I’m really poorly at the moment and there’s not a lot I can do about it other than to distract myself with lovely crafty things, whilst I sit very still, breathe gently and try not to talk (some would say that’s a bonus!!!). So this morning I was so happy to receive a couple of lovely parcels to cheer me up and even happier that my bright, new stitch library matches my latest finished object.
I’m excited to tell you that I actually knitted a pair of socks, all for me. I bought a skein of self-striping sock yarn from my talented friend Rebecca at @blackhorseyarn in a gorgeous combination of teal and oranges/rust. She kindly dyed up a mini skein for me in a contrast bright orange, for the heels and toes. It really is one of my favourite combinations and it’s incredibly bright and cheery. Perfect for lifting your mood whilst you knit. I love the little pops of colour in the rust-coloured stripes – can you see them?
In truth, I’m on the search for my perfect sock, so when I have a skein of the most gorgeous hand dyed yarn, I will know exactly how many stitches to cast on, which needle size to use, how many rows of rib and which type of rib to work, how many rows for the leg, which type of heel, how many rows for the gusset and foot and finally, which type of toe and how many rows I need.
My starting point was my basic family sock pattern in my latest book “Knit Yourself Calm“. These socks are knitted from the cuff down and have a slipped stitch ribbed heel. I find that socks are perfect for mindful knitting, especially as I use a small circular needle, rather than double-pointed-needles, so once I’ve cast on I can just knit! knit! knit! and get into my mindful zone, focussing on the stitches as I knit each one, and focussing on my hands as they work away merrily, creating and making. If you choose your favourite colours for your mindful knitting, your project will definitely help to improve your mood. I picked up my socks at the same time each day, to relax after work for 20 minutes, and before I knew it I had knitted a whole sock (within one week too!!). I was determined not to get ‘second sock syndrome’, so I cast on the next sock straight away.
For those of you who are new to sock knitting, Christine Perry, aka Winwick Mum, has a fantastic library of resourses available freely on her website, with detailed tutorials, sock patterns to download and helpful guidance. I’d definitely recommend a visit to her website here.
Here are the results of my quest to find the perfect sock:
Yarn: Indie dyed merino sock yarn (75% superwash merino and 25% nylon) Colourway: Dirty Pond by @blankhorseyarn:
Needle size: I usually cast on with 3mm needles, work a couple of rounds before switching to 2.5mm needles.
Cast on stitches: Whilst I would normally cast on 64 sts, I decided to try 60 sts, as sometimes 64 stitches are a little baggy on my leg/foot.
Rib: I have tried 1×1 rib in the past which I find a little tight, so I tried 2×2 rib for 12 rounds.
Heel: I love a slipped stitch rib heel as I find that it hugs my heel well (you can find out how to work a slipped stitch rib heel over on Winwick Mum’s website here)
Toe: I worked a standard toe decrease, on every alternate round and ended with 24 sts, which I grafted together with Kitchener Stitch.
Even more exciting is that I finally managed to buy a pair of handmade Bunny sock blockers from The Knitting Shed, so now I can block them properly and make them perfect. These are so very cute aren’t they. Thanks to Emma over at the Potter and Bloom podcast for alerting me to these, and they’re much better than plastic ones.
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Happy sock knitting,