Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

2016 sock obsession review

I’ve finally managed to ponder my 2016 socks and write up a review.

In total, I made 15 3/8 pairs  using 13 patterns, 10 of which were new to me and two my own design. I’ve tried several new indie dyed yarns including a new to me blend (yak – rather feltable) and one new to me commercial yarn.

I’ve certainly learnt a lot along the way, not just patterns and techniques but my own preferences.

I always preferred toe up socks because I found them easier to judge the fit but now that I’ve made several cuff down pairs and fought with a stretchy cast off, I’ve definitely revised and reversed my preference.

Similarly, I’ve always preferred to err on the larger side of sizing because I hate too tight socks but hand-knit socks definitely need a touch of negative ease.

The one problem I haven’t managed to overcome is fitting the heel of crochet socks – my two pairs of Cluster F**ks are fine but my Step by Step socks are a frankly hideous fit and actually hurt if they’re not in the right position (I’m gutted, it’s one of my favourite colourways).

The obsession certainly hasn’t abated and the challenge has been rather fun.

I will, of course, be continuing work on those pesky August gifites (I finished the first sock yesterday!) and I’ve bought myself some mini circular needles so you never know, perhaps there’ll be a 2017 sock challenge…!

January – Moss Check test knit
February – Cluster F**ks
March – Sea Steps
April – Regia lace
May – This Way Please test knit
June – Sport Weight Toe-Up Socks with Gusset Heel
Posey
Baby Booties x3
July – Riverflow test knit
August – unfinished secret gifties
September – more Cluster F**ks
October – Step by Step
November – own design
December – own design for baby

I’ve linked to my Rav project pages, which link to the pattern pages.

I’m rather proud of myself

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Sock obsession – December

I did it!

An ickle pair of festive sockies for Little Miss.

I had plenty of yarn left over from my own elf socks so I decided to make a baby pair.

Again, I made it up as I went along so extra chuffed, particularly since she always seemed to be napping when I needed to try them on her!

Hopefully I can get a nice pic of us wearing them together sometime next week…

And look out for a run-down of my sock obsession year and some crafty aspirations for 2017

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Sock obsession – October

Woohoo! I’m back on track

This was another commercial pattern that I had to fight my way through but I have learnt a couple of things.

The sole is worked in linked double/treble crochet which creates a sturdier fabric than traditional double/treble.

And this pattern uses an afterthought heel which was fun.

I’m not convinced I’ll make this particular pattern again but it has given me an idea for next month (possibly)

And crochet socks are certainly easier to make with a tiny person around.

I love the yarn and I’ve got some left so I might even look into making Little Miss a matching pair.

More details later, I need to take advantage of an unexpected nap!

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Sock obsession – August

My first fail but for the best of reasons.

All things considered, I have made fair progress on these secret sockies.

There is some stranded colour work after the cuff ribbing and I’ve not done much before (all previous attempts have been a bit iffy!) so it was slow going for a while, all the more so because I have a new tiny person to look after and require extra food and naps myself.

I’m now onto the ‘textured’ leg but I’m not loving it yet.

I did think about casting on the second sock to get all the colour work out of the way but it’s not as easy with knitted socks as it is with crochet socks so perhaps not.

And, on that note, I’ll get back to it since Little Miss is sleeping

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Sock obsession – July

I finished my July socks, yay!

Riverflow socks

These were another test knit for the lovely Rebecca Milton and we were both on a deadline so I made sure to finish up some other WIPs before I got the pattern so I could give them my full attention.

I have to say, I absolutely loved these! The pattern is easy to memorise but adds that little bit of interest so it’s not just plain knitting.

And, for once, I had no issues with the sizing for my massive size eight feet.

Isn’t the yarn scrummy too? I bought it at the Ickworth Wool Fair earlier this year (I think I forgot to blog about it…) and it’s called Mini Rainbows by The Knitting Swede (to be honest, I’m amazed I can remember that!)

Next up: a gifty pair of socks which I probably won’t post much about until the new year because I’m not sure if the recipient reads the blog.

To be honest, I think I’ll cast these on sooner rather than later, just in case.

Oh and while we’re on the subject, Baby is now four days late so I’ve invented a new game called ‘Beat the Bump’ where I’m trying to finish a load of projects before s/he gets here. Any day now, I’m going to start cheating and making dishcloths or something to rack up my total because the little tyke is showing no signs of moving out!

Wish me luck and contractions!!

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Sock obsession – June (part 2)

Saturday

11am – swatching and sizing (with Jurassic Park)
11:30 – relearning the Turkish cast-on
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12:10 – toe done, time for a cuppa
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12:55 – 15 rows done and you can see the full cycle of colours
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1:35 – continuing the foot (with The Lost World)
1:45 – okay, I spent ten minutes eating biscuits!
3:15 – foot done and on to the gusset
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3:35 – continuing the gusset (with Jurassic Park 3)
4:05 – gusset done, time for my favourite part!
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4:25 – super speedy heel turn and I’m on to the leg
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4:45 – time to get hubby up
7:10 – fed, tidied and hubby waved off
continuing the leg (with Jurassic World)
8pm – progress is rather slower this evening, I blame the chocolate orange!
8:20 – time for the rib, I think
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9:05 – the cast off is too tight but I’ve not got the energy to fix it tonight
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9:10 – casting on the second sock (with A Lonely Place to Die)
9:50 – toe done, time for more snacks
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10:45 – ten rows done, bedtime!
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Sunday

10:55am – continuing second sock foot (with Pirates of the Caribbean 1)
11:50 – 20 rows done, time for a cuppa
12:30 – another 15 rows and it’s lunchtime
1pm – must resist the biscuits
1:20 – foot done, on to the gusset (after some biscuits)
1:35 – too many biscuits, a wee and a film change later…
2:25 – gusset done, heel turn time!
2:40 – heel done! Time for a cuppa and the leg
4pm – continuing the leg (with Pirates of the Caribbean 3)
4:15 – on to the rib
4:40 – ribbing done, just need to figure out the cast off. Anyway, time to wake hubby
5:10 – quick play with casting off
5:30 – yarn over cast off looks okay (it’s frilly!) but it loosens the rib too much. I’ve undone the first sock to try again
6pm – tried a k2tog cast off and it’s much better so I’ll taking out the other

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how to knit a pair of socks in a weekend!

There are some bits that I’m not quite happy with. The cast off, for a start, was a nightmare. I had to un-cast-off both socks and rejoin my yarn (neither fun nor helpful). I’m not sure if it’s the rejoining or just the nature of the yarn but the cuffs don’t match and I worked really hard to cast on at the same point in the colour change so the socks would match.
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I also managed to twist my second cast on, I admit I wasn’t watching the tutorial at the time but I’m still not sure how it happened… oh, I hope it doesn’t unravel!
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The top one has the boo-boo but I don’t think it’s too noticeable…

So, today I’m back onto knitting my non-maternity top (and doing the chores that I didn’t do on Friday – yes, I put my knitting first!)

Oh, the pattern is Sport Weight Toe-Up Socks With Gusset Heel by Wendy Johnson and the yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Goldfinch (I love their yarns!)

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Sock obsession – June (part 1)

Ok, so I haven’t actually started June’s socks yet but I have both an excuse and a plan.
Bump is massively expanding so I’ve been racing to make some tops that will see me through the next five weeks and beyond, rather than buying a load of maternity wear (this theory also applies to the two new dresses I bought myself last week).
More on those later, two are done and another very nearly.
So here’s the plan: step one – spend today frantically knitting my top while catching up on some chores; step two – hide the top at bedtime regardless of it’s status; step three – spend the whole weekend knitting socks (hence catching up on chores and hiding the top).
Sounds simple enough but so far this morning I’ve managed to get dressed and eat breakfast so not much progress.
Better get my butt in gear and do something useful! Oh look a cup of tea…

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Sock obsession – May

I was supposed to be crocheting socks last month to make travelling a bit easier but the opportunity to test knit came up and I was powerless to resist.

Here they are:

This Way Please socks by Rebecca Milton, available on Ravelry.

I actually found these a bit of a trial, the lace pattern is easy to work but not so easy to memorise so they were only suitable for watching repeats of my favourite shows/films.

Having said that, towards the end of the second sock, I got into the rhythm a bit more so I managed to finish them up quickly.

The only major issue I had was with the sizing so I had to tweak the toe to make them fit nicely and not mess up the pattern.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend these for beginnners but if you’ve got a bit of sock know-how and fancy some easy lacework, these are a very good bet.

Oh, the yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Blue Raspberry, yummy colours and nice to work with though I did find it a bit inconsistent and rough. I’ve got plenty more of this in my stash though so expect to see some more soon.

This month, I think I’ll be working on those pesky mitred square monsters and a straightforward knit pair with self striping yarn (to satisfy my need to finish things).

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Sock challenge – April

I actually finished these last Saturday, so only a week late!

Lacy socks by Regia made with an indie dyed purple yak-blend.

I love them but the pattern was a real trial to interpret. I’m not entirely happy with a couple of elements which I think I did wrong but I’m a copious note taker when unsure so at least both socks have the same mistakes.

I had to make up the toes entirely because the pattern seemed set to make them ridiculously long!

The pictures were taken before blocking and it’s actually the first time I’ve noticed a significant difference post-blocking so definitely worth the time.

I don’t think I’ll make another pair of these and, to be honest, it will probably put me off Regia patterns for a while (a shame really because there’s a lovely cabled pair in the same booklet).

The yarn is really amazing too, super soft and fun to knit with. I can’t wait to wear these (though I might be waiting until the autumn!)

I feel like I’m learning a lot on my sock journey already, these are perhaps the best fit I’ve managed so far and I’m super proud that I managed to interpret the pattern with minimal boo-boos and fudging.

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The sock obsession develops

I’ve told you about my sock obsession, right?

Well, I’ve decided to develop said obsession by making a pair a month (preferably using a different pattern for each).

Whether I’ll last beyond July is another matter…

Anyway, it all began with a pattern test for these knitted lovelies

img_20160124_202717104.jpgMoss Check Socks by Claire at Yarntastic, available on Ravelry

These were a lot of fun to make and will definitely go on my ‘to make again’ list.

February saw some crochet lovelies, the yarn and pattern for which came in a Halloween yarn box.

img_20160221_181816505.jpgSuper Gigantic Cluster F*ck Socks by Sarra at Magpie and Goblin, also available on Ravelry

I had a little problem with the fit due to my massive size 8s but posted on a crochet FB page and Sarra herself told me how to fix it!

It also turned out that I’d been doing my clusters wrong almost from the start but, since I was working them two at a time, we’re calling it a design feature.

Again,another one on the ‘to make again’ list.

Last month I moved away from indie patterns and yarn and knitted up some lace lovelies from Drops using… um… some green from my stash…

wp-1461087101412.jpgSea Steps socks by Drops, available for free!

I’m particularly fond of these and I think the solid yarn works really well with the lace pattern.

I’m really behind this month thanks to a fight with a non-sock crochet pattern.

But I have swatched and cast on this yummy purple yak blend

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To hopefully make these Regia goodies

wp-1461087084114.jpgRegia R0114 socks with lace edging

The pattern is a little complicated in how it’s written but I think I’ve got enough sock know-how to figure it out (or fudge it, whichever).

Next month, I’m thinking another crochet pattern. Mum and I have got a few days in London and I think crochet will travel better. I just need to choose a pattern…

Also on the list:
– aran cables
– a better fitting pair of Rye (also aran)
– xmas socks
-gifty socks
– baby socks

And of course, the ongoing mitred square socks (also know as ‘what was I thinking and when will it end!?’

That should keep me going for a while.

And on that note, it’s definitely time for a cuppa and some knitting!

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