Category: <span>Socks</span>

Summer Test Knits

The blog is slowly sliding away from One Local Summer as winter draws ever closer, so I thought I’d fill in some space with knitting and spinning updates!  For those of you unfamiliar with knitting, when a designer whips up  a new pattern, he/she typically will want to have a friend test knit it to make sure all potential errors are worked out before officially publishing a pattern.  It gives the designer another set of eyes on the pattern which can be really helpful.  On my end, as a test knitter, it’s really fun to be the first person to have a go at a new knitting pattern and help out a friend at the same time.  So, that’s what I did this summer (among other things).

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Pattern: Barrel Riders Sock
Designer: Corrine Walcher
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Aisha Celia Designs Hand-Dyed in “178AA”
Ravelry Project Link
I finished these pretty quickly and love the neat detail on the heel as well as the wave pattern on the leg/instep.  For the time being, this pattern is a special release just for a yarn club and isn’t available to the public just yet.

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Pattern: Clara Barton
Designer: Corrine Walcher
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight in unknown Mill Ends colorway
Ravelry Pattern Link
Another fun project!  I think I knit these in about a week, so they knit up super quickly.  The yarn just happened to be a happy match for a sock pattern called Clara Barton, named for the woman who founded the American Red Cross.  It was a Mill End I picked up at Rhinebeck a few years ago, and I’m glad I held on to it for just the right pattern.  Love that little cross on the heel, and the cable running down the front.  Another great design and fun test knit!

A Year of Sock Knitting, part 2 – 2012

I was originally shooting for 12 in 2012, and I just squeaked by with a quick pair of DK weight socks for grandma.  I could probably do another pair, but I don’t think I’ll have the time.  Anyway, the lineup is below!

Rick Socks Pattern: Rick
Designer: Cookie A
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits Sheepy Feet  in, “Tangerine Tango”
Ravelry Project Link
I ended up having to cast on more to make the sock fit.  Cast on 72, and then had to finagle around the heel to get the pattern to line up.  The socks don’t exactly match since I’m a lazy knitter who tends not to write down good enough notes to do the second sock the same, but it worked out well enough, and they’re bright and fun to wear.
DSC_9418_color Pattern: Dayflower Socks
Designer: Dayflower Socks
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits Grab Bag Mystery Yarn  in, “Electric Blueberry”
Ravelry Project Link
These worked up pretty quickly and were the right combination of lace and ribbing so that it was interesting without being boring.  The color and the pattern just matched up perfectly and I couldn’t have been happier with how they turned out.  The yarn was a neat thing too since it was from a club that offered a ‘grab bag’ option – list the weight of yarn you want and the dyer picked out something that would work.  It did!  I really like how lofty and airy this particular yarn is and it was fun to try something completely different.
DSC_1153 Pattern: Primavera Socks
Designer: natalja
Needles:  US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Little Red Bicycle Tricycle Sock  in, “Mistletoe Grope”
Ravelry Project Link
A friend gifted me the yarn for these socks a few years ago as part of a set where the yarn matched two pots of eye shadow.  Pretty neat!  I finally got around to using the yarn and love how it knit up in this pattern.  It’s totally holiday-yarn-barf, but somehow, the pattern breaks up any pooling and keeps it interesting.  I do love the little spot of pooling on the heel since it kinda looks like a candy cane stripe.
DSC_1261 Pattern: Jaywalker
Designer: Grumperina
Needles:  US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic  in colorway 1001
Ravelry Project Link
Because no year is complete without a pair of Jaywalkers.  Am I right or am I right?  My brother brought back the yarn from a trip to the Netherlands and it was just SO much fun to knit with.  The colors are spectacular and made for a fun sock.  I had worn them before getting a picture, so they’re not as crisp as they were right off the needles, but they sure are cozy.
DSC_1274 Pattern:  Pointelle
Designer:  Cookie A
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits Sheepy Time MCN  in “Driftwood”
Ravelry Project Link
These probably rank as my #3 most difficult pair of the year.  It wasn’t that the chart was particularly difficult, but it did involve actually looking at the chart instead of knitting away.  I knit the larger size, but probably could’ve done the smaller size since there’s a lot of extra room, especially around the foot.  I do love them, and love the subtle variation in the yarn that works well to show off the pattern without swallowing it up.
DSC_1199 Pattern: Simple Skyp Socks
Designer: Adrienne Ku
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm)
Yarn: Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett 6-fädig 6ply  in colorway 05958
Ravelry Project Link
These were very simple and quick two-day socks.  We were going to visit grandma and I needed something quick to knit up for her that she’d enjoy, hence these socks.  The bright colors really jumped out at me and the pattern has a neat almost herringbone style motif inbetween the ribbing.  Grandma was very happy with them and tried them right on – they fit perfectly!  Gotta love ending the year with a fun pair of socks like these.

A Year of Sock Knitting, part 1 – 2012

I was originally shooting for 12 in 2012, and I just squeaked by with a quick pair of DK weight socks for grandma.  I could probably do another pair, but I don’t think I’ll have the time.  Anyway, the lineup is below!

DSC_5178-picsay.jpg Pattern: Steampunkery
Designer: Heatherly Walker
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Holiday Yarns FlockSock Sock Yarn in, “Vanilla” – purchased as a kit
Ravelry Project Link
They were an absolute PAIN to knit.  I must’ve gotten an early version of the kit because there were errors and omissions throughout the pattern.  No errata supplied, nothing.  I am happy with the finished product though since they’re SO pretty, and what a neat idea to have the fully functional button up flap on the leg.
DSC_0491 Pattern: Child’s Sock in Miranda Pattern
Designer: Nancy Bush
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Little Red Bicycle’s Boneshaker BFL Sock in, “Oh, Io”
Ravelry Project Link
These were meant to be children’s socks, but I cast on 64 stitches and worked the pattern as normal, ignoring the calf shaping.  They came out great, and I love that the pattern is replicated from a historical pattern.
DSC_5455 Pattern: Gentleman’s Fancy Socks
Designer: Nancy Bush
Needles:  US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential Solids & Twists in, “Sarge”
Ravelry Project Link
A friend requested socks ages ago and I finally got around to knitting them.  What took so long?  The requestor has a size 14 men’s shoe!  Yikes!  Took the better part of 2.25 skeins, but he commented in a thank you note that they are, “easily the coolest pair of socks I’ve ever owned.”  WIN!
DSC_5717 Pattern: 14 Karat
Designer: Glenna C.
Needles:  US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits, All Your Base  in “Sunken Treasure”
Ravelry Project Link
Twisted stitches Ahoy!  The chart was easy to follow, just time consuming, and I’m not good at memorizing charts with cables.  Still though, they came out beautifully and I love the color depth in the yarn – there are so many colors that pop out of that yarn.
DSC_5712 Pattern:  Business Casual
Designer:  Tanis Lavallée
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits, All Your Base in “Fathoms Below”
Ravelry Project Link
They were easy enough to knit, but the photo doesn’t show the pattern very well.  The diamond pattern shows up just fine in real life but didn’t photograph very well.  The color is a favorite – I love the greens and black together.
DSC_6385 Pattern: Escher-Würfel (Escher’s cube)
Designer: Stephanie van der Linden
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits, Pearl Necklace  in “Grey Matter”
Ravelry Project Link
The pattern is really just a stitch pattern to create the cube effect.  I cast on 60 and knit a basic cuff-down sock.  I was a little worried that 60 wouldn’t be enough stitches, but it was perfect with enough room (and a little extra) to stretch around my calves.  Very happy with how these came out!

Go With the Flow Socks

Finally, another spun-to-finished project.  I’ve been accumulating quite the stash of handspun, and I figured it was time to put some to use.  The yarn is dyed by Meg at Twisted Fiber Art, and she’s really quite the magician with dye.  The colorway is called, “Intrigue,” and was part of a club Meg ran for 3 months.  I spun the superwash merino roving into a thin single and then chain or navajo plied the yarn so that the colors would stay together as they were dyed.  I ended up with about 425 yards of fingering weight yarn that was then turned into a really squishy pair of Go With the Flow socks.  The pattern knitted up quickly, and I only made a few modifications – worked a plain slip-stitch heel and didn’t turn the work inside out after the heel flap was done.  I love the way they came out and refuse to take them off now that the photos are taken.  Yeah, it’s almost not-sock season, but that won’t stop me from stocking up for the winter!

 

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Gin & Tonic

This is the second finished item of my 11 in 2011. Yeah I might be a little behind, but I can still make it, right?

The yarn is Sheepy Feet from Sheepy Time Knits, colorway, “Daisy Chain.”  The color pooled up making these awesome spirals of green around the socks and I love how that happened – looks like a twist of lime, going with the gin and tonic theme.  The sock pattern, Gin & Tonic, worked up really quickly and I’m happy with how they came out.  No real modifications to the pattern, just knit it as-is.  Pretty short post, but socks are socks, and it’s more about the eye candy here than any fancy write-up!

Dagon Casadh Socks

The first finished item of my 11 in 2011 lineup.

The yarn is from the January 2011 installment from Little Red Bicycle. The colorway is called Dagon, inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s short stories.  In fact, the three month club will entirely be based upon Lovecraft’s stories and I’m excited to see what comes up next.

The pattern, Casadh, worked up pretty quickly since there’s a lot of plain ribbing inbetween the crazy cable rows.  The sock was sized for men, so I made a few modifications (only 15 repeats on the heel flap, decreased on the gusset to 18 stitches each needle) to help fit a smaller foot.  The combination of the ribbing and cables gives it plenty of stretch though, so it ended up working out just fine.  They’re really comfortable and I can’t wait to wear them out and show them off!  There are a few more pictures on the Ravelry Link below as well as more information about my modifications.

Ravelry Link

Speshul Snowflakes

Since the club cycle had completed for the year, I figured I ought to update on all the socks I’ve knit from the club yarn. The club is Sheepy Time Knits Speshul Snowflakes Yarn Club.  I really love how the club is set up, that there are two colorway choices and a wide variety of yarn choices every shipment.  You pick the yarn/colorway one month and then it’s shipped the next month making for 6 total shipments.  Back at the beginning of the club, I decided that I’d kit each shipment as it came in so that I’d still be knitting socks and the yarn wouldn’t go into the stash and be forgotten.  I’m really glad I kept up with it, and here are the results from a year’s worth of shipments.  Looking forward to next year’s club again and knitting more socks!

DSC_8490 Pattern: Hanging Vines Socks
Designer: Kelly Porpiglia
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits, Sheepy Feet in, “Green Eyed Monster”
Ravelry Project Link

They are GREEN green for sure.  These have already gotten a ton of wear and I think I love them a little more every time I wear them.  The base yarn feels strong yet still soft and has incredible stitch definition.  Also, not even one little bit of pooling in that variegated colorway.  Not a single bit.

DSC_0519 Pattern: Komet
Designer: Stephanie van der Linden
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits, Yarn That Shall Not Be Named in, “Teel Deer”
Ravelry Project Link

I’ve already blogged about these, but I still LOVE that colorway.  It’s funny how a knitted item can remind you of where/when you were knitting it and for me, these will always remind me of our trip to New Hampshire, knitting and cozy in the lodge while the husband was skiing.  And the epic adventure of showshoeing down Mount Washington.

DSC_1705 Pattern: Jabberwocky Socks
Designer: Mandie Harrington
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits, All Your Base in “Blackberry Martini”
Ravelry Project Link

The dyer designed these socks and I just couldn’t wait to get the yarn and cast on.  The construction of the sock is not typical and I really LOVE how she got the pattern on the side to go straight down to the foot.  And again, THAT COLOR.

DSC_3020 Pattern: Angler’s Loop Socks
Designer: Andrea Mules
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits, Panda Feet in “Creamsicle”
Ravelry Project Link

I probably could’ve knit the larger size on these for a little more ease around the cable, but they still fit fine.  The base is super squishy and comfortable and the cable was just enough knitting interest to keep me engaged but not overwhelmed.  Do you see what’s happening here?  Variegates, no pooling, tons of different patterns, but no pooling.  I’m still in awe.

DSC_4507 Pattern: Passerine Socks
Designer: Cookie A.
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits, All Your Base in “Foggy Dew”
Ravelry Project Link

So these were a challenge.  I just wasn’t feeling the pattern (it’s gorgeous, don’t get me wrong) and they took FOREVER to knit.  Totally worth it in the end, and the pops of green in the grey are just perfect.  See, again?  No color pooling.

DSC_5091 Pattern: Lichen and Moss Socks
Designer: Joanna Ryan
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
Yarn: Sheepy Time Knits, Yarn That Shall Not Be Named in “Lichen”
Ravelry Project Link

Well when I found the colorway and did a search for “Lichen” in Ravelry, I just had to knit the pattern named Lichen and Moss.  Seemed perfect.  The simple yet elegant pattern was SO fast to knit (under a week!) and the color worked out perfectly.  This base is a big favorite of mine (Oh that stitch definition) and feels super strong yet completely enjoyable to wear.  And of course, no color pooling again here.

Komet

DSC_0519 Komet tl;dr
Pattern: Komet
Designer: Stephanie van der Linden
Needles: US 1 (2.25mm)
Yarn:  Sheepy Time Yarns Yarn That Shall Not be Named in, “Teal Deer,” from the Sheepy Time Knits December 2009 Club
Ravelry Project Link
This is the second installation of the Sheepy Time Knits club for February 2010. I picked a different base this time, and managed to pick a pattern that worked perfectly with the yarn. These were knit over the span of a week-long vacation in New Hampshire at Attitash Mountain.  We, the husband and I, went up for our somewhat annual ski trip, but what ended up happening was him skiing three days of the week, and me spending a lot of time getting to know all the inner workings of the lodge.  I did one run down the mountain and decided that I was really out of shape and just not cut out for skiing this season.  The pattern was a touch tricky – there’s a 4×5 cable cross in there and I actually needed to break out the cable needle for that one.  This is the cable needle that I used only one before since I do all my cabling without a needle – so much faster that way.  The result is worth it though – the design is super cute and I just love the brilliant teal color of the yarn.  The base is similar to another yarn that shall not be named, but starts with a “W” in case you were wondering.  Another fun club knit!

Oh, Teal Deer or, tl;dr for short, is internet speak for, “Too Long; Didn’t Read” (or Too Long; Don’t Read) for posts on message boards that ramble on and on and on.  ie:
tl;dr – socks are awesome, yarn is lovely, vacation was great, but I’m not built for skiing.


More on that vacation though, because I really did spend a few days outside the lodge.  Tuesday, we went up to Great Glen Trails to take the Snow Coach halfway up Mount Washington.  The road up the mountain isn’t plowed through the winter and cars are only allowed to drive up in the warmer months.  During the winter, a specially built van (van + tractor treads = Snow Coach) takes visitors to a halfway point up the mountain, weather permitting.  We were having some really fantastic weather which was maybe not the best for skiing, but great for playing tourist.  It was about 45 and sunny at the base, and about -20, sunny, but the winds were blowing at around 40mph.  We decided to go for the snowshoe rental at the base and bring them with us in the coach.  Nixxed the idea of getting out at the midway point (4300 ft approximately), but jumped out somewhere around the 4 mile mark on the auto road (3500ft elevation).  We strapped in for our first time snowshoeing and headed off.  The Snow Coach driver mentioned a trail that would take us up to Lowe’s Bald Spot.  We took the trail only to find that it went nearly straight up and was pretty battered from some knucklehead who tried to hike it in plain boots (and sunk in a good foot with each step).  We managed it anyway and came up to a bald spot with some spectacular views.  Hiked back down, and made it back to base after nearly 6 miles of snowshoeing.  It was exhausting, but well worth it for the experience!  We did end up coming home with snowshoes since we loved it so much – here’s hoping we get snow again in Philadelphia (maybe not *quite* as much) next winter too.
We also took a side trip up to the LL Bean flagship store in Maine. On the way back, we stopped off at Cold River Vodka to have some samples.  Their vodka is made from potatoes and is sweeter than most other vodkas I’ve had.  The Blueberry vodka is really something special – the aftertaste is as if you’ve just squished a big, juicy blueberry in your mouth.  Perfect.  Needless to say, we took some home.
On the way home, we stopped at a winery we love – Flag Hill.  Last time we were in New Hampshire, I didn’t knit, and clearly didn’t notice the farm selling yarn and roving right down the road.  So, we stopped at Riverslea Farm too.   🙂  Found some great roving and yarn.
Overall, a really great trip!  It was nice to get away from our snow and see someone else’s snow.

For more photos, click on to this Flickr photo set.

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Midway up Mount Washington

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The Snow Coach

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Husband in his snowshoes

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Cold River Vodka