Fourth Try Socks

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In the knitting world, we call a project “frogged” when an unfixable mistake has occurred or the pattern has stumped the knitter. Sometimes patterns are written poorly, have errors, or are simply beyond the skill level of the knitter. Regardless of the reasons why, it’s alway annoying to label a project as frogged.

The first pair of Horizontal Rib Socks I made turned out perfect. The texture of the rib played nicely with the self-striping yarn and it was the first pair of socks I made that fit my foot without being a touch too snug, (this is a huge victory for newly minted sock knitters!). I added a star to the pattern to designate it as a favorite.

The second pair Horizontal Rib Socks did not go well. Despite using the same yarn (in a different color), my second attempt ended with the first sock being full inch too short and incredibly tight around the foot. I ended up ripping it apart and rewinding the yarn.

The third pair of Horizontal Rib Socks also did not go well. This time the sock ended up far too large and had no elasticity. Frogged again. I almost erased the favorite pattern star.

That was two years ago.

I don’t like losing to a sock pattern. Especially a pattern I’ve conquered before. This is the only reason why I decided to make a fourth attempt on this wretched pattern! I pulled out some Paton’s Kroy sock yarn and loaded up my sock loom for what I hoped would be a sweet victory.

It turns out the fourth try is the charm! This time around, I realized part of the problem was in the foot section of the pattern – instead of two repeats in the stitch pattern, I had to do three to fit the length of my foot. Never underestimate the power of trying on the sock while it’s still on the loom to see whether more length is needed.

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Horizontal Rib Socks in Paton’s Kroy Sock, Bramble Stripes

One thing I’ve learned from this process is that patterns, no matter how well-written, are not set in stone. There is always room for adjustments to achieve a better end result. You just have to be brave enough to look away from the pattern and trust your own skills.

 

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c.b.w. 2016

Favorite Thing Friday: Seascape Melody Socks

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After the challenge of knitting lace socks, I decided to go the simple route for my next project. I pulled out my trusty KB sock loom and got to work on Seascape Melody Socks (via Loom Knitting Socks by Isela Phelps).

Hiding in my yarn stash was a gorgeous skein of ONline Supersocke in Ocean Color, Colorway 1577. How perfect given the name of the sock pattern! I got this yarn while on vacation a couple of years ago and I was so excited to finally find the right pattern for it. Sadly, however, I think this yarn is discontinued.

The yarn is self-striping and mixes solids with heather effects. Beautiful shades of pink, blue, brown, cream, and green pull together to make a simple alternating ribbed pattern something really special.

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Seascape Melody Socks

Seascape Melody uses only knit and purl stitches. It’s basically an interrupted ribbed pattern. As usual, the heel and toe are worked using the short row method with a series of wrapped stitches.

I worked this sock over 56 pegs on the original fine gauge KB sock loom. I arrived at this peg count because the yarn I used had the same gauge (28 sts = 4″) as my favorite sock yarn, Paton’s Kroy. Experience has taught me 56 pegs with a 28 st gauge makes a perfectly fitting sock for my 8″ diameter foot.

My goal this summer is to clear out my sock yarn stash, so more sock posts are on the horizon!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

 

Favorite Thing Friday: Simple Socks

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Sometimes a simple pair of socks is all I really need! While my knitting pattern library is stocked with beautiful socks, I’ll often gravitate towards a plain sock that uses no more than two stitch types. This is especially true after a long writing session or a tough day at work.

After finishing my Retro Rib socks, I put away my needles and pulled out my KB sock loom. I wanted to make something easy, familiar, and fool-proof. My sock loom and some Paton’s Kroy Sock yarn fit those requirements perfectly!

I set the sock loom to 52 pegs, which always seems to make a snug, yet comfortable sock, (approx 7.5″ foot circumference).  The pattern is a simple K3,P1 rib that I adapted from a needle pattern (Ann’s Go-To Socks).

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Ann’s Go-To Socks, Paton’s Kroy Sock Yarn in Blue Stripped Ragg

Adapting basic needle patterns to a sock loom is actually very easy. As long as the peg count matches up with the repeated pattern stitch count, the pattern easily transfers from needle to peg. The toe and heel are turned with the usual loom short row method.

As for gauge, it’s just a question of matching the stitch count as close as possible to your preferred peg count. The only tricky part is choosing a yarn that gets close to gauge. Ann’s Go-To Socks called for a 52 stitch cast on, so that matched up perfectly to my preferred 52 peg count with Paton’s Kroy yarn, (in addition Paton’s Kroy Sock had a gauge very close to the pattern gauge).

When in doubt, choose a yarn with a gauge that is close to the pattern gauge or use a yarn you’ve used before so you know how to plan your peg count. At the same time, remember that there’s a lot to be said for experimenting. Sometimes you’ve just got to try a few yarn/peg combinations until you get the fit you want.

I love how my simple ribbed socks turned out! They are so comfortable and match my Spider-man t-shirt perfectly.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

Favorite Thing Friday: Spring Fling Socks

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My sock loom has been busy! After a long hiatus from knitting things for myself (Christmas gift knitting is a four month ordeal), I finally got to make something fun for myself. To get back in the groove of my style and my preferences I went back to where it all began – my original KB Sock Loom.

Instead of picking out a technically demanding pattern, I opted to play with pattern dyed yarn to create an interesting sock. All I have to do is a simple stockinette stitch while the self-striping and self-patterning yarn does all the work. I’ve been meaning to make a simple sock for a while as they are the best for daily wear, easy to wash, and are the most comfortable with my Converse Sneakers.

I had the perfect yarn hiding in my yarn basket for this project – Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight Prints in Spring Fling. It alternates between solid color stripes, checkers, and vertical stripes in myriad bright colors (coral, magenta, gray, blue, and green). To anchor the “busy” feel of the color I decided to make the cuff, heel, and toe in a solid color. As it turns out I had a partial skein of Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight Solids in Woodsy Green leftover from a previous project (Green & Pink Socks) that matched relatively well.

From previous experience with this brand of yarn, I knew to cast on with more pegs than I normally would for my size. After a few washes, this yarn shrinks up a bit, even when hand washed and laid flat to dry. My usual sock is anywhere from 48 to 52 pegs, but for this one I tried out 56 pegs to see if that is enough to accommodate for the shrinkage issue. It’ll be a couple of months before I know if this worked!

This is my third attempt at very basic colorwork on a sock loom and I think it turned out pretty well!

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Spring Fling socks

Colorwork technique on a sock loom is very different from knitting needles. The general rule in knitting is to never use a knot to attach a new color, but on a sock loom that rule has to be modified.

At the beginning of a round, tie the new color around the previous work yarn strand. Only tie it once and do not make a knot. It will be a little loose at first, but it’s easy to tighten up after a few rounds. Cut the previous work yarn (with at least a 6″ tail) and continue with the newly established work yarn.

Once the sock is done and it’s time to weave in the ends, the single tie that was created to attach the new color can be undone. Very carefully pick apart the tie and weave in the ends as usual. The connection is seamless and there’s no knot!

The sock adventure continues as I scan through my patterns for the next project and decide what to pull out of my yarn basket!

Happy Knitting!

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2015

 

Favorite Thing Friday: Chunky Socks

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After almost three months of knitting Christmas gifts, I finally got a chance to cast on a project for myself. As much as I love making gifts for friends and family, I miss knitting without a deadline!

With the weather finally starting to cool down, my feet are screaming for a new pair of super warm socks. On my last trip to the craft store, I picked up some worsted weight wool in variegated shades of gray, black and white. As soon as I saw the color was called “Cloudy,” I was sold. How wonderful to make cloudy socks with a chance of thunderstorms!

To make my cloudy socks, I pulled out my brand new KB Sock Loom 2. This is a regular gauge loom that can handle heavier yarns like worsted weight wool, (my original KB Sock Loom could only handle sock, fingering, or lightweight yarns). When I saw KB created a loom to make chunky socks, I was ecstatic! I tried making thicker socks on my original sock loom and they did not turn out that great. Between zero elasticity and a less than stellar fit, those socks sit at the bottom of my drawer!

The directions that came with the Sock Loom 2 left much to be desired in clarity when it came to calculating the number of pegs needed for correct sizing. So, I went on the hunt for a pattern/instruction book. What I found was Authentic Knitting Board Sock Loom Projects by Isela Phelps and I couldn’t be happier. She offers patterns for both sock looms, plus detailed instructions and charts that take the mystery out of calculating peg counts.

For my first foray on the Sock Loom 2, I opted for a simple stockinette stitch with a 2×2 ribbed cuff. It’s aways best to start simple when trying something new! Overall, my first chunky sock turned out great. Thanks to Isela Phelps’ size/peg count chart, my sock is a perfect fit.

Even though, these are my cloudy socks, I can’t help but think they kind of look like a zebra, too!

The nice thing about a thicker gauge is that it knits up very quickly! Instead of 70 rounds for the leg, I only needed to do 40. It felt like a vacation! This awesome sock only took a few hours to knit and I’ve already casted on to make it’s mate.

Thicker gauge, thicker sock!

I will definitely be making a few more pairs of chunky socks before winter is in full swing.

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What’s your favorite thing this week?

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c.b.w. 2014