The Rose City Rollers sock pattern is (or certainly ought to be) a staple of every sock knitter’s library. Mara Catherine Bryner (@orangeknits) released this sensational free pattern back in 2015. Soon after we began to see examples of her blending technique, where she fades colors from one to the next as she knits the sock. Apparently everyone wanted to know how she worked such magic, so in June of this year she met their demands and released a new pattern called How I Roll. This pattern details her process of blending, as well as offering endless knitting options, including top-down and toe-up; texture patterning; square, rounded and asymmetrical toe shaping; and three different heel flap styles. Undoubtedly, with this pattern you get your money’s worth! The How I Roll pattern can be purchased here.
I knit my socks two-at-a-time (I rarely don’t) and chose yarns from my stash–all from one of my absolute favorite Indie yarn dyers, Carol Ocker, who operates under Havirland Yarns. I used five colorways and blended each sock in opposite order of the others. The colors are Space Cadet, Sock Science, Lady Orange, Hawaiian Punch and I Need More Yellow in My Sock Drawer. I allowed Lady Orange to dominate the other colors in my scheme because orange is one of my favorite colors, and somehow I don’t have any mostly orange socks as of yet.
Her yarns are divine! Visit the Havirland Yarns shop here.
Oh, also I made soap (above). I’m always trying new things, and soap-making is probably going to turn into a permanent hobby for cooler weather. (It’s hot making soap in my garage right now!) This batch is a lemongrass soap, and the recipe is from the book Pure Soapmaking.
I adjusted the pattern a bit to accommodate a smaller ankle because I like it SNUG. As you can see from the pic above, my heel flap is teensy.
Now that my new Rollers are complete, all that is left to decide is when to cast on the next pair…
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)!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Yet another perfect pattern by Mara Catherine Bryner, these Jelly Roll socks are gorgeous! My husband says they’re my most attractive socks to date, but he always says that so who knows.
I started these Jelly Rolls as I do all my socks: two at a time. For the yarn I chose a mini skein set by The Flying Kettle. This set seemed destined for this project–not just because it contained precisely four colorways but also because the colorways complement each other so nicely. From left to right the colorways are California Dreaming, Lunar Moth, FunDaMental and Violet. Joyce Hethcox, the dyer behind The Flying Kettle shop, has some major talent, that’s for sure.
The pic above shows my progress just past the halfway point. These socks may have been the most fun of any socks I’ve made because the pattern allows for a great deal of creativity. You can add another color or knit solid pretty much anywhere, and it even shows you how to add additional rolls. I especially love how the top roll gives the illusion of lining the whole sock, rather than being merely an extension of the cuff.
If my love for these socks isn’t proof enough, be aware that one of my cats went absolutely berserk over them. Perhaps Joyce slipped some catnip into her dye?
Over the past year I have seen several versions of the Rose City Rollers pattern floating around on Instagram. Whether knit in a solid color, with speckled, striped or pooling yarn, or with several yarns blended together, these socks are spunky!
Naturally I went with the blended–arguably most difficult–route. Diving headlong into my stash I pulled out House of A La Mode Fancy Fingering in ‘O’de to Anthro,’ Hedgehog Fibres Sock in ‘Banana Legs,’ Spun Right Round SW Sock in ‘Chirpy’ and Madelinetosh TML in ‘Mandala’ (arranged in order from left to right, below).
I had witnessed the blended technique mostly in the rollers knit by Mara Catherine Bryner, the pattern’s author. Attempting to mimic her technique, I slowly faded the four colors from ankle to toe. It was a little tedious but well worth it. Now I have a work of art! (Even with one yarn, though, these would be a work of art…)
I must be in the midst of a substantial sock phase because I cannot seem to stop knitting socks! And making plans to knit more socks. And buying yarn for socks I haven’t even thought of yet.
My latest pair of completed socks was begun on impulse. Last week I was idly flipping through Instagram when I unexpectedly came across a new pattern release by Orange Knits (Mara Catherine Bryner) called Saturday Matinee Socks. As though her Rose City Rollers pattern wasn’t cute enough, this talented and adorable lady had to go and create another quick and addictive sock project. I will most certainly be knitting myself a pair (or two), my daughter another pair (or more), and then I have all sorts of ideas for some Rose City Rollers (matching mother-daughter pairs, perhaps).
I began these socks as I do all others: magic loop and two-at-a-time. It baffles me how so many knitters make one sock from start to finish, and then mind-numbingly knit the same sock all over again. Doubtless this method takes no more time than the two-at-a-time method, but patience is a virtue I lack almost entirely. For the yarn, my daughter selected a colorway from my stash, which is the unnamed February sock of the month colorway by Yarn Ink. So pretty! So precious!
The Saturday Matinee Socks pattern combines vintage with modern aesthetics and satisfies my daughter’s love for cute pieces in which she can dress up, dance and lounge. She is currently 6 years old and wears a size 12T shoe, so I followed the pattern for size Small. My only regret is that I had intended to knit these a little big so they would fit past her next growth spurt, but I failed. Oh, well. They will be a thoroughly enjoyed treat throughout the summer.