Tag Archives: socks

home-grown socks

It is six years since I knitted my first pair of socks.

Holy crap.

Literally holy crap, I need to do some darning. But I don’t really know how to do that so I’ve spent the past couple of months verrryyy slllooowwwly addressing the issue and restocking my hand-knit sock drawer.

I got this skein of MadTosh Sock as a reward for joining Team MURDERPIG in LSGRRG2014. Knitting some socks with it was my ‘reward’ for finishing my MURDERPIGS cardigan.

MadTosh stash photo

I picked a random lace & cable pattern, tweaked it a bit because my stitch dictionary is a bit suspect and doesn’t properly mirror decreases (tsk).

half-knit socks on the beach

I’ve been experimenting with cuff techniques – for this one I increased in some proportion or other before doing my usual tubular cast-off. It was… ok. A bit loose, even, so if I do it again I will do fewer increases.

hand-knit socks in a pleasing shade of lilac

I also made a pair with this rather lovely skein of merino from Mollycoddle Yarns. The colours are totally gorgeous and it’s soft and merino-y and delicious.

MollycoddleYarns stash photo

I thought it deserved more than a plain stockinette because that would be boring, right? So I started a sort of random-ish offset slipstitch pattern.

knitted socks, half-knitted

Sadly this was both boring and demanded constant attention because counting rows when slipped stitches are involved is annoying, slipped stitches pull the rows together so it takes even longer to get anywhere, and I misplaced my second set of slipped stitches so I had to do them every three rows instead of every four. This bothered me but I went along with the mistake for long enough to make it irreversible. As I have a nasty habit of doing.

knitted socks, the colour of tears and sadness

They are warm and cosy and a very pretty colour but I still feel slightly irritable whenever I look at them. Ha! It’s for the best that they’re hidden away under my boots.

NB I will probably forgive them. I forgive anything that keeps my toes warm. On every cold day I am thankful for discovering the joy of knitting socks. I look out of the window at a frosty world and I smile because YAY HAND-KNIT SOCK DAY, probably to go with YAY HAND-KNIT CARDIGAN DAY and YAY HAND-KNIT GLOVE DAY. It’s actually gotten to the point that I am buying non-knit scarves because another bit of knitwear would be Too Much.

What a problem to have, eh, too much knitwear to wear all at once? 😀

WIP Wednesday: is there a medal for tinking?

Why yes, it has been a frustrating day.

I’m into a new section on my Ravellenic shawl. I’ve taken the Madeira pattern from Shipwreck, flipped it so the two sides of the shawl will mirror each other, and offset the two sets of ‘leaves’. Converting from in the round to on the straight means it now involves lace rows on the purl side, so I’m having to convert SSKs to p2togtbls, and then mirror that on the other side. My brain hurts.

Day 4 #ravellenics - slow going!

That’s where I was this morning. That’s pretty much where I am now, too. I misjudged the placement of one side of leaves so I had to unravel almost everything I’ve done today. Gah. Knew I should have put in a lifeline mid-pattern. 😀

The cable socks are still going.

Mustn't forget the socks.

Slightly slower than previously since I am cheating on them with this shawl, and I’m also trying to write down the cable pattern as I go so I can share it with you lovelies.

Anyway… Just a brief check-in before I return to the cycling. Wheee!

WIP Wednesday: advancing cable socks

I’ve gotten some good work in on the socks recently, despite the best efforts of the neighbourhood kitty.

Hahaha no.

It’s a good job she’s so cute.

Turns out, you get quite a lot of sock out of a skein of Wollmeise. 150g goes further than you think it might. I’m just over halfway through the skein, and about halfway up my calf.

You get a lot of sock out of a skein of Wollmeise. Only halfway through it.

I’m just going to keep going until I run out, I think. I’m hoping to get them to just-under-knee height, which will be perfect for my big boots and wellies. So seasonal!

This yarn (and pattern) has an awful lot of stretch in it. I’ve done no increases for the calf yet, but the cable’s not in the least bit distorted. I’ll probably put a few in, just for safety, but wow. I’m impressed. I’m doing the back of the leg in 3×1 rib, both because it looks better next to the stocking stitch panel, and so I can transition into a 1×1 rib for the cuff. I thought that would limit the elasticity but it seems not to be the case. Yay!

Ooh, and check out the latest visitor to my garden office.

Froggy! Or toady, idk, I'm not an expert.

Froggy! Or a toad, not sure which. I thought visitorkitty was playing with a leaf, until the leaf leapt about three feet across the garden in one go. So I distracted her for long enough for it to make a (very slow) escape down the garden. Hopefully it’s found a nice damp home down by the compost heap with all the slugs and spiders and other delicious froggy noms.

How are your projects going on this fine WIP Wednesday?

WIP Wednesday: My First Wollmeise


I’ve started the Wollmeise socks. I’m doing my usual structure: toe-up, with turned toe and heel. I was planning on a plain foot and then starting the cable centred just above the anklebone but the foot needed some elasticity, so I figured an offset cable would be better.

Coming along nicely.

The stitch pattern is called ‘Pleated Diamonds’ according to my stitch book. I’m sassing it up a bit by alternating stocking stitch and moss stitch for the centres of the diamonds. Lots of C4Ls and T4Rs, but it’s relatively straightforward. I’m working two at a time on two circs, so on the cable rows I’ve got needles and yarn and everything coming out of my ears. I think I’d term it ‘pleasantly involved’. 😀

I’m liking the ‘meise. I think it would work better on 2.25mm needles, but I only have dpns in that size and my hands are far too dry and cold to deal with being poked repeatedly by sharp pieces of bamboo. It’s a little less dense than I’d like, but I’m getting good stitch definition so I can let that slide.

The sewing WIPs are still sulking in the corner, but I’m back up to running 4 miles now so with any luck, the surprise!inch around my backside will piss off and let me enjoy (and finish) my dress.

NB you may notice in the picture above a hint of a fluffy sleeve. That’s my open cardigan which is made from yarn which is 70% wool, 30% alpaca. I am wearing alpaca in July. I thought the winter wear during Me Made May was bad but this is ridiculous. :-/

what’s a good synonym for ‘new’ beginning with m? That, Monday.


This was to be an FO Friday post, in honour of the newly-completed AND BLOCKED ZOMG Leek. Unfortunately, I spent yesterday murdering demons instead of photographing the cardigan so of course, today it’s rainy and dark and making the pics look shabby.

So… I guess I’ll talk about the next project I haven’t actually started yet?

My will is stronger than any yarn. Also, balls (teehee)

I have this delicious Wollmeise (Fritzi Frizzante). I was originally intending to make it into legwarmers but I like turning heels too much so I may make socks instead. I’m thinking… relatively plain with a single cable up the side… a fancy one. Like, a four or six strand interwoven cable. Bonus of always doing toe-up is that I don’t have to decide for a while. 😉

That, however, would delay the start of my other sock project, for which I dyed the yarn last week.


As I suspected in my last WIP Wednesday post, it is too dark. It’s pretty much a solid black with the odd fleck of navy blue. Not what I wanted, but pretty (and sparkly) nonetheless. Have any of my dye jobs come out as I wanted? Not since the orange I did for my Aeolian, I don’t think. Eh. However; now I know exactly how much dye I need to get a good, deep colour, and how much acid I need to use to make it stick. I even wrote it down. That’s… almost organised of me.


Friday FO: double heelix


As soon as I start holding myself to some sort of posting schedule, the universe says CHALLENGE ACCEPTED and immediately sabotages it. On Friday, I had a terrible headache and couldn’t even bring myself to take the photos to add to the already-written blog post.

Happily, though, not only am I all better, but the blog post is too, as I have completely re-written it to be more awesome. You’re welcome.

Anyway, last week I MADED SOME SOCKS.

I’d been working on a self-designed piece for a while and needed a bit of a break from all that thinking. For some reason, I decided that a pattern rated ‘extra spicy’ would be good for this. I’m smart like that.


The pattern is Double Heelix, from Knitty. I was attracted by the clean, simple lines of the pattern, and as a big fan of the toe-up sock, I was intrigued by the idea of a heel-out pattern. I was not disappointed.


The helix was a little confusing to begin with, but before long I was spiralling like a champ. Then the toe and the ankle were perfect look-ma-I’m-not-even-looking material.

After my most recent equipment failure, I felt a little nervous of magic looping once I got to the ankles and was working on both socks at the same time. So I finally looked up how to knit with two circs at the same time.

Mind. Blown.

I don’t know how I thought it worked before this point, but it was such a beautiful moment of wide-eyed wonder when it twigged. If you’ve not done it before, here’s a link to a great tutorial with colour-coded pictures.

I also learned that while I’ve mastered the technique of photographing socks from the front, trying to get a good pic of an unusual heel involves contortions previously seen only in comic books.


Any recent revelations you’d like to share? A technique turned out to be far more simple than expected? Tips for photographing socks without wrenching most of the muscles in your back? Do share in the comments. 😀

I hope I think better of these.

At least before I get too far into them. I don’t want to have wasted too much of my life.

I want to make some fair isle socks, and rather than follow one of the perfectly good and tasteful patterns available out there in the world, I’m inventing them myself. It appears that my self-loathing is spilling into my designing brain. But, I suppose I will never get good and be able to make subtle, attractive colourwork if I don’t practice on something vile first.

I was also thinking of inventing a story to explain my choice of motifs but so far all I can think of is heart attacks and police tapes. Not very socky.

Anyway, I’m working on them inside-out which has done a lot to even out my tension (which has been a problem before with stranded work). I also have one of those cool thimble things that keep your strands separate as you knit, which is excellent for me. My problem now is that I do not know how I’m going to turn the heel because I can’t purl with the thimble on. I think I might frog what I’ve done so far and do it again with a plain white toe and heel – I have more of the white, and I’m willing to take the risk that a single-strand heel will wear out faster. I mean, they’re going to be horrific anyway, right? I should be willing them to break just to spare the world from the horror of seeing them.

Fests of October.

I like October. The weather is changing, my knitted wardrobe is soon to come into steady use, and the month itself has such a pleasing and adaptable nature. I’ve decided to join in on a couple of internets-related projects which lend themselves beautifully to the month in question – Blogtoberfest and Socktoberfest. The idea of each is to:

Blogtoberfest – post a blog post every day.

Socktoberfest – play with socks every day.

Roughly speaking, anyway.

I’m going to start by combining the two – one of the favourite applications of knitting fests like Socktoberfest or the Ravelympics is finishing off the lingering unfinished objects. Somewhat coincidentally, my guilt-ridden UFO was a pair of socks. So I finished the last six rows this evening. Apart from the fact that the cast-off row looks (and feels) like it was done by a demented chimp, I’m quite pleased with them.

Myrtilles on Ravelry

Done to my own (toe-up, short-row toe and heel) recipe. If anybody is interested (!) leave me a comment and I may perfect and share it in the name of the blessed Socktober. And that would be another post for Blogtober. Probably two considering the errata I would almost undoubtedly need to publish. Win all round.


A few recent bits and bobs, in order of completion.

First, I finished my toe-up Froot Loops.

Froot Loops on Ravelry

Within about two minutes of that photo being up on Flickr, I had an invite to add it to some Spanish foot-related group. It didn’t seem too fetishy, so I agreed.

Next, I finished this hat.

Peppermint Swirl on Ravelry

Mmm, swirly. I was supposed to post it out today. Oops.

Then I *finally* finished the companion cube.

Companion Cube on Ravelry

I started that in January. How lame is that? 11 months to finish something not 20cm cubed. However, it’s interesting to see how much I’ve sped up since I started it.

And last, but not least, Dino.

Charlotte the Brontësaurus on Ravelry

Turns out that the Jean Greenhowe booklets I half-inched from my mother are now listed on Ravelry… mmm, Ravelry… so how could I possibly turn down the opportunity.

Tune in soon for some outrageous legwarmers and adventures in using hand-dyed yarn.