Spinifex

The newest pattern in Helen Stewart’s Handmade Sock Society is called Spinifex, named for a sturdy Australian grass that appears as a starburst when looking down on it.

(c) Helen Stewart

No yarn in my (growing) stash would work so I gathered a bare skein of Knit Picks Stroll fingering weight yarn, my Crockpot, vinegar, and food coloring for another dye session. This time I used green, yellow, and black for some soft greens that turn into deep greens. The yellow happened with one or two drops directly onto the hot yarn in the dye bath. The black broke into red and purple and added a nice contrast to the greens. I don’t really follow a recipe for the colors as I only dye one to two skeins at a time and it’s so random that I’d never be able to reproduce any of the colors again.

This pattern has a toe-up construction and that is new for me. All of my socks have been knit from the cuff down. But I was interested in learning something new. Judy’s Magic Cast-On took me over two hours to get right while reviewing written instructions and numerous videos and another hour to knit the first round! Of course, I was using double pointed needles and not circulars as suggested but I used what I had.

Not bad for my first attempt, well, my first foray into this technique as I attempted it many, many, many times!

Then came the actual textured pattern that is on the top of the foot and up the leg. After two pattern repeats I’m not liking it. Not liking it at all. The “star” in the reverse stockinette area just looks like a mess to me. And it’s lumpy.

I don’t think these would be comfortable to wear with the lumps even though they are only on the top of the foot. Several others mentioned that as well.

The inside (wrong side) looks better.

The bottom is beautiful. I love those greens!

I’m not going to rip out that three-hour toe! I will ladder down to the star stitch on the front and do some other stitch that isn’t lumpy or bumpy. Just as soon as I figure out which stitch to do.

I’ll keep you posted.

Patti

Wild Bees

I finished the third sock in the Handmade Sock Society with yarn that I dyed in the Crockpot.

The name “Wild Bees” is the perfect name. The lacy pattern looks like bees and the yarn color reminds me of honey. I think they turned out great. I just have to weave in the ends.

Details

    67 grams of yarn
    US #1 (2.25 mm) needle
    Began March 31, 2021, finished April 20, 2021
    Size medium
The 33 grams of yarn leftover will plenty for at least a contrast for another project.

Unfortunately the socks are too snug for my foot. But one of the twins has narrower feet and will be able to wear them. Now all I have to do is knit a pair of socks for the other twin…

Patti

I dyed

Helen Stewart released the third pattern in the fourth season on the Handmade Sock Society early and that’s OK with me. This is called Wild Bees Socks. The stitch pattern looks like bees and she chose a honey color of yarn.

I’m trying to use stash yarn for as many projects as I can but I didn’t have any color that would work. So I decided to dye a hank of Knit Picks Stroll Bare yarn in a Crockpot/slow cooker using food coloring and Easter egg dye. I’ve tried the microwave method before with great success, however, Mr. Aitch doesn’t like the smell of hot wool and vinegar thus the Crockpot technique. On the deck. Because it was a warm, sunny day.

I didn’t take any pictures of the dyeing process but I added water and vinegar with the yarn and turned it on high. My Crockpot is a small one (3 1/5 quarts) so I only had room for one skein. I added the dye (in three, four, or maybe five batches) while the water was hot. The yarn grabbed the dye as soon as it hit the water.

I got some great golden-yellow tonal yarn. Exactly what I wanted.

You can see the various tints, shades, and hues ranging from pale yellow to golden yellow to pale apricot and a bit of brownish yellow.

I couldn’t wait for the yarn to dry to cast-on this sock pattern.

Here are two repeats of the pattern already. Blocking will be key to this pattern to even out the yarn-overs so the “bees” stand out more.

I love how the plain back shows off all the tones of the yarn.

I think I have 15-20 more skeins of yarn I could dye. So many options. Plus Easter egg dyes should be on sale after Sunday! That’s a great time to snag some great deals on non-toxic dyes.

Have you dyed before?

Patti

Fini

Ok. WordPress updated their platform and I’m lost. Please bear (or is it bare?) with me while I try to post this.

Back to what I wanted to talk about. I finished the brown socks. I still don’t like them but I’m sure someone in my circle of friends who appreciates handmade socks will LOVE them!

This pattern is called Picnic Blanket Socks from the second in the Handmade Sock Society season 4 series.

I started off with 67 grams of Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn in Fedora (brown) and 21 grams of Basalt for the contrasting heels and toes. I have been using the German Twisted or Old Norwegian cast-on and it has a nice edge and is stretchier than the long-tail cast-on I used to use. Staci from Very Pink has a great video on how to do this cast-on.

Easy, easy, easy pattern as it is mostly knitting in the round. I think it was the puffy parts and the solid brown that made me not like these socks. Perhaps if the yarn was heathered or a tonal color, I would have liked them more. I started them on March 4th and finished the pair on March 20.

I played yarn chicken with the Fedora brown and I won. I had less than one gram left which will be enough for any repairs that might be needed in the future. I still have 10 grams of the lovely greyish-taupey heathered Basalt, which is, unfortunately, discontinued.

Other than weaving in the ends, I’m calling these finished.

Have you finished anything recently?

Happy knitting. Or crocheting. Or other crafty things.

Patti