Crooked toes

Sometimes you need something truly mindless knitting, such as plain vanilla socks with a self-striping yarn. You know, something you can knit at the movies. And if you happen to be me, you might just want to complicate that.

How: Circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Petrichor Yarns HT Stripes, 65 g

Yep. I searched for a pattern that will make the stripes go all wonky. Cause otherwise it would have been too easy to knit these at the movies.

The pattern is fun and works well - although, it doesn't exactly make for good movie knitting since everything exciting happpens right away. The socks are worked toe up and the toes are shaped with lots of short rows. The cast on edge is somewhere along the side of the big toe.

Once the toes are nice and crooked, the rest of the socks are a breeze to knit. I didn't really need the pattern after the toes but figured it would be fun to follow a pattern for once. So I worked the short row heel as instructed and finally memorized how to do shadow wraps. It remains a mystery why the toes were worked with German short rows and the heel with shadow wraps but it was good training and I found that I much more prefer the shadow wraps. They work better with my gauge. So I'll stick to those in the future.

I worked the leg such that the second sock would start with different colors. I'm very much non-symmetry. I finished off the socks with few rounds of twisted ribbing.

I have another self-striping yarn in my stash. We'll see if I finally manage to work plain vanilla with it.


Flying Donegal

Spring was super busy for me as a designer but oh how nice it is now to have all these patterns ready for publishing.

What: Flying Donegal / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.5 mm
From: Genuine Soft Donegal by Lentävä Lapanen, 350 g

The story of this cardigan began last year. Just before Christmas I was visiting a lovely LYS, Lentävä Lapanen (the Flying Mitten) with my trunk show for my very first e-book The Girl Who Said Baa. The lovely shop keepers asked me if I would like to design something for their very own Soft Donegal yarn.

I really wanted to keep things simple for a change. Easy raglan sleeves, stockinette stitch, and a few cables to keep the knitting interesting.

Desinging, or at least doing the math, always begins with a swatch. I worked a small swatch of plain stockinette stitch and let it soak for a while. Oh boy, what a surprise the yarn gave me! Soft Donegal is a single ply merino yarn with tweed. It's soft and rustic at the same time. But once you soak it, all the twist in the yarn vanishes. The yarn opens up completely turning the knitted fabric into this soft velvet thing. I was in love and in a hurry to knit my sample cardigan!

So I did design this simple piece with raglan sleeves. There are three cables in the back and the rest of the cardigan is stockinette stitch - with the purl side on top. 

The cardigan is worked flat back and forth except for the sleeves which are worked in the round. If you hate purling, you can easily work the sleeves inside out and just knit them all the way.

The cuffs and hem are garter stitch. It doesn't stand out much, it's just a bit fuller than the stockinette stitch. A nice, subtle effect. The cardigan is finished with a shawl collar. Flying Donegal is meant be worn open or with a shawl pin. Although, it would be really easy to add button holes while working the shawl collar.

You can find the pattern with all of its nine sizes, XXS-XS-S [M1-M2-L1] L2-XL-XXL, on Ravelry. And you can get 20 % off the price with the code FLYDONEGALFLY until July 7th. Choose your size with approx. 4''/10 cm positive ease.

The yarn was sponsored by Lentävä Lapanen and we took the pics at one of my favorite places on earth, Kotka, Sapokka.



It was an exceptionally warm May here in Finland. And it inspired me to design a summer top. 

What: Teas / Own pattern
How: Circular needle 3.0 mm
From: ITO Kinu, 100 g

The whole thing started with the yarn. ITO Kinu is a 100 % silk yarn and that makes it the best possible yarn for summer knits. Silk is the kind of fibre that cools you down on a warm day.

A summer top should cover one's shoulder so they don't burn but I wanted to keep the siluet simple so that you wouldn't need to be stranded on sleeve island after finishing the body. So these little cap sleeves are worked simultaneously with the body. Also, lace is a must for a summer top. So that's how Teas came to be. Teas, by the way, should mean heat in Gael - that is, if we can trust Google translator.

The top begins with a provisional cast on at the shoulders. The shoulders are shaped with short rows to drape nicely. You also begin working the lace pattern on the shoulders and continue it all the way to the hem. The sleeve stitches are decreased before joining the back and the front.

The top is meant to be worn with positive ease. There should be about 10''/25 cm positive ease at bust circumference. The silk makes the top flow but the shape isn't as straight as it looks in the pictures. The stitches cast on at the underarms are being decreased towards the hem so that the top has a kind of reversed A-line. (Would that be V-line then?)

The hem is finished off with few rounds of garter stitch and the neckline and 'cuffs' have a few rows of stockinette that is allowed to roll up.

I you're not into 100 % silk, I'd say this design would work really nicely in some lace weight linen yarn as well.

And to celebrate midsummer's eve, you can get the pattern with 20 % discount until the end of the month using the code MIDSUMMER.


Umpu socks

The box of socks is slowly filling up.

What: Umpu / Emma Karvonen
How: circular neelde 2.25 mm
From: Filcolana Arwetta, 50 g

In the spring, I took part at Wonky needles knitting retreat. One of the traditions there is that all the participants get a brand new knitting pattern which will be available for everyone else a few months later - which, by the way, will be right after the designer returns from her holiday.

This time the retreat design was a lovely sock pattern by Emma Karvonen. I packed with me a sock yarn I had dyed at the same retreat a few years back. It would have been a fun thing to use it for the retreat socks but in the end I didn't have time to even cast on the socks as I had so much other stuff to knit.

A month ago, I had a yarn swap afternoon with my friends. I asked them to bring all their extra green sock yarn for the Box. One of the yarns I swapped was this really intensely green Arwetta. Then one day I packed it and a pair of needles with me to go the movies. As I only had one 50 g skein, I needed to find a toe up sock pattern. And so I cast on for the retreat socks.

The design is simple yet fun. There are three pattern repeats on the instep that move at a different pace and one repeat at the back of the socks after the heel. The pattern is a lovely mix of tiny cables and twisted stitches. It kinda looks like little flower buds - that's also the meaning of the Finnish name Umpu.

The most fun part was the heel. It looks really weird but fits extremely well. If I'm correct, this is strong/fleegle heel - expect worked toe up. It seems to me that most cuff down heels can just as well be worked toe up. They will look funny because we're not used to them in that direction but they seem to fit just as well that way - as was the case here.

Since it would be way too easy to just follow the pattern, I did a few small modifications. I reversed the starting cables of the pattern repeat to get mirrored right and left sock. I also saw someone's mod on the heel to start the back pattern right away and wanted to copy that. I spent a while counting to make sure I start the pattern on the right row. And all that calculating was in vain because I apparently can't count. When joining to work in the round again, I found out the last repeat in the back was too rows short. Oh well, you don't really notice it. Except that now you do since I broadcasted it here!

A few words about the yarn. I'm so into all these delicious hand dyed yarns that I had never tried this basic (and cheap if I may add) sock yarn that is Arwetta. I had no idea what I was missing! The yarn is super soft. The twist is quite loose and therefore the yarn does split a bit but it was so soft that I didn't mind. And the colors are vivid. This is no paid complement, I just got really pleasantly surprised.

I was a bit nervous about the yardage. I usually spend about 60 g on a pair of socks this size so I knew these would be shorter than usual. After the heels I go anxious as there was so little yarn left. Luckily it was enough for desent cuffs. And I won at yarn chicken big time! After binding off, both socks had a tail of about 4 cm. And that was all the yarn that was left!

The Box is starting to look quite full but there are still plenty of pairs to be knit beforenext Christmas.



What: Kiira / Own pattern
How: circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Disco Color, 58 g


I wasn't planning on designin socks but one beautiful spring morning my friends and I headed out on a joyride. And since you're supposed to do something silly/crazy on a road trip, someone had the idea that we should all buy a skein of this disco yarn. We all chose different colors and promised to knit socks.

I could've just taken the easy way out and knit a pair of plain stockinette stitch socks or followed a pattern. But alas, I decided that if I have to knit a pair of socks, I could just as well design a pattern.

I knew I wanted the socks to be mostly stockinette and that there should be a cable panel on one side. But typically for me, that was just the beginning. Soon, I came up with the idea to use a similar cable on the gusset which meant I had to move the gusset decreases to the center of the sole. The decreases form these cute little triangles on the sole.

Even though the disco yarn was kind of cute it wasn't a nice yarn to knit. The bling fibre was coarse and the wool was ichy as well. I even managed to get a blister to my finger. No thank you.

What: Kiira / Own pattern
How: circular needle 2.25 mm
From: Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock, 80 g

Since it's nice to provide more than one size for a sock pattern I decided to make a pair for dear hubby too. Kinda.. if I'm totally honest, I decided to make myself another pair. But soon my better half brought up his jelousy issues raised by the box of socks that won't be for him. He also mentioned that it's been ages since his last new pair of woolly socks and that perhaps I've totally forgot about him.

I still thought I might get to keep the socks as I showed the yarn I wanted to use for them. But years of color therapy have done their magic and the yarn was approved gladly. So, now we have matching socks - his socks being made from my stash treasure.

The pattern has sizes S, M and L. They're for 60, 64 and 72 sts. I personally never look at the gauge of a sock pattern but just select the size based on the stitch count. I know I can get a nice snuggly pair with 60 sts. If there's a lot of cables or color work, 64 is fine. And 72 sts are enough for hubby.

The name of the design started with the icy colot of the disco yarn. It remainded me of Frozen but then the cables started to look like ice skate tracks and I named the pattern after a famous Finnish ice skater.

You can buy the pattern clicking the link above.