Tag Archives: socks

And now, socks!

I’m continuing on my streak of “Finishing off projects that should have been done weeks ago if I’d only not been a doofus” with my newest pair of socks.

If you’ll remember, I had some special yarn from a trip to Austin. It’s a lovely gray-blue handpaint, super soft and cozy that I was really excited to knit with. So excited that I decided to knit up a whole improvised cable sock without doing a swatch.

And, exactly what you’d expect to happen happened.

The sock was tiny and depressing, too small for me to even consider wearing. I thought about making a second one to match and finding someone with smaller feet to wear them, but, well, I wanted to wear them.

So, after a few weeks in time out, I ripped out the tiny sock, lightly blocked the yarn to make it lose its kink, and went back to my original plan- Monkey Socks. I’ve made this pattern a bunch of times before, and I don’t know why I decided against it this time. It’s simple, effective, and super cute. Plus, they fit me!

I’m really happy with how they turned out. I did my favorite reinforced heel and made them a little longer than suggested, but they’re perfect for me.

However, I had a bear of a time taking a flattering picture of them, so you’ll have to trust me when I say they look great!

Do you have a favorite go-to pattern that’s always turns out the way you want?

And this is why you swatch.

OK.  Mistakes were made.

I was all stoked last week about making myself a pair of comfy socks.

Mistake 1-  After going on and on about all of those lovely, tried-and-true sock patterns, I decided to go off script.  Why?  Who knows?

Mistake 2- I decided to make the socks cabled.  Why?  When have I ever made cabled socks that weren’t a disaster?  Never.  Cables are the best- I love them.  They make wonderful, dense fabric that’s extra-thick and cozy.  I don’t want extra-thick fabric on my socks.  They have to fit inside shoes.

Mistake 3- I didn’t swatch.  Like an idiot.

Actually, I kinda did swatch.  I swatched the pattern (with different needles and different yarn).  IMG_2820I was thinking about using the cable design in a sweater or something, but I decided after I was finished with the swatch that it would be better for a sock.  I still maintain these are very cute socks.  But compared to my usual sock gauge, they’re way off.

Mistake 4- When I first started thinking I’d made a mistake, I just kept going.

About 3 inches in, I thought “Huh.  These are looking a little slim.”  But did I stop? No!  That would have involved admitting defeat, and having to problem-solve.

Anyway, long story short, I have one sock.  It’s a lovely sock.  It’s tall and blue and has a cute all-over cable pattern.IMG_2828

And it’s nowhere close to fitting me.  I’d show it to you on my foot, but you don’t need to see that.  Just trust that the cables are stretched beyond recognition and it barely stretches over my calf.  It’s real sad.

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Now I just have to decide what to do next.  Do I rip it back, and go back to a tried-and-true pattern?  Do I continue and work up a second one in the same pattern, and give it away to a smaller-footed friend? Do I ball it up and leave it at the back of my WIP drawer until I forget how I made it?

All equally good choices, I think.

What would you do?

Inspiration: Comfort Socks

I don’t know about you, but I know that I’ve needed a little extra comfort these days.  Frankly, the only time I’ve been able to leave the house in the last 4 (5? 6? 10,000?) weeks has been to take my kid on a walk around the neighborhood.  He insists on walking, refusing the stroller or the wagon, but he’s (almost) 2, so we don’t go far.  I couldn’t tell you what Seattle is like outside of our neighborhood, but I can tell you where all the points of interest for a 2-year-old are, including:

  • The Cow Mailbox
  • The house with an owl decoy in the middle of the yard for some reason
  • All the good puddles
  • The house with the plastic dinosaurs in the yard
  • Two chicken coops
  • The “Unicorn Car” (It’s a mustang, but the kid is really into unicorns right now, and he insists on finding all the “unicorns” whenever we walk by the car.)
  • All the “Train Tracks” (The cement retaining walls that he likes to walk along.)
  • Where the mail-carrier parks his truck every morning

We have fun.

But, while I’m wandering the neighborhood with the kiddo, looking for kitty-cats to try to pet/harass, I always wish I had a little something extra comforting (and comfortable).

And, for me, that’s new knit socks.

A good pair of knit socks, fresh off the needles is one of the best things I could imagine right now.  I’ve already worn the ones I finished last week at least 3 days in a row (gross? Maybe.  Comfy? Definitely.), and I think I’m going to go to town on another pair as soon as I get myself together enough to start a new project.

I might make myself a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder.  They’re classic- a subtle knit-purl pattern, sturdy, cozy, and utterly practical (in a good way!).  A great way to use special yarn that you really want to show off.

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Or I could use up some scraps with my old favorite, the Broken Seed Stitch Socks by Hanna Leväniemi.  Super cute, and way more complicated-looking than they actually are to work up.  If you can knit, purl, and manage 1-row stripes in the round, you’re golden!

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Or, I could really go back to the classics, and knit one of the first pairs of socks that I ever successfully finished .  Monkey Socks by Cookie A!  These were the first really nice, non-frustrating pair of socks I ever knit.  (I wore them into the ground, then made several more pairs with the same pattern.)  They’re just lacy enough to be fun, without making them delicate or more prone to wearing out.  Perfect socks, in my opinion.

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I’m not sure yet which one I want to knit, but I do know that I’d wear the heck out of any of these socks right now!

What’s your favorite comfort-knitting pattern?

Hey! I finished something!

Y’all, I think I might have my mojo back.  Or at least partly back.  Or at least it’s back sometimes. Or maybe it was just back for a few afternoons last week.

Either way, I’ve got a brand-new pair of socks, and I’m beyond excited about them.

Right before the “unpleasantness,” my husband and I took a long weekend trip down to Austin- it was lovely, and feels like it was fifteen years ago.  And, as I’ve said before, when I go on a trip, I’ve got to visit the local yarn shop and get a skein (or two) of local sock yarn.  Some people collect shot glasses, some collect tiny spoons.  I collect locally-dyed sock yarn.

We went to Hill Country Weavers and I picked up two lovely skeins of Chasing Rabbits Fiber Company Fern yarn- which is a really lovely, buttery-soft sock yarn.  I got one skein in purple and one in grey/turquoise.  They’re both lovely, and I forgot to take pictures of the skeins before I broke into them.  Oh well.

Anyway, I got impatient and started knitting my purple socks on the airplane ride home.(Remember airplanes?  Those were fun…) I happened to have the ebook of Splendid Soles on my phone (I have a pattern in the collection, so I’d downloaded it at some point for work).  So, I picked a pattern and… Tada!

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The pattern is Textured Lace Socks by Lori Wagner, and I love it.  It was complicated enough to keep me engaged, but logical enough to let me memorize the lace after a couple repeats.   Unfortunately the hand-dyed-ness of the yarn kind of hides the lace pattern (especially in pictures), but it’s so pretty, I kind of don’t mind.

I’ll be honest, I pretty much stopped following the pattern as written once I got to the heel, but that’s because I like to knit my heels and toes in a particular way, so I just did what I usually do, continuing the lace down the top of the foot.

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I couldn’t be happier with them.  And they’re just what I needed this week.  Nothing to make you feel cozy and content like a pair of new socks.

What are you working on to make yourself feel better?

To the Nth degree

Sometimes I get carried away.  I can throw myself into a project a little too deeply.  Especially when it comes to fixing or cleaning something.

For example, this morning, I had intended to sweep around the back door of our house, and before I knew it, I had the whole kitchen swept, had spot-cleaned a spaghetti stain from last night’s dinner from the wall (thanks kid) and was finishing up a load of dishes.  It’s not a bad thing- my kitchen’s now a lot cleaner.  But, it did take a good half hour to do a chore that I had expected to take about two minutes.  (Though part of that was the kid “helping” with the broom.)

That same thing happened with my socks from last week.  I had finished fixing the little hole in the toe, posted about it, then put them on.

Then, I realized that I really should reinforce that bit of the heel… and the ball of the foot on the other sock was looking a little threadbare… oh and over here was a bit sparse, so it could probably use some help.

Well.

This happened:IMG_2419.JPG

They turned out ridiculous.  (Pro tip: Don’t use pink yarn to darn toes… you’ll think that your toe has busted through your sock every time you look down.)  But, I should be able to get a couple more years’ use out of them now.

Although, I do see a couple spots that could use a little more darning…

Have you ever gotten carried away on a similar project?

Pattern: Truly Everyday Socks

Time for another new pattern!  It’s one that’s dear to my heart (or feet). And it’s in Knit Picks’ newest collection: Simply Socks, which is all about those socks you want to knit again and again and wear every day.75339D

These are my Truly Everyday Socks.  If you’re related to me, they’re probably really familiar to you, because I’ve been making them for years and have been given out on more than one Christmas morning.YPxPiMmk
They’re a super-simple top-down sock with 2×2 ribbing at the top, a turned, reinforced heel and nice, neat toe.  I’ve covered the leg and instep with a really simple knit/purl basket-weave pattern that you’ll be able to memorize before you’re even an inch into the first sock. RG62pByRI love these socks.  I’ve made probably a dozen pairs using this basic pattern over the years.  They’re unisex and utilitarian, but not boring (to wear or knit), and could easily be sized up or down.  Plus, they’re a great way to show off that special skein of hand-dyed yarn you’ve got squirreled away.

Head over to Knit Picks and pick up a copy of my Truly Everyday Socks, and make yourself a pair (or twelve).

Pattern: Phinney Ridge Socks

Woo! New pattern day!

And this is a good one- it’s socks!

Introducing, my newest (and current favorite) socks: Phinney Ridge Socks!

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Look at them in all their stripey goodness!

They’re fairly simple top-down socks with stripes from cuff to toe with an interesting slipped-stitch pattern along the tops.  (The slipped stitches make them look much more interesting/difficult than they actually are, which is something I always look for in a pattern.)

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These guys use a skein of solid black, and a pack of contrasting mini-skeins, but they’d be a great way to use that special hand-dyed variegated yarn you brought back from your last trip to New York, or maybe a really great ombre-dyed skein that you bought on impulse three years ago and haven’t figure out how to use yet.

If you’re looking for other patterns for your fancy-pants sock yarn, you should check out the rest of this Knit Picks collection! Outrageous Insteps is all about using those special skeins of sock yarn.

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I really like these chevron-textured socks!

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And the crazy slipped stitch pattern on these bad boys is super cool! I’ve never tried slipped stitches like this before!

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And these socks‘ little one-stitch cables on the striped background- perfection!

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I can’t wait to dig into my yarn stash and find something really special to try on some of these patterns.

Do you have any particularly special skeins you’re looking for a pattern for?

First Sock Syndrome

We’ve all heard of Second Sock Syndrome– that affliction that makes it nigh on impossible to make yourself knit the second sock of a pair.  I admit, sometimes I get a little flare-up of SSS, but it’s something that I try really hard to avoid.

But, I have to admit that I live with a related affliction.  Something just as (if not more) deadly than Second Sock Syndrome, but perhaps a little less common.  I’m here to raise awareness about FSS.  That’s right: First Sock Syndrome, otherwise known as Cuffonly Sockitis.

I realized that I might be having a bout of FSS this weekend when I went to grab a set of my favorite sock needles for a new project (5″ bamboo US2 dpns, if you’re wondering). I have 5 or 6 sets of these needles, so I figured I’d be able to just grab some from the jar on my bookshelf and go on my merry way.  But no!  I couldn’t find a single needle!

It turns out they’re all being used in socks.  And not second socks.  That would be too easy- just a couple hours work to free my needles and finish off a brand-new pair of socks!  Not a single sock in my house is past the heel.  They’re all firmly stuck mid-way down the cuff.IMG_0193I don’t even remember starting this sock.  I think I started it literally before we moved… almost 4 years ago.IMG_0195And this one… I don’t even know what to say. IMG_0198It looks like I started it, got bored with it, put it down, picked it up again, completely forgot what pattern I was working, and just guessed until I got a couple more inches knit.  Look!  You can clearly see where I totally forgot what I was doing.IMG_0202.JPGClearly, I have a problem, and clearly, I’ve got some knitting to do to finish/fix these socks.

Or maybe I’ll just go buy another set of dpns.

Do you ever get FSS?

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: Puget Sound Socks

New pattern today!  (OK, really, a new pattern last Wednesday, but still!)

Introducing my new favorite socks, the Puget Sound Socks!

They’re a super cute, semi-girly (or at least girly compared to my usual designs), calf-length socks knit up in super-fancy Capretta (a gorgeous merino-cashmere blend from Knit Picks).  They feature an asymmetrical design and mirror-image lace panels from cuff to toe.  A pretty good design, if I say so myself.But here’s the exciting part:  my Puget Sound Socks have been published in the newest sock collection from Knit Picks, Splendid Soles, which features some fancy-as-freinds designs.  Cables, knee socks, insane details- they’re all there!  And they’re just gorgeous!

I mean, look at these cables!

And this texture!And these are insanely impressive!And I honestly don’t even  know how these were designed!  So impressive!Want Splendid Soles for yourself?  Head over to Knit Picks and pick up a copy!