Tag Archives: socks

Scraps have never been this cozy

Like I’ve said, I’m starting to have to get really creative with my stash usage the last few months. Which is kind of fun, if I keep myself in the right headspace. It’s like a puzzle, and not a depressing reminder that I haven’t gotten to go shopping in almost a year.

For example, I pulled out the leftovers from my Soldotna Sweater from last year. A half skein (or less) of four fairly disparate colors. I had the most of the blue and the variegated pink, with a small amount of gray and just a smidge of purple. It’s Tosh DK, which is one of my favorite yarns- so cozy and soft with such great colors! Sure, I had only about 200 grams total, but I knew I had be able to do something with it.

I sat down to swatch and decide what I wanted to do, when my husband asked what I was making. I said I wasn’t sure yet- maybe mittens or a hat, or maybe another cowl. And he got a funny look on his face and asked, “Why not just make socks?” I explained that the yarn was a little to thick for socks- that they’d end up more like slippers and probably wouldn’t really fit inside of shoes. He gave me another funny look, like he didn’t believe my excuses.

Long story short, it turns out that he wanted a pair of extra-cozy slipper-socks, but was too polite to ask. He’s been working from home in our (apparently quite cold) basement since spring, and he needed something extra cozy for his toes.

He picked the colors he liked best, and I made some suggestions about color placement, and away I went.

I worked the socks toe up, to get the most out of every last inch of yarn, but based the sock design on tincanknits’ Little Squirrel socks (a basic turned-heel sock with a mistake-rib cuff).

I’ve still got the second sock’s cuff to work up, and the colors aren’t necessarily the ones I would have picked, had I had a whole yarn store to choose from. But, I really like how they’re turning out. (The mistake ribbing on the cuff is especially satisfying!)

And they’re undeniably cozy.

What’s the coziest thing you’ve worked on recently?

So many stripes- so few ends

Y’all. I couldn’t be more pleased with how my self-striping socks turned out. They’re totally cute, totally functional, and totally done, with only a couple weeks’ work and the bare minimum of ends!

You know how I feel about ends (anti), and how I feel about stripes (pro), so these self-striping socks are just about perfect for me- the best of both worlds. I love how the little addition of slipped stitches gave the socks just a smidge more character than regular-old vanilla socks, and I’m beyond happy with how evenly the stripes worked out.

For some reason, I never really trust self-striping yarn to give me evenly matched stripes for both feet. It’s probably some weird deep-seated trust issues or something, but I always assume that self-striping socks will turn out as fraternal twins at best. But, look at these guys! They’re just about perfect!

Such a satisfying little knit!

What’s your most recent satisfying project?

A Variation on a Theme

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling the need for a little bit of simple, soothing, sock knitting. Nothing fancy, nothing crazy, something just this side of total vanilla socks.

So, I went for a dive into my stash (because I’m still not comfortable going out to an actual yarn store, though I miss my LYS (and the outside world) dearly) and pulled out a couple skeins of the Felici yarn that I designed for Knit Picks last summer. I like the idea of self-striping yarn, but I always get bored just doing a stockinette sock, so I decided to do something just a little bit different.

I’m adding slipped stitches!

I’m knitting these bad boys up using my usual sock pattern/technique, but instead of going for 100% stockinette, whenever I get to a color change, I do a round of (K2, slp 1) around, starting wherever the color changes. I love how they’ve got just a smidge more character. And, they’re keeping me just enough on my toes that I’m not getting bored with them!

And, in case you’re worried, the slipped stitch rows are such a small percentage of the whole sock, they don’t change the fit on the sock (or at least I hope they won’t).

I bet you could use the same slip-stitch technique with regular stripes, too, but then you’d end up weaving in all those ends… and who wants that?

What have you been working on lately?

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?