Friday, October 21, 2011

I've been a crazy sock knitter lately!

I can't help myself, I just keep knitting more and more socks! I have three pairs on my needles at the moment, and about 10 more ideas cooking in my head. I just finished a pair a couple of days ago and told myself, "no more starting pairs until you are down to one on the needles". Self is listening. I'm doing the heel increase for pair #1, nearly done with that, so the heel turn may happen today.

A few notes about my socks. I always use the two-at-a-time, toe-up method. I read about something called "one sock syndrome", it is a very real, and usually fatal illness. This is a disease infecting knitters who knit one sock at a time. Some socks can be difficult, or frustrating, and upon finishing the first sock, the knitter is reluctant to begin the next sock, thus being stuck with only one sock. I currently have this problem with a mitten. I finished the first one last winter, and the other still sits in the knitting bag, nearly done. Probably time to finish it!

Here is a link to a free pattern at This will help you get started with this technique if you have not tried it before. I have never knitted socks on DPN's, and I never will. I bought a whole, big, beautiful set of them, but discovered the magic loop method of knitting socks before I used them. I'm very content to let my DPN's sit and be used for other purposes, they do come in handy from time to time, for instance, when knitting an afterthought heel, but I get ahead of myself. Once you read and understand the concept of this method of knitting socks, you can make the changes I have, if you like.

I use Judy's Magic Cast On, just follow the link for a great youtube video showing this method of starting socks. I found the directions in the knitpicks instructions to be confusing. Videos help me a lot! Once you get to the heel, there are several choices, I'll explain them below after each pair of socks. I like to have a nice stretchy bind-off on my socks, and I tried a few until I found this one: Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. I find that it even works on a scalloped edge top, or any that you have to fold over and stitch down.

A couple of months ago, my friend Betty on Facebook started giving my socks a name. I realized then, that all handknit socks need and deserve a name. It's not fair to go through life with no name, what is the fun in that?

This fabulous pair is called Toad's Noses. They are now residing with my friend Jenice. She did some sewing for us and made fabulous aprons for girl's camp, so I made her a pair of socks. I think it is my favorite pair to date. Yarns used are from Knit Picks: Stroll Handpainted in Tree Fort Colorway, and Stroll Tonal in Canopy.

The pattern is from the Knit Picks Flash Dance Sock Pattern. I have made several pairs using this pattern. There are 6 different designs, and suggestions about how to use different kinds of yarns, to avoid pooling, or show off pooling. For those new to knitting, pooling is what you get when knitting with a variegated yarn such as the one shown above. Sometimes, you will get huge patches of one color that just happen to "pool" together. If you don't like that look, using a stitch such as the slip stitch shown here, is a great way to break up the pooling. This particular yarn doesn't lend itself to a great deal of pooling, but you can see it much more on the sole than on the instep.

I used the afterthought heel found in the Show Off Socks Pattern from Knit Picks. I'm not a big fan of this particular heel because it decreases in 4 spots, so you have a decrease going up the two sides of the heel, plus under the heel and up the back of the heel. I had never done an afterthought heel before but after doing this one, I found one I like more, you can find it here. I just adjusted the instructions and used the magic loop instead of DPN's. I did one heel at at time, rather than trying to do both. Heels are actually rather quick.

This pair of socks are named The Sea Babies. These socks are permanently installed on the feet of my Royal Sock Namer, Betty. The yarn I used is Knit Picks Stroll Multi in the Aloha colorway. I used the Fleegle Heel on this pair, and it is now my favorite heel method unless my design would be better off with an afterthought heel. You can find a tutorial for this heel here: Fleegle Heel. The pattern for the sock is from the Flash Dance Sock Pattern, linked above; I used the tents pattern. The cuff is a rolled cuff, just like the Toads Noses socks.

This pair is just a straight knit, toe up sock. I used Knit Picks Felici in the Aquarium colorway. I used the Fleegle heel on these, but as you can see, it made the stripe pattern a little wonky, so on my next striped pair, I used the afterthought heel. I like both of them, but I do think for striped socks I will stick with the afterthought heel. This pair is currently keeping my baby sister Mary's feet warm.

This pair also uses the Felici yarn from Knit Picks, but in the Tyrian Purple colorway. I opted for an afterthought heel and I like the way it turned out. I used a 2x2 ribbed cuff on the top. This pair, I sent to my sister-in-law Jennie.

This lovely pair of socks is called Panache. I sent them to my sister-in-law Gayle. She wears boots a lot, so I knew a knee length pair would suit her just fine. She loves quirky things, so I knew this yarn was perfect for her. It was a very fun pair to knit. The yarn is Cartoons colorway, and a Stroll Handpainted yarn from Knit Picks. This pair also uses the Flash Dance Socks Pattern, and is the slip stitch just like the Sea Babies. I used a 1x1 rib for the cuff and again a stretchy bind off.

This pair of socks belongs to my sister-in-law Patty. They are named Fading Sunset. I used the Fountains pattern from Sock Cocktails, again from Knit Picks. The yarn is also from Knit Picks and is a Stroll Tonal in the Queen Anne colorway. I used the Fleegle heel and picot edge for the top cuff, found in the Flash Dance pattern.

This pair, Chained Melodies went to my sister, Amber. I used a Knit Picks Stroll Multi in the City Lights colorway. I found the pattern at, it's called Summer of 2008 Socks. I again used the Fleegle Heel and a 2x2 rib knit for the cuff.

The name for this pair, Birds of Paradise was suggested by my friend Sue. She threw out a name suggestion and my mind immediately went to this yarn I've had in my stash for some time. The yarn is Fiesta Yarns Baby Boom 100% Marino in the Amazon colorway. I picked it up at a local shop, Kathy's Knit Corner in the clearance yarn. I had no idea what I'd use it for, but the colors just grabbed me, they were so fun! The pattern is also from the Flash Dance Socks. I used the Fleegle Heel and picot cuff. Sue doesn't know this, but these socks belong to her. I'm going to deliver them tomorrow!

Well, that's it for my sock rambling for today. I've spent most of my summer knitting socks, and I don't see an end in site. They are very fun, and not too time intensive. The toe is quick, and before you know it, you are doing the heel increase, then the heel turn, and up the leg. If you make ankle socks, you are nearly done at that point! Is there a twelve step program for sock knitting addiction? I hope not!


fleegle said...

Glad you like my heel! As for the Second Sock Syndrome, just knit the second sock first and the problem disappears :)

Elaine M said...

Heidi - what great socks - you're one talented lady. Like the name too. Hugs

Ann said...

My Mom loved to knit but isn't able to now. I am definitely knitting challenged my best is dish cloths but I did manage to make premi hats and booties when our granddaughter was born early. I am into jewelry making now and enjoying it. You are addicted to socks my addiction is earrings. Have a great holiday season. Hugs Ann