A Jump on Summer: My Self-Striping Smooth Operator Socks

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These cheerful, self-striping socks were such fun to knit that it felt like summer, hence my naming the project Jump on Summer. The juicy yarn is from Nomadic Yarns and is called “Wanderlust.” This shop, whose talented owner/dyer is Ashley Aguilar, offers a vast selection of self-striping sock yarn, as well as other yarns and accessories. In fact, I have been holding a ball of “Harry”–a self-striping, Harry Potter-themed creation–from Nomadic Yarns for some time now, and I’m growing quite anxious to knit up a fabulous pair of socks with it.

 

*The slice of carrot cake above right uses my all-time favorite recipe. It’s from Epicurious and can be viewed here.

For some reason I can no longer recall, I started knitting these socks one-at-a-time, which I soon found agonizing, so I combined them for two-at-a-time after working the cuffs. The pattern is called Smooth Operator Socks and is authored by Susan B. Anderson. I’ve knit many, many of her patterns, and let’s just say she knows her stuff! I had knit with self-striping sock yarn before, and the appearance of the heel (unless worked in a contrast color) can be unsightly, so I was eager to try a pattern that produces a more attractive heel. The Smooth Operator Sock pattern clearly fit the bill, and my socks fit perfectly.

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I plan to use this pattern for my Harry socks, and it goes almost without saying that I highly recommend it!

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.

I’ve been wearing these socks like crazy! And now onto the next pair…because there must always be a pair of socks on the needles in my house.

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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…

Droid Skew Socks

When I saw Havirland’s self-striping sock yarn in color themes for the droids BB-8 and R2-D2, I grabbed some right away. My husband has always been a die hard Star Wars fan, and my son caught on around the age of two, so it was high time I knit something for the love of Star Wars.

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This year I have been completely devoted to sock making, and when I chose this yarn I knew I wanted to do something special, something beyond plain self-striping socks. When I came across Skew, a free pattern by Lana Holden, I dove right in.

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Check out the diagonals (on Star Wars bedding, of course)!

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And the heels!

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I had never seen anything like it in knitting, and it was a pleasure making these Droid Skews. They’re more than a pair of socks; they are a work of art!

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Andy’s G-Rated Socks

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I recently finished my husband’s second pair of knit socks, and I’m thrilled with how they turned out. Firstly, he desired a great fit, so I tailored these to stretch around his big, wide feet with the perfect amount of negative ease. Secondly, he wanted them to look good without being too cheerful or flashy. In other words, he wanted them devoid of color.

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The yarn (he picked) is by Havirland Yarns. If you’re unfamiliar with this gifted Indie dyer, I pity you. Just kidding. Carol, the face behind Havirland, is an aficionada of the horror film genre, an interest that is patent in her work. In Carol’s Etsy shop, Halloween-esque colorways–such as “Toxic Ooze,” Fortune Teller” and “Who You Gonna Call?”–abound. She also offers lighthearted colorways that are just as rich and unique as their wicked counterparts, and she makes some darn cute project bags. For these socks, Andy selected the innocuous colorway “G-Rated Movie Macabre.” Perhaps it’s due to all the PG movies my kids watch, but I really wanted the R-Rated version, which sprinkles in a little red for the sake of gore, but alas, he craved less excitement. Still, it’s a stunner of a colorway and well suits my husband’s mostly black wardrobe. And they look so good on my sock blockers, which I ordered in a set from Burning Impressions, also on Etsy.

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I chose to knit these socks magic loop, two-at-a-time (always, for maximum efficiency!) and toe-up.

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And I used a Fish Lips Kiss Heel. My heel experience is a bit limited, but I favor this heel above all others that I have seen. It is quite simple and does not require picking up stitches. I think Sox Therapist is a genius for coming up with the pattern. (For more notes on this project, visit my Ravelry page.)

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Now, Husband Andy has a good pair of socks with the perfect fit that he can kick back and relax in. Look at that fit! Yes!
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