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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The Christmas Crunch

Each year, the very second the leaves start falling to the ground, I quickly dream up a gigantic list of knit gifts for the holidays. (In my defense some are on there by request.) My husband and kids are always baffled and chastise me for making myself frantic: “Why do you DO this to yourself every year?!” The answer is I love to make things, and when the holidays approach that love reaches an insane level that I can’t control. It’s compulsive.

This year feels less rushed, however. Today is November 29th, and already I’ve completed all the small gifts I aimed to make. (That doesn’t mean I won’t make more.) The most tedious craft this year was not knitting but rather, sewing–by hand–and embroidering with beads, to make 33 Heirloom Wool Ornaments, a kit from Purl Soho. I went with the new Wineberry colors, but the kit is also available in Mistletoe (greens), Lusterware (corals) and Milk Glass (ecru).

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For my next small gift project I knit with scrap yarn a handful of stars (be they ornaments or coasters or whatever the recipients designate them to be), which came from the Luxury Holiday Garland pattern by Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich. With the lace edging along each arm they look like little snowflake star hybrids–adorable.

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The final project that I chose for small gifts this year is another from Purl Soho: Soft Cotton Knit Dishtowels. I had intended to make more of these garter stitch beauties, but after three I got worn out on this pattern. Regardless of my early defeat, it’s definitely a pattern that I will return to again.

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I highly recommend all of the patterns included in this post. Happy gift making, fellow Christmas crunchers!

*The Christmas tree cards from the top pic are from the Etsy shop AnastasiaMarieShop. The stack of potholders shown are additional small gifts that I completed earlier and that are made from my own pattern. (See previous post here.)