Magnetic North Mash Potato Socks

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A lot of yarns do not photograph well or consistently due to their color and/or texture. This yarn from the fantastic Indie dyer Lauren of Old Rusted Chair is one of them, despite being among the most beautiful colorways I have ever seen. This magical, speckled, blue/purple tonal colorway is called “Magnetic North,” and I have found the camera is not fond of it or of most any bright cool-toned yarns, especially periwinkle shades like the above. Yet, after a little elbow grease I managed to get a couple of decent shots. Just trust me that in real life this yarn is to die for!

The pattern is called Mash Potato Socks and is authored by Verena Cohrs of The Wool Club. The stitch pattern creates a lovely texture, but yes, it does get a little tedious and mind numbing after a while. I knit mine two-at-a-time and worked a Fish Lips Kiss Heel in lieu of the heel flap.

My Mash potato socks turned out a little big around the circumference of my foot, which is strange because I went with the second smallest size, and with a foot circumference of 9″ I have never knit a pattern in the smallest size, so perhaps I knit the pattern stitches too loosely. All in all it was a lovely pattern that I will likely knit again, only in the smallest size.

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Below you can see delicious detail of the Magnetic North yarn. Ugh, I just sighed. Again. It always has that affect on me!

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Pixel Rise Christmas Frankensocks

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The Pixel Rise socks pattern, written by Kemper Wray, makes fine use of fair isle as one pixelated stripe graduates to the next. The pattern begins with a Turkish cast-on, which I worked two-at-a-time, and even now I can’t tell you how I pulled it off. I will definitely be using this excellent cast-on method many times more, so I suppose I’ll have to figure it out all over again when I do. For the heel I worked my very favorite heel, the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. (While the pattern calls for an afterthought heel, I am not a fan.)

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Now for the yarn! All those delicious little mini bobbins comprise the Christmas Frankensocks kit dyed and assembled by Havirland Yarns. (You can find Carol, the owner of Havirland, on Instagram as @havirland). I was obsessed with this kit the moment I saw it because 1) I love Christmas and 2) I am sick of plain old red and green combos. Carol’s colorful yet conservative Christmas vision is my dream come true. Plus the mildly Christmas-y color scheme permitted me to finish these guys well past the holidays because I didn’t feel the least bit queasy working on something Christmas-y in February–a true first for me!

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The embarrassing picture below shows one of the socks turned inside out so that you can see my stranding when working the fair isle repeats. You might be thinking, ‘Why is she embarrassed?’ Well, if you look closely you will see that I twisted the strands after EVERY SINGLE STITCH. This tedious stranding method highlights the severity of my knitting OCD. I cannot handle the idea of pulling on a sock and having a pinky toe caught in one of those strands! However, if you twist after every single stitch, there is no worry. Nutcase, right?

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It goes without saying that I am eager to wear my Pixel Rise socks this Christmas, but I’ll certainly be slipping them on well before then because I know I won’t be able to help myself.

The sock blockers below are from AlexWorkshopDesign on Etsy.

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I Joined that KAL on Instagram…Again

It seems like so many–too many–of my knitting projects cut line and disrupt my neat little plans, and almost all of these interrupters arise from Instagram KAL’s. I am a visual person (hence my addiction to Instagram), so the copious numbers of beautiful knitting projects on Instragram often inspire–no, seduce–me into starting more projects than my time affords.

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My newest unplanned project is the spawn of MSKAL2016, or the Monster Socks knit-along. To ride this wave, socks must be knit with scraps or chunks of yarn but otherwise in any form or fashion, if my understanding is correct, and be completed by Oct 1st. I think. Anyway, I’m calling these my Scrappy Stripey Speckled Socks (though there are a few tonals in there).

I took way too many pics of these socks. I blame my obsession with color. I knit these two at a time and toe up, which is my favorite way to knit socks, mitts, or anything that comes in a pair.

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Shortly after starting this project, we became the proud owners of this little guy, an eastern box turtle hatchling. I just wanna squish him.

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These socks are knit with many of my favorite yarn dyers: Havirland, Spun Right Round, The Flying Kettle, Life in the Long Grass, Republic of Wool, Black Trillium Fibres, Miss Babs Yarns and Hedgehog Fibres. It’s a mouthwatering combination.

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I knit these socks to conform to my feet. I like a tight-fitting sock, and that’s just how these turned out. For the toe I used Judy’s Magic Cast-On, as instructed in the book Toe-Up Two-at-a-Time Socks. For the heel I just winged it, knitting back and forth and keeping it small since I have a small heel. (Wish I could say the same for my size 9 shoe size!) For the cuff I knit 1×1 ribbing and bound off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off.

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I’ve been wearing these socks like crazy.

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Now onto the next pair…because there must always be a pair of socks on the needles in my house.

Perle Cottage Socks

Last month Mara Catherine Bryner released yet another fabulous pattern called Perle Cottage Socks. In fact this summer she has released a whopping total of three sock patterns (and that’s not even counting Rose City Rollers Littles, a children’s edition of her 2015 pattern Rose City Rollers)!

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Having knit all of Mara’s previous patterns, I was pretty psyched when I saw the Perle Cottage Socks on her Instagram account @orangeknits. Still, I had way too many projects going and I swore to myself I would abstain from starting this project for a while. I broke that promise.

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For my Perle Cottage socks I pulled from my stash this “OOAK” colorway by Republic of Wool. Hard to believe it’s one of a kind, isn’t it? By the way, if you didn’t already know, Michele of Republic of Wool is a dyeing genius.

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Mara included a couple of options for the cuff of this sock. I selected the simple single roll rather than multiple rolls to better highlight the yarn and all those beautiful slipped stitches.

This final pic was taken outside and showcases the orange in the yarn. Orange remains one of my favorite colors, so to me this pic is the best.

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Perhaps Mara will now hold off for a while so that I can get caught up on all my other projects–but I have a feeling she won’t. Mara is tirelessly creative.

Happy knitting!

Watermelon Socks

When I saw Havirland’s “Sour Watermelon Sharks” self-striping yarn in her Etsy shop, I pretty much dumped it in my cart and checked out immediately. I love watermelon, but my daughter especially loves watermelon, and the shades in this particular watermelon colorway spoke to me. I HAD to knit a pair of Watermelon socks for my daughter! This yarn is quite beautiful in its simplicity, and the colors are spot on.

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I knit these socks two at a time, as I knit all socks, because I’m too impatient to do it any other way. I designed them to fit my daughter’s feet a little loosely because she’s been outgrowing her handknit socks too quickly. I then worked a Fish Lips Kiss Heel, which is my favorite heel. Don’t these socks match my Stargazer lilies perfectly?

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After starting these I bounced around on several projects. I have focus issues and cannot seem to complete a project without getting distracted multiple times.

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Finally, however, I managed to get them off the needles and call it a day for these scrumptious-looking Watermelon Socks.

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Now I can move on to the next pair…

Mom’s Blue Rollers

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As a second knit gift for my mom’s birthday I made her these Rose City Rollers in one color with no stripes or funkiness–which is just how she likes it. The yarn is Black Trillium Fibres Lilt Sock in the colorway “Sivia.” It’s a real stunner!

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This Rose City Rollers pattern is by Mara Catherine Bryner (@orangeknits on Instagram). It’s simple, straightforward and a must for summer. Somehow I have only knit this pattern once prior, but I’d like to eventually have a whole collection of these–in ALL the colors.

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Blue Felted Slippers

The year of feet continues!

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My mom recently requested a second pair of felted slippers, so I decided to make some for her birthday. I had knit her a pair of Options Flats two years ago (view that project here), but they didn’t hold up well. (For the soles I had chosen to paint on Latex, which dries clear but became quite sticky and gross over time. Also, I didn’t felt them as much as I should have.) Still, my mom loved the fit and comfort.

This time around, I tried to do a little better. Once again I went with the Options Flats, a pattern by Katie Startzman from her book The Knitted Slipper Book. Again, and used Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, a wool/mohair blend that is excellent for felting and the yarn called for in the pattern. The colorway is called “Persian Peacock.” Below is how they appeared prior to felting. They were huge! But not to worry–that’s how they are supposed to be.

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Here’s a quick video I made for Instagram showing how I felted the slippers by hand. Thankfully my husband took over and ended up doing the bulk of the work in a much shorter time. About two-thirds of the way through I sewed up a few holes that developed and then continued on felting.

After the felting process I stuffed the slippers with paper towels, conforming them to my mom’s foot measurements. Below is how they looked after drying and blocking. You can see that all stitch definition has vanished, but they are quite fuzzy.

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Next I shaved off the excessive fuzz and sewed on faux suede soles using blanket stitch. As WALL-E would say, ta da!

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This is a very quick knit, with the felting taking up the majority of the time and work. Having made these slippers twice, I highly recommend the Options Flats pattern and The Knitted Slipper Book as a whole. As an ending note, I am a little concerned that the soles–namely the edges–will not hold up well. If the faux suede starts to fray I may apply glue to the edges or sew the soles again.