She Knits: Charmer Socks

These socks have a mildly entertaining story. I bought this yarn as a little bonus for myself when I bought yarn for the gift knits I made earlier this year. I loved the colors in the skein — it is a creamy pale green base with speckles of gray, green, and yellow. When I finished all those gifts, I went looking for a pattern to use this yarn.

That turned out to be a more difficult search than I had anticipated. I found the Froot Loop (Ravelry link) sock pattern first, cast it on, finished the rib and most of the leg… and decided it just looked strange in this speckled yarn. It is a great pattern that I hope to knit in the future, but it really needs a solid or tonal yarn to not look overly busy. Plus, it is a more complicated stitch pattern, and it didn’t seem worth the effort to do if it wasn’t going to show much in the final sock.

I ripped that out and cast on the My Cup of Tea (Ravelry link) sock pattern next. Once again, I knit the ribbing and a few repeats on the leg before deciding… it was too busy and strange-looking. It is also a great pattern that I would love to knit someday — in a solid or tonal yarn.

I ripped that out and went back to a pattern I have knit in a speckled yarn before — in my Confetti Cake Socks. And that’s how these came to be the “Charmer Socks”… because the third time’s a charm!

Progression
Started – February 14
Completed – March 5
Duration – 19 days = 2.7 weeks

Pattern Info
Basket Weave Rib Socks by Sarah Ronchetti
Ravelry

I knit the size Small. The only modification I made to the pattern was to knit a plain stockinette round after the cast-on, before beginning the ribbing. This is how the ribbing was done on a different project I recently completed, and I liked the look of it. I can’t pinpoint what it is, specifically, that makes it better, but I’ll probably keep doing this on all my ribbing (if I remember). 😉

For record’s sake, I knit 16 rounds of ribbing, 5 pattern repeats on the leg, and 12 repeats after the gusset decreases. Perfect.

When I finished the second sock (done in the same yarn on the same needles…), I discovered that they are slightly different in size. The gauge of the first sock is 7.5 stitches and 10 rounds per inch. The second has a gauge of 8 stitches and 12 rounds per inch. I knit the second one more tightly. I am pretty sure I knit the first one mostly without kids around, and the second mostly with them around… so I guess that is the difference in my tension. 😀 I prefer the fit of the second, but have no intention to re-knit the first to make them match better.

I would love to achieve an even tighter gauge for my socks — closer to 9 stitches per inch. But to get 8 spi, I am using US size 0 (2.0 mm) needles, which are the smallest I own. I suppose I could buy US size 00 or 000, but… I have a mental block about using such thin needles!

Yarn Info
Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering
80% wool, 20% nylon
Colorway – 27220 City Lights Speckle
0.69 skeins = 246.3 yds used

I am pleased with this yarn. It looks very similar to the speckled yarn I used (and loved) in my Confetti Socks, even in the tight twist which gives a ridged look to the stitches. It is a similar softness and heft and feel while knitting. But it is significantly less expensive! It is almost half the price, in fact. That makes me very, very happy. 😀

Photos

She Knits: Jaywalking Pigeon Socks

Another pair of socks for myself.

Progression
Started – November 23
Completed – December 17
Duration – 24 days = 3.4 weeks

I only spent about a week actually knitting on these. I had trouble motivating myself to get them done.

Pattern Info
Jaywalker by Grumperina
Ravelry

This pattern has been popular for ages, it seems… and I finally know why. It is the perfect pattern for self-striping yarns! I don’t buy self-striping yarn very often because it doesn’t look good knit into socks with much texture or stitch patterning — but plain socks are boring to knit. This pattern is the perfect solution: enough stitch patterning to be interesting to knit and make a neat design, but simple enough to broadcast the self-striping yarn. And they fit perfectly, too!

Yarn Info
Sirdar Sole to Sole
75% wool, 25% nylon
Colorway: 52 Pigeon Toes
0.60 skeins = 268.8 yds used

I bought this as a little treat for myself when I ordered the yarn for the Christmas gifts I knit this year. I would count this a mid-range sock yarn. Not buttery soft, but also not too scratchy.

Photos

 

She Knits: Everyday Socks

This is the 9th pair of socks I have knit for myself (15th total!), and I have come to a few conclusions.

I prefer short-legged socks. Not only are they quicker and easier to knit (no calf shaping), they are more comfortable to wear.

I prefer heel flaps and gussets to other heel constructions. I haven’t tried every heel technique available, but heel flaps fit me better.

I prefer knitting socks top-down, that is, from cuff to toe. I don’t have any logical reasons for this preference, though.

These socks satisfy all of those preferences. And they are pretty. Bonus.

Progression
Started – June 21
Completed – July 5
Duration – 14 days = 2 weeks

These were very quick; I could have knit them over a long weekend if I had large chunks of time to dedicate fully to knitting.

Pattern Info
Hermoine’s Everyday Socks by Erica Leuder
Ravelry

This is a fun pattern. The detail on the instep looks complex but is simple to work. I think it looks like tiny bows all down the top of the foot.

Yarn Info
Knit Picks Palette
100% wool
Pennyroyal colorway
1 skein = 231.0 yds used

Only one skein! Another “plus” for short socks.

Photos

She Knits: Confetti CUPcake Socks

Sprout loves my hand-knit socks. I enjoyed knitting this pattern and with this yarn so much (see my Confetti Cake Socks), I toddler-ized it for her. 🙂

Progression
Started — August 22
Completed — August 23
Duration — 2 days = 0.3 weeks

The actual knitting did not take long, but I had to do some figuring and ripping/re-knitting to get a good fit.

Pattern Info
Basket Weave Rib Socks by Sarah Ronchetti
Ravelry

Obviously, I adapted this pattern. I used this article from Knitty to determine the ratios for the number of heel stitches, heel flap rows, and gusset stitches based on the number of stitches around the top of the sock for Sprout’s size. If you visit this link, you can see my project notes on Ravelry for more information (even if you are not a member of Ravelry).

These socks fit her perfectly right now. There’s no telling how much longer they will fit, but they were fun to make anyway. 🙂

Yarn Info
Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet 100 Splash
90% merino wool, 10% nylon
0.19 skeins = 73.0 yds used

Photos

It’s far too difficult to get a good picture of toddler feet with fun socks on them. So just trust me, they are super-cute on her!

mini-me socks!

mini-me socks!

She Knits: Confetti Cake Socks

Nate said these socks remind him of confetti cake.

Progression
Started — August 16
Completed — August 22
Duration — 7 days = 1.0 week

Since discovering I prefer shorter socks, I am now able to knit a pair much faster. 🙂

Pattern Info
Basket Weave Rib Socks by Sarah Ronchetti
Ravelry

This is my second pair of top-down socks. I enjoy this approach to sock knitting and intend to knit as many future pairs top-down as I can. The heel flap and turn are more intuitive to me, and the gusset looks neater.

Much of the texture of this sock design gets lost in this yarn. I chose this pattern mostly so that the socks would not be boring to knit. 🙂

Yarn Info
Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet 100 Splash
90% merino wool, 10% nylon
0.68 skeins = 261.1 yds used

I bought this yarn during a trip to Alabama with Nate. It was my first (and only) visit to a “local yarn store.” I treated myself with this plush, somewhat fancier yarn than I would normally use. And I am so glad I did. Though the coloring is pretty far out there, these socks make me happy. And the yarn base is so, so wonderful! These socks are incredibly soft and cushy. The yarn is plied tightly, which makes the knitting easier on tiny needles, and gives it a great stitch definition. I’d love to use this yarn base again sometime.

Photos