Thursday, December 31, 2009

Two Pairs of December Socks

The first is Oh, Christmas Tree!

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 420 yard skein of Cherry Tree Hill merino fingering weight yarn from Alaskan Nancy on Etsy in Black Spruce colorway
Stitch Pattern:
Rnd 1: k2,p2
Rnd 2: ssk, yo, p2
Rnd 3: k2,p2
Rnd 4: yo,k2tog, p2

The second is Sugar Plum

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 3.5 oz/100g approximately 460 yards 75% Merino wool, 25% nylon from Wool Candy on Etsy in Sugared Violet Marzipan colorway
Stitch Pattern:
Rnd 1: k7,p2
Rnd 2: k1,, k2tog,yo,k1,yo,ssk,k1,p2
Rnd 3: k7,p2
Rnd 4: k2tog,yo,k3,yo,ssk,p2

Monday, December 28, 2009

Too Ambitious

Ah..I thought that, because I had two weeks off work, I would have plenty of time for knitting socks and so I listed a long list of socks I was going to knit this month.

Well, that didn't work out as planned. I finished one pair and one sock each of two other pairs, and I'll be lucky to have three pairs done before the New Year. My plan now is to do a "Christmas in July" and knit the others (or perhaps just some of the others) then. A few which don't have names related to Christmas can be squeezed into other months. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Book Reviews

These are not sock books, but they do have patterns in them, including some for socks.

The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parks

This book begins with an entire chapter titled "What is Wool?" In it the author discusses skirting and shorting, scouring fleece, how wool is spun into yarn, and dying yarn. Further in the book she describes difference sheep breeds and how that determines how the yarn will look, feel, and behave. This chapter is extremely detailed and fascinating

She further describes how wool "plays well with others"; in other words, how it can be blended with other fibers for different effects. Following these chapters she presents many beautiful patterns.

One was this scarf which I hope to find time to make this winter.

And, of course,socks.

A companion book by the same author is The Knitters Book of Yarn.

It begins with a chapter on fiber foundations (protein, cellulose, cellulosic, and synthetic) following by one detailing how yarn is made including yarn production by mills and microspinneries, farm yarns and fiber festivals, how yarn is colored, and how wool is prepared for spinning. The next chapter describes single ply, two-ply, three-ply, and four-ply and more and what projects they are each best suited for.

The rest of the book offers many patterns. These were some of my favorites:

These mittens are just gorgeous and another project I'd love to do this winter.

And more socks!

NOTE: Errata for The Knitters Book of Yarn can be found here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lollipop Socks

Needles: 2.25 dpn
Yarn: self-striping 420 yards of fingering weight Cherry Tree Hill Select 100% merino yarn from AlaskanNancy on Etsy

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blackberry Bramble Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Araucania Ranco Colorway 75% wool and 25% polyamide 100grs
Pattern: Blackberry Bramble by Irish Girlie Knits; available through Ravelry

Blackberries are prolific plants in Oregon. Many consider them a weed and resort to burning the bushes to get rid of them, although that doesn't always work. They can grow high, serving as fences, and remind me of the brambles that surrounded castles in fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty. The fruit, however, is delicious when ripe and sweet and I especially like them in pies. Always, we have blackberry pie in late August, when they are at their peak. It's lovely, too, to have blackberry pie in bleak mid-winter, to remind us that summer will indeed come again.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Psychotic Pumpkin Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 100% Superwash Merino 2-ply 110grams/3.9ounce and 440 yards
Colorway: psychotic pumpkin from SeeJaneKnit Yarns on Etsy which she describes as

In-your-face with a manic orange glow, but its guts are mellow-yellow/squash-yellow. Socks knitted with this yarn just might help you survive another Thanksgiving dinner with the family.

Yes, indeed!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cranberry Twist Socks

Cranberry Twist
Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 420 yard skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select, a pure superwash merino fingering weight yarn from Alaskan Nancy on Etsy
Pattern: Mock baby cable

Saturday, November 14, 2009

You Are My Sunshine (Baby Socks)

Needles: 3.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Summer Sun by March Hare 75/25 Superwash merino/nylon; 455 yards per ball; fingering weight
Pattern: Two x two ribbing

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Good Day to Wear Wool Socks

I recently came across this essay, A Brief History of Socks and Hand-knitted Footwear, which I found fascinating to read. There was recent post on the knitlist as well, signed "Maggie in IL" who reminded us that many years ago almost all hand knit socks were made of wool and people knew to wear them with shoes and to darn holes and thin spots. She reminds us that yes, 100% wool socks do need to be hand washed and that the tighter the knit the better the wearing.

It's a cold, dark, wet, and dreary Oregon autumn day and I'm working late today and so this morning I put on a pair of handknit socks ; specifically the Go Beavs! socks I finished recently, with an orange pullover and a black skirt. My feet are very, very happy that I did.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Autumn Sunset Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Castle Fibers 90% wool, 10% nylon sock yarn
Pattern: Stockinette

Goldengrove Unleaving Socks

I named these socks after a phrase in a poem I like entitled Spring and Fall: To a Young Child by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie.
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Uber-gold sock yarn (100g of 75% superwash merino wool and 25% nylon) from
Black Trillium on Etsy; bought in May, 2008
Pattern: Cascading Leaves, a free pattern on Ravelry.
Modifications: I knitted extra repeats for the legs and included the pattern down into the feet.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Deep Blue Sea Baby Socks

I knit these during my breaks and during lunch time at work earlier this week.

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Fingering weight 75/25 Superwash merino/nylon 455 yards per ball from The March Hare on Etsy
Rnd 1: Sl1, k2, psso, p1
Rnd 2: K1, yo, k1, p1
Rnds 3 and 4: K3, p1

Friday, October 30, 2009

One More Pair

Here's a preview of some socks I wanted to knit in October. They're not going to be finished in time so I'm going to put them on November's list. The list is long. We'll see how many of them I can finish.

Go Beavs! Socks

Yes, I know they're black and orange. They do look like Halloween socks, don't they? But don't be tricked! These treats are Oregon State University Beaver socks.

Black and orange are the university's colors and as I work as a librarian/archivist at the university library, I made this pair of socks to show my school spirit. Homecoming is this week-end! On Halloween! Go Beavs!

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Self-striping 460 yards 75% superwash merino / 25% nylon from knittingdiva on Etsy
Stitch pattern: Stockinette

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Vine Socks

Pumpkin Vine
Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Moss Rock 4 oz/113g 480 m 75% merino wool, 25% nylon from Wool Candy on Etsy
Pattern: Pumpkin Vine (free on Ravelry)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Review of The Little Book of Socks

The Little Box of Socks by Charlene Schurch is just that--a book sized container with 20 laminated sock patterns. Many of them are especially helpful for working with hand-painted yarns so they don't become blobs of color. It includes lace socks, felted socks, and Fair Isle socks. There is only one toe up sock, which is fine by me as I like to knit cuff down. I'm making a list now of the patterns I plan to add to my to-knit list.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Work in Progress

I really have been knitting this past couple of weeks. I'm working on my Pumpkin Vine socks. I hope to finish them in the next few days.

Friday, October 9, 2009

A Little Nutty (Baby Socks)

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM
Colorway: 613
Stitch pattern: Rnd 1: p1, sl1, k2, psso, p1; Rnd 2: p1, yo, k1, p1; Rnds 3 and 4: p1, k3, p1

Monday, October 5, 2009

Witch's Stockings

My Halloween socks!
Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: 50% superwash merino and 50% tencel; 100g approximately 330m from LaJoie de Fibres by Tricoterie on Etsy
Stitch pattern: Stockinette

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Prairie Field Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM (2 skeins)
Colorway: P506
Stitch pattern: Rnd 1: p2,k2,p1,k1; Rnd 2: p2,k1,p1,k2

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sock Drawer

As mentioned previously, I was inspired to knit socks after seeing this photo of a sock drawer. I am encouraged as I've reached the half way mark in filling my sock drawer.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pesto Baby Socks

Yes, I know it's only the first day of October, but I've been busy knitting and I have my first pair of October socks to show for it. I made these out of leftover yarn from the Hedgerow socks I knit in July. The name of the yarn was Pesto; hence the name for the baby socks.

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn:75/25 Superwash merino/nylon, 455 yards per ball, fingering weight from The March Hare on Etsy
Stitch pattern: Rnd 1: k3,p3; Rnd 2: k1,p1

Monday, September 28, 2009

Colorful Socks!

This sock knitter in the Netherlands makes some very delightful and complex socks. They are not the type I would make or wear, but I do find them enchanting nevertheless. She includes a number of charted patterns she uses in her socks including mice, hearts, cupids, sheep, and ducks.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's Time for Socktoberfest!

October is a great month for knitting socks and Socktoberfest, a month-long celebration of socks, begins next week on October 1st. What is Socktoberfest? It is a festival for sock knitters, a month when sock knitters go all out! There is a Flickr group and a Ravelry Socktoberfest Board .

I love autumn although I'm not quite ready to let summer go. Luckily for me, the weather is still very summer like--clear skies, gentle breezes, and highs in the mid 70's to mid-80's. I still leave the doors and windows open and hear the birds singing all day. But yes, there are hints autumn is here. I've heard flocks of geese flying south, honking their good-byes. The leaves on my snowball bush are turning color. The breeze sometimes has a little bit of a chill in it. It's cooler at night and I've gotten out more quilts. Today I'm baking I baked oatmeal cookies.

Yes, it is now really beginning to feel like sock knitting weather is here, the time of year for domestic chores and small comforts.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quick Update

I have three pairs of socks on the needles which is good. Next week university classes begin and that means more hours working at the reference desk. The bad news is that will mean less time for knitting. Boooooo! The good news is that I've been given a hefty raise which means more $$$ for sock yarn. Yaaaaay!

Here's a sneak preview of one pair. This is a self-striping purple and orange merino/tencel yarn from Tricoterie on Etsy. This a very fun sock to knit!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crayon Box Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Black Trillium on Etsy Superwash Blue Faced Leicester sock wool.
Colorway: Primary
Pattern: Plain stockinette

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Snapdragon Baby Socks

These were made from some leftover Koigu yarn.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Baby Bumblebee Sock

I've just begun knitting a Baby Bumblebee sock. It's made from some leftover Opal Bumblebee yarn, now long discontinued. The quarter is there to show how small it is.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stash Enhancement

Here are some more yarns I've added to my stash. I now have enough yarn to knit forty more pairs of socks! I've put myself on a yarn diet which will last until the end of the year. Well, maybe with a few exceptions for my birthday and Christmas in December.

These nine skeins are from Wool Candy on Etsy. I love these yarns! Can you tell?

I bought the purple yarn at my LYS, Fiber Nooks and Crannys, which is not far from the university where I work. Dangerous, that! The next one is a self-striping yarn of Merino and Tencel from Tricoterie, another Etsy seller, this one located in France. The last two are from Black Trillium, also an Etsy seller.

There's one more skein I've ordered, but I won't receive it until next month. It's Georgia Peach, a limited yarn made for the Sock Summit's Dye for Glory by Three Irish Girls. I wish I'd also ordered some Starry, Starry Night but too late. All of these yarns are sold out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Stormy Skies Socks

This pair of socks was finished over the Labor Day weekend when it rained for the first time in a long while.

Stormy Skies
Needles: 2.25 mm dpm
Yarn: Unknown (lost ball band)
Pattern: Plain stockinette

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sock Knitting on the Go

In order to maximize my sock knitting time, I keep a sock knitting kit in my SUV at all times. It's not often I get to be the passenger, but when I am I want to be prepared. Here's what I bring:

1. Sock yarn and needles. I prefer to have the stitches cast on and the ribbing at least partially finished.

2. A simple sock pattern. Stockinette is my stand-by although ribbing or another easy to remember pattern will do. Here's an example:
Rounds 1 & 2: *K2, P2; repeat from *
Rounds 3 & 4: K all sts

3. A crochet hook. This is essential to help me pick up dropped stitches (although I don't try to do this in a moving car).

4. An index card. This has multiple uses. I can write down the pattern I'm using which is always good because these socks usually don't get worked on often and it would be easy to forget how many stitches I'd cast on, for example. I also mark the edges in one inch increments which means I don't have to bring a small ruler or measuring tape. It's also a place to store my yarn needle.

5.Yarn needle. Stored on the index card.

6. Scissors. I use a pair of plastic blunt-nosed children's scissors I bought when I did a lot of airplane traveling. I won't accidentally poke myself with the tip and if they get misplaced it's not a big deal.

7. A pencil. I used to bring a short little golf pencil, but now I bring a larger one as sometimes I need an eraser.

8. And finally, a cute little bag to store everything in. These are actually lovely little make-up bags I found at a thrift store.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A New Sock Book

I've been perusing Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner. The review on Amazon states:

In Knitted Socks East and West, author Judy Sumner compares knitting a sock to writing a haiku: both challenge you to create something beautiful and original within a sparse, strict format. In this, her first book, she recounts how she came to study hundreds of exquisite Japanese stitch patters and then apply her new knowledge to the sock designs showcased here.

I've found several must make patterns in this book including hanami (meaning "enjoying flowers") which are fragile and delicate and intended as bed socks;

tatami, named after the woven straw matting that is used a floor covering in Japan;

origami, the art of paper folding;

and kaiso, the Japanese word for seaweed.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

First Pair for September

The first of my socks for September. I have very fond memories of going to the lake in late summer when I was growing up.

At the Lake
Needles: 2.75 mm dpn
Yarn: Koigu KPPM (2 skeins)
Colorway: 2300
Pattern: Making Waves (free from Ravelry)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Finding Time to Knit

Knitter's Review recently posted this about the Sock Summit.

When asked how she managed to be so prolific, Barbara Walker said she needed only four or five hours of sleep each night. She also said that her TV set broke once and she didn't get around to calling the repair man for five years. "I got a lot done," she smiled. Then Stephanie turned back to the audience and said, "To recap, don't sleep and ditch your TV."

I agree with that advice. I stopped watching television about ten years ago and was astonished at all the time I had. I still watch a few programs and I watch DVDs on my laptop (while knitting, of course), but my television time is really quite limited. I wish I only needed four or five hours of sleep every night but I can't manage on that.

I do look for small pieces of time to knit during the day. I knit when I'm waiting--at a dentist's office or while the potatoes finish boiling. I knit a few rounds in between doing housework. I always want to be a passenger when my husband and I go somewhere because, depending upon where we're going, it can give me as long as 30 minutes of knitting time. Even if I'm not a passenger I'll bring my knitting because sometimes he'll wants to go to a hardware store, which holds no interest for me, and I'll stay in the car and knit. It adds up, all those little snippets of time knitting.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sea Shell Socks

Needles: 2.25 mm dpn
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM P716, 2 skeins
Pattern: Child's First Sock in shell pattern from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks: New Twists on Classic Patterns

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

One Only (July-Mid August 2009)

My second set of six one-only socks.