You guys! I think my mojo is back! (Or at least kinda back.) I’ve finished my little blue socks and I love them.
Did they take longer than I expected? Yes. Did they turn out nothing like I had intended? Absolutely. But am I pleased with how they turned out? Totally!
I think I really like this length. I usually (always) make socks with legs that are about twice this tall, but I kind of love how they turned out. They took quite a bit less yarn (so I didn’t have to play yarn chicken!) and were a much quicker knit. I think they’ll be a great fall sock, for when I don’t necessarily want a big, thick “middle of winter” sock, but I still want to pull out something soft and cozy.
Now I just have to wait for it to cool off enough to wear them!
What finished projects are you excited about lately?
You guys! I think I might have my mojo back! I’m beyond happy with this new sock!
It’s so cute and girly, exactly what I want to wear right now, but also different enough from the other socks in my sock drawer. I’m just tickled.
I mean, just look at it! It hasn’t even been blocked yet, and it’s adorable! (And also look at my garden! Everything’s growing like crazy- the squash are coming in like gangbusters and the cosmos are just about the prettiest flowers I’ve ever seen.)
In fact, I’m so pleased with these socks, I’m considering writing them up and publishing the pattern. It’s been a minute since I’ve self-published anything, and I think it might be time.
Gosh it’s a great feeling when your favorite activity starts to get fun again!
The last few weeks have been rough, but I think I’m slowly getting back in the saddle.
I considered a few very cute little toys to make, and thought about making some Barbie clothes. (Do I own a Barbie? No. Has my kid ever shown even the slightest interest in dolls? No. Do I want to make Barbie clothes anyway? Kinda.) I almost picked up something from my “To Be Knit” pile, but decided against it, since that’s what I’m “supposed” to be doing.
But, instead of trying something new, I knew I needed something easy, comforting and quick. And when I need a project that’s easy, comforting and quick, I can’t help but break out my sock yarn.
I found a mostly-full skein of this nice tonal sky blue. Is it enough for a pair of socks? Eh. Probably not. But whatever. I’ve got more of this yarn in different colors, so I might end up with fraternal twin socks, and that’s fine. This project is all about being the lowest of low-pressure knits.
I cast on my usual 60 sts, worked a 1×1 rib for… a while. Then did my best guess at replicating an old favorite pair of socks I made years ago. When I was a few rows in, it became clear that I was not even close to replicating those socks, so I kinda… just kept going. I added a second zig-zag row and had planned to keep the leg going to my usual calf-length, but… I kinda don’t want to.
I think the leg on this sock might be done. Or maybe I’ll add another couple rows of stockinette. Like I said before, these are low-pressure socks.
I’ll keep working on these, a few rows (or a few stitches) at a time, until I get back in my groove. It’s slow-going, but I can tell I’m starting to get my momentum back.
What do you like to work on when you’ve lost your knitting mojo?
I mean, come on. Stupid little ankle socks with stupid little pompom bunny tails. They’re the best. (I mean “stupid” in the best way possible, but come on, what adult needs socks with puffy pompoms? Me, I suppose. But still.)
These li’l guys are your basic top-down ankle socks with some simple-but effective stripe/colorblocking detail, and a reinforced heel. But, of course, the best part is that ding dang pompom. You can use a store-bought pompom or make your own with leftover yarn. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
This pattern is part of Knit Picks’ newest collection of socks, Rockin’ Socks. If you’re a fan of colorful and cheerful socks, this book is definitely worth checking out.
So go pick up a copy of my Tiptoe Socks, and cheer yourself up!
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?
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!
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?
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?
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). I 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.
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.
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?