Sock knitting: improvisation

I usually know what I’m doing when I knit socks. Leg, heel, foot, toe – I know how long I like them, where to put them, and how to knit them. Sometimes though, the unexpected hits and you’ve got to roll with the punches.

A few weeks ago, I found myself frantically running out of the house and anticipating a lot of waiting. So I did what any sane person would do, instead of putting on makeup or drying my hair, I wound up a skein of sock yarn.

Everything I had on my needles was either not mindless or was close to completion – neither stressful waiting appropriate. So I grabbed this happy skein of rainbow and wound up. Threw it into a bag with a 9″ circular and a 32″ one, just in case I knit like crazy and got to a toe.

I cast it on, got through the ribbing, and just knit round and round. If you’re a knitter you probably know how calming that knit knit knit can feel: meditative and repetitive. Once I got a bit down the leg of the sock, I remembered one crucial fact about this skein of yarn: it is one single, very long rainbow repeat.

I immediately went for my project bag and – nope! – no measuring tape, no extra stitch markers, none of my usual sock-figuring tools. So then a light bulb popped on in my head, thinking about how the yarn was one long repeat I realized that obviously I’d want to see all of the colors. But I hadn’t weighed the yarn before hand (and even if I had, it has a built in contrast color included) – so I had no idea how long to knit the first tube.

I thought and thought and realized – we could meet in the middle! Knit the other sock from the other end of the ball and put in the toes when there is just enough yarn left for them. EUREKA! I moved the first sock to the long circulars, wound off the contrast color, and cast on the second sock.

Once I got home, I kept going with them, pretty excited about the socks. This way the legs are mostly cool colors, while the feet were likely to be the warm pinks, yellows, and oranges! Cool stuff, if you ask me. So I knit…

and knit…

Until I had about 9 grams of yarn left between the two and was at the end of a stripe on both socks. Each sock tube measured a whopping 15.5″ at this point! I put in the toes and wound up with just over 3 grams once they were done. All in all, I’m pretty proud. I think there is about 3/4s of the last two stripes left – you can just see that stripe starting at the tips of the toes.

With that, I used the contrast grey that had been included to knit the heels and we’re done! These are some pretty snazzy socks, if you ask me.

I think you just can’t help but smile. They are so happy!

This yarn is from Gauge Dye Works and is the Colorstudy colorway. I knit my usual 64 stitchs on 2.00 mm (US 0) needles. I used the KirbyWirby method to cut in the heels and knit my toes according to the usual toe pattern in the Crazy Sock Lady’s designs.

I wound up using 82g of the 85g of striped main color and about 6g of the included grey contrast. I really adore how the stripes worked up, it is very subtle as you knit them but the overall effect is pretty stunning.

These are the 95th pair of socks I’ve knit and it was really fun to have to think a little and improvise away from my normal sock knitting routine.


Happy making!

A summer update in two parts: finishing

As seems to be usual these days (this year) it has been quite a while since we last spoke. That always leads me to a bit of a conundrum as to what to write, whether to pick up where I left off or just give a current state of affairs. I’ve been thinking about my goals with this blog and one is to have a bit of a diary, so I don’t want to leave things out.

With that in mind we’re going to do this in two parts. Today, we’ll have a bit of a F.O. parade. We’ll just waltz down the memory lane of projects I’ve completed this summer. Tomorrow, we’ll have a (much longer) chat about what I’m working on. You’ll need your favorite beverage on hand for that one, I’ve got a lot going these days. Without further adieu, let’s dive in!

Back in June, I was deep into sock knitting mode and was pretty far along on this pair. They were finished in pretty short order and have been getting quite a bit of wear. The yarn is ONline Supersocke 4-fach Neon Color in colorway 1721 – deep, deep stash from about five years ago.

Continuing on the sock train, I knit another pair of Rainbow Connection socks! I really love this pattern and this yarn combination really spoke to me. I knit a pair of socks in this amazing self-striping yarn last year and I am pleased to have used up even more of it. The self-striping is Tiny Human Knits (I don’t think she’s dying right now) in Cumberbund and the main color is The Wool Barn in Eden. The pattern is by the Crazy Sock Lady.

It was around this time that much of time was taken up by a super secret project – details in my last post. Once that monster was shipped off to the long arm quilter, I began taking a look a around the sewing room, looking for a quick finish.

Enter my Happy Christmas Mini! I started this one in the spring and finished up the top and quilted it in May, intending for it to be my fifth project for my year of Christmas. Well, the year of Christmas has gotten pushed to the wayside a bit and I hadn’t finished any holiday projects since April – until I finally got around to binding this one. I tried out machine binding for the first time and was pretty happy with the result.

It was a bit of a learning curve, but I thought it was a good time to try since it’s just going a wall! Speaking of, I wound up using some old stash that’s not my fave for the backing – we’re not going to see it much while it’s hanging on the wall. I’ve been lax at showing the back of my quilts, but I like to see what people choose for backing, so here you go!

My quilting mojo was full tilt at this point in early August, so I started and finished this sweet little mini all over a few days. This was a kit I had purchased from Maker Valley, the pattern uses a single block from her Pineapple Love pattern. It was a really fast make and turned out pretty stinkin’ cute. As advised in the kit I used scraps from the top to make the binding and used that same black polka dot fabric for the back.

These socks were knit very slowly over nearly three months and, to be honest, I really only finished them because I needed their needles. The yarn is from A Homespun House in the Whale Belly colorway. They are lovely peachy-pink that is dreamy and I’m happy to have them in my sock drawer. I’m in this place where I want tonal and solid socks, but I don’t really want to knit them. Not that I’m knitting that much, but more on that soon.

My final F.O. for now is my Fat Quarter Pile Up quilt. Yep, this baby has been quilted and sitting around for months. I finally just decided to bite the bullet and machine bind this one as well, so it took me about 2 hours to finish it. It’s so bright and happy! I used a bundle from Mkaer Valley, some orange fabric for the back and some pre-made binding that was laying around here. Since I had it quilted by Nicole at KwiltIt! (who is amazing, by the way), this one only has about 6 hours of my time in it. Talk about a fast project! My machine binding was a little less satisfactory on this one, but I’m chalking it up to a learning experience.

Last, but not least, I crocheted a dishcloth. Something came over me and I decided I needed a finish in the crochet department since my blanket is, umm, taking a while. This is Spread the Dishcloth Joy, a free pattern, using Knit Picks Dishie Multi in Aquarium. Mine came out to be about 9″ x 9″ but I really don’t know anything about gauge in crochet. I used the recommended size hook and followed the pattern except that I don’t know how many rows I did. I went on until it was square and it seems to have worked out.

Well, there we have it. A summer’s worth of completed projects. I’ve been flitting around a lot between various projects so we’re less finishing and more progressing around here – but sometimes that’s how it goes.


Happy making!

I don’t really do patterned socks.

Honestly. I did the math and less than 5% of my finished socks have been patterned. I even currently have a patterned sock on the needles that I’m mostly making no progress on. I cast on patterned socks from time to time, and I often frog them.

Recently, I was watching the Crazy Sock Lady podscast when she revealed a new pattern: the Rainbow Connection Socks. I always like the look of Kay’s designs, but rarely give in because, well, you know. But these socks just intrigued me and I couldn’t get them out of my head. So, I did what I soemtimes regret doing – I cast them on.

The pattern uses a main color and mini skeins or self-striping yarn for the contrast. I had received these minis in “little box of hygge” from A Homespun House in March and they just called to me. The main yarn is a merino/cashmere/nylon from Woolberry Fiber Co. in the Snow-kissed Mountains colorway. I got started and the next day…

I was so in love. I just couldn’t stop and so two more days…

I was in full swing by Friday. On Saturday, I momentarily came to my senses and put some work into finishing my Norah Quilt top. Come Sunday though, I finished up the toe before we were done slaying orcs in D&D.

I am telling you, I could not have enjoyed knitting this pair of socks any more. The pattern and the yarn were just a perfect match and it was highly enjoyable. I’m already looking around for some other pairings to knit more. I’m looking at you rainbow sock leftovers…


Happy making!