel like trying something new.

95% of the time, I work my socks top-down.  But this time, I think I’m going to switch it up.  I’m going… toe up!  Woah!  I’m a loose cannon!

That means I get to break out Judy’s Magic Cast On!  I’ve used it a handful of times- mostly years ago, before I got so set in my sock-knitting ways.And, I gotta tell you.  That is one satisfying technique.  (It’s a little bit of a pain at first, but dang!  Once you get past the first few rows, it looks really nice!)

I’ve increased up to the toe,  so now I’ve just got to decide what I want to do next… cables? Texture? Lace?  There’s too many options!

What do you think I should do next?

Woo!

Woo Hoo!  My socks are officially finished!

An unfortunate number of ends are all woven in (why did I think striped socks was a good idea?).  And the socks have been blocked.  They’re lovely and finished and have grown about two sizes.  (But that’s a good thing, because I have great big man feet.)

Anyway, I don’t have a lot of insightful things to say- just that I love these socks, and love blocking socks in general.  They’re smooth and perfect and ready to go.Unfortunately, it’s about a million degrees here, so I won’t be wearing my socks any time soon.  Sigh…

What’s your favorite part of making socks?

Tip-toe

I’ve made it to the toe!  My socks are almost finished!  Woo!  There’s something just so satisfying about finishing a pair of socks (or any knitting, I suppose).

This morning, after dropping off my husband at his bus stop, I sat down to do knit a couple rows before grabbing breakfast.

And, well, I got a little distracted.  Let’s just say I got my breakfast a couple hours later than I had planned (which is saying something. I love breakfast).

I’m so happy with how the socks turned out, but I think my favorite part of making socks (and the reason I love making top down socks in particular) is sewing up the tip of the toe with the Kitchener stitch.  It’s one of those perfect knitting tricks that just makes me endlessly happy.  I know that a lot of people have trouble with the Kitchener stitch, and it took me a long time to figure out how to do it.  But, man, I love it now.

It’s like magic!

You start with a big ugly hole in the end of your nice sock.  Then with a few careful stitches,Then a little careful pulling,  (I know you’re supposed to keep your stitches tight when you do the Kitchener stitch, but for whatever reason, leaving them loose, then tightening them up afterward makes more sense to me.)And, voila!  A perfect, lovely toe!  I just love how the stitches disappear, looking just like your knitting.  Whoever figured out how to do the Kitchener stitch (presumably, Ms. Kitchener) is a freaking genius! Now I have to go weave in all my ends (my least favorite part of making socks).

Do you have a favorite technique?  Something that makes you happy whenever you have to do it?

Road Trip Knitting

Summer’s Road Trip Season, and this year I’ve got a bunch of trips coming up.  We’re flying to California to visit friends, we’re driving to Mt. Rainier with my folks and we’re going to a family reunion waaaaay up in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.

Of course, we’re not doing all this at the same time (we do have to work, after all).  But, I want to get ready for all that car/plane downtime.  That means stocking up on Dramamine, filling my Kindle with new books, and planning out some simple-yet-interesting knitting projects.

I’m a big fan of socks as travel knitting.  They’re small enough to fit into a purse or cary-on, but take long enough to fill up a whole week of travel.  And, other than turning the heel, they’re easy enough that you don’t really have to focus on what you’re doing.

They’re the best!

Anyway, I dug into my stash, and found a bunch of little ends of sock yarn.  So, I was thinking of doing something to use up that yarn.  Stripes seem too boring, and colorwork would make me carsick (simple is the name of the game, after all).

I poked around on Ravelry, until I found these beauties!

Broken Seed Stitch Socks by Hanna LevaniemiHer original pattern (it’s not a formal pattern, exactly, more like a design suggestion that I can use with my standard Socks by the Numbers pattern) uses a lovely cream color with a pretty variegated yarn. The little stripes combined with the knit/purl pattern make the colors blend together really nicely.

But, what I really love is the idea that Ravelry User mckr had.  Stripes!  But when the stripe colors are mixed with the background color, the whole thing looks gorgeous and cohesive.So, I picked out six mini balls of leftover sock yarn, and a full 50g skein of a lovely navy blue.  I think they’ll look great together.  (One of the mini-skeins even has sparkles!)

I’m making myself wait until our road trips are officially going before I start knitting these bad boys.  Vacation can’t start soon enough!

Are you looking forward to any upcoming projects?

 

You Win Some, You Lose Some.

And sometimes you end up with mismatched socks.

If my Ravelry page is correct, I started these socks in January, but I think I probably started them earlier- probably over Christmas.

I finished one right away, then did the toe of the second one…. then…. nothing.  I stashed these socks away  “just in case,” then promptly forgot about them.  So, when I was packing for my trip, I decided to bring them along.  After all, a sock-in-progress fits in my purse, so they’re great for traveling.   The pattern was super simple (just stockinette with a single row of purls around the toe and ribbed cuff), so they wouldn’t take away from looking out the window.  And they were almost done, so they’d go pretty fast!  Win-win-win.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey turned out pretty cute!  Nothing fancy, but they’re a pretty color, and they look ok.

Except if you try to measure them against each other.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne sock is fully a half-inch shorter than the other one.  I swear I measured- I even counted rows!  But, something must have happened to change my gauge between when I started these socks six months ago and when I finished them last week.  Blergh.

I don’t think I’ll try to re-knit them, or rip them out… they’re not fancy enough for me to really be bothered, and they aren’t going to be a gift.  I think I’ll try blocking them out, and hopefully that’ll fix the problem.  After all, blocking hides a multitude of sins.

Have you ever ended up with significantly different socks? What did you do?

Me Socks!

On Monday, I talked about using January as Knit for Yourself Month.  And, usually I end up ignoring my own advice.  But this time, I totally didn’t!

I’m going to make my first-ever pair of toe-up, heel-flap socks in some lovely yarn that’s been hiding in my stash.

What’s that?  You’re asking how these could be my first pair of toe-up, heel-flap socks when I constantly have at least one pair of socks on my needles.

Well, I exclusively do top-down socks.  I know it’s kind of silly to get in such a rut, but top-down are the socks I learned how to make back in college, and they’re where I’m comfortable.  And, well, when it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  To be fair, I experimented with toe-up socks with afterthought heels, and some with short-row heels, but that was years ago.  And anyway, I’ve never attempted a heel flap in a toe-up sock.

So, after finding the pattern in my queue on Monday, I downloaded the “Diagonal Lace Socks” pattern off Ravelry and looked it over. 2006685477_2221a6e6f6_z[1]

It didn’t look too bad, except that the designer expected me to knit a pair of socks for my size 10 feet with a set of US0 needles.  That wasn’t going to happen.  I loose patience with tiny needles, and rarely go below a US2.  But, for this I was willing to compromise.  I pulled out my US1’s and decided to make the “medium” size, instead of the “large,” and cross my fingers that the difference in gauge would make up for the few stitches difference.

Then I dug through my stash and found a skein of Hawthorne Speckle Handpaint that Knitpicks sent to me, in Cosmic Speckle.  (I think this colorway is unfortunately discontinued, but they’ve got lots of other gorgeous colors.  I highly recommend this yarn- it somehow manages to feel both crispy and fluffy at the same time; it would make a great pair of cabled socks.  I don’t know how they do it!)

26871_medium[1]So, now I’m off to find a good video of Judy’s Magic Cast On, and start my new socks!

Does anyone have any tips for toe-up socks?

(And, don’t forget to enter the Petite Presents Book Giveaway!)