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

Brown socks

I’m knitting a pair of brown socks. I don’t like the color of yarn nor the pattern.

But since I bought the pattern and am using yarn from my stash, I’m going to finish them.  One sock is done and I’ve already knit 23 rows on the second sock.

How silly is it to continue knitting something I don’t like?

Pretty silly.
Patti

Holey toes

Hand-knitted socks deserve to be repaired.  We spend hours knitting them so a hole, especially in the toe area, can be and should be fixed.

Last September Mr. Aitch and I took a motorcycle ride to Blackwater Falls near Canaan Valley, West Virginia.  It was a beautiful day to ride.  Mr. Aitch and I hiked down the 200+ steps to view the falls and then back up again only to discover that I dropped my denim jacket somewhere along the trail.

See, no jacket flopped over my purse.

About three-quarters of the way down I finally found it along the path.  Up I trudged to the top of the trail where Mr. Aitch and I guzzled a bottle of water.

With proper footwear the boardwalk and steps are no problem at all but we were both wearing our motorcycle gear including leather boots.

Once we returned home and I removed my boots, I discovered a hole in one sock and the beginnings of a hole in the toe of the other one.  I hand washed them and promptly forgot about them until last weekend.

It was time to get these back in my sock drawer or better yet, on my feet.  With the newest pair of socks completed and an empty knitting needle, I tackled the repairs.

Even though the yarn is a superwash wool, the toe area felted on the inside as I soon found out while trying (unsuccessfully) to unravel the toe. I ended up securing the stitches with some double-points and cut off the end of the toe.  This process took me well over an hour!

I still had some of the yarn leftover from when I made these socks and quickly reknit the toe of the one sock.

The second toe was easier as I shoved my darning egg into the toe and did a kind of weaving over the thin area to prevent a hole. 

Not perfect but good enough.

When I gift socks. I  include 1-2 yards of yarn in case a hole appears and I try to remember to tell the recipient that I will gladly (?!) repair any damaged socks.

Do you repair you holey hand-knit socks, toss them, or save and never wear them?

Patti

Curling mist

Helen Stewart’s Handmade Sock Society season 4 got underway earlier this month.  The first sock pattern, Curling Mist, was a joy to knit with an all-around texture.

(c) Helen Stewart

Knit Picks Hawthorne Multi yarn in the Cully colorway (color discontinued) is a soft green with hints of blue.yarn colorwayI pretty much followed the pattern except for the heel flap.  I have two favorite patterns that I like to use: the Slip-stitch heel flap and the Eye of Partridge heel flap.  I decided on the slip-stitch one as it would flow better from the ribbed pattern into the heel flap.

Helen suggested in her pattern to reverse the cabling from leaning to the right to the left for the second sock so they would be mirror images.  So I did that as well.

The socks fit my feet perfectly.

Isn’t it funny that you can look and look and look at something and not see a missed stitch until you have a picture of it?

And with that missed cable crossing (oops) I will keep these for myself.

Do you have works-in-progress or finished anything lately?

Patti