A good friend of mine is an avid spinner and has been dabbling in dyeing yarn as well. For either my birthday or Christmas last year she gave me a very generous gift of some hand spun sock yarn that she also hand dyed.
The sock yarn is a unique blend of Southdown/Corriedale/yak/silk. This means it is all natural fibres and no nylon in sight. By also adding a high ply to it the yarn is super strong and not felting with the first wears. And no nylon means no sweaty feet. 😉
I used Kate Atherley’s trusty custom socks book to make a plain ankle sock top down. I have used the book for all the socks I have made so far, here and here.
Thinking about it though, I should have done toe up as I wasn’t sure how much yarn I would have. So top tip, if you are unsure of how much yarn you do have – just use a toe up method and you can then wing an ankle sock. 🙂
The sock yarns were dyed slightly differently so the pair is more of a sibling pair than a twin pair but they are so comfy and nice to wear. And they are wearing really well. Hardly any piling or felting! I have worn them on long walks and in the house and no issues so far. When my friend spins up more of this blend and opens her shop I’ll be sure to be there!
Other nice details were, that I tried a reinforced heel pattern that I hadn’t done before that makes these ridges. I think it looks nice. I think I am ready to try more patterns now. Do you have a favourite sock pattern?
I recently finished my 4th pair of socks that I have knitted toe up. These were way too small for me but perfect for friend. So I needed some new sock blockers. (For myself I followed this tutorial on making my own specific to my own feet.)
I purchased the small size of the KnitPro sock blockers in Aqua. These are made from a sturdy plastic and have cut out sections, which helps air circulate for faster drying. Initially as I unpacked the sock blockers I was a bit disappointed, they were scuffed in places and the cut out section had jagged edges.
It looked like the scuffing was from the jagged edges being sand papered a bit but they are certainly not smooth. I want to try and smooth them a bit more, but I did just go ahead and used them and they worked very well.
My socks fitted the size perfectly and blocked nicely. The stitches are even and they socks actually look like proper socks now. I will definitely always use sock blockers now. I was lazy before and only used my homemade ones once. oops!
I cannot wait to give these to my friend and see if they fit her properly. 🙂
Regarding the sock blockers, if you see them in a shop try to see how jagged the cut out bits are and pick the best set. Judging by other online reviews this is quite common, but I am sure a bit of sanding with a very light sandpaper will help too if you are worried.
Mine did not catch on my yarn even though they had jagged edges. I can recommend these, as they do the job, just be careful using them initially.
Note: I bought these sock blockers from my own money and have not received any incentive to review these.
This is my fourth pair of socks I’ve knitted not only this year but ever. So far I’ve knitted toe up and have done a class to knit socks from the cuff down.
That’s my plan for my next pair to see if I prefer it.
So far I’ve only knitted socks based on this book Custom Socks by Kathy Atherley. It does require a little maths but the idea is that you measure your feet and make a swatch and then calculate your perfect sock pattern. I’m still experimenting a bit. Mostly because for socks I haven’t bothered to swatch … 🙂
These socks are the 3×1 ribbed sock from the book which I have made before. I used countess ablaze sock yarn in a one off colourway. I really like this green with little dots of bright colours. The Yarn is 75% BFL with 25% nylon and makes great strong sock yarn. It knits up nicely and doesn’t split. You can even wash it at 30 degrees.
Durable and hardwearing, this machine washable blend of Bluefaced Leicester and nylon makes the perfect sock yarn. Not just limited to socks, this yarn also works wonders on all types of knitting and crochet projects, it’s a real workhorse yarn that is soft and spongy yet tough all in one. Once washed and blocked, this hand dyed yarn softens and blooms beautifully.
Just do not wash the yarn at 40 degrees celsius. I made that mistake before and I can still wear the socks but they have felted and the elasticity is gone and the first time I put them on post hot wash I could hear the nylon cracking.
Back to the finished pair. I knitted one of these on an 8 hour flight and got so into it and the tiny screen watching 3 films that I misread my pattern notes and only knitted 3 3/4 inches in length of the foot not 3 3/4 inches less than what I wanted. This means these are way too small for me but actually 1 cm longer than one of my best friends’ feet! Ha! Win. Merry christmas to my lovely friend. 🙂 I have this fear of making things for others as it may not be good enough but she is a crafter and will appreciate the effort.
She has also just moved to colder climate so has a need for these. 🙂 I think the socks really wanted to be for her as dark green is one of her favourite colours.
Next I will have to find some children/small sock blockers. Any recommendations?
Have you ever accidentally knitted someone a present?
December’s works in progress looks rather full. Not much room for Christmas knitting, not that I have ever been much of an unselfish knitter.
Pair of socks
We start December with an almost finished pair of ribbed socks being made in Countess Ablaze sock yarn. These are being finished as part of the YAK Extremeties KAL. This is actually going to be a present, mostly because I initially misread the pattern and didn’t adjust for my massive feet. But luckily I know someone with tiny feet who just moved to colder climate. Win for us both.
Christmas Jumper along – Galloway Cardigan
I am actually making the Galloway cardigan in Stone Wool Cormo (which is lovely) and some Brooklyn Tweed Shelter because I ran out of said Stone Wool Cormo yarn.
This is another KAL, but this time with a face to face class. We meet 2 more times in December before having a Christmas party, hopefully wearing finished jumpers/cardigans
Brioche Scarf – Willow
This is referring to the Willow scarf from Nancy Marchant and again was part of a KAL I never finished. There may be a bit of a pattern here…This is 2/3 done and is using DK weight yarn which is part silk from Countess Ablaze. I just need to remember how to knit brioche and this will be finished. My aim is to actually finish this by the end of the year making room for more new cast ons.
Another never finished KAL item. I do love this though but the dropping temperatures have meant that I have put finishing other things first. I am hoping the holidays will give me the space and time to just finish this as well. Although the above mentioned brioche project takes priority.
Starting Point Shawl
The oldest project that is still in progress. I am in two minds about finishing this as it is less than 50% done but in a way I do really like the project and love loads of the finished versions of this. I think I will just need to make some space and time to finish it and not just start loads of new things as soon as December is over.
There you have it. December will be busy. Let’s see what I finish and start by the new year. 🙂 Are you itching to cast on new things or knitting Christmas gifts, or just finishing some selfish knitting?
I never thought I’d be a sock knitter. It just did not interest me. Many of my knitter friends do make lovely socks but the idea of a small circumference and knitting something fiddly that may end up having holes, was not appealing.
However the idea did appeal as a lot of sock yarn is beautifully dyed but may not go with my general wardrobe, but like a magpie with shiny things I have given in and bought some anyways. The yarn that broke me in the end and made me give sock knitting another try was this lovely BFL and Bamboo blend from the Woolkitchen.
On my knitting book shelf I also found this book about knitting custom fitting socks. I found that the basic toe up pattern made sense to me and I had another go. Now I did not swatch and just went by gut feeling using a 2mm needle (sharp, ouch!). Yeah I know. This ended up in slightly large socks as I over compensated for the small needle size.
I have long but thin feet so these are a bit baggy. But you live and learn. They will be lovely over tight fitting socks in the winter. 🙂 Also after short time in the dryer they are bit tighter.
When knitting them up I was a bit cautious not to make them too long in case I ran out of yarn but next time I will make the leg longer. I am hoping to use the leftover grams (40!) for maybe a colour work sock.
The next pattern in the book is a basic ribbed sock. I love a good rib and this uses k3 p1. Having not been a sock knitter in the past, my large stash has hardly any suitable sock knitting yarn in it but I did find some countess ablaze yarn. She dyed some limited edition yarns as part of a book series last year (or was it the year before) and I could not say no to any grey to black yarn so had to have this. It is BFL and nylon and knits up beautifully. I used a slightly larger needle this time 2.25mm and love it. 2mm was too small.
I don’t own any 2.5mm but will get some to try.
So far the knitting is going well. The fit is much better but they may have come up a tad short which is weird as I knitted to the same length as before. If they won’t fit after blocking they will be a present. So far I am super excited about sock knitting.
Do you have favourite sock knitting yarn or pattern? Have you just made up your own pattern based on practice?