Tag Archives: Socktober

Keeping tiny feet warm

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To be clear, right off the top, these tiny feet have not yet materialized. Bed rest is continuing (successfully), and it turns out I wasn’t as done with the baby knits as I thought. I was pretty focused on knitting a new sweater for L until the end of last week when the weather turned chilly and I realized the baby didn’t really have any warm footwear.

Well, no warm footwear made by me, anyway. We of course have some cotton baby socks, tiny pants and sleepers with built-in feet, and a little fleece suit with fold-over hands and feet. But, since we’re having a winter baby, I felt like maybe some warmer footwear was in order.

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Very Small Slippers — Pattern: Made up on the fly • Yarn: Fleece Artist Back Country in Grasslands, SK; Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted in Slate; and Koigu KPM in #1205

So, I started with little shoes. These are definitely not going to fit the baby anytime soon (I would guess 6 months at the earliest), but they are very cute and there’s no harm in being prepared. Also, they took rather a lot of concentration — in part because they require crochet, which I am definitely not good at — and I don’t think I’ll have it in me to be that focused when I have a small baby to look after. So just as well that they’re ready to go!

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These are so fluffy and soft. I regret not buying a pair in my size.

I bought the sheepskin soles at Gaspereau Valley Fibres (which I deeply wish was my LYS) when I was visiting my family in Nova Scotia on Labour Day weekend. The soles came pre-punched (thank goodness) and I also got a pattern with them, since the shop had several pairs of these little slippers on display. The pattern, I’m sorry to say, was almost entirely useless to me (which is why I’m not naming it — no amount of Googling led me to a digital copy). It was photocopied from (I think) an issue of Interweave Knits, but did not come with the table that explained all the abbreviations. It also lacked a photo, and I neglected to take one of the shop samples, so I was kind of working blind. Not a huge deal for a basic knitting pattern, but the crochet portion, which starts everything off, was a very real challenge (for me. If you have ever crocheted before, I suspect it’s about as difficult as a knitting ribbing). I ended up just kind of crossing my fingers and going for it, and when my stitch counts didn’t come anywhere near the pattern’s, I just worked out my own numbers. I did have to knit and reknit the first slipper three times before I was happy with the shape (and, looking at the pictures, should probably have ripped out and redone the crochet, which is maybe a bit loose), but the end result seems like it will be cozy and warm, which was the whole point.

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The yarn is all leftovers from a pair of socks I knit for my mum. My scale needs a battery, so I don’t know the exact amount of yarn I used, but I’d guess about 30 g for the main and maybe 10 g for the contrast. Definitely not very much. I added the i-cord ties (the pattern just has the ribbing) because babies are notorious for losing socks and shoes, since their feet are really too little to keep them on, and then once they discover they have feet, they delight in pulling socks off. In theory, the ties will help keep these on, but we’ll see.

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After I finished the little shoes, and realized they’d be too big for the first little while, I decided to whip up some little socks. I went with tube socks, since there’s a way better chance of having those fit, and grow with the baby, than trying to guess a foot length and making a tiny gusset. That can come later, when I actually have a little foot to measure.

 

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Teeny Tiny Foot Tubes — Pattern: Made up (and detailed in my Ravelry notes, if you’re curious) • Manos del Uruguay Alegría in A9537

These were a bit tedious to knit, but are very satisfying to have finished. They are so small and adorable. These tiny tubes are also a great way to use up the leftover bits of sock yarn that are too big to throw out, but not really big enough to do anything with. I’d estimate these took about 12 g of yarn, which is not very much at all, and I for sure have enough of the yarn left to knit a third should one go missing (which it almost certainly will).

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I should have included a quarter or something for scale, but they’re about 5.5 inches long.

Despite being a bit tedious (small circles don’t grow as fast as it feels like they should), I so love the finished ones that I’ve already cast on for a second pair. These ones (in more leftover Fleece Artist, in the Blackberry colourway) will be slightly bigger, since babies grow pretty fast and I want to at least make myself think I’ll be ready for that. I actually cast on the same number of stitches, but I went up a needle size and this yarn is slightly heavier than the Alegría. I’ll also add a quarter inch or so to the length. I pulled a couple of other leftovers out of my stash and if this tiny sock bug sticks around I will be ready!

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Future baby socks (or booties/bootees)! Left to right: Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce and Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Blackberry (which I’ve already cast-on for more tiny socks) and Earth.

While I’m on this kick, are there any bootie/bootee patterns I should be looking at? Somehow, I’ve never knit any until now, but I am finding them so delightful that I suspect there are more in my near future. Please let me know your favourite baby footwear pattern(s) so I can add them to my list!

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Hot pink socks

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I finished these the same weekend as Stasis, but they are impossible to photograph! This colour (Espadrilles, by Madelinetosh) is definitely not what I usually go for, but it’s fun and bright and very well suited to this pattern — Betula Socks, by Rachel Coopey, whose designs are so reliably excellent and fun I will happily continue to knit them up as long as she continues to publish them.

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These were on my needles for a while. I cast on before going to California, knit them on the plane there and during our time in San Francisco, before putting them down to finish my Skyp socks. I blame the lag for the reason they are not quite the same size: Despite knitting them with the same skein of yarn on the same pair of needles, one sock is slightly larger than the other, in both length and width. Maybe I knit one while relaxed and another while tense? Who knows. The difference isn’t enough to really bother me, but it is a little funny.

Details
Pattern: Betula Socks by Rachel Coopey
Yarn: Tosh Sock in Espadrilles
Needles: 2.5mm
Notes: I tend to choose my size based on the number of stitches cast-on. With these socks, though, the majority of the rounds actually have additional stitches (because of the stitch pattern), so they fit a little big. If I were to knit them again, I would probably go down a size. I’d also be tempted to mirror the charts across the socks, but it’s kind of fun that they’re designed to be matching-yet-fraternal. Ravelled here.

Since these were finished in September, they don’t count for Socktober, but I have big sock plans for this month. I have a pair of plain socks on my needles at the moment, which are likely to become background knitting as I dive into my holiday-related projects. But, since those include socks, if all goes according to plan I should get a couple of pairs knit this month — updates to come (promise!)

Heels and toes

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It’s mid-October, so I thought a Soctober update was in order. Mostly, I think, I’m on track.

My first priority this month was to finish these Stepping-Stones socks for my mom, and I’m only a couple of inches from starting the toe decreases, so if all goes well they’ll be in the mail by the end of the week.

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Indigodragonfly Superwash DK in Fringe Over Troubled Water. I changed skeins part way through the foot of the first sock, so I’m interested to see if the difference between socks is noticeable.

 

If you’ve never knit socks or are looking for a speedy pair, I can’t recommend Clara Hughes Parkes’ pattern highly enough (I can never get the name right on first type – this is why). These socks knit up quickly, are more than just plain stockinette but don’t require too much attention, and are a free pattern to boot. This is the second time I’ve knit these socks and I know more pairs are in my future because, honestly, in Canada we need thick socks. I also plan to knit the large size in lighter-weight sock yarn, because I like the way it breaks up the colours in variegated yarns.

Second on my list is Saltburn. These are the official start of my Christmas knitting, so I can’t say too much about them. I will say, though, that I’m planning to shorten them. The recipient like ankle socks, and while those aren’t super practical in the winter, I don’t want to knit socks so high that they won’t become part of the regular rotation. To compromise, I’m knitting the cuff as written and then three (rather than five) chart repeats. The leg is 3.5 inches right now, which is probably as high as they need to be, so when I pick these up again I’ll be dividing for the heel!

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The white is Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Natural and the blue is Jill Draper Makes Stuff Splendor Sock in Cobalt.

That makes these socks just about 1/4 finished, which is a nice surprise. I usually knit the legs of socks to somewhere between 5 and 7 inches, and only knitting to 3.5 makes these ones feel super speedy!

I’ve been trying not to get ahead of myself planning- and execution-wise, which is something I absolutely tend to do, especially ahead of the holidays. I’ll cast on four things and then wonder why I’m not seeing any progress. This year, I’m trying a more measured approach and working on no more than two projects at once: one that requires attention and one that’s more mindless. Saltburn is my current attention-requiring project, but since I’m almost finished my mindless Stepping-Stones, I decided it was time to wind the yarn for the next mindless knit.

Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Mushroom Hunting. I can't get enough of this colourway.

Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Mushroom Hunting. I can’t get enough of this colourway.

I haven’t yet decided on a pattern for L’s socks, but I’m thinking they’ll be something kind of plain. The yarn is gorgeous all by itself, and he’s not sure he wants anything fancy, so I’m going to keep it simple: 72 stitches knit up as… well yeah. I have three basic options, I think: a) 1×1 ribbed cuff into 3×1 ribbed sock; b) 1×1 ribbed cuff into 1×1 mistake rib (one row 1×1, one row knit); c) 1×1 rib cuff and stockinette.

What do you think? Do you knit man socks? What gets the best reviews? I’ve knit lots of socks, but never for L, so I want to try and get this right.

October is for socks

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Can you believe it’s October 1? That seems crazy to me, but since I can’t do anything about it, I’m going to go with it. Bring on Socktober, this year, I’m ready. Besides some finishing up, this month is going to be all socks, all the time. I’m not great at monogamous knitting, so I’ll have a few pairs on the go at a time, with the goal of knitting two complete pairs and finishing at least one other. That may be insane, but we’ll see how it goes.

Stepping-Stones, being knit in Indigodragonfly Superwash DK in Fringe Over Troubled Water

Stepping-Stones, being knit in Indigodragonfly Superwash DK in Fringe Over Troubled Water

My first plan is to finish up these Stepping-Stones for my mom. I cast them on in April, knit three inches and then put them down for six months. It’s starting to get cold again, though, so it’s time to finish them up. I picked them up the other day to stash in my bag as after-work knitting and I’m almost done the gusset decreases on the first sock. I’m knitting them in DK-weight yarn, which is coming out looser than the other pair I knit, so maybe they’ll end up being layering socks. Either way, they’ll keep her feet warm.

My other plans are holiday-related, so I have to keep things a little vague. I’m planning to knit Saltburns for my sister, using this delicious bright-blue.

Jill Draper Makes Stuff Splendor Sock in Cobalt

Jill Draper Makes Stuff Splendor Sock in Cobalt

And, for L (who has finally come around to hand knit socks) I’m going to knit a simple 3×1 rib in this warm brown. I figure I’ll go basic for the first pair, and if he likes and wears them, I’ll knit something more fun.

Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Mushroom Hunting

Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Mushroom Hunting

If by some miracle I get all of this finished (or, if I finish the first two and then need something interesting to balance out the ribbing) I’ve got my second pair of Daphnes to finish up. I love these socks – the colour is perfect, the pattern is fun, and the only reason I put them down was because I needed something more mindless to balance out Burrard. They’re more of a summer sock, but if I finish them now they’ll be ready and waiting next year, which is okay by me.

Indigodragonfly Bleats, Shoots & Leaves in Baldersquash (everything about this yarn is amazing, including the name.)

Indigodragonfly Bleats, Shoots & Leaves in Baldersquash (everything about this yarn is amazing, including the name.)

Are you knitting socks this month? Please tell me you have crazy Socktober plans so I feel less like a maniac.