I signed up

Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade is offering another sock pattern subscription club inspired by the beautiful Cornish coastline.  The Handmade Sock Society 2 begins with the first of six sock patterns on February 14 and runs through December 5, 2019.

I didn’t join the first club but since I do enjoy knitting socks, I want to try this out.  My plan/hope is to use yarn from my stash for at least three of the patterns.

For a limited time, you can join the club at a discounted price.

Have you ever joined a subscription club before?

Bloomin’ gusset

Between the bitterly cold temperatures, thawing frozen water pipes, a trip to the emergency room*, and shoveling eight inches of snow, I’ve got one Bloomin’ sock done, one Bloomin’ sock to go.

I like it but not in love with it.

The heel flap is chunky and not caressing the back of my foot as much as I like probably because it’s striped and not ribbed.

The gusset is so cool though as the pattern goes around the bottom.  This type of gusset is new to me. 

Usually, the gusset is on the side of the heel flap as shown here.  You can see where I picked up the stitches from the heel flap to continue with the foot.  It makes a triangle on the side.  The gusset on these Bloomin’ socks is on the bottom so the pattern flows all around. 

You can also see where I switched from the double-point needles to the circulars.  The decrease stitches are less pronounced once I could knit smoothly over them. 

When on my foot, the heel flap looks bulky and it seems too high on the back of my foot. 

I adjusted the toe shaping as my toes don’t come to a point as the sock does.

I knit six rounds of the stripe before beginning the decreases so I could end the sock sooner and still have enough room for my toes to wiggle.  I finished with the Kitchener stitch.  It looks loose and mangled in the photos.  I wanted to see how I liked the sock before I tightened up everything and made a neatly finished toe. 

It’s a very thick, two-layer sock and I won’t be able to wear it with any of the shoes or boots that I own (thanks to unwanted water retention), however, I do like it enough to make the second one. 

*Mr. Aitch, not me.  I finally convinced him after a week of discomfort to get the pain in his side and back checked out.  He’s dealing with a kidney stone.  Though not stone free yet, he is feeling somewhat better.

Bloomin’ socks

I don’t know how I got sucked down the Ravelry hole but it doesn’t really matter.  If you’ve ever searched for something, you can understand how one thing leads to another to another and so on and so on. I resurfaced with a project: Latvian Bloom Socks by Dela Hausmann.  The graph for the colorwork is marked in four sections which would correspond to four double-point needles (dpn) containing 18 stitches each.  See my little paper tags attached to the sock section??

Using Knit Picks Stroll in Ash, Black and Bare, I’m already into the foot section.

I prefer to knit with dpn but notice that my colorwork stitches pucker a bit when I switch from dpn to the next.  I try to keep the yarn that is carried across the back as loose as possible without going overboard.  I even knit inside out but I like to look at my progress and I didn’t want to fiddle with turning it right side out and back again.  It’s too easy to lose stitches that way.

It’s slow going.  I tried Magic Loop but my 24″ circular needle isn’t really long enough for that technique and the 16″ is too long for the circumference of the sock.  So I tried to use both needles by knitting a round on one then when back at the beginning of that round, I use the second needle to knit the next round to make a sort of flexible needle. Unfortunately, the straight part of the 24″ needle is too long to keep the sock in a comfortable circle.  I’m not sure if I’ve explained that correctly.  Trust me, it’s not relaxing.

Since switching to circular needles, I still needed to follow the graph which is laid out by needle (1, 2, 3, and 4).  I made some stitch markers to remind me what needle I’m working with: one bead for needle #1, 2 beads for needle #2, 3 beads for needle #3, and 4 beads for needle #4.  This little trick works for me.

Anyway, I ordered some 9-inch US #1 (2.25 mm) and US #1.5 (2.50 mm) circular needles.  They should arrive today.   I’ll let you know how this all works out.

Coaster corral

While the Double Dot socks were hibernating waiting for me to address the twisted stitches, I whipped up a corral for all those coasters I couldn’t stop knitting last year.

I combined the coaster pattern and the Drops Farmer’s Delight basket patterns to coordinate with the two-tone coasters.  A provisional cast-on hides the seam.

I used four of the colors from the coasters for the corral, two blue shades, and two green.

The corral looks like a hat with a very deep brim that is folded down to cover the “wrong” side.

The bottom or wrong side doesn’t look that nice but it’s not seen even when empty.

This one holds approximately eight coasters and could be made it taller by adding more stitches for the sides/brim.