How I Roll: Rose City Rollers, Havirland Style

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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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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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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…

Flying Kettle Jelly Roll Socks

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Blended Rollers

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!

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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).

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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…)

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