Warm toes

Just what the winter cold calls for – a new pair of warm wool socks!

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I don’t wear my hand knit socks with shoes often.  My feet overheat with wool inside shoes.  Occasionally with snow boats or when camping maybe.  But I wear them around the house pretty much daily in the winter.  The tile kitchen floor is so chilly!  So, it is good to get a new pair in rotation.

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These are from a free pattern called Village Socks. The yarn is Knit Picks bare that I dyed in jars.  They’ve been my tote bag project, carted here and there and knit up a few rows at a time since September.  Progress shots were posted on the blog back when I made my first needle holders.

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I prefer to knit socks from the cuff down to the toes. I like how the heel is constructed in that method.  I’m gradually improving with the kitchener grafting that is always the last step before finishing.  Not my strongest skill and I have to look up the stitch order each time, but when I’m done I do admire the seamless results.

With the socks done, I needed a new tote bag project.  After some time searching Ravelry patterns, I chose a garter stitch lace shawl in a warm gold to add color to these gray days.  Knitting with Madeline Tosh yarns is always pure joy.

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A finish and a start

I finished the socks I started on our beach and eclipse week.

The yarn had about the simplest way of creating matching striped socks I’ve ever knit.  I just needed to divide the skein into two balls, and they marked the half way point with a segment of bright yellow. While it isn’t very soft, the dying was very accurate and the stripes turned out great.

There are some changes I’d make next time – and since I have another skein of this yarn, there will be a next time.  First, I need to go down a needle size from the size twos I used.  I had to restart and knit much tighter on the first sock leg, unable to find a yarn store on the coast to buy smaller needles.  But it is still a little more open than I like.

Next, I’d go up a few stitches in the legs to fit my calves better, and then back down to the pattern’s 54 for the foot.  Also, I got distracted during a faculty meeting last week and didn’t notice I was making the foot a tad bit too long.

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I’m making it sound like the socks were a disaster, but they really aren’t.  They turned out OK, just not great.  Next time!

My favorite way to knit socks is to have both of them going at the same time.  That way I never suffer from Second Sock Syndrome.  I do the cuffs for both, the legs, then both heels, etc.  It also helps to keep me from forgetting exactly what I did for each part if I make any modifications.

As soon as I finished that pair I cast on another pair using this simple pattern (and smaller needles). The yarn is a skein I dyed in jars during our last dyeing day.  The colors are pooling a bit but the colors aren’t wildly different from each other in value so I don’t think it is going to bother me.  And the Knit Picks Bare is a much softer yarn than the Regia.