Thursday Sock-Along: An FO and a Smooth Operator Snag

I finished my In Search of Vanilla socks! Since I’ve covered them here in detail already, I won’t go too crazy with my rundown. The basic idea is that I used the free Petty Harbour sock pattern by Rayna Curtis. I made the 72 stitch version, but as I got over 9.5 sts/”, they didn’t turn out the size large that I had anticipated! They’re closer to a medium and I’m hoping they’ll fit my mom. I used 372 yards of ONline Supersocke 100 Savanne Color that I got from my freecycle score. So, the only cost for this project was the time I put in!

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This was a cuff-down pattern that I knit on US1 dpns (apparently very tightly). There’s a subtle broken rib-type pattern that gives the socks some interest and breaks up the colors a little bit. The heel is a standard heel flap style and the toe is standard, as well. I used Tillybuddy’s very stretchy cast on to start and Kitchener stitch to finish. The only modification I made to the pattern was to pick up one extra stitch per heel flap edge and then add one extra decrease round. I found that made for a much nicer and hole-free gusset.

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The socks aren’t exactly identical, but they’re close. That’s just sheer chance, really–I wasn’t going for matching. These are definitely my best socks so far. I didn’t think I wanted to do another pair of cuff-down heel-flap socks, but I’m glad that I did! I still haven’t found the right pattern and gauge to make a pair that will actually fit me well, but I have some more ideas percolating.

So next up: new socks! Like Paula and Carol and many others, I’m making a pair of Smooth Operators by Susan B. Anderson. If you want to make some too, be sure to hop over to her ravelry group, itty bitty knits. There’s going to be an informal KAL! There’s no thread set up yet, but there isn’t an official start date or anything. So, cast on and join up! I poked through my sock yarn and decided to use these two skeins of Regia, also from my freecycle score:

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Since the pattern is written specifically to accommodate self-striping yarn, I figured I’d try to make them identical. I actually quite like fraternal twin socks, but it’s also nice to learn new things! Since I always seem to need to do things a bit differently, I decided to do these toe-up instead of cuff-down. I cast on a couple of days ago and got going. I chose to use left and right raised increases for the toes. Well, I got almost all the way through the toe increases and then decided to rip them out and start over. I think some combination of my magic loop technique (still in its infancy) and the raised increases led to holes on one edge of each sock.

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good edge

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bad edge

It wasn’t awful, but I could tell it was going to bother me. So, I ripped back and started over. I’m only a few rows in now, but I’m using m1r and m1l instead. So far, so good!

One mini rant: I tend to knit pretty tightly anyway, and with these I’m trying to keep the joins snug. So, doing a m1r one stitch in tends to be pretty tricky. I find it really hard to get the tip of the needle cleanly into the new stitch as it’s really tight, even with my Addi Sock Rockets! Anyone else have this problem? Anyone have a favorite increase to use for toe-up socks?

So far I love how the colorway is working up! I’m definitely sensing a theme: every pair of socks I’ve made so far has had either yellow or orange or both. I guess I like bright socks!

How are your sock explorations coming? Feel free to post about them on Thursdays and link up with the group! Also, you can share your projects on Instagram with the tag #thursdaysockalong. Check out my fellow Thursday sock knitters here:

Happy sock knitting!

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Thursday Sock-Along: Sock Karma!

I am so excited for today’s sock post! I’m getting close to finishing my Petty Harbour socks as I’ve turned the second heel and finished the gusset decreases. All I have now is the foot and toe, and they tend to go pretty quickly. Last night, I was knitting away on my socks, thinking about what pair to cast on next, when knitting karma struck again! My friend Carol of knit equals joy unexpectedly gifted me a sock pattern. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Carol, thank you for your thoughtfulness!

The pattern is Susan B. Anderson’s Smooth Operator Socks. It’s a top-down pattern with an afterthought heel and a few special details that give them an extra sleek look. The pattern is an amazing 14 pages long and gives directions for both dpns and magic loop. It’s very well written. There are actually two versions of the pattern: a detailed description of all the steps and a more streamlined, at a glance version. Pretty cool! I have the needles now to do them TAAT so all I have to do is pick out some yarn!

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Copyright susan b. anderson, via ravelry

The pattern is designed to create uninterrupted stripes when using a self-striping yarn. I think it looks really cool! Also, the pattern offers four different sizes in fingering weight yarn as well as one size in worsted weight. You all know how I love a versatile knitting pattern, right?

I’m really loving how my Petty Harbour socks are turning out! I love the colors and, as I mentioned, I’m really happy with the way the gussets turned out.

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Check out what my fellow Thursday sock knitters are doing! It’s turning into quite a group, so I will list them:

Also, I’d recommend checking out Wolfberryknits’ post on her Australiana Socks–they’re masterfully done, from start to finish! If you want to join up, just post and link up. Leave a comment and I’ll link back to your blog. Also, I started the tag #thursdaysockalong on IG if you want to post there, too.

Happy sock knitting!

Thursday Sock-Along: My Best Gussets Yet

Oh blog, I’ve missed you! I was out of town for the weekend and then was down for the count for a couple of days with a GI thingy we really don’t need to discuss. I’m finally feeling up to tackling life and knitting and blogging again! What better way to tackle it all than with a post on socks?

So, my Petty Harbour socks continue. More accurately, sock, as I haven’t finished the first one yet. I did however turn the heel and am cruising down the foot, so it shouldn’t be long now.

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My progress as of late this afternoon

I had a few minutes to stop by my LYS and knock out a handful of rounds. You can’t tell from this picture, but the gussets on this little beauty are my finest to date. Usually I get a little hole on one end of the heel flap or the other where the picked up stitches just aren’t quite right. On most of my other socks, I’ve picked up one or two more stitches than called for. These aren’t different in that respect as I picked up one extra on each side. What is different is how I handled that extra stitch. Previously, I have decreased them out of existence on the next row. This time, I just added one more decrease row. Voila–no hole!

While I’m waiting for these to be finished*, I can now start to plot my next pair. I had some credit and a free shipping code at jimmy beans that was set to expire today. While I was still sick, I browsed around for some yarn to use it on. You know I really wasn’t feeling well because I just couldn’t get excited about anything! Well, a day later I got the bright idea to use it on needles for TAAT toe up socks. So, I expect to soon receive two sets of 47″ Addi rockets, US0 and US1. That giant batch of yarn I got from freecycle recently included a ton of sock yarn, and I’m determined to work my way through as much of it as I can!

I’ve got lots of blog material to catch up on. I’ve won two yarn prizes I haven’t shared with you yet, I got a blogging award I haven’t done anything with, and I haven’t finished my 30 day knitting challenge deal. I also haven’t finished knitting my sword. I will try to get everything covered in the near future! In the meantime, I’ve started actually using my Instagram account. I can’t promise I’ll post much, but you can find me there as alexandknits if you’d like!

Want to read more about sock knitting? Head over to Paula’s blog at Spin A Yarn and Hannah’s at unsophisticated + jejune to see what they’re up to. Also, take a look at Iseago, our newest Thursday Socketeer, at nursingandknitting! Edited to add: also check out fiberandsustenance’s great post on afterthought heels here. Want to share your sock knitting exploits, too? Just post on or around a Thursday and feel free to link up. Happy sock knitting!

*My mom has pointed out that there’s no hurry to finish these as it will continue to be unbearably hot in Georgia for approximately forever.

Thursday Sock-Along: Progress, of Sorts

Well, my quest for the perfect (for me) vanilla sock pattern will need to take another turn. After knitting away for a bit on the cuff of my latest sock (the pattern I’m using is Petty Harbour), I decided I would try it on for size. It took a little tugging, but I didn’t think much of that–socks stretch, right? So I kept tugging. Long story short, the sock was too tight, as evidenced by the fact that I seriously bent one of the dpns while getting the sock on and off!

My first reaction to that was one of disbelief. It couldn’t possibly have been the wrong size. I’m knitting a stretchy pattern! It’s sock yarn and I’m using US1s! I always get gauge on US1s with sock yarn! Something must be wrong! So I counted the stitches*. No error there–I had 72, just as I had intended. I thought about it a bit more, then decided to check my gauge. Better late than never, after all! Sure enough, I was getting a smidge over 9 sts/” instead of the pattern’s 8 sts/”. That means that my 9″ cuff (which in all honesty still would have been a bit small) is actually an 8″ cuff…and is never going to fit me.

But, a sock is a sock is a sock, and I’m not the only one of my acquaintance who both has feet and likes handknits. So, since my mom had asked for a pair a while back, I decided that they’ll go to her if they fit–and I believe they will.

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It’s really challenging to get this yarn right in photos. The above pic shows the colors a bit brighter than they really are, but it’s close. At the end of the current pattern repeat, I will start the heel flap.

Want to read more about sock knitting? Head over to Paula’s blog at Spin A Yarn and Hannah’s at unsophisticated + jejune to see what they’re up to. Also, take a look at Iseago, our newest Thursday Socketeer, at nursingandknitting! Want to share your sock knitting exploits, too? Feel free to link up. Happy sock knitting!

*More accurately, I straightened out the dpn as best I could and then I counted the stitches.

My 30 Day Knitting Challenge series will continue tomorrow.