Tag Archives: knit socks

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!)

Pattern Spotlight: Socks by the Numbers

Woo!  We made it through Christmas! That can mean only one thing!  No, silly, not that you need bigger pants.  And, no, not that we can put away the tinsel.  It means that I can actually show you guys all the socks that I made for gifts this year!  Finally!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd, here’s the big secret:  They’re all made using my “Socks by the Numbers” pattern.  It’s free and available here:

 Socks by the Numbers

This pattern is hardly even a pattern, it’s more of a recipe.  You plug in your gauge and the size of the foot you’re trying to fit, and away you go.  I show you how to do the math, so you’re free to play with color, texture, and stitches, all the while making an perfectly-fit top-down sock with a heel flap.

Now, to the socks!

I made a pair of lovely burnt-orange socks for my father-in-law with a pretty cool all-over basket-weave stitch of knits and purls.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy mother-in-law got a pair of adorable ice-blue socks, decorated with a lace pattern modified from a vintage stitch dictionary.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy dad got a pair of utilitarian socks with simple ribbed cuffs, perfect for Chicago winters in a really nice shade of brown-gray.  (Trust me, in real life, the yarn is kind of cool and heathered.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy brother got a goofy pair of black-and-yellow fraternal-twin socks.  Because he’s my brother, and he’s a little goofy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd my husband got a pair of socks in sapphire blue with just enough ribbing at the cuffs and down the sides to make them interesting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWoo!  Socks for everyone!  (OK, not quite everyone, but “Socks for everyone” sounds a whole lot better than “Socks for about three-quarters of the people on my list.”)  And, with my Socks by the Numbers pattern, I was able to work up perfectly-fitting, customized socks without any problem!

Did you have a go-to gift for everyone on your list this year?

Design Process Series: Heart and Sole

Our socks are nearly finished, guys!  And just in time for it to get all hot and summery.  (Nothing better than wearing big woolen socks in the July heat.  Ick!)

Let’s get started!

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With the Main Color, knit back across the heel flap, moving the marker as you go.  Using the same  needle, pick up and knit 12 (13, 14, 15) stitches along the side of the heel flap.

Knit across the next 24 (26, 28, 30) stitches normally (these are the top of the foot).

Then, with your spare needle (the one we set aside at the beginning of the heel flap), pick up another 12 (13, 14, 15) stitches along the remaining side of the heel flap and knit to the marker. Remove marker.

You’ll have the stitches arranged on 4 needles.  Two (the ones on the top of the foot) will have 12 (13, 14, 15) stitches each, and the other two (the ones on the sole of the foot) will have more.  The beginning of the row from now on will be between the two “sole of the foot” needles.  Confused?  This might help.

Now that we’re all set up for the foot, it’s time to start knitting.

  • K to 2 before the end of the first needle, k2tog.  K the next two needles even.  On the fourth needle, ssk, then knit to the end.
  • K all stitches even.

Repeat these two rows, alternating decrease and even rows, until all needles have the same number of stitches (12 (13, 14, 15) stitches each).  You’ve finished the gusset and it’s all easy sailing (er… knitting) from here.

Knit all stitches even until the sock measures 2 inches shorter than desired from heel to toe.  End at the bottom of the sole.  Break yarn and get ready for some exciting toe action next week!

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