Once Upon a Sock – March 2019

On the first Thursday of the month, a number of sock-knitting bloggers share their progress with the theme “Once Upon a Sock,” an awesome initiative co-ordinated by Paula @ Spin A Yarn! It’s well worth checking out the other posts because it’s always interesting to see what other people are looking at; it’s like sock yarn eye candy!

My knitting this month, admittedly, has been dominated by the Soper Creek 2019 Yarn Challenge project. It’s still super secret until later this month, but I am SO PLEASED with how it’s progressing so far.  I have a number of rows to finish and giving it a good bath before I turn my submission into the LYS.  Can’t wait to post pictures.

But, anyways, in between the super-secret-project, I’ve been working on socks!  Last month, I mentioned how my two sock projects on the go were simple vanilla socks.  After finishing the purple socks and wanting something new to work on, I wound this beautiful skein Leo and Roxy Yarn Co. 80/20 Sock and started a simple lace sock.

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I ACTUALLY started a different texture for the sock, a simple 1×1 cable, but the texture was getting lost in the variegation.  So, after 15 or so rows, I ripped back to the ribbing and started with the lace.  It’s a lovely, simple design, allowing the yarn to showcase the colours and speckles, and this pattern was one I’ve improvised, inspired by a historical pattern.  (Is it fair to say something this simple is something I’ve ‘created’? I’m sure others before and after will undertake this simple lace… just a musing, I guess.)

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Take 1 for this sock didn’t take off. Frogged before starting again

The lace inspiration came from The Stocking Knitter’s Manual: A Companion to the Work Table, by Mrs. George Cupples in 1870. There are a number of patterns for socks in this book, and after reading and re-reading different variations, I settled on an adapted lace, like below: It s All Been Done - Stitch Fiddle (1)

See, really simple. I’m working away at the foot and am VERY happy with how it’s progressing.  The lace adds interest but is not taking anything away from the yarn, which is doing its own magical thing!  If I was to make this pattern again (and, I very well might), I would swap row 4 and 8 of the pattern – the way it’s currently working is that the first instep stitch after turning the heel and picking up for the gusset, is a yarn over, and the first stitch of the heel (when looked at from the RS) was a yarn over as well.  By swapping these two rows, the yarn over would always be in the middle of the pattern, not the first stitch somewhere. Things to keep in mind next time. For now, I’m going to keep working away and am looking forward to seeing this pair progress!

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Once Upon A Sock – February 2019

For months now, I’ve noticed a few bloggers I follow posting ‘Once Upon A Sock,’ appearing on the first Thursday of every month, coordinated by Paula @ Spin A Yarn!  I’m a day late, but I’m hoping to jump in on this theme! It’s always interesting to see what other people are looking at, it’s like sock yarn eye candy!

I love knitting socks, and I’ve professed my love for socking knitting before. I always have at least one pair of socks on the go because they are the perfect purse project.  My sock drawer may be brimming with socks, but really, one can never have too many socks to keep your feet warm, especially with the winter we’ve been having here in southern Ontario.

So, with that said, what do I have on my needles right now sock wise? This may sounds super boring, but I have two pairs of plain ol’ vanilla socks on the go. The first I’ve been working on intermittently since October; they started as conference socks, something to knit in between taking notes.  I hate to say this as well, but I find these socks a little boring. I love the yarn, Knitting Fever Painted Desert, with its gradual tonal changes, but I think I’d feel differently if these were made a little more exciting with lace, cables, SOMETHING. I needed conference knitting, and this yarn was in the stash. I’m really excited that all I have to do is kitchener the two and get them blocked.

Sock number two of vanilla socks is more exciting because of the yarn.  Who doesn’t like a good self patterning yarn! This is a ball of Opal doing its magic, and I’m at the point with these socks where the foot needs simple knitting. The heel is turned and the gusset shaped. These are currently on hold, because they will make amazing movie knitting.

I’m hoping to join in on the Once Upon a Sock blog party once a month, but I also know myself and my blogging habits, so I may not be quite as diligent at hitting these targets. For now, this has been fun to do!

Sock Yarn Memory Blanket – An update

Is there a knitter out there that doesn’t have some sort of scrap yarn/left over yarn memory blanket forever on the go? It is something that gets picked up and put down so very frequently, where you only work on a square or two at a time, with perhaps many weeks in between. It’s a comfort, knowing you’ll always have something familiar to turn to, and yet perhaps a test of patience knowing that it is a long term friend who may stay a UFO for quite some time.

I started mine in May 2016, and It will only have one square made from each skein of sock yarn I use, because a girl’s gotta have some rules! The squares get added after the project the yarn was initially used for or is complete, and, because of my Type A personality, I try to save the tag that came with the skein and a small sample of the yarn in a binder, where I might write some notes about the yarn, where I bought it, what it was used for, truly making it a memory blanket, attaching these memories to the pages.

I first blogged about this blanket in late May 2016, and uploaded this picture.

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I provided a blanket update in August 2017:

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And I’m really excited to compare that picture with this one:

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For a project that feels forever going, seeing the progress is really a happy thing.

Decorating my Christmas Tree

I found a new favourite pattern. It has a silly-ish name, but it’s well written and works up quickly: Balls Up ! by General Hogbuffer.  I’m always on the mission to use up those left over bits and bobs of yarn; a few endevours have been my sock yarn memory blanket, the Ex-Boyfriends shawl, and socks that I’ve lovingly referred to as my ‘ugly’ socks, an inappropriate moniker because they are one of my favourite pairs to wear.  Why ugly socks?

There are four different remnants of Opal sock yarn being used in these socks, all joined together with the Russian join method.  It’s a little bit of a colour cacophony, but I kinda love them.

With the holiday season in full force, I wanted to expand on my knitted ornament collection, which is where I found the ‘Balls Up!’ pattern, and my goodness is addictive!  It’s especially satisfying when using self striping yarn, because you get the pattern without any effort. Also, when I say it’s a quick knit, boy is it ever! I can get one knit throughout an evening.  It is a wee bit finicky, specifically the beginning when you’re knitting in the round with only eight stitches, and it’s awkward knitting at the end after you’ve inserted your ball form. 

Something about these make me really happy.

I’ll always have warm toes

Last week I wrote about a ‘Simple Pattern’ for socks, taken from a book written in the 1800s.  I had fun experimenting with this pattern, using rather old yarn from my stash.  I made it about 12 rows or so into the body of the leg before I frogged them.

This was how the pattern was shaping up – lace panels in between garter stitch.  I was happy with it, but this has now taken a back seat.  The socks were ripped out so I could free up the needles for vanilla socks.  I was at a conference last Thursday and Friday and knew I would want something simple to keep the hands busy while still listening and engaging with what was being presented. 

These, I must say, are shaping up to be perhaps the most boring socks ever.

The yarn is slowing fading into different shades; the top has more green with the purple, and the heel looks like it’s doing the same thing. It’s all very subtle, and no texture is making these seem just a little yawn. Again, I dove into the stash for these socks, and really, they are serving their purpose very well, simple, transportable socks that require no thinking at all.  Although they are a wee bit boring, there is nothing wrong with that. Socks are socks and they will keep toes warm regardless of the simple yarn.

This is where self patterning or self striping yarn shines. A simple vanilla sock becomes so much more interesting because the yarn is doing all the heavy lifting, the yarn is dazzling while you are simply repeating the knit stitch over and over.

While I soldier on with these unremarkable socks, the ‘simple pattern’ is still on my mind, and I have an idea of how I want to tinker with the pattern. Going at this rate, it’s safe to say my toes won’t be cold.