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.

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? Har har.

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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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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 are more than a pair of socks; they are a work of art!

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Saturday Matinees for Sophie

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.

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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).

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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!

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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.

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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