It’s going to be Legen – wait for it – dary!

Any of you watch How I met your mother? I didn’t know the show at all until a couple of months ago. But then, from one day to the other, I was hooked. My husband and I watched all 6 series in just a few weeks time. And we’re very much looking forward to the next season!

Our favourite is Barney. So, I thought I’d dedicate a pair of socks to him. As you can see, they are…

It's going to be legendary!

…wait for it…

It's going to be legendary!

That’s right, legendary!

It's going to be legendary!

So suit up!

What I liked
I did intarsia in the round! I used the yarnover method on one pair, but as discussed for my granddad’s socks, they leave a seam.

It's going to be legendary!

For the second sock I tried my own method, which is a bit of intarsia mingled with stranded knitting. I’m working on a tutorial now and hoping to publish it soon!

Pattern
I knitted the ‘legen’ pattern over the 34 stitches that made up the front leg of the sock. The ‘dary’ pattern only took up 29 stitches, so I added 5 extra background-coloured stitches to the sides, to make it end up in the middle.

It's going to be legendary!

If you like it, you can download the pdf, or you can also find it on Ravelry. Don’t forget to visit my sponsors on the right, thank you 🙂

It's going to be legendary!

Materials used

  • yarn: Drops Fabel
  • needles: 2.5 dpns
Sock pattern (in Dutch):
Legendary chart: 

Socks and stripes

Self-striping yarn. Have you used it for projects? Do you like it? I’ve started to love it! The first time I read about it was in a The knitting circle, a novel by Ann Hood. In this novel, a woman named Mary learns to knit to find comfort after her daughter died. In her knitting circle, Mary learns to knit using self-striping yarn.It’s a good read, you should give it a try if you have the chance.

I read this book a couple of years ago. I already knew how to knit at that time, but I hadn’t been as involved as I am now. I’d been on a bit of a knitting break as well, so the concept of self-striping yarn was completely new to me. I was intrigued!

So, I picked up my needles again, and I have used self-striping yarn for several pairs of socks and a pair of mittens since. I like it a lot. It gives a buzz to your socks without having to think about a pattern. Perfect for knitting very quickly in front of the tv. Or on the train after a long day’s work. It also gives me a buzz: I just want to knit on and on to see how the yarn will knit up.

Self-striping yarns I’ve used up till now are:

Still, this seems to be just the top of the iceberg. I’ve seen so many nice brands on Ravelry, and I’d like to try them all. Do you have any experience with this type of yarn? What’s your favourite brand? And what did you make with it?

One for you, one for me

Two more pairs of socks finished! One for my husband, and one for me. Don’t we look happy together?

Happy together

Materials used

  • needles: Bergère de France bamboo dpns size 2.5 (5)
  • tapestry needle
  • yarn:
    • For my husband’s socks: DROPS Fabel (602)
    • For my socks: ONline Supersocke 100 Sportive Color (1169)
Tip
Usually I use 50 grams of yarn for one sock. With the DROPS yarn, that is easy: one skein per sock. But for the ONline yarn, skeins are 100 grams, so you only need one for two socks. Now, how best to prevent that you run out of yarn while knitting the second sock? 
A friend at the knitting circle gave me a great tip: she weighs the yarn. So when you have a 100-grams skein, use your scale to divide it up into two balls of 50 grams. Et voilà, you don’t need to worry about yarn shortage!

Birthday socks

My granddad turned 80 years old yesterday. Happy birthday to him! Of course I paid him a visit, and I ate more cake and waffles than I should have done. But they were good!

As a present, I knitted him some personal birthday socks. Since we call him ‘pepe Fons’, I made him socks that said just that.

Birthday socks

And I added the number 80 as well.

Birthday socks

For the characters, I just took out some checked paper and coloured the boxes to get the words and the numbers right. What I needed next, was a basic pattern for toe-up socks. I found a really great one, in Dutch. It comes with a table that gives you a clear overview of all measurements and stitches you need for each size and leaves you space to fill them in in the pattern as well, so you don’t need to check the table all the time. It uses a reinforced heel, which may be for the best for my granddad’s socks. Maybe that means less repair work for me, since I usually darn his socks.

To do the characters, I used intarsia. I know they say it cannot be done in the round, but I chose to browse the web and see whether that was true or not. And you know what, you can do intarsia in the round! You need to use yarn-overs and then knit those together again, and you do see a slight seam, but it works!

Birthday socks

And be honest, if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t see it at all, right? I feel another tutorial coming 🙂

Tip toes

Am I still in time to wish everybody a happy new year? I’m sorry I didn’t post my best wishes for everyone any sooner, but it’s been a very busy time.

Now, these socks have been finished for a couple of weeks now. Just like my new year’s wished, I should have posted these toe socks earlier already, but I just couldn’t find time enough to actually post. But here they finally are!

Tip toes

I think they look pretty neat. And it doesn’t show at all that (ahem) that one is shorter than the other, right?

What I liked

  • By using this pattern I learned how to do a Turkish cast-on. Since I needed it to start every toe, it was a great opportunity to practise it. And now I’m a fan. A tutorial is coming! I’d say soon, and I’ll really try to make it soon, but I’m also going to stop making promises. It’s coming. Eventually.
  • This pair of socks was the first pair that I did from the toe up. And yes, I’m a fan of this method as well. I think these Turkish cast-ons and the toe-up method turned me into a sock-knitting addict. I mean, the reason why I didn’t have time to post was, among others, was that I had a pair of birthday socks to finish. And now that those are done as well, I can’t wait to start yet another pair.
  • These socks knitted up fairly quickly. At first I thought they would take me forever, what with all the toes that needed to be done separately and then needed to be joined. But the pattern is very straight-forward and fairly easy, so it went a lot faster than I had thought.
  • I got this pattern from Debbie Stoller’s Superstar knitting, but it’s also available on Ravelry, for free. Just follow the button at the bottom of this post.

Rough patches

  • I did some miscalculations on this one. The pattern is for a medium sized foot, and my feet are slightly larger than average. So I measured that I needed to add an inch and added some rows, but apparently not enough of them. So, for my first sock, the heel is not exactly where I want it to be. But it doesn’t show all that much, so it’s OK for me! The second one is better, but I was just too lazy to start over again.
  • I trusted the lenght of yarn that was mentioned on the label too much. I had two skeins of this self-stripping yarn, so I figured I could just as well knit as far as the wool allowed me, and they would end up roughly the same lenght. Of course, because for one sock the foot is smaller than the other one, I knew they wouldn’t be exactly the same, but I didn’t think there would be a several centimeters difference. Not just my fault there, I guess.
  • Keep on knitting until the ball ends was not the smartest idea from another point of view as well. I mean, legs get slightly thicker as you go up. And I didn’t widen my socks accordingly. So I can’t pull them up to their full lenght. Which, considering that they don’t have the same lenght anyway, may be an advantage in the end.
  • While gloves are easy to put on, toe-up socks are not. It requires some fidgetting to get every toe where it’s supposed to be. My husband compared my toes (especially the smallest one) with amoebas when he saw me trying to get them on. Of course, it may just be that I have oddly shaped toes, so if you’ve tried on toe socks before, let me know how well your toes fitted. 
I know, quite a few rough patches there, but once I get them on right, I really like these socks. They do feel comfortable and warm. And most of those rough patches are my very own fault. So if you don’t have toes that look like amoebas, these socks might be just the thing for you 😉

Tip toes

Stitch ‘n Bitch button: 

Free pattern button: 

Tip toes

I’ve always wanted toe socks, and now I finally have a pattern for them, woot! I’ve already knitted 5 toes, I’m amazed by myself.

Tiptoes

When I see my toes lined up like that, they seem to be very long. And in Dutch, that means you’re easily offended… Oh well, they’ll fit. And if not, I can turn them into kids gloves, haha 🙂

Second Sock Syndrome

If you are a sock knitter, you’re probably familiar with SSS, Second Sock Syndrome. You have finished one sock, you are happy with it, but you don’t feel like starting the second one. Which is logical, since you already know you can do it, and you don’t want to do the exact same thing over again, right?

I just finished one sock.

 

And while I am very happy with how it turned out, it did take me quite some time to finish it. I can blame this on two things: I cracked a dpn and I tried out a new heel, the yoyo heel (aka boomerang heel).

I could not find new bamboo needles in the shops I visited, so I had to order online. Luckily, Hobbydoos always seems to have what I want. And while I was ordering anyway, I got myself a couple of dpn caps. They are shaped like a mitten and a hat, don’t they look cute? It’s as if they make sure that the dpn points don’t get a cold 🙂

While I used a Dutch heel on the previous pair of socks that I knitted, I wanted to use a yoyo heel this time. I did have to start over once, but since I had to start over the Dutch heel four times, I do think the yoyo heel is easier. It’s not perfect (yet), but I think I like this heel better. I’m a fan!

So, taking these things in mind, the second sock should be easier and faster to knit. Still, I’m starting to appreciate Harry Potter’s Dobby’s view on socks: never wear two identical socks, it’s boring.

Picture by glockart.

Cracking dpns

When knitting, what kind of needles do you prefer? Is it wood, bamboo, metal, plastic? I’ve recently taken a liking to bamboo ones. They feel warm and cosy and they don’t make any ticking noises while knitting.

Earlier this week, I started knitting a new pair of socks on bamboo dpns. Of course, these are very small, and look more like toothpicks than actual needles. But I knitted and knitted, and I was already getting to a nice leg lenght, so I decided to try it on. I carefully wriggled my leg through the sock while still on the dpns, and then, for some reason, I put my leg onto our pouf. And that’s when I heard it. Not too loud, very gentle, but still, a very recognizable ‘Crack’. I had just broken one of my needles.

cracked dpn

So I sat there, with not even half a sock on and dpns sticking out in every direction, as if I had just gone through an awfully painful operation. Fortunately, I managed to get the sock off, although it took me quite some time. Imagine having to go to work with dpns sticking out of your leg…

I dropped only one stitch, which I thought was quite an achievement. And I immediately ordered a new set of bamboo dpns, since now I am a needle short and I can’t get on with the sock. I certainly know what I won’t do once I can get on with the sock: I’ll never try it on again.

Put a sock in it!

I’ve finished my first sock ever! It did take me a number of times, though. But apparently, three times really is a charm.

The first time I tried, I used the magic loop method. I’d heard so many good things about it, so I gave it a go. To be honest, I myself think it is a lot of fuss. It prevents you from knitting on, because you have to pull the loop through all the time. I couldn’t get the joining edge stitches right either. No matter how hard I pulled my yarn, I was left with big, gaping holes. I still wanted to finish it, but the sock got put on hold. And when I wanted to work on later on, I had lost my notes and got completely lost. So I frogged it.

knitting socks

I got myself nice new bamboo dpns and started over. Old-school style.

knitting socks

 
This method worked a lot better for me. Until I got to the heel. I needed to knit a Dutch heel, but I just didn’t understand the pattern. I tried and I tried, but unfortunately I ended up with big gaping holes again. After a while, I finally figured out that my problem was in the way I lead my yarn. Too late at this point, though. So I frogged it.

Now I knew that I would finally be able to get past the heel. So I tried a third time.

knitting socks

And it worked.

knitting socks

Dutch heel

I am now working on the second sock, and it goes a lot faster. Probably because I really want to finish it, so I can get started on crazy socks with silly patterns. So if you know of such patterns and/or books, please let me know. I’ve already found some really cool patterns on ravelry, but I’m convinced I’ll be hungry for more. All tips are welcome!