Category Archives: socks

Just say no to poppy socks

I totally owned my sock obsession.  Dove in with gusto and both feet (oooh a pun).  With it has come hours (more than I want to admit) on ravelry looking for fun socks to help make my 12 pairs in 12 months goal.  I came accross the Poppy Socks pattern and went nuts over it.  Such a great pattern it immediately went to the top of my queue.  The first challenge was to find the right gauge yarn – it was almost laughable that with all the sock yarn I’m accumulating of late that there was not ONE 9 stitches to the inch.  Supposedly it’s fingering weight but I think its really more toward lace weight.  A trip down to Knit-Purl in sudbury and I found the most beautiful Ella Rae Lace Merino.

I’m always telling people at SnB to do a gauge swatch – as much as a pain in the royal ass as it is.  So I diligently gauged this one and was happy to find that I was on target with size 2 needles.  Looking through the pattern I knew there would be a ton to learn with these socks.  So armed with my laptop I set out to tackle my poppy socks!

Hitting row 2 was the first challenge – k2 cc, p2 mc – swapping back and forth between contrast and main colors.  I’ve had a tiny bit of experience with this when I did my cuff on the watergarden shrug, and set out to tackle 2 handed knitting.  Holding the contrast color in one hand and the main color in the other – I knit the stitches in English method using my right hand and purled using Continental method using my left hand.  Actually this is pretty simple and I got right into the swing of it and quickly through the 5 rows calle for.Poppy Socks Bobble Row

Now onto the Bobble row – ok so the last time I did bobbles they were a miserable failure.  (Even the felting didnt eliminate that failure!)  These made more sense and I’m a bit more daring now so I was convinced I could handle them.  After a few bobbles which include k5, turn, p5, turn, k5 I figured it was a great time to learn backwards knitting and try and eliminate all of the juggling and yarn tangles that were showing up.  I found several tutorials that made sense, but I think the best one was Knitting Backwards on my old standby of knittinghelp.com

Bobble row completed I started on the pattern.  Yet another learning opportunity – how to deal with the strands.  I found two great tutorials online one step by step:  http://deepspaceknit.blogspot.com/2007/11/tutorial-woven-fair-isle.html and this awesome video: http://www.philosopherswool.com/Pages/Twohandedvideo.htm. Knitting in hand, laptop in front of me, I managed to really get the whole two handed two color thing and was on my way.

About half a poppy pattern through I started to worry about size – would this really fit?  I swatched – but that sneaking feeling that they werent quite right.  Trying to get the inch or so over my foot confirmed that gauge or no gauge these socks would be too tight… I fought being discouraged and went about the big frog.  I told myself that it was ok because I could just practice all that I had learned again and really get it right.  Once more I start on bigger needles.  I actually surprise myself and get back to where I was in only a few hours (over two days).  Onward!Poppy Socks

I’m motivated and moving along at a really good clip – these socks are so so pretty.  I’ve got the hang of the two colors, carefully not making my strands too long, and not pulling too tight.  I try the sock on and its fitting well.  The heel went really well – and the pattern was easily managed.  Still fitting as I go…I feel like I’m sailing through the pattern and am thrilled to get to the toe.  Everything still fits great.

How hard can the toe be?  The toe is a series of more popies.  Not difficult pattern wise, and I didnt think I was pulling too tight – but I get about half way through the toe and decide to try – my suspicions again correct the toe just feels funny and too tight.  Frog frog frog…at least it was only a half of the toe.  Lets adjust once more, the pattern calls to go to a smaller needle on the toe – I opt not to and reknit…I get to the end and try again…nope still dreadful.  Hmmm pattern modification again – instead of the stranding which seems to be choking my toes, I continue the pretty pattern of the heel all the way through until the end.  Beautiful sock…finally finished and ready to try…gotta tell you…this is probably one of the most beautiful socks I’ve ever seen…but it is also the most uncomfortable sock I’ve ever tried on!

Can you hear me screaming from where you read?  This sock has pretty much done me in.  What would normally be just second sock syndrome for this pair is instead a F*ck the second sock syndrome.  There is absolutely no reason on this earth that I will ever even consider making the mate to this sock.  Not only that – it has pretty much killed my pair of socks a month goal –

I admit that I learned TONS making this sock – and thats always a good thing.  But color me (nice pun huh) totally unenthused with socks for the moment – the poppy socks were a total buzz kill.  Now the question of what to do with just one sock other than admire it every once in a while hangs.

Finished Poppy Sock

Oh well…next project please!

Socks, socks and more socks

The more socks I knit, the more I like the whole sock project concept. They’re portable, relatively quick to finish and I discover that depending on the pattern you can learn all sorts of little techniques when you do socks to add to your knitting repertoire. Not to mention that putting on a pair of hand knit socks just makes you feel happy. I read somewhere it’s like wearing expensive luxurious lingerie – perhaps no one sees it, but you do feel special having it on.

Bubble Wrap Socks
pattern by sockbug, (free on ravelry)
knit in cascade heritage

two at a time on magic loop

I fell in love with this yarn when Dee and I were baby girl yarn shopping. The yarn was soft and had a nice squish to it. The colors weren’t something most people would put together right off the bat, but to me they just made sense

I’ve made socks that had a pattern in them before but often the yarn seemed to take over and the pattern itself got lost. This stitch pattern was a simple repeat and I could easily knit these two at a time. The bubble wrap pattern really showed up beautifully in the aqua that the foot was knit in.

These socks are warm and really comfortable.

Circle Socks
pattern by Anne Campbell, (free on ravelry)
knit in Chestnut
Bay Fibers Sock yarn
two at a time on magic loop

Finding kindred sock knitters at our Taunton Stitch ‘n Bitch was so easy – who am I kidding they’re guilty of feeding my sock obsession to the point that I can’t imagine not having a pair of socks on the needles at all times. We decided that we should start a sock KAL – after all addiction is at its best when shared with your friends. Wendy, Cheryl and I decided to take on the Circle socks – this pattern begged to be knit with a crazy variegated yarn. The green and purple just jumped at me on a trip to Black Sheep Knitting and it screamed so loudly it barely spent any time in my stash before it got on a pair of needles. The pattern itself looks much more complex than it really is and it was so much fun to see the different dimensions of the circles take shape.

Wendy, Cheryl and I were headed off on a yarn crawl one week
shortly after finishing our socks and discovered we were all proudly wearing them the same day – birds of a feather huh?!

Bosnian Toes & Turkish Heels
pattern by Lucy Neatby, Knitters Magazine Fall 2008 knit in Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock

I went nuts when I saw this pattern in Knitters. I didnt care what it took I had to try them. Thankfully I convinced Wendy and Cheryl to join me on my journey into sock insanity. This was not an easy pattern at all. The holes are made by pulling several stitches over one stitch. It took a bit of work to figure out how to get them looking like holes instead of smushed up blobs. My other issue was with what size to make. This was also my first experience with size zero needles – a bit of a challeng in and of itself.

After a few false starts I was on my way and once I was on my way. While there was absolutely no possibility of knitting these two at a time, when I finally figured out the pattern it went pretty fast. Cheryl modified the pattern and added one more repeat of circles to add to the length – I did the same thing and am glad that I did. I adore the way they came out – but there is very little give to the yarn and getting the heel on is kind of a pain becuase they’re tight – once on though they’re super comfortable.

2009 Personal Sock Challenge
I’ve decided that I’m taking my love of sock knitting seriously for the new year. I’m going to shoot for a pair of socks a month. My Bosnian Toes and Turkish Heels put me in the mood as they were started and finished in the month of January – so off I go!

February begins our basic sock KAL for the Taunton SnB and I’m right on schedule with pair two for the year. Stay tuned!