Summer is for Shorties

I was totally one of those people who didn’t “get” handknit socks until I started making them. And now I have 3 pairs of commercially made shortie socks and the rest are all handmade. I walk daily and as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten smarter about not wearing flip-flops when I do. These days, I always wear shoes with good support, so in the summer ‘shorties’ have started to become a necessity and I’ve been working on adding more and more handmade versions to my wardrobe. In my humble opinion, there’s really no better time to knit them than in summer. They are small and portable, they knit up quickly, and you can wear them right away when they are finished. Perfect.

With this in mind, last month when I was getting ready to take my kiddos to the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie I cast on a quick pair of Rose City Rollers. I’ve done the pattern before and I know they knit up fast and easy and the fit is great. Because I waited until the last minute to cast-on, the fast and easy part was key. I’m not much of a knitting at the movie theater kind of person and I’m definitely not a casting-on at the movie theater kind of person, so I threw those stitches on the needles just before dashing out the door.

I had been planning to knit up some shorties with my Nomadic Yarns Twisty Sport since attempting to cast-on with it earlier this spring.

This amazing colorway is named “I’ve Always Wanted to be a Tenenbaum” and I adored it at first sight. I mean, clearly it’s super pretty, really lovely yarn, but I wasn’t a fan of how it performed used as a sport weight — it just knit up too light for me to make socks with it anywhere above a 2.25mm needle. Because this yarn arrives in a 328yard skein and I tend to use between 350-380yards for socks for myself, I was somewhat limited on how I could use it for socks. Rose City Rollers to rescue!

As predicted, they were a really fun, quick knit that I took everywhere with me and as per usual they were done lickety split.

Aren’t they cute?!

For those who need their socks to match exactly, you’re probably twitching uncomfortably right now…

Clearly I am not one of you. To each his/her own though, right?! I promise no more photos of my imperfectly matched socks.

Suffice to say, I love them, imperfectly matched set that they are. They are definitely a bit denser than my other shorties and I’m sure that’s because the yarn is heavier, but they’ll still get the job done. Summer is definitely for shorties and I’m definitely working my way toward having a handknit stash of them. Sooner than later, I’ll be able to say my sock stash is 100% handknit — won’t that be a wonderful day?!

Socks With Sarah Rolls Onward

It’s the middle of February and so far in the very casual Socks with Sarah KAL this year I’ve finished 2 pairs of socks and have one more pair about 2/3 done. Today I get to show you that second finished pair — hooray! I guess technically speaking they are the first pair I cast-on, but for whatever reason they were eclipsed by my Rey socks. It happens, you know?

img_5673I got this yarn at the Thanksgiving holiday when the kids and I took my parents up to Door County for lunch at my daughter’s favorite restaurant, Kitty O’Reillys. Right down the street, seriously less than a block away in Spin of Door County, so my mom and I popped in and I picked up this skein. My thoughts when I made my purchase were 1) I’m amazing for buying only one skein of yarn and 2) I can make socks for my daughter with this. It turns out, the former is certainly true, but I instead decided to make socks for myself with it.

They’re spot weight, so, you know, blink…

img_5712And you’re through the heel.

Blink again…

img_5716And the first sock is finished.

I set it down while we did vacation and then I finished up my Rey socks… and a shawl… and a couple skeins of handspun.

img_5850And then I picked it back up. I’ll say I never really used DPN holders, but my Signature needles have the habit of poking through my project bags and I’m a little terrified of jabbing myself accidentally while in transit so I’m gotten a couple. I have two now and I got both from this shop. I’m weird about these things because I’m less concerned with aesthetic here and really interested in function. These are well made and simple. They ship fast and do the job. Mine are both this simple white and grey chevron, one is lined in blue and one is lined with pink. Simple, perfect.

Anyhoo, blink again…

dale-socks2And I have finished socks. They’re bright and so fun.

dale-socks1I was really pleased with how the Dale Garn Hakkespett yarn knit up. It’s a lot like a sport weight Regia, so that nylon blend that makes great socks.

dale-socksAs per my normal for vanilla socks, I used the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Basic Sock pattern. I know it almost by heart, but I finally bought an electronic version (as opposed to the paper copy I’ve had for years) so that I could easily access it any time. I sometimes knit these on a US 2.5 needle, but since these will probably be machine washed and dried, I knit them on a US 3. That gives them a little room to shrink in the dryer and should make them absolutely perfect after 1-2 times through the wash.

I’m already well on my way with my third pair of socks this year as I’m about an inch from the heel. For me and handknit socks, once I get around the heel things tend to snowball so it shouldn’t be long now. I wound two other skeins already for socks in my wishful thinking/indecision of vacation planning last month, so starting the next project will be easy when the time comes, too. It would be easy to wind ALL THE SOCK YARN here, but I’m trying to knit what I wind to minimize the mess I make in my stash. It seems to be a solid plan so far. I’m also happy that I’ve managed to keep the sock knitting from falling into the “obsessive” category. I have them going, I work on them from time to time, but other things are happening, too, on my needles and on my wheel. So Socks with Sarah 2017 rolls onward, accomplishing goals in moderation. And that is something, I’m very, very happy about.

Coming Soon: A Parade of FOs

Oh, have I got a week for you!

This week, I thought instead of sharing numerous WIP pictures as has been my norm lately I’d take a full week and share a few shorter posts and that are all FOs. Say what?! I know! I did a load of finishing last week, thought, so it seems like a good time to open the floodgates of finished projects. I haven’t had the best light — compounded by the grey skies, it’s been raining, so I was forced to take my photography indoors (which is not my favorite), but I just didn’t want to wait any longer. I hope you understand.

Before I do that, however, I thought I’d share one more WIP photo because I’m really rather excited about it.

I’ve been working on and off on my Socks with Sarah socks since starting over with new yarn…

img_5696-2And it’s really been a perfect knit for my mind…

img_5712So much so that I’ve already turned the first heel.

In fact…

img_5716This morning I finished sock #1! Wow, right?!

I’m really loving the yarn, my first time using Dale’s Hakkespett. It’s very much like other six-ply wool/nylon blends and the colors are just too fun. I opted instead of an afterthought heel to just plow ahead with a regular old heel flap because I do love the fit so much. With all the finishing last week, you can bet I’ve got loads of new WIPs that’ll start showing up on my Instagram feed as well as here, so keep your eyes peeled for sock #2 and new projects popping up on my needles. In the mean time, though, I hope you enjoy the parade of FOs coming your way soon!

Socks with Sarah, a KAL for 2017

First and foremost, I’d like to wish everyone reading a very, very

Happy New Year!

Three years ago today almost on a whim I launched a knitalong which I coined Socks with Sarah. The whole idea behind it was to take a year and focus on knitting socks. My handknit sock drawer was empty and I desperately wanted to fill it. Goals were completely open to personal interpretation, but the general idea was to knit on socks every day. Basically it was just applying the old maxim, “a little goes a long way,” to sock knitting. It ended up being an amazing year with far more knitters participating than I ever dreamed possible. I ended up making a lot of wonderful knitting friends and knitting a whole lot of socks.

Fast forward to a month or so ago when I shared here on the blog a pair of socks that I’d finished and how Socks with Sarah was kind of living on sporadically in my knitting life. And someone asked, “Could we do that knitalong again?”

And I thought, “Why not?”

So today, I’m officially launching Socks with Sarah 2017 — hooray!

This reprise will be a little more laid-back than the earlier version. We’ve had some conversations in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group about what knitters would like it to be and the consensus was far and away that there was much more desire for more of a gathering space to knit socks together than providing challenges or goals of knitting loads and loads of socks. Since many of our sock drawers are still pretty full from the last time around, the idea was more to try some new patterns, knit up some stash or fun new yarn, and just to take up the cause of knitting socks once again because, let’s be honest, it’s really fun!

One thing that hasn’t changed is that this knitalong is open to first-time and veteran sock knitters alike. All of my tutorials for the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Basic Sock pattern are still available on YouTube here making it nice & easy to knit your first socks as I guide you through all the transitions from the cast-on to kitchener stitch. And, of course, we’ll be meeting in our happy little ravelry group right here sharing, cheering each other on, troubleshooting, and just enjoying the company of other sock knitters. Instagram users can feel free to use the same tag as last time, #sockswithsarah, too!

I’ve started my first pair of socks for 2017….

img_5601Will you join in the fun?

Socks With Sarah Lives On

It seems like forever ago that a group of humble group of knitters agreed to knitalong with me in the Socks with Sarah KAL. I made so many wonderful connections that year and we knit a lot of socks. Personally I finished the year with 26pairs knitted and two years later, with such a robust rotation, I haven’t had to retire any. So I don’t really need to knit socks. Still, there are times when I just want to knit socks. Sometimes I knit them for my daughter or my mother-in-law. Occasionally I’ll knit up a pair for my son.  Once in a blue moon my husband OKs a pair for him. And sometimes I just knit up spares for myself and tuck them into my cedar chest. I figure one day I’ll need them or someone with the same size feet as me will just get lucky.

And thus, one day this fall, I just started knitting a pair of socks.

img_4722Partly to try out my Knitter’s Pride Nova Platina 9″ circular needles, partly because you just can’t deny that a good sock knit is so easy and travels so well.

img_5125And I just knit away. In the evenings, here and there during the school day — whenever I had a moment.

And then one day I discovered I was at the toe of the first sock. And then before I knew it I was at the toe of the second.

img_5175And today, I’m done.

socksFrom all the in-between moments, this pair of socks was born.

toesAs you can see, they aren’t matching. They are off by one color repeat and I kind of love them for it.both-socksYou can see the differences easiest in this photo. I think it’s kind of optical-illusion-esque and a million kinds of fun.

These are knit with String Theory Colorworks‘ Orbit yarn in the ETA Carinae colorway. I believe this was from one of the sock club shipments back when I was in the sock club (which was very fun!). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is one of my favorite sport weight yarns for socks and I have a little stash of it that I’m hoarding to attest to that fact.

So there you go! Socks with Sarah may not be in full swing like it was a couple years ago, but it lives on in a pair here and a pair there, from my needles and the needles of fellow sock knitters. Knit on, sock knitters!

Summer Sock KAL Wrap-Up

Well, it is indeed somehow already September 14th and thus the official end of the Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock KAL. It has been such a blast working with Laurie from Feel Good Yarn Co & Kate Atherley, the fabulous designer for the club patterns, not to mention the wonderful knitters who knit along with me in the Ravelry Group. Many thanks to everyone who participated — you made it fun, you made it great!

I thought I’d walk you through my summer of sock knitting today. SilverSpun Sock is such a fantastic yarn to knit with on it’s own and the patterns included in this year’s club just really made it all the better.

First, there were the basic Sneaker Socks

img_3808

Then came the Summer Morning Socks

img_4104

And finally, I’d like to introduce you to August’s socks, Diamonds In Your Shoes

img_4415A textural interpretation of argyle style socks, I have to admit that these started as kind of a slow-going pattern, but just flew once I wrapped my head around it and got it in my hands.

img_4418The instructions were well written and it was fantastic cabling-without-a-cable-needle practice. I’m thinking I’ll definitely use this pattern again in the future.

img_4417The fit is phenomenal and I think the heel details are just very smart.

The toes… Well, I got a little whimsical.img_4412Instead of continuing in the pattern which has similar details to the heel, I thought it would be fun to incorporate some of the leftovers from my June & July colorways. I think they are super fun and just in general a nice little memento of this summer of sock knitting.

It’s always a little bittersweet when these -alongs come to an end, but I’m so very thankful for the camaraderie in the group, the opportunity to knit with the wonderful SilverSpun Sock yarn again, especially in these beautiful colors, and — of course — the socks!

Many thanks to Laurie from Feel Good Yarn Co for asking me to take part in this year’s club and to Kate Atherley for her participation & availability throughout the Knitalong!