Category Archives: socks

Shur’tugal Socks

I’ve admired the sock pattern “Shur’tugal” by Alice Yu for sometime now and finally knit them this past January.  The pattern is a free download that can be obtained on Ravelry or on Alice’s website “Socktopus” in the left sidebar.  She’s a Canadian expat living in the UK and she has an online store (also called Socktopus) specializing in artisan sock yarns.

I used Dreams in Colors Smooshy sock yarn in the dark blue colorway of “Midnight Watch” using US1.5/2.5mm needles.  I have friends that are constantly raving about Smooshy, so I just had to try it for myself.  The dyeing is such that all the colors are semi-solids, with subtle color variations that will not overpower the knit pattern in socks, even the most delicate pattern.  I have to say that since Smooshy is spun with Merino wool, they are smooshy soft on the feet.

The charted pattern is medium is difficulty and knit up very quickly — I think I set myself a new speed record and knit this pair of socks in two week flat.  The diamond pattern is created by either knitting a right or left twist, but no cable needle is involved.  The twist is made by knitting two stitches together but leaving them on the needle, then going between the two stitches and knitting the second stitch, then pulling both new stitches off the needle.  Very nifty.  It does make me cranky that my old eyes don’t see tiny print the way they did in my whipper-snapper years.  You can see in the picture below that I enlarged the pattern chart up around 200%!  Well, you do what you’ve got to do.

While I was knitting these in the evening, Louis would come over and lay his furry little head on my lap.  **sigh**   It just doesn’t get much better than that . . .

Thank you Sugaroni for taking the first two pictures!

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October Socks

I’ve been a very, very bad blogger!! Knee surgery (ouch), jury duty (grumble, grumble, civic duty and all that), SOLD MY HONKIN’ BIG LOOM, lay-offs at work, Nikol and I finished our new dye book (more on that later), Yarn School, bronchitis, knitting, LIFE! Ok, there are the Cliff Notes for my summer . . .

Now for my knitting. I finished my “Wollmeise socks“, a pattern by Monica Jines that’s FREE at The Loopy Ewe. I knit using 2 pairs of 16 inch #1/2.25mm circular needles used Miss Babs “Yummy” sock yarn in the Iris colorway of greens and purples.

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socks done

The pattern is very subtle, with staggered k2tog’s and yo ktb. A very easy knit from the top down pattern that goes together quickly.

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A little side line, I was so impressed when my friend Rachel saw me knitting these socks and without hesitation, she stated (paraphrased), “oh, I love that “Yummy” sock yarn from Miss Babs, and that “Iris” color is great.” The girl knows hers yarns!!

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Interlocking Leaves Socks

Finally, these socks are done!1

They’re the Interlocking Leaves pattern by Kelly Porpiglia from the Fall 2008 issue of Knitty. I used Jojoland Melody superwash yarn and two 16″ US #0 circular needles. I love the lace pattern and the yarn, even though it’s varigated, really defines the stitches.

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This is my first pair of toe up socks, and they were a bit on the frustrating for me. I used a figure eight cast on and loved how easy that was. My grumpiness came when the gusset wasn’t deep enough and I needed to rip back my knitting twice (as though once wasn’t bad enough) before I was pleased with it and it fit correctly. The other thing that made me growl was the cast-off edge of the cuff. Even though I went up a needle size and cast-off very loosely, the edge was so tight it was difficult (if not almost impossible) to pull over my foot. A friend suggested a sewn cast-off (that the clever Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote about in “Knitting Without Tears”), and that worked so much better. I found a great page at Wooly Wonders blog that has excellent (big) pictures that show how to do this flexible and easy cast-off.  After all is said a done, I’m not going to say I’ll never do toe up socks again, but I’ll admit I not a big fan of this technique quite yet.

One thing that always amazes me is what happens when I wet block a knitted project.

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The sock on the left is fresh off the needles and has not been blocked yet, while the sock on the right has been soaked in the sink and put on a sock blocker to dry. You can see a marked difference, as the lace pattern has been opened up, but what’s more is that the feel of the yarn has softened to the touch.  I’ve tried steam pressing and spritzing my piece with a spray of water, but nothing seems to get the job done like totally immersing my finished knitting in a sink of water and then laying the article flat and shaped to dry.  Steam ironing smashes the fibers while wet blocking allows the fabric of the knitting to stay light and fluffy.

I need to thank my friend Ana for taking the top three pictures of my socks!

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Nine-To-Five Socks Finished

My Nine-To-Five socks, by Nicole Hindes, are finished.  

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This is a free pattern that can be downloaded off of Nicoles blog, All Buttoned Up — she even has a YouTube video linked to show the the twisted stitch, or if you like, you can refer to the Barbara Walker instructions in “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns” (the blue volume, the “broad spiral rib” pattern found on page 48).  I knit these using just shy of two skeins of Lorna’s Lace Shepherd Sock yarn in the Gold Hill colorway and used two 16″ 2.5mm circular needles.  As with many hand-dyed yarns, even though both skeins were the same colorway and dye lot, the colors in even skein was distributed a bit differently, so part of one sock has a bit more green — such is the way of hand-dyed.  They still make for a lovely pair of foot coverings.

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I love KnittingHelp.com!  It seems that everytime it comes time to weave/Kitchener stitch the toes of my freshly knitted socks, my mind goes blank — knit, purl, slip, what?!?  My friend Ana sent me to KnittingHelp.com a while back to see the video clip on the Kitchener stitch (go to the page, which is under view videos, knitting tips and scroll down to finishing/seaming/kitchener stitch and clip on the “watch this video” button) and it’s been a breeze ever since.  It’s so nice because I can have my knitting and darning needle ready to go, turn on the video and follow along, playing it over and over again till I get it right.  Now I go to it just as a quick reminder — it’s so helpful!

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Nine-to-Five Socks

I’m about half way through my first sock using the “Nine-to-Five” sock pattern by Nicole Hindes. This is a free pattern that can be found on Nicoles’ blog . . . almost all buttoned up.

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I’m using Lorna’s Lace Shepherd Sock Multi in the colorway 64 Gold Hill on 2.5mm needles. The pattern is very fun and starts with a 4×2 ribbing. That sets up the pattern, which is a faux cable from the Barbara Walker “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns”. If you’re not familiar with this book, go check it out at your local library or bookstore because it truly is a treasury of patterns. There are a total of four volumns and they are a wealth of information. The faux cables look complicated but is deceitfully easy (you’ll have to look up the pattern and see for yourself!), so I can actually take it to a knitting group, talk, drink coffee and NOT get lost in the pattern (and then have to rip out everyting I just knit)!

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Pomatomus Socks are Done!

I’m so pleased with these finished socks!  The pattern is Pomatomus by Cookie A and it can be found at Knitty.com (free — love free).  The 1×1 rib has the effect of fans or scales and my friend Ana suggested that I should rename these my Kelpy socks, after the selkie mer-people of Scottish and Irish folklore (did anyone else see “The Secret of Roan Inish“?!?).  The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino and I used 2.5mm needles.  The blues and greens of the yarn just accentuate the fanning and the feel of it is yummy soft and comfortable!

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Hedera Socks Finished

It’s amazing how much knitting can be accomplished on a road trip. After a LONG 7 hour drive (brief pause . . . that was one way, so the trip was 14 round trip, AND, I should state that my husband drove, not me — I don’t knit and drive), I finished my “Hedera” socks by Cookie A. I found the pattern in the archives of Knitty.com (free) and loved knitting it. The lace pattern is a simple 10 stitch, 4 row repeat, so it was quick to memorize.

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I used Fibra Natura Yummy sock yarn in the colorway #41352 in magentas & pinks that I purchased from Florilegium in Parkville, MO. It took less than one skein of yarn and I used US#1 needles. It’s been ages since I knit socks and I had forgotten how quick and easy they are — and portable to boot! Needless to say, I see a few more pairs in my future!

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