Posts Tagged ‘Socks’

Conversation Piece

A conversation piece is usually something that incites discussion.  It’s usually something very artful, or well, just ugly enough to make you want to dis it, breaking the silence barrier and lightening the mood of a group of people.

This is neither.

My friend Sheryl was coming to stay, and since we like to gasbag, I needed something I could knit without thinking.  No pattern, no lace, minimal counting, JUST KNITTING.

I bought some  Regia Kaffe Fassett Design Line sock wool last year because I adore stripes.  All I could find at the time were colours from the mirage range though, which are random dyed.  Took me ages to find the colour I wanted in the Landscape range.  But then the wool just sat there.  I fell in love with Vintage Purls and lace and designing my own socks, that I figured I wouldn’t even knit up that wool.  How pathetic is that!

So I decided that colourful striped socks in plain stocking stitch were just the ticket.  Simple.  Effective. Easy.


This  is literally a conversation piece.  Simple knit socks, that I knit around and around and around, while conversing the whole time! They took me all of four days.  That’s a heap of gasbagging!

Sheryl knit a pair as well.  Her Theodora socks from the current Sock Club through Vintage Purls.  A decent friend would have taken a nice pic of the two of us together, but instead, here is a pic of our feet.


These are currently my most favourite socks.  I have to admit, that when I was done knitting the toe, I had decided I didn’t like the feel of the yarn.  It seemed scratchy and stiff.  But i LOVE them.  Mostly because they fit like a glove.  I’ve had some problems with how many gusset stitches to use to balance the height of the instep with the lace knitting I’ve been doing, but went with the lower end of 12 gusset stitches on these socks.  Between that and measuring the length of my foot at the end of the sole instead of the back of the heel, these are a perfect fit.  They have just the right amount of negative ease to them.

So, that’s my conversation piece.  I called them Plain Jane, because they are just knit stitches, but wow, they are anything but plain.


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DIY Sock Blockers for the Scrapbooker

When you knit socks, you suddenly have a need for sock blockers, but I needed some r.i.g.h.t n.o.w.  And I didn’t want to pay out a chunk of change to get just one size either.

Found this simple tutorial on ravelry for DIY sock blockers, which uses placemats, cut to the necessary shape or size you need. I was worried that if you cut the placemat, any laminated paper on the inside would get damp while blocking your socks. Plus, I didn’t want to buy nice placemats, just to chop them up.

So I modified, and used what I had, and got a variety of styles and colours and sizes that I never could have gotten with just a placemat.

I dug out some much neglected scrapbooking paper, cut it to the size I needed, laminated and trimmed. And Voila!!!

These in a size 10.


And these in size 9 (double sided paper).


And double sided with four different, coordinating  papers.



Not perfect, but functional, and practical.


What does Gordon say?  DONE!

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So, I mentioned I learned Magic Loop and Toe Up Socks in this post. I love knitting socks, but ever since knitting my Wicked I’ve found I enjoy being able to try things on as I am knitting them.  You are able to get a much better fit. Plus if you have to frog back, it’s easier to do that while in the middle of knitting it,  than it is having a finished garment that just doesn’t fit properly.

Anyway, I took the bulls by the horn, and cast on for some socks, but wanted something a bit fancier than just plain stocking stitch, so I frogged it and started over.  I took my favourite dishcloth pattern, and turned it into a sock pattern.



I was so determined to use my Regia Bamboo Colours, but it’s a little hard to see the lacework.  So I knit up some Vintage Purl Sock Wool in Chlorophyll.  These are a gift.  A very belated Christmas present, but better late than never.  The semi-solid dyeing shows the pattern in much more details.


I had to modify a bit as the wool knit tighter than the Bamboo did.  Plus, I did an anklet height, so only did four lace pattern repeats after the heel flap, and a plain cast off.  I called the pattern Mermaidia based on both origin of the stitch pattern and because it looked like a gathering place for Mermaids.

And one a little closer, showing the lacework.


The lighting, plus my novice photo editing skills don’t do the colour justice.

So, here is the pattern.  It will be uploaded to Ravelry as well. Special thanks to the lovely Morag of Vintage Purls, for helping me get my head around doing the heel flap in reverse.

This sock when knit in gauge, should give you a US Woman’s shoe size of 8 – 9.  It can be easily lengthened or shortened by adding rows in the foot.  It is designed to use Magic loop. It can be done on DPNs if you wish, just be careful with the pattern, as there are more stitches on the top of the sock than there are on the bottom.


9 st x 12 rows per inch in stocking stitch

Materials needed:

100g 4ply Regia Bamboo Colour

2.50mm 80cm circular needle (I used Knit Picks)

3 place markers/stitch markers.


k = knit

p = purl

sl = slip purlwise while keeping yarn at the back

kfb = knit into front of loop and then into back of loop

yf = bring yarn to the front of the work as if to purl

psso = pass slipped stitch over

m1 = This is the M1L from knittinghelp.com: Using the left needle, lift the purl bar between the stitches on your needles and knit into the back of the loop

k2tog = knit two together

p2tog = purl two together

pm = place marker

rm = remove marker

slm = slip marker from left to right needle

BarInc = : Using the left needle, lift the purl bar between the stitches on your needles to create a new stitch.

Cast on toe:

Using Judy Becker’s Magic Cast-On or Turkish Cast On, cast on 24 stitches (12 on each needle) and knit one round.  Place marker (or pull tail yarn to the outside of the work) to mark the beginning of the round.

Toe Increases:

Round 1: Kfb, knit to next to last stitch on needle one, kfb, k1.  Repeat on needle two.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 nine times for a total of 10 sets of increases.  You should have 32 stitches on each needle.

Round 1: Knit 16, M1, K to end of round.

Round 2: Knit

You should now have 33 stitches on needle one, and 32 on needle two.  The extra stitch on needle one is to center the lace pattern.

Start the lace pattern here for needle one only.  Knit all stitches on needle two. Work 9 pattern repeats, or until sock is 3.5 inches less than the length of your foot from toe to heel.

Lace pattern:

Row 1: k1,*yf, k2 , sl1-k2tog-psso, k2, yf, k1* (x4), knit to end of round

Row 2: k

Row 3:k2,*yf, k1, sl1-k2tog-psso, k1, yf, k3* (x3), yf, k1, sl1-k2tog-psso, k1, yf, k2, knit to end of round.

Row 4: k

Row 5: k3, *yf, sl1-k2tog-psso, yf, k5*(x3), yf, sl1-k2tog-psso, yf, k3, knit to end of round.

Row 6: k

Gusset Increases:

I will now interchangeably refer to needle one as the instep and needle two as the insole. Continuing the lace pattern on needle 1 (instep), work gusset increases on needle two (insole) only.

Round 1: k1, pm, m1, k30, m1, pm, k1

Round 2: knit

Round 3: k1, m1, slm, k32, slm, m1, k1

Round 4: knit

Round 5: k1, m1, knit to marker, slm, k32, slm, knit to last stitch, m1, k1

Round 6, knit

Work rounds 5 and 6 a total of 10 times, ending in a knit row.  You should now have 12 gusset stitches on either side of your place markers, and the 32 insole stitches between the place markers.

Reverse Heel Flap:

Knit in pattern across the instep (needle one).  You will now be working back & forth on the insole needle only (needle two).  Do not wrap your stitches when you turn.

Row 1: k12, slm, k32, turn

Row 2: sl1, p31, turn

Row 3: sl1, k30, turn

Row 4: sl1, p29, turn

Row 5: sl1, k28, turn

Row 6: sl1, p27, turn

Row 7: sl1, k26, turn

Row 8: sl1, p25, turn

Row 9: sl1, k24, turn

Row 10: sl1, p23, turn

Row 11: sl1, k22, turn

Row 12: sl1, p21, turn

Row 13: sl1, k20, turn

Row 14: sl1, p19, turn

Row 15: sl1, k18, turn

Row 16: sl1, p17, turn

Row 17: sl1, k16, DO NOT TURN. You will now knit in the 8 abandoned short row stitches that are on your left needle as follows: *BarInc, k2tog* (x8). You will now pick up the first gusset stitch as such: rm, sl1 to right needle, pm back on left needle, pass next to last stitch on right needle over the slipped stitch, turn.

Row 18: sl1, p23, *BarInc, p2tog* (x8), rm, sl1 to right needle, pm back on left needle, pass next to last stitch on right needle over the slipped stitch, turn.

Row 19: sl1, k31, rm, sl1 to right needle, pm back on left needle, pass next to last stitch on right needle over the slipped stitch, turn.

Row 20: sl1, p31, rm, sl1 to right needle, pm back on left needle, pass next to last stitch on right needle over the slipped stitch, turn.

Repeat rows 19 and 20 ten more times, until all the gusset stitches have been knit in, ending in a purl row, turn.

You will start the lace pattern now on needle two (which is now the back of the leg). For this row only, knit lace pattern on needle 2 as follows:

yf, sl1, k1, sl1-k2tog-psso, k2, yf, k1, yf, k2, sl1-k2tog-psso, k2, yf, k2tog, yf, k2, sl1-k2tog-psso, k2, yf, k1, yf, k2, sl1-k2tog-psso, k1, sl1, yf.   You will now have 31 stitches on needle two for the remainder of the sock, instead of 32.  You should now be back at the beginning of the round, ready to work round 2 of the lace pattern.  Work round 2 in the following fashion ONCE, and then continue in original lace pattern, working lace on both needles one and two.

Round 2 (do only this one time): sl1, k31, sl1, knit to end of round. Be sure not to accidently knit your yf and your sl together at the beginning and end of needle two.

TIP: Because there are yf increases at the beginning and end of needle two in round 1 of the lace pattern, it is very important to keep these as tight as possible, so as not to create ladders in your work from the areas between needles.

Continue in pattern, for 10 pattern repeats, or to desired length.


Work 10 rows in twisted rib: (k1tbl, p1) x 32

OR work an alternate cuff of 12 rounds of 2×2 rib, followed by a normal cast off.

Cast off:

Picot cast off (or use your preferred cast off method). *Cast on 2 stitches using cable cast on, cast off 4 stitches in the usual manner. Move last stitch you knit from the right needle to the left needle, and repeat from *.

Please note, this pattern is free for personal use.  Not commercial use of this pattern without prior approval.  Copyright 2009 Christine Jeffery

PDF download is here:

Mermaidia Sock Pattern

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Yarn Porn

I gate crashed a knitters weekend a couple of  weekends ago with some friends from around the lower North Island.  It was put together by the amazing James from Joy of Yarn in Greytown and featured the most awesome Morag of Vintage Purls.  It was a great workshop, teaching toe up socks using Magic Loop.

Here is my little workshop sock.


And this is what snuck in my bag for the trip home.  From Left to Right, Rosewood, Diva, Joy, Dolly and Bluhu.  All are Limited Editions ones except Joy, which Morag makes just for James’ store.


I came home with some Regia Bamboo as well, and started these.


I wrote up the pattern, but have a few friends checking it over, so will post it soon.

In the mean time, here is more yarn porn.

This one is Patonyle, kettle dyed in pinks and reds.


Patonyle again, in reds and blacks.  Both of these are supposed to be secrets, but will reserve the rest of the items associtated with these for another post.


This one is an 8ply, called Mia from Knitworld.  Dyed with procion in Burgundy, Fuchsia, Magenta and Bubblegum.  Love how this one turned out!


These ones are various cotton and bamboo mixtures.  A bit of random dyeing going on, if you can’t tell from the top one, which is what happens when kettle-dyeing goes VERY wrong.


Anyway, it’s always good to find out what works and what doesn’t.

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Well, I finished.  The Ravelympics are done.  Ten knitting projects are complete.  And I still had seven hours to spare by the time I was done.

My first two projects were done in a flash, being small items.  The next three, took a couple days, but were done in the first weekend of the Olympics.  Then I slowed.  Sore fingers will do that to you.

So, here are the last five.

I’ve done another pair of the Slip Stitch Longies like I did in this post.  I am just in love with these, so will post a pattern soon for anyone else keen to knit them up.

These are knit using The Wool Company Utiku Multi coloured in the Sunset shade.  I love how the pooling is still slightly visible, yet totally broken up by the slip stitches.  Here are a couple more pics, closeup.

A friend of mine is just starting chemotherapy, so I’ve knit up a hat to keep his warm in the coming Northerm Hemisphere winter.   It’s the Ribbed Beanie from Wooly Wornhead, knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky.  Nice and simple, yet very stylish.  Modeled by the lovely DH.

This is the last bag for the Ravelympics Bag And Tote Backstroke.  It’s the Watercolour Bag, knit in Utiku for the edging and bottom, and Noro Kureyon for the body of the bag.  I wussed out and just used leather for the straps, instead of knitting a 10 foot icord.

So, I was finally on the home stretch.  I saved the socks until the end, because they were going to take longer than the longies.  Nothing like prcrastinating.  I had a lovely Regia sock wool for KM7, but could I find the wool?  Nope.  So I knit up some Opal Lollipop, which KM7 seems equally pleased with.

And the finale, would of course HAVE to be longies.  Knit using The Wool Company Utiku Possum Merino, I knit these up for a little wee man, set to arrive in the world in September/October.  I wanted them to be able to go with everything, and what goes with everything better than jeans.

So, as I cross the finish line, fingers in plasters, Ben Gay rubbed into joints, toothpicks holding eyes open, I did what any avid knitter would do.  Cast on.

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Sock Success!!!

Well, I got over the second-sock-itis.  Woohoo.  4-ply takes sooooooooooo long.  I bow down to those patient knitters that choose to knit 4 ply on a regular basis.  My impatience almost dictates 8 ply at a minimum.

So, here are my first ever pair of socks.

Socks for Kiri

I really don’t like the pattern I followed to knit these.  Well, I don’t like the heel and the toe, so that’s most of the pattern.  I did manage to get the pattern repeat to be almost identical on both socks, which is a good thing for symmetrical mama here.  Kiri is quite chuffed and is proudly wearing her new, warm socks.

Socks as modelled by Kiri

Which reminds me about my post the other day, that I want to make more knitted items for the kids.  And with Christmas six months away, I have a bit of time to get myself sorted.  I hope.  Anyone that knows me, knows that i am ALWAYS late.  I never get anything done or sent on time.

I shamefully went to Nancy’s today.  I love to just go and look, or buy.  Oops.  But I did find this great knitted toy book.  Guess what some of the presents will be under the tree this year!

Toys to Knit

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