Knitting 2010

In 2010 I attended the UK knit camp in Stirling University and was lucky enough to have classes with Lucy Neatby, Jared Flood and MaryJane Mucklestone.  I visited New Lanark Mills, went on a boat on Loch Katrine and toured the Famous Grouse distillery.   I went to Maryland Sheep and Wool and I taught classes at Knitter’s Day Out. I took a beginning [wheel] spinning class at the Mannings and bought my first fleece.  Needless to say I bought yarn and fiber while at these events. Oh I also did some knitting too.

I started the year knitting Mum a pair of mittens using Anna Zilbourg’s Turkish stitches:
Mum's Mittens

For the Winter Olympic Challenge I knitted a Baby Surprise Jacket:
Baby Surprise Jacket

At the beginning of March I finished my top down adaption of Vivian:

And later on that month I started the first project knitted from my own hand -spun and completed it with no yarn to spare in May:
Shell Scarf

I knit Mum a fun pair of socks so she could be comfortable and think about the garden at the same time:
In Your Garden Socks

I knit a Baktus for Lisa:
Lisa wearing Baktus

I practiced some Orenburg lace making samplers:
Orenburg Lace Samplers

For my guild I tried double knitting with two colors and made a washcloth with a heart which I gave to my friends Jessica and Robert:
Double knit washcloth

I also knitted two pairs of hunter’s mittens (or should that be Huntress’s). The first pair were part of a workshop at my local LYS and I made them delibrately too big for me. I then decided my hands were cold and I was bored of this so I made myself a pair. Here is one of the first pair:

I knit myself EZ Green Sweater in purple Ultra Alpaca:
EZ's green cardigan in purple

For a colleague at work I knitted a baby jacket in the same yarn with the same buttons as the BSJ:
Baby Rickards Jacket

I completed the second project from my hand-spun. This time a gorgeous Abbybatt became a gorgeous scarf:
Raha Scarf

Finally I have four pairs of socks without photos.

  • Our guild had a knitasockalong and in November I finally finished knitting my Fiesta Feet.
  • I knit myself a pair of “in your garden socks”.
  • I knit Mum a pair of socks based on conifer trees.
  • I knitted my brother (size 13 US feet) a pair of socks in cotton. The yarn was self-stripping and my proudest moment came when my sister-in-law commented that the stripes on each socks matched.

I am vaguely impressed as that means I completed sixteen different projects in 2010 or 23 if you count each mitten, sock and Orenberg lace sampler!


FO: In Your Garden Socks

When I knit the last pair of socks for Mum she asked for seven more pairs.

While she may have been joking about the number, if I do one pair at time, it is a reachable target.

In Your Garden Socks
These are her second pair.

Once again Ray at Knitivity came up with the perfect yarn for some one who does not want colored socks (Mum) to be knitted by some one who cannot be without color (me).  Patina looks exactly as you expect.  It made me think of drystone walls and old English churches.

At the same time, Mum’s health means that she is unable to garden as much as she would like.  Gardening is something of a spring, summer, early fall addiction for both of us.  Probably more for her as I have lots of other interests too.

So I knitted these socks with all of this in mind.

In Your Garden Socks toe and gusset

I started with a Turkish cast-on; using the same idea that I did with her mittens which came from Anna Zilboorg’s Fancy Feet book.  Mum has long toes, so this should really help.

The foot pattern represents flowers/grass in the garden.  It is a simple purl/knit stitch that I made up based off the Fleur de Lys pattern on the palm of her mitten.

Gusset increases were centered around the top of the foot as seen in Cat Bordhi’s first Footprints book.  I think it was upstream, but since reading that book, I have put gusset increases wherever and whenever it looks right!

In Your Garden Socks Heel
The ankle is a trellis; totally plagiarized from Lucy Neatby’s Fiesta Foot but worked up the heel in one color. Really called honeycomb but could be considered a trellis.

In Your Garden Socks Cuff

The leg is based off basket weave, in this sock it is representing a stonewall protecting both the garden and the sock wearer from deer nibbling the flowers and toes.

The idea of story socks was totally lifted from Tsarina, after seeing her Abbey Tsock and accompanying story.


Pattern: In your garden socks

Toe Up Sock with Turkish Cast On and Upstream Gussets

Yarn: Down Home Art Yarn Socks by Knitivity. Colorway: Patina

Needles: US 2/2.75 mm

Started: April 1st 2010; Finished: May 22nd 2010 (approx).

FO Friday: Coriolis Socks

Coriolis Socks from Cat Bordhi

Coriolis Socks

Pattern Information

Pattern: Spiraling Coriolis Knee Highs by Cat Bordhi
Yarn: Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball
Needles: US 2/2.75 mm
Started: October 24 2009
Finished: December 24 2009

They look as if they are different sizes, especially at the top. As they don’t wear as if they are different sizes, their different appearance must be a optical illusion caused by the different colors. They work great in boots, but I think they are falling down if I don’t have the boots to keep them up.  It is probably all imagination.

Mum’s Socks

Mum's Socks

Mum's Socks

Pattern Info

Pattern: Toe-Up Socks using Judy’s Magic Cast On

Size: 9.5″ long; 8″ diameter

Needles: US 2/ 2.75 mm

Yarn: Knitivity Down Home Art Yarns SOCK (multicolor); choc-coffee morning fade readers special.

Started: 7 September 2009;  Finished: 23 October 2009


After my last disaster that were Mum’s socks, I admit to being a little nervous this time.  The yarn is fabulous – it was almost as if Mum had ordered the colors.   She is so boring about what color socks she wants that if I did not love her loads, I wouldn’t bother.  Even with all that love, I am NOT knitting black or white socks.  You can purchase those from the store.  At least this colorway from Knitivity fitted her demands to a T and it arrived smelling really nice and is lovely yarn.

I made the foot plain and then the leg was a twisted rib, twisting on each leg in two directions, the middle rib back and front alternatively twisting from left to right. The heel was a reinforced using my usual partridge stitch.

Mum was delighted to get a pair of sock that fit her so perfectly and ordered seven more pairs.  If only I could get her out of the boring sock color mentality.


Seaweed Socks

Seaweed Socks

I designed these so that the cable would start up the foot and then as stitches were added at the gusset and heel, the cable became wider.  If you look closely you can see that the cables are different on each sock.  I had a better idea of what I wanted the second time round.

Here is the gusset cable increase:

Seaweed socks gusset

Seaweed socks gusset

The cable isn’t quite right yet.  I need to do some redesigning and try again.

Pattern Info

Pattern: Seaweed Socks.  A basic Toe Up sock using Judy’s Magic Loop cast on, 20 stitches total, increased to 52 (13 stitches on 4 double points)

Size: US 7/ UK 5/Eur 37

Needles:  US 1 / 2.25 mm

Yarn: Zitron Trekking Color

Started: During Sock Summit (August 6th ish 2009)

Finished: Sept 17th 2009


The heel was narrow as that’s what I have and I didn’t add many gusset stitches (as I didn’t know any better then) so the heel is fairly short.

The initial cable is a knit 4, cable two, keeping the cable on top. I purled twice on the top side of the cable, and once on the instep. Essentially, it went *p1 K4 p2, knit foot stitches, p2 k4 p1 knit sole stitches* repeat rows as between *  * except for cable rows when you held stitches in front or behind depending on which way you wanted the cable to go.  Except for the p1, the cable patterns were on the top of the foot side not on the sole side of the sock.  Thus there are more stitches between each p1 than between each p2.

The larger cable is double the first cable (described above), the twist of the second cable goes in the opposite direction of the first.  As I went up the leg, I increased the number of center (noncable) stitches.

I think I cabled every 5 or 6 rows, but that was fairly random sometimes.

If any one is really interested, let me know and I’ll try writing the pattern out.

Sock Heels

One of my best purchases at the Sock Summit was Chrissy Gardener’s Toe Up (amazon).  She manages to condense everything I worked out for myself in my first year of sock knitting into a book.  No, I don’t wish I had had this book when I started last August, but it definitely would have helped.  It is helping now.

One of her suggestions is to knit practice heels.  So a couple of weekends ago, I started this exercise. First, I knit the short row heel:

Short row heel

Short row heel

and discovered that it was reversible (not where the white strip is):

short row heel upside down

short row heel upside down

I don’t like the short row heel that much because my heels are so skinny, so I next tried the heel that Chrissy calls the hybrid heel:

Hybrid Heel

Hybrid Heel

I’m not sure what I did wrong to get the teal strip in the middle of the heel.  Well I kind of know and probably could avoid it next time.  It is all do with where you drop one color and start the next.

I put in less gusset stitches than calculated from Chrissy’s worksheet, which meant the heel was really really short.  This was a important lesson for me.  To save having to redo the heel – I dislike frogging and redoing at the best of times and definitely on a practice piece – I just carried on with the slip stitch partridge stitch after the heel was finished.

Another change I made was that Chrissy does a slip stitch rib so that the slip stitches are on the same stitch every purl row.  I changed this so that the slip stitches alternates every other purl row.  I call this partridge stitch because I read that name in a sock pattern somewhere, but I never checked the stitch name, so it might actually be something totally different (such as turkey stitch?).

One thing I found with the hybrid heel is that it is important that your gauge is right – size matters.  The slip stitch heel was much more forgiving than the hybrid heel.  Also the hybrid heel takes up a lot of your sock.  As you can see below, it need about a third of my foot and if I had done more gusset stitches, i.e. the right number, it would have been nearer half:

Hybrid Heels need lots of space!

Hybrid Heels need lots of space!

Next I’ll try the after thought heels from Chrissy’s book and I want to try this round hat heel from Knitty.

FO Friday – EZ’s Wearable Art Stockings

EZs Wearable Art Stockings

EZ's Wearable Art Stockings

At Sock Summit, I took another class with Meg and Amy and finally finished these stockings.  Not to be worn with shoes however as those toes would get in the way.

I had some issues with the front increases and sole decreases.  On the first stocking I increased either side of three center stitches.  I changed this for the second stocking to four center stitches which fits with the pattern better, as you can see below.

First stocking knitted is on the left

First stocking knitted is on the left

For decreasing on the sole at first I had the decreases side by side but this left a gap which I filled with an afterthought stitch – so it looks as if I have three stitches in the center:

Wearable art stocking with three stitches centering base

Wearable art stocking with three stitches centering base

For the second stocking, I knitted two stitches between the decreases, so I have four center stitches.  This matches the four center stitches on the front/top of the foot:

Wearable Art Stocking 4 center base stitches

Wearable Art Stocking 4 center base stitches

To make these more practical, I am going cover the soles with slipper soles.  Then I can at least wear them around the house and not have to clean them every time.