Summer socks

Oh my, I'm in the mood for knitting socks.

What: Chrysanthemum frutescens / Hunter Hammersen
How: Circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Hedgehog Fibres Sock, 58 g

In the past few years, I've been sitting in the great hall of our university, listening to my colleagues dissertations. Since it's a very formal work thing, I haven't been knitting while there. However, this time it was my dear friend's turn to defend her thesis. And after reading it through and realizing, I wouldn't understand a word of the defense, I was pardoned and got a permission to take my needles with me.

I knew I needed something easy and small. Something that doesn't make a sound. And of course, as I didn't pick a project the night before, I was in a bit of a hurry in the morning. So, I took with me the only caked sock yarn in my stash and the needles to go with it. I had time to pick out a pattern later.

Oh well. This pattern has been in my Ravelry queue for several years but it's nothing close to being simple and easy. Nevertheless, I chose it because it was high time to shorten my queue.

This daisy-inspired sock pattern is a part of Hunter Hammersen's first Knitter's curiosity cabinet e-book. (And yes, I do realize, these aren't daisies in the pics.) The socks are knitted cuff down. First, you make a folded brim and then you knit beautiful lace that is much easier than it looks. I learned the pattern repeat quickly. The heel is worked with slipped stitches but these heels are purls instead of knitted stitches and it makes for a fun texture. The pattern suggests to make these rather short legs. At first, I thought it to be a silly idea but then I realized, I don't have any woolly summer socks. I mean, short legs might work well for warmer weather. And so I did as the pattern suggested.

The pattern called for provisional cast on but I thought it was unnecessary. As long as you cast on loosely, there's no need for the provisional cast on. You can just pick up stitches from the CO edge one at a time. Also, I made an extra half repeat of the lace pattern on the foot which is why there are knitted stitches at a different spot than in the pattern pics. But I don't mind. I like it this way as well. Otherwise there would've been an awful lot purled stitches.

In the end the difficult sock pattern I chose, turned out to be an easy one. Also, to top it all off, the dissertation was very audience friendly despite of the difficult topic and I was very glad the socks didn't require much attention.



Back in January the yarn shop Kerä asked me if I would be interested in designing some garment for their own lamb's wool yarn. I'm not in the habit of saying no to lamb's wool! So, they sent me some yarn and I was happy to design a cardigan for their yarn.

What: Rosala / Own design
How: Circular needles 3.0 and 3.5 mm
From: Vänö Ull Lammull, 285 g

Because this design started with the yarn, I'll start with talking about the yarn. It is lovely! It's softer than a baby's bum but still strong enough to knit. Don't you just hate when some soft yarns break when you try to knit them? This yarn still smells of the lamb that donated the wool. And the yarn still has that natural grease, lanolin in it.

The scent can be a deal breaker for some people but I loved it. And after washing the cardigan, the smell is very mild and you can't really notice it unless you keep sniffing the cardigan. (Oh yes. I sniff. All the time.) The lanolin made the yarn a bit greasy while knitting but after washing, the garment feels like velvet. I absolutely loved the yarn, so thank you so much for the oppoturnity.

I wanted to come up with a simple design for this softest of softs yarn. The kind of soft and comforting knit that you'll want to wrap yourself in when you feel like you need a softer take on life. And I reached my goal. Every time I put this cardigan on, it makes me feel a bit softer, gentler and lovey-dovey.

The cardigan features full length raglan sleeves with ribbing at the cuffs and hem. The button band is garter stitch and the neck band is knitted in stockinette stitch and allowed to roll. The highlight of the cardigan is a geometric lace in the sides and sleeves.

The pattern has 9 different sizes and it's meant to be worn with a bit of positive ease so choose a size that has bust circumference approximately 2''/5 cm wider than yours.

The pattern calls for sport weight yarn and depending on the size, uses 875-1200 yards / 800-1100 m.

You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry by clicking the link below. On top of everything, Kerä is offering a 10 % discount with the code "rosalacardigan" in case you would like to knit this in Vänö Ull Lammull.

Oh, and the name. Rosala is an island in the Finnish archipelago where Kerä has their headquarters.


Sonnet to Chiaogoo needles

Shall I compare thee to a plastic dpn?
Thou art more lovely and more durable.
Tight tensions do shake the weaker needles,
And other needles hath all too stiff a cable.
Sometime too stickily the yarn moves,
And often is hard to tame with a blunt needle;
And every fairest join sometime breaks,
By chance, or nature's changing course, unmaintained;
But thy red cable shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that flexibility thou ow'st,
Nor shall your needles bend thou my grip is tight,
When your sharp ends the stitches hunt'st.
So long as hands endure, or eyes can see,
So long I knit socks, and knit socks with Chiaogoo to thee.
 -Knitspeare, sonnet 18

What: Delbert / Rachel Coopey
How: Chiagoo circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Wollmeise Pure + Coopknits SocksYEAH!, 102 + 57 g

Minun sukat Ravelryssa
Miehen sukat Ravelryssa
In some past decades, it was custom to buy matching shell suits with the hubby and go for a walk in them in the evening. I can't see myself doing that but I did a knitter's version: matching socks. I did use different yarns, though.

I've been thinking about matching socks for a while and finally made them. First, I had to look for a suitable unisex pattern. I know, I think pretty much any socks are unisex, but the Hubby has his own opinions. No lace then. After a few years of active conversion, I've managed to get him to like cables. Finally, I found a cabled sock design that I too wanted for myself. Even though, I don't really enjoy knitting cables.

Since knitting two pairs of socks means knitting F.O.U.R. socks in a row, I needed to take some precautionary measures to ensure I wouldn't abandon this project. I definitely needed to start off with the Hubby's bigger socks. I did get a case of second sock syndrome and left sock number two on a timeout for a month. Finally I pulled myself together and decided to finish what I had started.

I was going on a work trip and packed with me only the unfinished socks and yarn for my own pair. Two days of seminar talks and train rides did the trick. I finished the sock number two and immediately cast on for the next pair. After finishing Hubby's huge socks, my own pair felt like the tiniest bit of work.

The size difference was quite ridicilous. I knitted Hubby's socks with 72 sts from Wollmeise which is a bit heavier than your basic fingering weight yarn. My own pair I made from SocksYEAH! with 64 sts and that yarn is lighter than fingering weight. Usually, 64 sts is a bit too much for me but with this lighter yarn and the cables, it fits like a glove. I mean... Oh, you get the point!

The pattern was neat and simple. There are four sections with cables across 10 sts and otherwise the socks are different types of ribbing. The different sizes have a different amount of knitted sts between the cable sections. The ribbing continues over the heel flap. The socks turned out super cute but as I said before, I don't really enjoy knitting cables. I'm more of a lace knitter.

But now, to get back to the title: I knitted the sock blank socks of the last post with a Karbonz circular needle and these socks with a Chiaogoo Red Lace circular needle. The difference was like night and day! I shall never ever ever again voluntarily knit socks with any other needles than my beloved Chiaogoos. Oh, why did I ever use anything else? All the other needles I've used over the years have something annoying about them: some aren't sharp enough, some have too stiff or curly cables. Or then, the yarn gets stuck at the join between the cable and the needle. But not with these lovely Chiaogoos. As they are lace needles, the needle ends are perfectly sharp so no stitch gets left behind. The red cable is flexible and resilient. Oh my. As I was enjoying the knitting experience so much, I cast on yet another pair of socks.

This was no paid advertisement. Just the confessions of a happy knitter.


Sock blank

As I told before, I got to try paining sock blanks. And of course, I had to knit a pair of socks.

What: Vanilla is the new black / Anneh Fletcher
How: Circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Handpainted sock blank, 63 g

Painting this sock blank wasn't so much painting as it was squirting. I filled a pipette with yellow, pink, green, purple and black, and squirted away. Half the fun was watching the colors spread and half was the funny sound the pipette made. I guess my sense of humour was at the level of a five year old during that weekend. But hey, it was pretty funny!

Painting was so much fun I completely forgot to check if the colors went through the blank - and they didn't. I was aiming for deep, vibrant colors but the other side of the blank was almost white which makes these socks look way too bright and white. Sure, there are plenty of colors but not the way I intended.

Since the colors are the key thing here, the socks can be just plain stockinette. I'm not into knitting boring stockinette socks so I thought I should atleast have some fun with the heels. I wasn't planning on following a pattern but the Vanilla is the new black heels are so simple that I accidentally knitted them just like in the pattern.

The most fun part was seeing how the different color knitted up as I was unraveling the blank and knitting it into socks. I accidentaly left one end of the blank white so one of the socks has a white cuff and the other doesn't. Oh well, they look like hand dyed.

As I followed the colorplay, it started to look like I was knitting my friend's socks. If someone would ask me, who do think these socks belong to, I wouldn't say me. So I made them one size too big for myself. I just hope my friend will still have them even though the soles got a bit dirty as we were photographing them at a nature trail.