Baah Humbug!

Exactly 10 days ago I cast-on a project I’d been planning on casting-on quite literally for years: Christmas socks for my family. I started with the most intimidating pair, my son’s. He’s 12 and wears size 11.5 men’s shoes and I had fingering weight yarn and I knew I needed to work from the toe-up. Most of you are probably unfazed by that last part, but  historically nothing sucks the knitting mojo out of me quite like toe-up socks. GIANT toe-up socks in fingering weight yarn seemed like a fool’s errand for me. Resigned to the fact that I was not going to find a more appropriate colorway for my son and hopeful that the stripes would do their thing to help propel me forward, I was equal parts determined and motivated to get them done.

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The yarn is from Turtlepurl Yarns. While I’ve been stockpiling particularly lovely single skeins of Christmas themed yarns over the past few years I was still short one skein when I decided on this project. I’ve had my eye on Turtlepurl Yarns for a while and when I saw a knitting friend’s Instagram post of one of their Christmas colorways, I popped over to see their offerings. This one, called Baah Humbug, struck me as red enough for my red-loving boy, and yet subdued enough that he’d probably be kind to his mum and wear them more than once before he grows out of them.

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I’ll say that the yarn is really freaking awesome. It feels great in my hands and the colors are exactly what I was hoping. And the most amazing part — and I know I mentioned it last time I talked about them — is that the yarn comes divided into 2 identical skeins. I honestly didn’t realize how much of an impact dividing the yarn & working from separate balls would have on my state of mind throughout the process. I feel like I’ve seriously cracked my own personal the code on this whole toe-up thing!

For a pattern, I used Jennifer Donze’s Custom Toe-Up Socks pattern to calculate a good custom fit and then followed the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern for the heel. You can see my notes (which I did take!) on my Ravelry project page here. If you need to pick yourself up off the floor now from the disbelief that I managed to take notes and posted them on Ravelry, please take your time and be safe. I still can’t believe it either.

In any case, after 9 days of knitting I was about here when I sat down to knit yesterday evening…

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And I won’t lie, I was feeling a bit daunted knowing I was so close, but still had about 4″ to go. Weird or not, my method to combat this was to unwind all the yarn I needed to knit to get to the ribbing. Normally I would never do something like this because the resulting knots usually do more harm than good, but I was desperate to have that constant visual confirmation that I was making progress. When I got to the ribbing, I did the same thing.

And somehow, it worked and just 9 shorts days after starting, I finished.

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They are a little baggy on my LARGE sock blockers because, you know, GIANT socks for GIANT feet. And please pardon the lack of washing for these socks — I may or may not be washing before they are gifted. Since we’re all family here, I may just let give them ‘as is’. I’ll be honest, I don’t usually wash my socks before I wear them and I’m 100% sure he won’t know the difference and if he did, he wouldn’t care. But I digress. Don’t they look awesome?

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It’s my first FLK heel with striped socks and I’m very happy with how they turned out. I’m the first to admit that the FLK really is as good as all the hype. Such a fun, well constructed sock.

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I’ve experimented with a number of different increases on the toe as well and I don’t think I like any as much as the lifted increase. It’s a really nice, snug increase that I think holds up well and looks nice on a sock.

My favorite part of these socks, however, is this little big of green on the bind-off of one of them.

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I don’t know why, but those little ‘imperfections’ are my favorite parts of knitting. That ‘not-quite-perfect’ feels so right to me.

You know, I’ve knit a lot of socks in my day, but these have really stood out in my mind as significant. I usually shy away from customized projects, especially fitted ones like socks with proper heels (as opposed to tube socks), but this one I really embraced and enjoyed. And for the cherry on the figurative sundae, I just had my boy try them on and the fit is perfect. It seems Baah Humbug — aside from the embedded sheep humor — couldn’t be farther from the feelings I have for these socks. I simply could not be happier with or feel more empowered by a knitting result. Onward to the next pair!

16 responses to “Baah Humbug!

  1. Great job on those socks. If I want to spin yarn for sock knitting what is the best fiber to spin in your opinion? Thanks, Liz

    • Thank you!

      As for handspun socks, it depends. I like BFL or Polwarth, possibly reinforcing or using a commercial yarn for heels and toes. A good high twist can really make reinforcement overkill though. I’ve also done a really nice pair in Merino + Nylon, but that blends tends to be more slippery and that can be good or bad depending on the spinner. It’s nice to have that nylon blended in, though, for socks.

  2. yeah! So glad you figured out a way to get through GIANT toe up socks. That would be daunting, I see why you started with them. Though I think you have another LARGE pair in your future, don’t you? Mr. TKS probably isn’t tiny….

    I agree with you on the lifted increases, it is my favorite for socks as well.

    • Yes! That is exactly why I needed to get those done. Mr TKS is still a wild card… I may do Christmas ones or I may go with a more subdued green which is a sport weight. I’m thinking the latter which would go Super fast.

      • sport weight? Oh yeah – only way to go! You can wrap them in festive paper with a red ribbon so he knows they are for Christmas. 🙂

      • I’m thinking that’ll be what I do. I do have one Christmas-y sport weight skein headed this way with him in mind, but we’ll see how it goes. I can always make another for someone else. Or make him two. I can knock out sport weight socks for hubby in a couple days, so that’s easy peasy.

  3. Love them! I did bop over to your Ravelry page just to be sure you ACTUALLY took notes. Important note: I sat down before checking – I already have a boot on one foot and can’t afford another. 😉 Glad the socks fit and glad they were a hit. With young boys, slippery is good. 😂

    • Seriously! We are counting on the fact that my husband grew very fast and then kind of stopped by the time he was mid-high school age. I don’t want to get a knitting machine, but I almost consider it with him!

  4. Onward and upward! The higher, the fewer! Keep calm and knit on!

    I admit to sock knitting envy. I love good quality fine knitting. But I am horrible at knitting. It once took me a year to finish knitting a dishcloth. I found it confusing and frustrating trying to knit socks with those lovely superfine sock yarns they sell at Joanne’s Fabrics and Crafts. It takes so many hours and hours of knitting just to do one inch.

    Anymore, if I knit at all, I want to stick to knitting with thicker yarns (such as some sort of worsted weight) just to be able to accomplish it in a timely fashion. So if you can do it, you go girl! Glad you can but I wish I could.

    Does this mean I have hand knit sock envy?!
    😀 *dramatic gasp* Oh say it isn’t so!

    • LOL! Well, the speed comes with time and A LOT of practice. I wonder if using a progress keeper would help you — then you can mark your progress each day and feel quite proud of all your work.

      But I do understand, sometimes those heavier weights are just better. They do fly off the needles!

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