knitting it up in a big way

Category Archives: socks


FO: Candyfloss Socks <–ravelry project page

Pattern: None. Just 56 stitches, cuff down. More details below.
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colorway Villain.
Needles: US size 2, 2.75mm


Let’s talk deets! I tend to prefer toe up socks, so I thought I’d vary it up this time and make these cuff down. I visited Hedgehog Fibres in Cork when I was in Ireland and got to meet the lovely Beata. While I was there, she showed me the beautiful sample of the Vestigial Socks, and I decided on the spot that one of the skeins I purchased from Hedgehog would be turned into mistake rib socks.


I was on the look out for one of her crazy bright yarns. She’s made several pairs of socks in super colorful yarns that I have just adored. With the ridiculous acid/candy color riot happening in this skein, I couldn’t resist. Even though it’s fairly far from my normal color comfort zone. But socks are good projects for that, because they are so easy to cover up.


I pretty much made the heel turn up as I went along. I think it says a bit about how many socks I have knit at this point in time that I am able to just wing it with a heel turn. That has always been the point where I’ve gone running back to the pattern to consult in the past. So… yay! I love the look of the pattern continuing down the heel flap, and as it has yet to be the first place my handknit socks have ever worn out, I don’t have many reservations about it.


I did a wide toe for this pair, for which I consulted my Knitting Vintage Socks book by Nancy Bush. It’s a very comfortable toe, but I’m not convinced about it aesthetically, so I can’t say how likely I am to return to it in the future.


Yay! New FO! I blocked a hat at the same time as these, so that should be up soon, and I’m quite close to finishing another hat, as well as starting the featherweight cardigan you were all kind enough to lend me an opinion about, and chugging away at the crochet blanket.



FO: when in doubt, go to the library <-ravelry project page

pattern: hermione’s everyday socks, knit with modifications from the humble sock goes toe up, as well as my own!
yarn: pagewood farms chugiak in mardi gras, purchased in san diego at the grove
needles: US size 2

Not sure how I feel about the pooling so far... Thoughts?

these socks began their journey last autumn as simple two by one ribbed socks, but i decided that was way too boring, and i was at that time deeply engrossed in re-reading the harry potter series, so i switched courses for hermione’s everyday socks, which i think suits the yarn better. the name is of course, about hermione, a quote from harry potter and the chamber of secrets. it’s no secret that there’s scarcely a character i don’t love in those books, but hermione is quite high on the list. this sums it up pretty well. i have several pins dedicated to HP in my bookish board, in case you happen to have a sudden need for more harry potter things.


i’ve pretty much stopped following original sock patterns… i’ve found that 56 sts on US size 2’s give me a comfortable fit, so if the pattern doesn’t call for 56 sts, i make the necessary adjustments. for a long time, preferred toe up because it allowed me to knit the socks from a single skein without worry that i would run out of yarn before finishing the pair when i didn’t have an electric scale to make sure i had the yarn in two equally sized balls. now i have an electric scale, but i prefer my socks a little shorter than most patterns call for and have never once run out of yarn for socks for myself, and i’ve kind of gotten stuck in my comfortable groove. which i’m totally fine with, so onwards i trot in a similar fashion as the way i came. maybe one of these days i’ll shake it up and try out a few more sock techniques. in the mean time, well you know what they say: ‘if it ain’t broke…’ etc.


i’ve probably mentioned it before, but the humble sock goes toe up is my favorite toe up pattern, both because it is infinitely adjustable, and also because it has a gusset, which i like a lot! short row heels feel tight on me, and i feel like i am placing stress on the knitted fabric of my socks when i’ve made short row heels. (oh i definitely have, in fact just the last time i finished a pair of socks!)


i was drawn to this yarn for it’s deep jewel like tones. pagewood farms excels at these, and i’ve admired them for years, but they are just rare enough in yarn stores, and i always seemed to have other priorities when i did see them, that i had never purchased a skein before this one. it’s very tightly twisted, and knits up a little too defined, a little loosely, but it fluffed up and filled out nicely with a blocking. i suspect working with size 1 needles would fix it, too, but man, progress really seems to slow down between size 2 and 1. it might be more about perception than reality, but that’s how i feel on the matter.


i finished these in ireland, knitting on trains, and in restaurants, and on buses. they were the perfect mindless, easily portable project for that. it took me my typical eons to block them, and then my camera battery was drained for another month, but now! now i have a new pair of hand knit socks! huzzah!


colorblock rikke, bitsy & bobbsy (II), mistake rib hat

21 finished objects: 13 hats, 2 sweaters, 2 scarves, 1 cowl, 1 pair of mitts, 1 pair of socks, 1 toy. a slightly ridiculous amount of hats. an unprecedented amount of sweaters. 1,561 yards, though that is a very approximate conjecture. as opposed to last years 16 finished objects: 4 cowls, 4 hats, 2 mitts, 1 pair of socks, 1 pair of slippers, 1 pair of legwarmers, 1 camisole, 1 sweater, 1 baby blanket. so less diversity than last year, but more FO’s.

rosy fingered dawn, honey block hat, belafonte

goals for 2012:
publish one pattern
knit one sweater (doesn’t have to be for me!)
finish 20 knits
knit for pleasure
knit selfish
go back to spinning. maybe 6 skeins?

with an olive, winter is coming, bough

welp. i failed at a few of those. no patterns published, as i never could choose one to start pursuing! and i didn’t spin 6 skeins, though i did actually start making headway on that goal! i think i got 2 skeins spun up? but the balance on my spinning wheel got a little wonky, and i still need to get that looked at.

what the frack-tal, reduced circumstances, pops hat

but i accomplished more goals than not! 21 FO’s, one more than i hoped for! 2 sweaters! knitting for pleasure and knitting selfishly. this was kind of a big deal for me. in 2012 i experienced a bit of… knitting malaise. primarily due to taking on projects i did not have enough interest in. so i tried to be more careful about the projects i took on this year. i tried to make sure that even when i was knitting for others, that i was making choices consistent with what i wanted to be making. and it worked out! i’m still knitting a little less than i used to. but my peak was when i spent a minimum of 10 hours on a train every week. i don’t commute by train anymore. and now that i’m more active in the producing of PoPS, i don’t know that i can expect my output to equal those heights. and that’s okay. it’s just an adjustment.

stripey magee, tinker bell mitts, el pescador

this next year:
– de-stash. i want to have a stash that inspires me, not weighs me down. i don’t mind how i de-stash. it doesn’t all need to be knit up, i can donate, gift away, whatever. right now my ravelry stash claims i have 93 yarns in my stash. let’s aim for… 85 by next year? i would also like it all to fit in the closet i have allocated for it.
– try a new technique. i made a toy for the first time this year! one of the things i love love love about having knitting as my favorite hobby is that there are always new ways to challenge yourself, to learn more. if there’s a ceiling to what you can know about knitting, i’ve never glimpsed it! that said, i certainly can get sucked into remaining in my comfort zone. so this year, i want to make sure there’s at least one adventure! maybe brioche stitch? i’ve never done that. or stranded colorwork with more than 2 colors per row? maybe it’s time to get over my intarsia aversion?
– work from some new designers. while i was doing the round up, i realized how many designers i admire but haven’t knit from! so i’d like to try at least one design by joji and alicia. i’ve admired both of their styles for quite a long time now, but never made anything they’ve designed!

once upon a midnight dreary, ne me quitte pas, sloe berries

and i’m keeping the following:
– knit 20 objects. this is just a goal, not a resolution. i’d be happy with less, if they were a little larger in scope this next year.
– keep spinning. i was really loving getting back to it before i got interrupted.

slow news day, turn a square, clean slate cowl

i think that’s plenty to accomplish, honestly! i wouldn’t mind publishing another pattern, but i’m still not sure which one to pursue, so i’m not going to toss it on the official list. what did you knit this year? which was your favorite project? are you making any goals for the new year?

and indeed it is. we had our first frost last week, and i am suffering mixed feeling about it. on the one hand, the hoar-tipped greenery is quite pretty, and freezes should be bringing an end to my autumnal allergies, with have been especially active this year. but on the other hand, we started filming all of the external scenes for pops episode 8 so that we wouldn’t have to film outside in the frigid freezing ridiculous cold. only, we’re starting to have to do that anyways. in october. yeesh.


FO: winter is coming <– ravelry project page

pattern: the humble sock goes toe up using the elongated corded rib pattern from sensational knitted socks
yarn: wooly wonka in colorway winterfell (hence the name of the socks)
needles: size 2


mods: well, this is a mash-up pattern. i prefer to knit socks toe-up, two at a time, although i don’t use the two circular needle method, just grab 8-10 of my scads of size 2 double pointed needles and switch back and forth between the two socks. i feel that i have more control knitting toe up, in terms of using yarn up evenly, making the two socks identical, avoiding second sock syndrome (i have two or three single socks hanging around my wip basket). but i miss the gusset from top down socks. short row heels without a gusset always feels like it’s really pulling at the heel. this is the first time i’ve tried the instructions from the humble sock goes toe up. they aren’t the only toe-up with gusset pattern out there, but they were definitely the first ones i ever saw!


these have rekindled my interest in knitting socks, and i’ve already cast on for another pair (the hermione’s everyday socks that i mentioned). however, i’ve worn these twice since finishing them, and it’s reminded me of the reasons i am ultimately less of a sock knitter. while i love the ability to create useful objects, the soles of these are felting after two wears… which feels a little defeating. i guess socks just have a smaller lifetime then other knits, and if i’m going to knit socks, it’s just something i’ll have to get over.


but mostly needles!

i’ve become rather terrible about sharing projects that are in progress, rather than done! so let’s see where i’m spending my time right now.

Not sure how I feel about the pooling so far... Thoughts?

i picked up this lovely skein of pagewood farms chugiak sock yarn (colorway mardi gras!) from a cute shop in san diego in august. i originally cast on for the 2×1 rib sock you see above, inspired by hedgehog fibres effusive and colorful beauties. but i wasn’t 100% convinced about the pooling… and then i began re-reading all of the harry potter series from the beginning for the first time since the publication of the 7th book, via audiobook. sooooo gooooood you guys. anyone want to majorly nerd out and discuss harry potter in detail? then i found out about the free pattern hermione’s everyday socks, and i realized that the predominant colors were red and gold (for gryffindor!) and that clinched it. knitting was pulled out and re-started accordingly.

Quiet day #PicFrame

this has been queued for a long time. i fell in love with the aidez cardigan when it was first released, and i saw how good it was time and time again as other knitters made it. this yarn has been in my stash forever, too. why the delay? who knows! but it’s happening now! i finished the back, and i’m knitting up the fronts simultaneously. i’m pretty close to finished with the fronts, and then on to the sleeves!

the thing that i love most about the knitting of this cardigan is the inclusion of what i’m calling ‘cheater cables’. in every panel that you knit, there is only one ‘real’ cable that requires an extra needle. the rest are tricky little stitches that look more complicated than they are. which is ingenious! they contribute greatly to the aesthetic of the sweater, but not to the workload! i didn’t realize this before i started knitting it, so it was a nice surprise!


lastly, here’s a horrible picture of the orchids and fairy lights hat i’m almost done with. another pattern i’ve admired practically since its inception, but never gotten around to making! i’m using another dreamy skein of tanis fiber arts for this. the picture does absolutely no justice to it’s beauty. better pictures when it’s an FO! i’m loving the way it’s knitting up, but i do think bobbles are best served by single ply yarn, to increase puffiness. i’m hoping the blocking will help these bobbles fluff up a bit.

anything been in your queue for eons before you actually got around to making it?

who’s your favorite harry potter character? i find i love molly weasely more and more everytime i go through it. i also forgot that the majority of my fondness for snape derives from alan rickman’s casting and performance. he’s such a jerk in the books! i always thought he would ultimately be a good guy, though, because of dumbledore’s confidence in him…

FO: kiki's slippers

yay! i finished the slippers in time to sneak them in as the final FO of 2012!

FO: kiki's slippers

kiki’s slipper socks <–ravelry project page

pattern: on-your-toes by ann budd
yarn: cascade yarn ecological wool, maybe a half skein? maybe less? somewhere in the neighborhood of 230 yards? also elitespun fingering weight yarn in lava for the embroidered contrast to sew on the slipper bottoms.
needles: US size 8 (5mm)

FO: kiki's slippers

on-your-toes is my default sock pattern. toe up, with handy-dandy charts for practically every size foot and every gauge of knitting. i have used it as the basis for four pairs of socks now (some cloudy day, pink explosion slipper socks, the ground beneath my feet, and these), and if i ever want to modify any other patterns, i tend to reference it for any potential gauge changes.

FO: kiki's slippers

i finished knitting these up at the end of last year. basic toe-up pattern in a heavier weight yarn (i treat this yarn like it’s aran, because that’s kind of how it acts). lots of ribbing at the top, and a sewn tubular bind-off. after finishing the knitting, they got put to the side, which is an unfortunate pattern i sometimes have… but i ordered some slipper bottoms through my local yarn store, and it took a while to figure out what color would provide a good counterpoint to the slightly different grey tones. (okay, so i asked kiki.)

FO: kiki's slippers

a note about slipper bottoms: i got them an inch longer than the recipients feet, so that feet + sock + the slippers could all fit within them and comfortably move around. then it was kind of a hassle to stretch the slippers to that length to sew them in, even though they stretched easily enough on the foot. also, i went for a less decorative stitch the first couple of tries, but it looked uneven. the blanket stitch actually helped a lot in terms of keeping it tidier.

kitty photobomb

kitty photobomb! baiza’s resentment that our little photoshoot interrupted her napping is palpable! sorry, baiza! gotta go where the sunshine is!


celia’s socks are done! whoo!

deets: cloudy with a chance for celia <–ravelry project page

pattern: glynis from cookie a’s sock innovation
yarn: knit one, crochet too’s crock-o-dye in pewter (it’s a generous skein of yarn, i still have some left. i think i used somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 yds for these)
needles: US size 1 metal addi circulars
mods: the legs are a couple of repeats shorter than the pattern. i did six repeats before working on the heel.


gosh, i originally started these eons ago. i tried to do the sunshine pattern from cookie a’s sock innovation. the problem with that was two-fold. i was knitting them on little wooden size 0 dpns, which were very slender and bendy. and there were cables, which made the fabric i was knitting even tighter. basically, i thought i was going to snap my needles, which made for tense knitting.


so i switched patterns to the glynis socks from the same book, and swapped out the dpns for metal circulars. in the long run, this made for smoother knitting. at the beginning, though, when i was done knitting the cuff, i kept trying to start the pattern using the wrong chart. i had to rip out several times before i actually took the time to look at the pattern to see what i was getting wrong.


i also dropped a stitch on the sole of the first sock, and didn’t notice for about 20 rows. you can see it in the photo above, there’s a slight puckering on the top sock (i didn’t manage to pick up a stitch for every one of the twenty rows), but it blocked out okay.


celia’s feet are smaller than my own, and therefore the sock blockers i usually use would stretch them out considerably. i bent two wire hangers into smaller blockers, using mine as a shape guide, and sent them on to the recipient, so that her socks can dry prettily.

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