I have a potential yarn thief at my house. She looks innocent enough, but if she has access to a pair of scissors, watch out. Yesterday, while I was taking a knitting break, Zooey walked up to me and said she wanted mittens out of the yarn I was using. I said I was making socks, but there would likely be leftovers to use in some mittens. She said that she wanted me to stop knitting the socks right now and she said she was going to cut the yarn! What a little punk. I think in trying to get her excited about wearing knits after she went through a period of resistance I might have accidentally communicated that anything was possible. To her that must also mean co-opting the yarn from any current project. No way, girlfriend.
After wrenching the scissors from her hand and convincing her I would save the spare yarn for mittens, she gave up. So, what is this fabulous yarn? More Regia. This one is in the Garden Effects Design Line and the color is 3309 Gold. At first when I started the toes I wasn’t in love with the colors, but by the time I was halfway up the foot I was deeply and passionately convinced that I’d be keeping these for myself. Sometimes it’s really hard not to be a selfish knitter! I try. I even tell myself that I have too many sweaters and pairs of socks that don’t get worn regularly and I should pass them on, but is anyone ever going to be as in love with them as I am? I only want to give items away if they’re going to be slightly worshipped. I don’t necessarily have to see them being worn constantly, but a little hint about how much they’re loved from time to time would be good. Matt is fantastic at this. Zooey seems pretty good at it too lately. I guess I have trained both of them to stroke my ego enough to keep producing them more items.
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Socks 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.
These 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 tutorial. The 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.
These socks began Friday night when I realized that I didn’t have anything just right to knit in the downtime for cheering on runners the following day. I am a coach for Girls on the Run in some of my other non-knitting life and my team had volunteered to cheer on racers and run a water station during a half-marathon last Saturday. Naturally, I had to take some knitting, just in case. Matt’s socks are at the heel flap point, meaning they would have required some concentration and eyeball gazing. Marin required looking at a chart. That meant, of course, that casting on a new pair of socks was essential. I can almost do toe increases without thinking, so I jumped into my stash (not in a Scrooge McDuck way, but that would be awesome), and pulled out some Knit Picks Felici in Mosaic. I’m in love with these colors. It doesn’t look like Felici is available on their site right now. I don’t know if it’s a thing that comes and goes or what. I’m not a hardcore Knit Picks knitter, but I can tell you that this yarn is beautiful and buttery soft, so I’m loving it. It feels almost as soft as Koigu, but also has 25% synthetic yarn to make it more durable. I just got a hole in some of my favorite Koigu socks, so I’m all for something strong and soft.
More spring knits coming soon!
Maybe 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.
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.
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. I 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.
Sometimes socks take five months. In the case of these Regia Arne and Carlos Summer Night colorway socks, that was the case. I started them mid-July, but I promptly got distracted oh so many times by other more captivating projects. Sometimes I also get burned out on stockinette socks (gasp! never!). It’s true. It was the arrival of wool sock season that motivated me to finish these. My favorite bit is the red and white section with the teal bands on either side. I will happily add these to my winter sock rotation and hopefully finish their siblings soon.
I finished my Summer Night colorway socks, designed by Arne and Carlos. In my excitement over their beauty and my love of the yarn, I almost immediately had to cast on the Fall Night colorway of their Regia line. It seems appropriate timing, given we are just at the very end of fall. I adore this yarn. This is approximately two day’s knitting time with sole focus when I could, because I was so eager to see a complete repeat. It may be cheating a bit because the yarn is doing all of the work, but I find self striping yarns to be magical, especially these crazy Fair Isle lookalikes. My excitement is nearly doubled knowing that these will wear and wear and wear. I have some Regia socks I made back in probably 2007 or 2008 that are just beginning to thin on the ball of the foot. I wear them at least once a week or more (depending on laundry speed) in cold weather because I often save my softest and most lovely merinos for when I won’t be on my feet wearing them out all day. I wash them and dry them with abandon. I have another pair that I’ve had nearly as long that gets the same treatment. That kind of durability is incredible for a hand knit that gets squashed and bears a heavy load all day long. Hurrah for hard wearing sock yarn!
The third edition of Arne and Carlos Regia yarns is out or coming soon. I’m pumped. How the hell am I ever going to knit through all my sock yarn?!