Monthly Archives: October 2015

WIP Wednesday

I’ve mainly been working on my GB Socks Away KAL socks for the past few weeks. I’m making my own design, Falling Petals, in Eden Cottage BFL Sock. It’s going well so far and I’m almost ready to start the toe. I really like the colour of the yarn, a greyish dusky pink called Antique Rose, although it seems to come out too blue when I take photos.

Falling Petals WIP

Falling Petals socks ©Rachel Gibbs

I’m hoping to get this published sometime vaguely soon. Joeli is running a Designer Bootcamp, to help people who want to self publish but need some extra support and motivation, which I’m really enjoying. She’s giving lots of great advice, and the bootcamp is really flexible, e.g. I’m skipping the suggested stitch pattern as I have several designs I want to try and get sorted. It’s managing to keep things the right side of stretching me without pushing me too far, so I’m quite positive that this might be what I need to stop prevaricating and get things done.

I’ve also been working on my Mahy shawl in Nude Ewe Wes. After getting half way through Chart B I realised that the central spine of decreases was in the wrong place for half of the repeats – I had 2 eyelets one side of the centre and 4 the other. Ripping back about 20 rows of lace ensued, after retroactively inserting a lifeline. This wasn’t too painful, if time consuming, although it took a while to work out which was the right side after I had removed the marker in the ripped section, the problem with garter stitch shawls as I am rapidly discovering.

Mahy close up

Mahy Shawl, part way through chart B ©Rachel Gibbs

I’m almost back to where I was before, with the help of plenty of stitch markers. I’ve decided to use lockable stitch markers to mark a stitch, rather than the space between stitches, as normal stitch markers easily get lost on the wrong side of a yarn over and can cause problems by getting in the way of decreases. So far it seems to be working and hopefully I will soon be seeing what pitfalls lay ahead in Chart C.

Socktober

It’s getting colder and knitters everywhere are reaching for the sock wool. In such circles, October has been renamed Socktober and many pairs of lovely warm hand-knitted socks will be added to their wardrobes. I tend to knit socks all year round but have a few more on the needles and have certainly started wearing woolly socks again now I won’t melt from the heat.

My self striping sock obsession shows no sign of stopping any time soon and I’ve been investigating some of the different heels from Sock Architecture by Lara Neel available from Cooperative Press (affiliate link). I reviewed this book in February and am still finding it very interesting and useful.

The first exhibit is a sock knitted in Opal Schafpate yarn in the Fausto colourway with a band heel and a round toe. This heel has a gusset before the heel turn, matching the shape of a heel really well. I tend to make toes by default and haven’t tried as many of the options in the book but for these I used the round toe. This makes a very subtle toe as the decreases are too far apart to form a recognisable line.

Opal Schafpate socks with band heel and round toe

Opal Schafpate socks with band heel and round toe ©Rachel Gibbs

Next we have some Opal Sweet and Spicy socks in the Sternanis (star anis) colourway with a Balbriggan heel. I really like the colours of this yarn, I tend to go for a cooler colour palette but I think this works really well. I found this heel very interesting to work as it doesn’t involve a heel turn and requires grafting. It doesn’t fit as well as some of the other options, the heel tends to drop below the level of the sole and stick out a bit.

Sweet and Spicy sock with Balbriggan heel ©Rachel Gibbs

Sweet and Spicy sock with Balbriggan heel ©Rachel Gibbs

The last sock with an interesting heel (there was one with a normal heel but that was mainly to give me something to knit and try to stay awake while watching the election results come in) is in Regia Arne and Carlos yarn in the Winter Night colourway with a square heel. I made these for my sister’s birthday as I am slowly converting her to the wonders of hand knit socks (they work especially well with her cold and draughty grade 2 listed cottage). The colour pattern on this yarn is amazing, really detailed without being overpowering. I decided I didn’t want to interrupt this pattern with a heel, so used an afterthought heel with gusset.

Arne and Carlos sock with square heel ©Rachel Gibbs

Arne and Carlos sock with square heel ©Rachel Gibbs

I worked the heel flap in eye of partridge stitch which also helps to not interrupt the colour pattern and I also continued the eye of partridge onto the square heel flap. My sister is notoriously hard on her clothes, so I thought the extra protection might come in handy. The square heel is quite similar to the band heel but without the gusset before the heel turn. I found the instructions for the square heel were a bit sparse, not up to the standard of the other heels in the book. I think this was more noticeable with the afterthought heel as I had to calculate how many gusset stitches to provisionally cast on.

Great British Socks Away WIP

Great British Socks Away WIP ©Rachel Gibbs

BritYarn is holding a Great British Socks Away KAL, with the aim of knitting a pair of socks between 1st October and 8th November out of British grown yarn (or local to you if you do not live in Britain). I’m going to try to reknit a sample from one of my designs. The first attempt had a bad combination of short yardage yarn and a too large sock, meaning I ran out of yarn to knit the toe on the second sock. Therefore, I’m starting again with some Eden Cottage BFL Sock in Antique Rose with smaller needles and hopefully it will work better and I might eventually get around to publishing the pattern nearly two years after I first started it.