Category Archives: SOCKS

SOCK LAB: Week 1 Update

Sock Lab Week 1 finished & toe & ball

Sock Lab: Week 1

Last night was our first week of SOCK LAB and it was super fun! Sandra brought a half-finished sock, Liane brought something in progress (she’s prodigious and always has a pair of socks on the go), Jonathan started something new with a very sheepy yarn, and Judy and her friend were trying their hands at their first sock EVER. Shelna is a total sock knitter, but she forgot to bring hers because she’s pretty focused on chemo hats right now. Remy from Les Sheependales was working on a gorgeous mystery knit-a-long shawl, and I think Nicole is deep into a blanket. And as for me, I hauled out a long-neglected, half-finished sock project and inadvertently ‘cheated’ (it’s not a contest)  and finished the FIRST sock of Sock Lab!

The Back Story

Now, to start, you should know that I am not a sock knitter. Some people love knitting socks, others can take it or leave it – I fall into the latter group. Don’t get me wrong, I love love love wearing my handknit socks, they’re the best thing EVER, but making them isn’t really my groove.

Flash back to a couple of years ago, I started a pair of knee socks, completed one sock, and promptly lost interest. I do this, I suffer from Second Sock Syndrome, I totally own it. I also have no issue with letting projects lay fallow; I’m very human and feel shame about lots of things, but this is not one of them. So, for Sock Lab, I pulled out my estranged sock project. Sock Lab is about collective support, which I clearly needed to finish this shock. I unsealed the ziplock, stuck my nose in, and pulled out all the component parts (many mislaid accessories and needles were recovered), and evaluated the situation.

Sock Lab Week 1 Sock Surgery

I tried on my sock, remembered how much I love the feel of hand-knit wool socks, and then also recalled that I no longer enjoy wearing hand knit knee socks. This must be why I dropped the project. The prospect of making a second knee sock definitely did NOT fill me with joy, but the prospect of wearing a pair of regular socks was motivating. So I changed the project! I decided to make these socks something that I *would* wear, and performed a little surgery.

How I Did It

Surgery isn’t necessarily hard, it just requires good light and a bit of uninterrupted free time:

  • I cut the sock about 4 or 5 rows above the place I wanted to pick up the live stitches. Cutting knitting makes a deliciously crunchy sound and feeling, it was very satisfying.
  • I ripped back to the row above the one I wanted to put the needles in.
  • One by one, I took out the last row of stitches and put them back on the needles.
  • I re-knit the cuff.

Sock Lab Week 1 toe & ball

Having finished the first sock of Sock Lab, I gloated a little and moved on to the second sock … which I had conveniently already started!

Project Deets

  • The stripey yarn I used is some iteration of Lang Jawoll Colour that has since been discontinued. Lang is a Swiss company, and their Jawoll sock yarn is a conventional, long-wearing, Teutonic sock yarn, very similar to Regia. If you are now jonesing for a stripey sock I highly recommend the Urth Uneek Sock Kits – they’re GORGEOUS and come with three different patterns that work perfectly for the yarn. If I’d started with the Urth I doubt that I would have put the project down!
  • The grey yarn is a solid from Regia (I enjoy the aesthetic of having the toes and heels in a contrasting colour. Sock yarn technology has come along since I started my sock, and Regia now makes sock yarns with the contrast colour built-in! Both Regia Pairfect Design Line and Wool & The Gang/Regia Kinda Magic Sock have got all the patterning sorted out for you.
  • If you’re wondering about the pins in the sock, they mark increases I made. I leave them in as a guide until the very end of the project as a kind of guide (because I have the memory of a goldfish and constantly lose things like little pieces of paper where I have written down notes). Read more about this hack HERE. Why did I increase? I have narrow feet and I can’t stand the feel of loose socks, so I start with a narrow toe and increase around the ball of the foot and as I inch towards the instep (this is the beauty of making yourself socks – you can try them on as you go and tailor them completely).
  • FYI: I knit these socks toe-up, with a short row toe. The heel is a toe-up gusseted heel, I used the Toe-Up Slip Stitch Heel Sock Formula for this.

In Conclusion

So, not bad for the first week, no? So much drama: trying to remember things from a few years ago, feeling feelings, making decisions, cutting, picking up stitches, re-knitting, feeling different feelings …. it feels a little like the Nickelodeon tween sitcoms my niece watches. Drink it in, because I don’t think my socksperience will get interesting again until I have to remember how I did the heel.

See ya next week!

 

FREEBIE Rye Socks

 

 

Rye

Cozy sockies make great gifts, especially when they are knitted with worsted weight yarn. This FREE pattern from Tincan Knits has great instructions and ranges in size from Baby to Adult Large. The other great thing is that you have a lot of yarn options when you work with a worsted, ranging from pretty hand paints like Manos Alegria Grande or Malabrigo Rios, to budget friendly options like Cascade 220 Superwash and Berroco Vintage, or Berroco Comfort Print. The most important thing about your yarn choice is make sure it’s machine washable!

Yarn Options

Materials

FREEBIE Kitty Ankle Socks

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YinYang Kitty Ankle Socks

File these adorable socks under “I saw these and thought of YOU”. Seriously, you don’t have to be a cat person, they’re adorable.  Whip them up with a super soft blend of machine washable merino wool and nylon ( so they wear well); semi-solid hand-dyed Manos Alegria, or affordably priced Cascade Heritage.

Yarn Options

Materials

  • FREE Pattern
  • 2.25mm/US1 double pointed needles (or whatever technique you prefer: 12″ circulars, magic loop, or 2 circulars)
  • tapestry needle

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

 

 

 

 

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Photos: Geena Garcia

 

CLEARANCE Fleece Artist Kits

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CLEARANCE 20% Off Fleece Artist Vamps Kits

A ‘Vamp’ is a Newfoundland term for a pair of hand knit ankle socks used both as house slippers and as boot liners. They are knit holding 2 strands of yarn together (one merino and one super soft kid mohair), these slippers are a warm and fuzzy tribute to this regional hand knit tradition. This pattern is best knit on double pointed needles rather than short circular needles. You can also knit this kit up as a warm and fuzzy pair of Mitts!

Vamps Kits are a double gift – they’re a great gift for knitters, and they also knit up as a wonderful gift.

Kit Includes

  • Pattern & instructions (one size, for other sizes use the pattern Rye below)
  • 125g of Fleece Artist Merino 3/6
  • 50g of Handmaiden Angel Hair

Kit DOES NOT include 4mm double pointed needles

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

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FREEBIE Super Bulky Socks

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Super Bulky Socks

Super-Bulky Socks are another last minute one-skein wonder. They’re fast, impressive, and oh so cozy! they only use one skein of buttery soft and beautifully dyed Malabrigo Rasta, or get a second skein to make them taller slouch socks.

Materials

 

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

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NEW Fleece Artist Vamps Kits

fleece-artist-vamps-kit-socks

Fleece Artist Vamps Kits

A ‘Vamp’ is a Newfoundland term for a pair of hand knit ankle socks used both as house slippers and as boot liners. They are knit holding 2 strands of yarn together (one merino and one super soft kid mohair), these slippers are a warm and fuzzy tribute to this regional hand knit tradition. This pattern is best knit on double pointed needles rather than short circular needles. You can also knit this kit up as a warm and fuzzy pair of Mitts!

Vamps Kits are a double gift – they’re a great gift for knitters, and they also knit up as a wonderful gift.

Kit Includes

  • Pattern & instructions (one size, for other sizes use the pattern Rye below)
  • 125g of Fleece Artist Merino 3/6
  • 50g of Handmaiden Angel Hair

Kit DOES NOT include 4mm double pointed needles

 

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

fleece-artist-vamps-kit-combo

Pattern Notes

After knitting up a sample we found that seasoned sock knitters may not ‘get’ the pattern that is included with the kit. If you want an alternative path try using the free pattern for Rye Socks by TinCan Knits and making the following modifications:

  • Use 4mm/US6 needles
  • In the “Cuff” omit the “Round 1” & “Round 2”: start the heel flap immediately after making the ribbing
  • The third size fits an average women’s foot, the fourth size fits
  • omit garter stitch detail down the front

 

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FREEBIE Thrummed Mitten Kits

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Fleece Artist Thrum Kit DISPLAY

Fleece Artist Thrummed Mitten Kits

Thrumming is a very old technique that is seriously fun and functional. Small tufts of roving (wool that hasn’t been spun into yarn yet) are knit into the garment creating a fuzzy warm layer on the inside and irresistible dots of colour the outside. As you wear them, the thrummed roving felts down, keeping your hands warm and cozy (take note dog owners, these are ideal winter dog walking mitts).

Each kit is individually hand dyed, no two will be exactly alike and the mittens will be the colour of the yarn and the thrums (roving) will peek through. This kit can also be used to make Thrummed Socks (great as house-socks or slippers) and does not include needles (3.5mm/US4 double pointed needles).

Kit Includes

  • Pattern & instructions  (or you can download them free HERE)
  • Yarn: Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Aran, 125g (100% wool)
  • Roving: 60g (100% wool)
  • Sizes included: Child, Adult Small, Adult Medium, and Adult Large.

 

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

 

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