She Knits: Purple Paper Moon Socks

I knit this pattern once before and the socks became my favorite pair. They fit the best of all the socks I’ve made. I was given this yarn and decided to make another pair of socks, tweaking the fit enough to have a perfect pair.

Progression Info
Started – May 17
Completed – July 5
Duration – 49 days = 7 weeks

I took several breaks from knitting these to work on other projects. Also, canning season happened, and though it was short-lived for us, I didn’t knit much, if at all, for 2-3 weeks.

Pattern Info
Paper Moon Socks by AnneLena Mattison
Knitty, Deep Fall 2011

This is a good pattern, although I think the heel instructions could be improved. The flap portion has some slipped stitches at the edges that don’t look very tidy when done. I noticed it the last time I knit this pattern, but forgot to do anything different on the first sock. So I made the second sock to match the first, even though I don’t like how it looks.

The change I made was to knit these socks at a much firmer gauge than previously — 9.5 stitches per inch this time. I’m not sure what my gauge was on the previous pair, but I would guess in the 7-8 stitches per inch range. I much prefer this firmer fabric for socks. Last time, I knit the size Medium, and this time, I knit the size Large, which fits even better. I knit the leg a bit longer — 10 repeats instead of just 5.

I’m very, very pleased with the fit this time. These are the best-fitting socks I’ve ever knit, hands (feet?) down.

Yarn Info
Knit Picks Stroll
75% superwash wool, 25% nylon
1.38 skeins = 318.8 yds used

I have enough of this yarn left to make Sprout a matching pair — I’m not sure if I’m up for scaling down this pattern, but I’m going to work on other things first, and may be willing to do the work later.



She Knits: Garland Socks

I have wanted to knit color work socks for a long time. After tackling various other stranded projects (the Clayoquot set for JB, for example), I decided it was time to try socks.

Progression Info
Started – October 2
Completed – November 14
Duration – 43 days = 6.1 weeks

Pattern Info
Garland Socks by Lesley Melliship

I had this pattern in my favorites for a long time. I made a few modifications.

I knit one plain round before starting the ribbing I like how the edge looks even done this way. I knit 1×1 twisted rib instead of the 2×2 plain ribbing instructed. I made the toe more rounded by doing the first 20 decreases as described, but then the last 10 by decreasing every round.

The second sock accidentally finished bigger than the first. I think I just knit the foot more loosely the second time. I was more comfortable with the pattern and working with two colors by that point. The socks don’t have a snug fit anyway and will be cozy cuddle-up-by-the-fire socks, so I’m not worried enough about the difference to fix it.

Yarn Info
Valley Yarns Huntington
75% merino wool, 25% nylon
Colorways – light grey heather, arctic
1.74 skeins = 379.32 yds used

These colors do not have as high of contrast as is usually found in stranded color work. I did this on purpose, for two reasons. First, lower contrast between the colors hides mistakes. Second, I am not one to wear very bright colors or patterns, and low contrast makes a more subtle color work design.


She Knits: Day Off Socks

I never blogged about these because I was glad to get them off the needles, and wasn’t pleased with how they turned out. I am still not very happy with them, as indicated by the ends I haven’t woven in yet, and the fact I haven’t even washed them yet. But, here they are, at any rate.

Progression Info
Started – March 9
Completed – April 10
Duration – 32 days = 4.2 weeks

The knitting duration on these should tell you how much I liked them. I can usually knit a plain pair of socks in a week, if not less than that.

Pattern Info
Day Off Socks by Jessica Gore

I want to be very clear that my disdain for these socks has nothing to do with the pattern itself. Mostly, I don’t like how the cuff fits — the top edge is really tight. It would not surprise me at all if I broke a stitch putting these on or off one day. That’s my own fault; I should have bound off more loosely or with a stretchier bind-off technique.

I modified the pattern by lengthening the cuff and adding a 4×2 rib to the instep.

Yarn Info
Knit Picks Palette
100% wool
Colorways – finnley heather, victorian
0.96 skeins = 221 yds used

I chose this toe-up sock pattern so that I could use up all of the Victorian colorway (the dusty red color). I was successful, there. I still have some of the gray left, but only enough for sock toes, maybe.


Apologies for the poor quality phone-pictures. I had to dig these socks out of hiding.

She Knits: Frasier Fir Socks

I received the pale green yarn in a recent swap (along with the yarn for the Portobello shawl I recently posted).

Progression Info
Started – April 12
Completed – May 30
Duration – 48 days = 6.9 weeks

These socks “hibernated” for a week or two, at least once. We have been busy. Plus, I had a little hiccup toward the end that made me put the socks away for a week. I just couldn’t look at them. 😀 I ran out of the pale green yarn about an inch from the ribbing on the second sock. So, to make them match, I had to pick out the ribbing and about 1/2″ of the leg on the first sock, in order to use a bit of the pale green to knit another 1/2″ on the second sock. Then, of course, reknit the first ribbing, and knit the second ribbing. It only took one evening to do all of that, but it was daunting so I had put it off for a week. 😀

Pattern Info
Frasier Fir Socks by Verena Cohrs
size – EU 38-40

These fit almost perfectly — I should have knit the foot 1/4 – 1/2″ longer before starting the gusset. The heel turn and flap is pulled down a bit while worn. Otherwise, though, they feel great. 🙂

Yarn Info
Eden Cottage Yarns Oakworth 4ply
100% Polwarth wool
Colorway – forest light
1 skein = 436 yds used

This has been my first experience with Polwarth wool. It is medium-soft, I’d say. It has a nice stitch definition, not highly-twisted, not too fuzzy. I like it. 🙂

The contrast cuff yarn is a hand-dyed sock yarn mini-skein I have from a rainbow set I won some time ago. The dyer is Norwegian. 🙂


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!

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

Pattern Info
Basket Weave Rib Socks by Sarah Ronchetti

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. 😀