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.

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.

Socks are good company

Socks are good company

Sock projects will always be good company to me. Since I became obsessed with socks about 7 years ago hardly any time has passed between casting off one sock project and starting another (or having several going at once). Whether patterned or simple stockinette they are always good company due to their portability and functionality. I will always wear hand knit socks in the winter. Always. When I pared down my sock drawer I cast off those that were no longer favorites to my mom. She luckily has the same size feet. I think I’m down to about 16 pairs after ridding myself of some of them… summer socksThis yarn was gifted to me from Carina in Germany, simply because we both love Regia. Isn’t that sweet? The yarn is Regia Cotton Summer Smile in the colorway Marigold. It was a joy to knit and watch the happy oranges and pinks change. My favorite bit is the really multicolored part that reminds me of Fruity Pebbles. summer socks-2I did my usual heel flap that wraps around from the bottom of the sole to the back of the heel as I knit the socks from the toe up. When people ask me what sock pattern I’m using or what my favorite sock pattern is, I tell them I like my own! All of my socks are knit in this way, and if you’re wanting a basic one you can look at any of them and just ignore the cable or lace instructions if you want a plain sock. Some are free, some are for sale. Check them out. Experiment. I love this heel because it provides strength and cushion all about the heel.

Cast on some socks this summer and have warm feet in the fall. Favorite sock patterns? I’m always looking for more sock love.

Summer days

Summer days

summer socks-2I have turned the heel on these summer socks. summer socks-3See this page for yarn details. A good portion of these has been knit while snuggling Charlotte as she naps on my chest. I go back to work in a little over a week and as much as I’ll love being back, I’m also going to miss my full days with this kiddo immensely. summer socks

Sock crazy

Sock crazy

I’m sock crazy over here this week. My LYS just got some Regia Design Line by Arne and Carlos. I’ve been lusting after this yarn since I saw it on their Facebook page in March. The owner, Cynthia, called me on my birthday and said she had just gotten it in stock. Did I mention I now live a block away from the yarn store? Dangerous territory. Well I immediately had to get the two colors I lusted after the most. These are Summer Night arne and carlosand Fall Night. arne and carlos-2You can see what the finished sock looks like for the colors here, or take a peek at the sock so far for Summer Night: arne and carlos sock-2The bit at the very tip of the toes is my absolute favorite part so far, and it’s coming up again soon in the striping. arne and carlos sockI wanted these to match, so I unraveled one ball to match the other. I had to lose about 9 grams of one ball to do this. I wish they were a little better matched at the starting point since they came in two balls. Luckily they have such generous yardage that it won’t be an issue.

Those repeats make me want to keep going and see what’s next…

Yarn surprises!

Yarn surprises!

new yarn-2I got a package in the mail last week from Carina! It was incredibly sweet of her. She emailed me and said she had a little baby present and wanted to send me some Regia since she knew I was also a Regia lover. She lives in Germany and sent me four skeins. I’m so in love with these colors!!! The purple will have to be something for Zooey of course. Maybe the pink will become something for Charlotte. Maybe they will even be matchy matchy…

I think my favorite skein color-wise is this: new yarn-3I adore those sunset oranges and can’t wait to see how that knits up. I am trying to reduce stash, but there’s always room for sock yarn, right?

Moved (mostly).

I’m hanging in there this week, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be less stressful than last week. Matt and I had a big surprise when we went to see the doctor on Tuesday and she said I’m already 3-4 cm dilated and 70 percent effaced, so the baby could come at any time now. We were not prepared for that kind of statement, and after our heads nearly exploded we went into panic prep mode. We packed the bags for the hospital, and ran a few of the remaining baby-related errands, while taking turns melting into stress puddles. The doctor said to rest as much as possible to avoid early labor. I am doing this diligently, though I’m back at work today. I work in a library, at a quiet desk, so I think this will be ok. I also have talked to my boss about working from home if need be for some of the remaining two weeks of my contract. I’ll be 37 weeks next Monday, so I’m just hoping for full term at this point.

We also completed 98% of the move on Saturday and Sunday. My parents were a tremendous help with this. My dad and Matt moved all of the things that the movers did not, and my mom cleaned almost the entire house much better than I would have done even when not in this condition. I don’t know how we would have done it without them. While the movers were there getting the furniture, my mom and I escaped to a new local creperie for some peace. I worked on these:

The yarn is Regia, in the World Ball Color series. The colors are supposed to represent Argentina. At my LYS we had Argentina or Germany, and I opted for the blue and white. These will be a gift for my brother. I’m almost certain he doesn’t read my blog, so I think it’s safe to mention that here. He is the one with the size 13 feet. I’m still looking for precise toe to heel and toe to front of ankle bone measurements if anyone has them, cm preferred. Otherwise, I’ve seen online that the total foot length for size 13 feet is approximately 11.69 inches. Yipes!

In the limited things I could do for packing, one of them was discarding old spices from the spice shelves. I threw 2/3 of them away, gleefully. The tin above had a sticker on it from 1974. Time for that mustard to be retired, don’t you think? I kept the tin, because I think it’s kind of neat. Matt inherited that from his grandma. I would swear that most of his spices were probably almost that old, so they went straight into the bin. I’m really enjoying throwing things out and donating them lately. Catharsis!

I finished my latest Tuxedos, but I haven’t had a spare moment or proper floor space to photograph them yet. They’re coming soon…

If you’re participating in the Ravellenic Games, good luck! I couldn’t add one more thing to my plate, but if I finish those size 13 socks by the end of the Olympics I’m going to feel special anyway.