Falling in love with a new-to-me yarn is one of my favorite parts of knitting. This happened to me when I tried Dragonfly Fiber’s gorgeous Djinni Sock yarn recently. A blend of merino, cashmere and nylon gives it a wonderful hand, and the just-right ply makes for delightful knitting.
When I was a young, I spent a lot of time in Arizona. I loved nothing more than to ride through the hills, exploring beautiful canyons and desert vistas. It was on one of these rides that I discovered a whole hillside of petroglyphs. Ancient carved rock pictures of snakes and stick figures captured my imagination.
No wonder I felt compelled to make the Petroglyph Socks from Anne Podlesak’s Western-inspired book, Free Spirit Knits.
I modified the Petroglyph pattern by making a rounded toe. If I had it to do over again, I think I’d choose a yarn that is a true solid so the socks’ stitch pattern would show up better. That said, I know I’ll get a lot of use out of these socks. I like the pattern, and the yarn makes the socks heavenly to wear.
I will be reviewing Free Spirit Knits and offering a brand new copy as a giveaway in the coming weeks.
Dragonfly Fibers offers many weights of yarn, in a staggering array of gorgeous colors.
I encourage readers to purchase books through their local yarn shops. Please ask for Free Spirit Knits there. You can check out the patterns in the book on the book’s Ravelry page.
Anne Podlesak offers many great patterns on Ravelry.
I adore thick, warm socks to wear around the house in the fall. You may remember my Cushy Chroma Socks design. When I’m in the mood for a quick knit, this is the pattern I turn to. Knit Picks is always coming out with new colorways for it’s Chroma Worsted yarn, and I’ve amassed quite a stash of it. This time I was in the mood for the Soft Rock colorway. I used the second of two versions for the “Rolled-Edge Cast On for K2, P2 Rib” from Cap Sease’s book, Cast On Bind Off: 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting.
The free pattern offers womens’ small, medium, and large sizes and are simple enough for social knitting. They’re perfect for making gifts for friends.
This super-simple pattern is available for free through AudKnits, Ravelry and Knit Picks.
Cast On Bind Off: 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting is available from the following sources:
Please support your local yarn shop and see if they carry the book!
Dubbed the Cushy Chroma Socks due to their warmth and thickness, these socks make for perfect winter knitting. I don’t know about you, but as the hectic holidays wind down, I’m always in the mood for some easy, quick knits. The Cushy Chroma Socks fit the bill. No teeny needles or thin sock yarn here – Knit Pick’s Chroma Worsted works up quickly on US #5 and #6 needles. The end result? Soft, warm socks that are perfect for padding around the house on frigid winter days, wearing to bed to keep tootsies toasty at night, or even to wear out in your roomier shoes or boots.
The Cushy Chroma Socks pattern is available for free from Knit Picks. Sizes are Women’s small (shoe size US 5-6), medium (7-8), and large (9-10), ranging in circumference from 6.5″ to 8″. Chroma Worsted comes in vibrant colors ranging from blended stripes to bold. I love wearing these cheerful colors when the weather is dreary!
I’ve been privileged to be part of the Knit Picks Independent Designer Program since April 2010. I thank Stacey and the rest of the Knit Picks team for the opportunity to include another pattern!
Just in time for holiday and cold weather knitting, I give you my Tonalita Socks pattern… for free! Made of Trendsetter’s lovely, soft Tonalita yarn, the socks are just right for lounging around the fire, giving as gifts, and even wearing to bed on those chilly nights when your feet just can’t get warm enough. Tonalita comes in lots of gorgeous colors. If you’re like me, you’ll end up making several pairs – they’re quick to knit, and its a pleasure to watch the colorways reveal themselves.
Here are the details:
Women’s’ sizes: S (shoe size US 5-6), M (shoe size US 7-8) and L (shoe size US 9-10)
Leg Length: 6 inches/15.25 cm for all sizes
6.5 (7.25,8) inches/16.5 (18.5, 20.3) cm
Foot Length, Approx.: 8.75 (9.5, 10.5) inches/22.25 (24.2, 26.7) cm
Trendsetter Tonalita (52% wool, 48% acrylic, 100 yds/50g/1.75 oz) (for substitution purposes:18 sts = 4” on US9 per ball band); 2*(2*, 3) balls
*Note: If you want a longer leg (such as 8”) you will need an additional ball of yarn
Needles: 1 set of 5 US#4/3.5mm double-pointed needles
1 set of 5 US#5/3.75mm double-pointed needles
You can download the pattern for free here: http://audknits.com/products/tonalita-sock/
As you may know, we now have a part-time home near where I grew up in the Midwest. I’m not used to living in the suburbs where other people can see me. In California, the only people who might get weirded out by my photographing socks are the deer and foxes and newts. Well, and my husband at first, but he got over it after a while. Here in the suburbs, I can only guess at what my new neighbors might think as I diligently pose socks around the yard. They haven’t come over to introduce themselves yet. Maybe this is why. (“The lady who used to live here was so…. normal”, they lament to each other, peering into our yard.)
Nonetheless, here are the socks I created using Sockotta Sock yarn and some leftover Regia 4-ply. I adore knitting with jacquard-patterned yarn like the Sockotta. The ever-changing colors keep the knitting entertaining.
I find the Sock Wizard software a handy tool for making socks. Once I do a swatch, it’s easy to plug the gauge into the software and come up with a pattern that is exactly the size I’m looking for. I’ve used it often enough to know that I always need to make the heel length longer. And I always put some sort of ribbing into the leg. Even with a good cuff, the legs fall down when I knit straight stockinette.
I’m not sure I’m crazy about the afterthought heel. What is your favorite heel?
I haven’t tried Sockotta sock yarn before. But when I saw these pretty spring colors, I just had to start a pair. I think all my projects should be color coordinated with my garden.
My husband and I got away for a weekend to a place I’ve wanted to see since I was a child. Which made it a loooonggg time coming.
Mackinac Island is 3.8 miles of of heaven in Lake Huron between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. It doesn’t allow cars, which makes it my kind of place. Conveyance is by foot, bicycle, or horse-drawn carriage. Percherons with hooves as large as platters haul supplies, baggage and people all over the island. The horses were kind of tuckered out by the end of the season, and most get shipped off the island to rest over the winter.
Showing off his considerable travel planning skills, my husband booked us into the Grand Hotel. It lives up to its name! The architecture, service and decor are beyond compare. One of its claims to fame is that major portions of the movie Somewhere in Time were filmed there. We rented it before we left. Even though it was very sappy, and I kept saying “I won’t cry, I won’t I won’t I won’t” I did anyway at the end.
We stayed in a gorgeous room overlooking the lake. One afternoon we watched a storm brew up, then send sideways sheets of water past our window. As wimpy Californians, we are profoundly impressed by such dramatic acts of nature.
When I wasn’t ogling weather or horses, I did get a bit of knitting in. I’m working on a pair of socks for my friend Madeline. The Grand’s front porch is the largest in the world. It takes a lot of rocking chairs to fill up 600+ feet of veranda. I took the sock there for a visit.
I felt a little silly photographing the sock in the hotel’s fabulous Parlor, with its lush design and sophisticated mural. But I sacrificed my dignity in order not to lose sight of AudKnits being a knitting, not a travel, blog. But still, if you get the chance to visits Mackinac Island, by all means go. Oh yeah, don’t forget your knitting.
Just (barely) in time for Christmas knitting, I have finished designing the Christmas Smock Top Socks. This is what the Mystery Sock decided it wanted to become. I love the way the smocking stitch lends a quilted, cozy look to the sock’s cuff. It took some trail and error to come up with the right number of stitches and rows to form an appealing look once the cuff is stretched out over the leg. I’m happy with how the proportions turned out.
I chose Regia 4-ply sock yarn for its crisp stitch definition. In the pattern I call for 9 sts per inch rather than the 7.5 sts on the ball band. I just hate walking around on too-loose knitting. It feels like some kind of couture torture involving twine! At 9 sts per inch, the Regia make a smooth, kind-to-the-feet fabric.
The sock is knitted from the cuff down. An important design consideration was that the cuff must be knit flat so the smocking’s horizonal bars meet up properly. Trying to knit the cuff in the round wouldn’t work because the rounds are really spirals. The “rows” would never match up.
Once the cuff is completed, the yarn is joined and the rest of the sock is knitted in the round. I hid some ribbing under the cuff to make sure the sock stays up through all the Christmas day festivities.
If you like the way Christmas Smock Top Socks truned out, you may want to check out the Pattern Store.
…and red. I just love Christmas, which may explain the Mystery Sock’s morphing into a holiday design. Jimmy the Vicious Attack Cat doesn’t care about seasonal matters. He’s just glad to have a project to curl up near.
So I’m working on a new sock pattern. For now I’m just calling it the Mystery Sock, since it’s a mystery to me why I can’t get the design written faster.
I’m using Regia 4-Ply. I am SUCH a stickler for sock soles, I always end up knitting on a smaller needle than called for to get a tighter fabric. There’s nothing worse than taking the time to knit a sock, then have it feel like you’re walking around on twine when you wear it.
The ball band for Regia 4-ply indicates 7.5 st per inch. But even at 8 st the weave seemed too loose for me. So I stuck a stitch marker in my work, reduced the needle size, and got 9 st per inch. You can see that the stitches to the right of the marker have that “stringy” look, while the fabric to the left looks nice and smooth, like something your feet will appreciate.
Knitters should be able to obtain this gauge on #1 needles. As I work through the design process, I hope that when people knit up my patterns their feet will be glad for the tighter gauge I suggest.
This is where it all started. I suppose I could have put an end to it at the first hint that I was going to get obsessed. Again. But I ignored that inner voice which cried “Stop while you can!”
Three skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn. That’s all it took. (Plus a visit from my friend Mary, who has so much creativity that apparently she left some behind for me when she went back to Ohio.)
I didn’t mean to design a sock. I certainly didn’t mean to design anything in fair isle. But the shmooey yarn with bright spring colors drew me in and demanded I grab some needles. A design snuck into my mind as if it were a gremlin….
With the help of the Stitch & Motif Maker software, here’s how the swatching process evolved for Mary’s Garden Socks.
A lot of trail and error, ripping out, starting over, and here is the final product:
At a later date I’ll post more on the Stitch & Motif Maker, but you can imagine how helpful it is to be able to plan this sort of design out on a just-the-right-proportion grid.
If you like this sock you can find it my Original Designs in my Pattern Store. I find knitting it to be a nice dose of fair isle fun, and I hope you do to!