Socks never go out of style

matt socksSocks never go out of fashion because winter is inevitable, and unlike items made for expandable body parts, socks will usually always fit. Despite their unfailing utility, socks are also often a background project for me, taking the main stage when I’m tired of thinking, or I need something to keep me company on a walk, in the movie theater, or during a meeting when I need to keep my hands busy to focus. As soon as I finish one pair I cast another on almost immediately. Socks are the unsung heroes of the knitting world.

matt socks-3These are simple stockinette for the foot, made from the toe-up and using a heel flap that goes across the bottom of the heel and wraps around the back of the heel, as shown in the top picture. I finished with 1×1 ribbing for the cuff. If you’re looking for a pattern that incorporates this kind of sock heel, see my Girl with the Purled Toes or read more about it in my tutorialmatt socks-2The yarn was sent to me from Germany by Carina, so it feels like an extra special pair of socks. It’s Schachenmayr Regia Strata Color in the colorway Kiwi. Frequent readers know that I’m a bit Regia obsessed. The yarn has a 10 year guarantee on the label. That’s very appealing when socks are an item that have a finite life span. I have Regia socks I’ve been wearing since 2006, so I think their guarantee is pretty legit. I especially try to make Matt socks in durable yarn since he has fewer pairs than me (higher rotation in the wearing) and he’s pretty hard on his socks. Sometimes I feel I should make him more pairs, but I’m so in love with my sock stash it’s very hard to part with socks for others. I try to buy some sock yarn specifically for him to help myself be more generous when knitting socks, but it’s very rare that I don’t fall head over heels for a project intended for someone else.

I’m very excited to say that I have a new pattern coming soon! I am finalizing the photo edits and pattern organization. I was without my computer for most of July, so the process has been slower than anticipated, but I can’t wait to share the results. Stay tuned for more.

Take your socks for a walk 

Sometimes if the project is just right, I can knit while I walk.I began some ubiquitous Hermione’s Everyday Socks the other day when I finished a different pair (to be posted soon). I can’t not have a pair of socks on the needles and I had recently received this gorgeous yarn by The Lemonade Shop, so it seemed like I should cast on a pair for me. I’ve made this pattern before, but I gave that pair away, so I decided this simple repeat was perfect for another autopilot pair of socks. 

The color is Sweatpants in the Mighty Sock base. It’s delightful so far. I love to combine knitting with walking when I can, making leisurely exercise even more pleasurable. I have a couple of Go Knit pouches that are perfect for this. I used to be able to walk to work and I had a pleasant 30 minute (when also knitting) commute to work through a park and campus. I almost always knit socks on these kinds of walks. The pouch can be clipped to your belt loop or worn on your wrist. OK, it’s definitely a bit nerdy, but I’m wholly willing to commit to knitting nerdery. I reserve this kind of knitting for pacing in the house when I can’t go out, or family walks. Some people are badass enough to knit through marathons though. I’m not there, yet…

Leftovers

Leftovers

As mentioned in my previous post, I’m trying to get rid of some stash. The things that I haven’t used and have owned for a long time are starting to feel like a burden. In some cases, like with this Cascade Eco+ yarn, I have intended to make use of the leftovers from other projects and I had just not gotten around to it yet. As I was listing things to destash, I decided to get proactive and cast on some blanket squares.

The colors are Satine (blue), Natural Gray (lighter gray), and Antique. The blanket will be a Barn Raising Quilt. Though I’m not doing this in fingering weight as intended, I am making the squares roughly the same size as called for in the pattern. In the Cascade Eco+ this means I am ending at 23 stitches per side. These squares go a lot faster than fingering weight. I once attempted this blanket in fingering weight, and got two squares finished before I quit. I have never finished an adult-sized blanket. I’m hoping for a little more staying power this time. 

If I was able to work uninterrupted, I think I could do probably one square in an hour or less. That makes finishing this project a lot more promising. I am seven squares in, and I’m going to keep working on this until I get bored and feel like working on another project again. Wish me luck!

Detashing!

My computer is out of commission right now, so I can’t do fun posts about what I’m working on. Instead I will share a screenshot of some things that I am detashing on Ravelry. If you’re interested send me a message to cassy AT knitthehellout DOT com. I’m knitthehellout on Ravelry. Find the yarn here.

Just another pair of socks

Last week I got a cold and I needed some comfort knitting. I turned to these simple striped socks made with Knit Picks Felici in the color Mosaic. felici-3The yarn is soft and soothing. I was at the heel flap when I picked them up last week and they felt so comfortable and meditative that I just carried on until I was done. feliciI haven’t forgotten about my TTTKAL project and I’m back to working on it now, but sometimes you just need to knit socks. felici-2Know what I mean?

Ah, knit alongs

I love knit alongs. They come with a feeling of community and connection to people far away. They inspire me to stay on track and complete a project in a timely fashion. And best of all, they give me a lot of knitting inspiration! Check out some of this gorgeousness on Instagram for the Tops, Tanks, & Tees Knit Along. I’ve participated in this knit along for the past couple of years and it’s a fun way to jump start spring and summer knitting. In 2014 I managed to do two projects! talaveraThis year I settled on Talavera by Amanda B. Collins. It’s a lovely pattern from Pom Pom’s summer 2015 issue. Even though it’s so last year, I just felt compelled to make it.

talavera-2I’m using Louet Gems Fingering in Teal. The top is not worn as shown above. I’m knitting from the bottom up, but I wanted a way to show off the lace, and pushing the top any further down on the dress form would have required some frantic work getting the lace back on the needles.

The pattern is great. The lace is fun to do and is almost easy enough to do while drinking wine at knit night. I did give up doing just that yesterday, and switched to a mostly stockinette top that I shall describe in more detail in another post. I’ve had to back track a few times when I was particularly distracted and chatty, so it’s good to have back up projects.

So far this is going quickly. I started it on Tuesday night and I should be able to finish in plenty of time for the knit along deadline (May 27th). Anyone else knitting along? What are you making?

Sock philosophy

fall nightMaybe it’s just me, but it seems that when knitters are passionate about socks, they are also often passionate about the way they make them. For me, my ideal sock starts at the toe, conquers the heel with a slipped stitch flap that curves from the sole of the heel to the back of the heel, has a cuff at least as long as the foot, and ends in some kind of ribbing or other stitch that will keep it in an upright position. I also insist on making them both at the same time to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome that I know would be an affliction for me as I drown my senses in all of the pretty sock yarns. I don’t deviate from this formula often.fall night-4

While I would like to say that I am more experimental or trust the designer when I come across sock patterns I want to try, this way of sock knitting has been the formula my hands have been working for about 8 years now, and my brain has come to think this is the way socks are done! Really, I have a pretty high score on the Openness to Experience scale of the Big Five Personality Test, so I have to assume my stubbornness in this realm comes solely from enjoying the socks that this formula produces and wanting more of them. Plus, it’s so deeply canonized in my knitting repertoire that I feel like I could do socks with my eyes closed, and I’ve never gotten a hole in the heel of a sock for myself yet.fall night-2

Of course, I am missing out on some pretty amazing socks by being this stubborn. Many Cookie A patterns come to mind, like this one. In the meantime I usually just modify patterns with a stitch repeat to work in the formula I use. That’s just how I do socks. So, the socks pictured in this post have had a fairly predictable path if you’ve been paying attention in this post, or seen almost any other sock post of mine. I did the cuffs a bit longer than usual, mostly because I wanted to get to the larger mottled blue and white section that was the start of the toe and was my favorite bit. fall night-5I really enjoyed these socks, simple stockinette as they were, due to the patterning. This is in the first Arne and Carlos series made for Regia. I could expound for paragraphs on the joys of Regia for the bright colors that last and the socks that wear forever and ever, but that’s for another post. Suffice to say, I love this brand. So far there are at three Arne and Carlos series produced by Regia and I think the first and the third have some gems. This color is called Fall Night. I offered it up to Matt before I turned it into socks for myself. He thought they would be too girly, and since seeing them in action he’s mentioned his regrets more than once.