Posts Tagged ‘socks’

On the Road

Monday, July 16th, 2012

While I am sticking close to home for the next month or so and designing madly, it seems like everyone else is hitting the road! Vancouver is wonderful in the summer but who doesn’t love a road trip? Getting up early, hitting some fast food or coffee joint, letting the breeze (or AC) blow through your hair. Lucky for me I don’t get car sick and my hubby likes to do the driving. It’s a knitters dream!


It seems that summer road trip knitting falls into 2 major categories: accomplishments, and small practical projects. First category is the accomplishment. This is something larger, perhaps a garment, that you hope to finish or nearly finish on your trip. A sweater knit as your wind through the Rockies, or maybe a pair of lined mittens, ready for gifting in the winter to come. Try a Whisper Cardigan by Hannah Fetig. It’s a lace weight so it’s easy to carry around and a nice light weight item for summer nights.


The second category is the small and portable project. I find socks a go to on this one. There’s something simple about a sock, with just a few interesting points to keep me going. I cast on and I can knit away until I’m ready for a heel. Once that’s turned I’m ready to knit up a foot on a particularly long stretch. Then it’s just a toe and I’m done! It’s also easier to be diligent on the road. If you only have one or two projects, that’s all you can knit! Try out a pair of Tootsie socks, I’m thinking Spud and Chloe Fine or perhaps some Handmaiden Casbah is just the ticket for these cozy socks.

New Knitty

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

New Knitty is up! What is Knitty you ask? Really?!

Knitty is a great free online magazine full of patterns and some great features and articles. This issue has some fabulous Zauberball socks and a new shawl pattern from Emily Wessel, the Estuary Shawl.


The socks are made with a construction I’ve never seen before, which is saying a lot since there are so very many sock constructions! The Longitudinal Socks are made from side to side, utilizing the rainbow-stripe fabulousness that is Zauberball sock yarn!


Estuary Shawl: “An estuary is a fertile place, a junction between riverine and ocean habitats, where the mixing of fresh and salt water creates a gradated ecosystem which nurtures thousands of species”. Doesn’t that intro say it all? A pretty shawl that draws from the beautiful land/water form of it’s namesake.

Toasty Warm

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

There is something wonderful about a pair of handknit socks. Something pretty, functional, and warm, a little of everything. The only thing better than a pair of socks you have knit for yourself is the gift of a pair at winter time.


Something cozy by the fire with thoughts of tradition and family and friends. Picture toasty wool enveloping your feet as you sit by the fire and sip delicious dark chocolate cocoa with marshmallows floating lazily (in my case I have to put down the cocoa to knit a few rows every once in a while).


I’m not sure if it’s mostly the photography of these socks but as soon as I saw them I had to have them. I’ve got my favorite rosewood DPN’s and a skein of Indigo Moon sock yarn with Paper Moon Socks written all over them!

Book Review: Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn

Monday, August 1st, 2011

With so many knitting books in the knitting world it’s hard to choose between them. There are some with lots of information, some with lots of pretty pictures, some with simple patterns, and some with harder patterns. There are books for sweaters, scarves, and socks and I’m starting to feel a bit like Dr. Seuss. It’s safe to say that if you want to learn to knit something, there’s probably a book for that. I thought I might share a book I quite enjoy, just in case you are looking for a good sock book.


Escher Socks

Socks make a great traveling knit. One skein makes a whole pair and sock patterns are abundant. The same footish format is adaptable to any knitting style, if you like cables, texture, or lace, there are patterns in the world for you. The only trouble can be breaking your double pointed needles (unless of course you magic loop) but I recommend something called a whip tube for that. It stores those thin pointy guys in a nice safe place and helps you to avoid having any stitches pop off, just ask the ladies at the shop and they’ll be happy to show you what I mean.


Herringbone Socks

The book I recommend bringing along for the next car trip (or plane trip, or staycation) is Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Cariol Sulcoski. The name doesn’t do the the lovely patterns inside justice. The book is filled with sock patterns that I think anyone would wear proudly. There is also some great information on how to choose your handpainted yarn best suited to your sock pattern. If you are looking for pooling or avoiding it, debating stripes or a simpler kettle dye, this book will help you decide how best to pair your yarn and project. As for patterns my personal faves are the Herringbone Socks (which I’m working on now), the Escher Socks, and the Spot Check Socks. There are so many great sock yarns in the shop, including some fantastic local dyers, pick some up with this book before you next hit the dusty trail!


Spot Check Socks

Knitting For the Boys

Friday, June 17th, 2011

I can’t honestly say I personally know very many male knitters. Really only one comes to mind. This is not to say that men couldn’t or shouldn’t knit, they absolutely can and should! I just don’t know that many myself. I think this might be one of the reasons there are so few mens knitting patterns out there. I’ve been brain storming some other reasons, but mostly they are brood generalizations about sweater curses and complaints about a lack of accessorization.

With fathers day around the corner I was trying to come up with some of my favorite mens patterns and books, there may still be time to whip up a toque (for those chilly summer nights). Without further ado:


Dave by Jane Ellison

1. Jane Ellison’s Queensland Collection Book 9 : I’ve gone to this well several times, making 2 vests and a sweater (that’s my dad modeling it at Christmas a couple of years ago). The patterns are simple and modern (not too bulky), what more could I ask for?

Habitat by Jared Flood

Habitat by Jared Flood

2. Jared Flood patterns: I couldn’t very well choose just one, there are many excellent mens patterns including three great hat patterns: Habitat, Koolhaus, and the Turn a Square hat.

Koolhaus by Jared Flood

Koolhaus by Jared Flood

Turn a Square by Jared Flood

Turn a Square by Jared Flood

3. Perhaps a pair of socks? Leyburn socks are a great pattern for a dude, not too much flair but a lovely simple textured pattern. I think socks are perfect for someone who is not that into wearing knitted items, but enjoys something warm and handmade.

Leyburn Socks

Leyburn Socks

4. If you are looking for something with a little more pizazz you might want to check out Stephen West, his triangular scarves/shawls are a great way to experiment with colour combinations and perhaps a Daybreak is just what dad needs!

Daybreak by Stephen West

Daybreak by Stephen West

Some Sarah Socks

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Socks are such a popular knitting item at UY we have an entire wall of sock yarn. We have a shelf of sock knitting books. There is a bootcamp class dedicated to teaching socks in an evening (or part of an afternoon). They are just so popular! There are a lot of things to like about socks, not the least of which is the fact that the pattern possibilities are endless. Once you know the size of your foot and the heel turn that really works for you you can knit a sock up in any which way. There are also an endless supply of sock patterns online, as well as many sock books to choose from. The other great thing is that the colour options are fabulous. Socks are usually hidden under your shoes or pants (unless you’re a socks and sandals kind of person) so you can be colour adventurous!

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Before leaving us for San Fran Sarah was knitting up some charming socks that inspired me to get back to my own pairs on the go. The first pair she knit up in the ever popular Zauberball. This yarn is a lot of fun for socks, it doesn’t really stripe so much as it moves from one colour or shade to another, making it kind of exciting to knit with. What colour will come up next?! It sounds silly but give it a try and you’ll see what I mean. The only trouble with striping yarns in general is that you usually get more a fraternal twin sock than an identical one. This doesn’t phase me at all but it can be kind of a pain to get your socks to match, not impossible, just more difficult than with a solid yarn. The pattern for these lovely socks is Circle Socks, a free pattern on Ravelry.


Next is a pair of pretty purple socks in SweetGeorgia’s Cashluxe yarn. We have a couple of sock yarns with a hint of cashmere in them and I am always pleased with the feet treat they offer. I love a nice soft sock yarn that is still washable, it’s the best of all worlds! This colourway is Violet Hill and the pattern is Esther Socks (another Ravelry freebie). The pattern is just beautiful, it is a pretty embossed leafy pattern that is to dye for! So pick up some sock needles and hit the sock wall for some lovely portable knitting!

For the Sock Knitter

Monday, December 6th, 2010


For the sock knitter in your life, there are just so many options. So many types of fibers (although I think most people still look for a washable sock yarn), types of needles, and types of socks! While I still stand by the traditional double pointed needles and top down socks, there are all kinds of options for those more adventurous. There are socks on 2 circular needles, socks from the toe up, and socks 2 at a time for a start. We’ve got books for all of these types of sock knitting if you are buying for the sock knitter looking for the next level. I also really like Cookie A’s book, (she’s kind of the queen of socks). It’s got a lot of good information and tips as well as some cool patterns.


When people come in looking for some sock yarn I immediately point them in the direction of the ‘wall of sock’. It’s a wonderful colourful wall full of all kinds of sock yarn. I really love a hand dye in a sock yarn, and I enjoy some crazier colour schemes than I might for a hat or a scarf.  It’s like my own little secret when I wear a pair of colourful crazy socks. Of course we have some more subdued yarns as well, bright yellow socks aren’t for all I understand.

Needles are really a preference thing. For circulars I would definitely go with an Addi Lace, for the finer sock yarns. If you are really looking to spoil a knitter we’ve also got the Addi Lace interchangable sets, a dream come true under the tree….but I digress a bit. The treasures in my own personal stash definitely include my Lantern Moon needles. I have double points in US 1 and 2, which is pretty much all I use for socks and they are a dream. They are strong rosewood needles which don’t bend as easily as bamboo, I love them and we just received a shipment of Lantern moon so pick up some needles for the sock knitter in your life!

This weeks sale yarn is Louisa Harding Shingle and Glisten. Glisten is a sparkly yarn while Shingle is a be-sequened yarn perfect for a seasonal project for the fabulous individuals you know!

Tip of the Day

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Sometimes there are things I hear in the knitting world that just make perfect sense. It’s the kind of thing you hear and you can never forget it and you wonder how you ever did things before. It’s like the construction of a top down sweater. It’s not that’s I’ll never knit a sweater top up again, just certainly not as often.


One of the things I have picked up over the years, and people seem to like, is double pointed needle stitch distribution. It works for anything you are knitting in the round but I find it most helpful for socks and mittens. Here’s the big secret: put half of your stitches on needle one, and distribute the other half over needles two and three. So, if you have 60 stitches you’ll put 30 on needle 1 and 15 on needles 2 and 3.

Alright, I know this sounds pretty simple (and it might not be all together earth shattering) but I’m telling you, it makes life so much easier! First of all, you can avoid those pesky stitch markers, which can’t really mark the first stitch of the round unless it’s in the middle of the needles, which it pretty much never is. If you are knitting in the round on circular needles stitch markers are essential and helpful, but they just get in the way on double points. The beginning of the round is always the start of the ‘big’ needle (the one with the most stitches). Simple right?


For socks this system is great because the top of the foot is always on needle one, no ladders on the top of the foot where everyone will see. For fair isle mittens this is great because 1/2 of the pattern goes on needle 1 and the other half goes on the other two needles. This way you know if you’ve made a pattern mistake halfways through, instead of having to rip back an entire round. So, next time you are knitting away on your double points, give this method a try, you won’t go back!