30 January 2018

Sock Knitting

Recently I've taken to knitting socks as I suffer cold feet in the evenings and hand knitted socks keep my feet comfortably warm.  Some years ago I used a set of double pointed needles (DPNs) but then discovered circular knitting needles and bought two, one a short pair for knitting completely in the round and another pair with a longer cable so I could knit two sets of stitches with a loop of cable between, called Magic Loop.  The last method I was more comfortable with and has really helped with my knitting.

The most common type of sock knitting is knitting from the ribbed cuff down to the toe.  There is heel shaping that requires picking up of stitches and at the toe there are decreases finishing with grafting the stitches (Kitchener Stitch) at the end.  But seeing more on Instagram, You Tube, Ravelry, etc found there is "more than one way to skin a rabbit", like different types of heels and toes and even knitting from toe to cuff!

I've knitted socks for my sister in Stylecraft Head Over Heels sock yarn in Olympus colourway and I used Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder.

And then there were my pumpkin inspired socks, I could not resist this yarn, which was King Cole Zigzag in New York colour way and I used Christine of Winwick Mum's Easy Lace Socks pattern.

So after finishing my pumpkin inspired socks and the jumpers for Christmas, late on Christmas Day I tried a toe up sock!  There is a You Tube video of Judy's Easy Cast On which 'weaves' the working and long tail yarn over the two needles of a pair of circulars, then knitting these stitches and you can't see the join.  I used a pattern called Have Fun Toe Up Socks and I used Stylecraft Head Over Heels yarn in Eiger, which is my favourite sock yarn, a third pair I've knitted up.  Here's a pic below of the toe start, on which I put a stitch marker to mark the front of the sock as the yarn tail is inside the toe.

The first sock took quite a bit of 'un-knitting' to get the length of the foot right before the heel shaping as it came out too long even though I followed the instructions. This pattern was called Have Fun Socks by Louise Tilbrook.

I used the stitch pattern from Hermione's Everyday Socks which I'd used on the pink socks for Wendy's a few month's back.  I eventually got the heel sorted out and then onto the leg and cuff.  Before long I was onto the second sock.  The yarn colouring was in exactly the right place for starting and keeping count of the pattern repeats which made things easier second time around.
I completed a pair now, ready to wash and block.
I enjoyed this foray into toe up socks,  as there's no picking up of stitches around the heel, though now I want to try a Fish Lips Kiss heel with has a more angled heel instead of a heel flap, but that's for another time.

Meanwhile I've taken up my crochet hook and started on the Attic 24 Crochet Along Woodland Blanket, which will be a housewarming present for my sister when she moves house later this year.  The link above is for Part 4 of the CAL but the links for the Introduction and parts 1 - 3 are listed at the bottom of the blog post.

I have progressed a bit further than the pic above, where I've draped the beginning of the blanket around my shoulders.  It is a ripple pattern and the CAL lists two different types of colour arrangement, either in sequence or random and I'm working in the random colour changes.

I've found lately that knitting or crochet has had a calming effect on what has been a stressful beginning of the year.

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