Tag Archives: socks

FO: Pairfect Socks In Awesome Stripes

Mr Awesome’s socks are finally finished. I say finally, as I see that the first time I wrote about these was on the 20th October, 2015, so I must have cast them on when Baby Awesome was only a month old, and he is now fast approaching being a year old.

I magic looped the socks two at a time to avoid second sock syndrome. It did work in that now that I have finished, both socks are complete and ready to wear, but goodness me it did feel like acres of stockinette in the round, even if you really can’t compete with a simple vanilla stock for classic wear and function, and with a yarn like Regia’s Pairfect they can also come with oodles of style.Regia’s tried and tested fibre blend is hard-wearing and holds colour well, and the unique dye pattern of the yarn allows for two perfectly paired socks with a wide cuff, striped leg and plain foot. I bought a couple of colourways of this yarn, and now that I have put it to it’s obvious and suggested use I want to see if I can put the next skein to some other, more innovative knitting idea. Perhaps gloves, maybe a baby garment. The stripe pattern has a few possibilities, though I may have to manipulate and re-wind the skein a bit to experiment.
The last 2/3rds of the socks took a couple of days to knit, and I’m glad to have the needles free again. One fewer Project lingering in unrealised potential is a positive thing, and as the finished socks are a gift for my husband (happy birthday for, uh, February, Mr Awesome!), it feels especially good to be able to finally pass on the gift (don’t feel too sorry for him, he did get other gifts).

To knit both socks at once I had to re-wind the yarn into two matching skeins as the yarn is supplied in one 100g ball and beginning of each sock is denoted by a few yards of bright yellow yarn (which serves only as a marker and is not intended to be knit). Regia Pairfect yarn would work perfectly for any sock pattern knit top down: the stripes form the leg, and then any combination of heel and toe could be knit once the solid block of colour was reached. Toe up socks could be knit if the yarn is rewound into a reverse cake, though if the knitter wished the striped legs to begin at the ankle, a cut and join might have to be made once the foot was complete.

I want to clear at least one more outstanding project off the list before I even think about casting on anything new, and I still have a pattern to format and publish, but I think it was an important step getting those stitches on the needle and the project swiftly finished off.

Socks With Stripes, And Why You Shouldn’t Take That Tone

Mr Awesome’s socks are coming along in short spurts between feeds and changes, and the occasional long walk to town. The cuff and seven stripes for the legs have been knit, and the final dark teal colour has been reached, signalling the end of the leg. The heel has been knit in a slip stitch pattern and I have turned the heel on each sock. I have decided to use a flap and gusset heel for these socks, though I have never settled on a favourite heel – I tend to flit between these and a short row heel dependant on the yarn I am using, but as the foot portion of these socks is to be knit entirely in a solid colour there is no reason to favour one over the other. If the foot of the yarn had continued in a striping sequence then I would always choose to use a short row heel, placed as an afterthought heel or knit in situ with co-ordinating yarn, to preserve the steady stripe sequence.
There is only one element of these socks that I am slightly disappointed with, and that’s a couple of the colour transitions, especially that between the sixth and seventh stripes. The sixth stripe is a mid blue, and the seventh a mid grey, but they are extremely similar in depth of tone, so at first glance the two stripes are confused into one wider stripe. The effect can easily be seen when the image is given in greyscale.
There is a decent amount of tonal contrast between all of the other adjacent stripes in the socks, so this area seems out of keeping with the other areas of the yarn design. If the whole sock had been tonally steady (such as all pastel shades) then the yarn would seem far more harmonious, but it is only between these two stripes that the colours are tonally close.

Distinct tonal differences between adjacent shades is a principle element of a lot of colourwork, especially when working motifs against a range of background shades in stranded colourwork: if dominant and background colours are too close tonally, the motifs may be lost, or visually displeasing, and so should be kept distinct. I try to stick to this basic principle when choosing yarn for projects where distinct motifs are important to the design such as in the Star Stocking.
When choosing yarns for this design, two of the colours chosen were almost identical in tonal value: the lighter green and bright red. However, this was taken into account in the design and if the image is viewed in colour it can be seen that these two colour choices are never placed adjacent. In fact, when viewed in greyscale the entire patterning of the stocking is clearly discernible.

A great tip when choosing yarns for a colourwork pattern in a yarn shop is to snap a picture on your mobile phone and use an app to change the picture to greyscale: you should be able to see clear definition between any shades that are to be placed adjacent, especially in the case of a foreground and background colour.

Though there are no intricate patterns to get ‘lost’ in the stripes of the socks, I would personally have preferred that the sixth and seventh stripes of the yarn had been in greater contrast, the simplicity and joy of the simplest form of knitting has also been greatly relaxing: there is no pattern to get lost in or to concentrate on, so I can chuck the socks aside between stitches when a wavering little cry is given, or a coo to signify it is time to wake up and play, so sooner or later, on a timescale decided by both Awesome Baby and I, Mr Awesome will soon have a new, rather wonderful, pair of socks.

When In Doubt, Knit Socks

Over the past few days I have felt a slight return to myself after the birth, and with the shock of a new routine not lead by me and all its demands slowly settling in I thought I might like to take up just a bit of knitting, to hopefully bring with it some return to my notion of self.

When I have decided to return to knitting after  big occasion, either very busy, deliriously happy or in some occasions traumatic, I have usually had a good think about what kind of project I might best tackle for my current frame of mind, and so with busy days, many new tasks, a lot of noise and a decent amount of lost sleep, I thought some simple, vanilla socks would be just the ticket.
The only problem with stockinette socks is that they can sometimes feel a bit dull to knit. They are almost so far into the comfort zone that they become a little boring, and to counter this I often feel I need some semblance of surprise, which is why choosing good, fun yarn is absolutely key for me.

These socks are for Mr Awesome, so there is a lot of knitting involved as much like the rest of him, his feet are big. So, I decided that stripes were in order, but as I no more fancy fiddling around with lots of little balls of yarn than I do weaving in all of the ends, I managed to hunt down some of Regia’s Pairfect yarn. This yarn is supplied in 100g balls and promises a matching pair of socks each time. The ball can be knit from the centre for top-down socks, or from the outside if you wish to knit toe up. Each ball starts with a length of yellow ‘scrap’ yarn. You cast on from the point where this yellow yarn changes to the first of the colours for the cuff, and then knit the cuff and seven stripes of colour before knitting the heel, foot and toe in the solid colour.
Once the first sock is complete you wind any remaining yarn until reaching the second section of yellow scrap yarn and repeat the entire process until you have a perfectly matching pair of socks.

I have deviated from the instructions slightly to wind the skein into two smaller balls so that I can knit both socks simultaneously on on long circular via magic loop, which I really did because I did not trust myself not to get hit by a case of Second Sock Syndrome, where I might find myself presenting my husband with another orphan foot-covering.

As well as playing with a new form of yarn to reinstate my knitting mojo I am also enjoying the excitement of knitting with the new circular needle I treated myself to (because I am so very rock n’ roll): one of the Knitpro Kubics brass needles. I have knit with Knitpro Kubics before, though only in the larger sized wooden tips. The smaller metal needles are wonderfully comfortable for socks and the relaxed balanced grip and smooth surface has helped my stitches fly along in the rare quiet moment that I have to knit.

Hopefully the combination of needles and fun new yarn will help ensure that these socks do not languish unfinished as at the moment I am very much enjoying this simplest of knitting projects.

New Pattern: Stuffed Olives Socks

I designed these socks as a challenge to myself to find a new and interesting way to play with yarns that have a long transition of colour, such as Zauberball.

The leg is knit sideways in stretchy and comfortable garter stitch, which will accommodate pretty much any leg and ankle circumference. The button detail was included both for decoration, but also function, as it allows anyone who has in the past found hand-knit socks difficult to pull on a far easier fit as you do not have to struggle to get the leg section over the wide foot and arch area.

These socks can also be worn turned-down over ankle boots for a decorative way to dress up winter wear and bring a plash of colour to boot-tops as an alternative to boot cuffs.

The mixture of super-cushioned garter stitch and option to button up or turn down the leg for a mixture of styles makes these socks incredible comfortable and versatile.

They are also fun to knit, as you won’t get bored as you switch between flat knitting and working in the round, between working in subtle transitioning stripes and letting the colour transitions of the zauberball do the work for you. The sock can also be worked in either one or two solid sport-weight sock yarns that will knit to an equivalent gauge.

Yarn weight: Sport weight (5/6 ply)
Example Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Stärke 6
Gauge: 26 stitches and 34 rows = 10cm/4″ in stocking stitch
Needle size: 3mm (US 2½)
Yarn usage:  280 – 300 m (300 – 330 yards)
Sizes available: These socks are incredibly stretchy and will accommodate most women’s foot sizes. Foot length is fully adjustable for a perfect, custom fit.
Price: $5
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New Pattern: Gentle Waves Socks

The Gentle Waves sock pattern is now available to download from my Ravelry Store. This design had previously been featured in a UK knitting magazine, but is now available to download directly from Ravelry or direct from this page.

Featuring a very easy-to-memorise lace repeat, these socks simply fly off the needles, perfect for when you need simple but interesting knitting.

Two size circumferences are given in the pattern, to ensure your socks are the perfect fit – and don’t forget that you have complete control over how long (or short) you knit the foot, to ensure a perfect fit and ultimate comfort.These socks are available for immediate download, so you can be up and knitting them in a matter of minutes if you have some 4-ply yarn in your stash!

Yarn weight: Fingering/4 ply
Gauge: 30 stitches and 42 rows = 10cm/4″ in stocking stitch
Needle size: 2.5 mm (US 1½)
Yarn usage:  320 – 400 m (350 – 440 yards)
Sizes available: Women’s S/M, (L) to fit foot circumference 18-20cm/7/8″, (22cm, 9″)
Price: $4.50 add to cart or buy it now