Operation Sock Drawer

Remember when I culled and categorised my handknits, and realised how pathetic my collection of socks was? That I, a knitter, was condemned to cold, cold toes when I travelled? How sorrowful was this collection, and how quickly I had to discard everything in it for being darned and patched beyond counting, felted to unwearability or mysteriously lost?

P1090999Weep no more!

Border

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Gulls and Stones

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Elm Turner

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Chevron Thyme

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CoP Legwarmers

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Rocaille

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Baltic

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Knotty or Knice

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Delicious Nectar

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And the last, unblogged Sidewinders

I see a lack of red/orange colours, so know exactly what to make next year. And I’m happy to report, I’ve been wearing these socks a lot. On flights, during travels, when the air conditioning is too cold… they have all proved themselves worthy!

Chevron Socks

Still not tired of knitting socks.

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I’m planning to  release these as a pattern for sale. The chevron pattern itself is dead simple and found across time and space, but the sock has some nice little features, like a reinforced heel bottom as well as reinforcing at the ball of the foot. Also, a more anatomically shaped toe than what I usually find.

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Also, testing on these is open! Sign up here if you’re interested!

Details
Pattern: My own, coming  soon eventually
Yarn: Madelinetosh Twist Light in “Thyme”
Needles: 2.25mm
Ravelled: here

In Colourwork this Time…

… Yes, I proudly present another pair of socks:

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But! This is the first time I’ve participated in the Ravellenic games. After the series of socks I’ve been churning out, this project might not be considered enough of a personal challenge; but I decided that all the travelling and meetings I had to do added a time challenge. And so they did, except that I was stuck in a metal tube for 12 hours; a metal tube, moreover, with an outdated and limited section of videos, and the long stretches of ribbing went very fast.

I also like how the eye of partridge stitch on the heels and balls of the foot look like jute sacking in this colour:

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I think I have one more pair in me for this year. And then back to sweaters!

Details
Pattern: Border Socks
Yarn: Too many to list, see project page on Ravelry. I tried to make this a stashbusting project, but I still have some yarn left in each colour.
Needles: 2.5mm dpns for the colourwork, 2.25mm for everything else
Ravelled: here

Gulls and Stones

Having learnt my lesson with the Show Off Stranded Socks — that Madelinetosh Sock, 2.25 needles and my hands create socks that can tightly encase my legs only at  60 stitches or less, I decided to cast on 64 stitches, but decrease more rapidly down to 56. Even that didn’t work! So I ripped out the couple of inches I’d knit, and started again with 56. Much better.

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I worked in garter rib for an inch or so, then started the pattern repeat. As I was knitting, I felt growing frustration at how slow it was. Compared to the other socks it seemed to be crawling along. And then I realised that due to the slipped row, I had only 3 rows growth for every 4 rows worked. No wonder it felt slow!

So I ploughed on, continuing the beautiful gull pattern down the heel flap. I know this is sock heresy — everyone says that the heel flap has to be especially reinforced — but I’ve never had my flaps wear out. I’m far more likely to get holes at the heels and balls of the feet, so that’s where I reinforced the fabric with the eye of partridge stitch.

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I do feel my sock knitting mania beginning to subside now. It’s as if my dpns are telling me they’re getting tired, where earlier they were raring to go. I do think I’ll crank out one more pair, in colourwork, no less, before I make a final decision.

I’m really in love with the colour, though! I bought the skein because this colour was going to be discontinued and so I got it at a slight discount.

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Details
Pattern: my own, adapted from Paul Atwell socks
Yarn: Madelinetosh Sock, 0.67 skeins, “Ginger”
Needles: 2.25mm dpn
Ravelled: here

Delicious Nectar

Oh look, another pair!

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This time, the Show-Off Stranded Socks in Madelinetosh Sock, the deliciously named “Nectar”.

The pattern stipulates starting with a multiple of 4, and I feel foolish in not reducing the stitch count. The original 64 turned out way too loose in my gauge. However, I like my socks long, so by telling myself I’d wanted calf length socks anyway, I got the cuff to fit snugly at my calf, and then reduced 8 stitches by the time I reached the top of the heel flap.

The heel itself was an interesting construction, not one I’ve encountered before. I like that the stitch pattern continues down the back of the heel where other socks have a reinforced flap — something I’ve never found necessary. However, I’m not enamoured of the shape of the heel itself. So I may steal only the idea of continuing with the leg pattern down the heel flap for regular, gusseted heels from now on.

I love this latest pair, so pretty! I continued the pattern up to the tip of the toe, as usual. The little horizontal bars are particularly beautiful in a variegated yarn.

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Details
Pattern: Show-Off Stranded Socks
Yarn: Madelintosh Sock, 0.86 skeins, “Nectar”
Needles: 2.25mm dpn
Ravelled: here

More Socks

Yes, again. What can I say? I’m a little bit obsessed, and want to get as many pairs as I can before the obsession fades.

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This one is a very quick and easy pattern, and only took me a month since I stopped to make the sleep sack in the middle. Otherwise, I estimate it to be a week’s worth of knitting, even with working weekdays.

The pattern is very intriguing, with broad brushstrokes of ‘cables’ made increases and decreases. I always thought it looked a bit like a mummy splitting its wrappings, but in a fresh green colour it does look quite tree bark like. Also, while knitting it turns out very long and narrow. However, the pattern relies on a lot of negative ease to strech and show off the faux cables, so be sure to choose a springy yarn.

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Also, I believe this is the first time I’ve actually used Malabrigo Sock to make actual socks! I love the fabric — very fine and smooth, like commercial socks — let’s see how well it wears. The colour, “Turner”, was insanely difficult to photograph. Every camera turned it into a washed out khaki! The colour is truest in the picture against the patterned cushion.

Details
Pattern: Elm
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, “Turner”, 0.7 skeins
Needles: 2.25mm dpn
Ravelled: here

More Blue Socks

I think I’m on a blue sock knitting jag. After the Rocaille socks of last month, I immediately started on the wildly-popular-nearly-a-decade-ago Hourglass, also in a deep vivid blue — Madelinetosh Sock in “Baltic”. If the Baltic Sea is really that colour, I want to go live in it. On second thoughts, perhaps not.

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As usual, I continued the slipped stitch heel pattern all along the sole. And extended the ribbing into the toe for more prettiness.

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Nail biting suspense questions: will I succumb to second sock syndrome? Or cast on for the twin immediately? Will I ever be able to accurately capture the deep, shifting, colour? Stay tuned!

Sock in Progress

A quick post: I started with the Rocaille Socks from The Knitters Book of Socks.

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Great book, great pattern. I’m substituting a regular slipped stitch heel instead of the afterthought heel in the pattern, and also continuing with the slipped stitches along the sole and gussets as I have before.

Despite the heavy cabling, the pattern is quite addictive, and if I had a long weekend I could have probably finished the pair. But I don’t have a long weekend. Sigh.