The Shambles Socks – Pair # 61

It’s not often I write a pattern for socks; usually I’m testing other patterns or searching for patterns on Ravelry. I’m pleased to say, here is one of my patterns.

When I visited York in the UK in the 1980s I distinctly remember visiting The Shambles. I was fascinated by the uneven cobblestone paving. This pattern reminds me of those cobblestones: a bit wonky and uneven.

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All the more reason to call this pattern The Shambles Socks!

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These socks are knitted cuff down. The pattern is easy to memorise as it just consists of some knitting, purling, k2tog, ssk and yo.

My sample is a Size 9 women’s (Australia; European size 40). Because this is a 16 sts repeat, it would be easier to go down a needle size if you wish to make a smaller pair or go up a needle size to make a larger pair.

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I always like to read through a pattern and highlight any instructions that I think I’ll need to be alerted to when I reach a particular section. This tends to save time and hopefully will avoid the need to frog any knitting 🙂

I used the Eye of Partridge heel flap which gives a lovely subtle pattern.

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The toe is a standard one: alternate rows of decreasing and knitting until you have five sts left on each needle and then simply graft close.

Shambles Socks 10These socks are not tight fitting; they have quite a bit of ease in them so if you like your socks to fit very firmly I would suggest you go down a needle size or two. I find my socks are very comfortable for wearing around the house, especially now the mornings are getting cooler as autumn fades into winter.

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I used Patons Patonyle 4ply in the colour Tangerine Dream for my socks. The solid colour really shows off the pattern.

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Hopefully, you’ll  enjoy knitting these socks as much as I did.

I’m now starting another test knit. Between that and knitting my Find Your Fade shawl/wrap and trying to do lots of spinning, I am quite busy! Here are my yarn selections for the Find Your Fade shawl/wrap. This is a massive knit and is going to take quite a while but it is easy and fun.

Find Your Fade choices

And to finish off, I pick up this little beauty at the Olde English Fair at Birkdale where I and some of my spinning friends were asked to demonstrate. As you can gather, I love these little bargains 🙂

Sheep from Olde English Fair

Here we are doing our demonstrating as well as lots of talking 🙂

THE FOUR OF US AT ST GEORGE'S. 6.5.2017

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Socks and Bags Swap

One of the benefits of belonging to different craft groups is you get to meet people who are proficient in crafts that you’re not! This was the case recently when one of my friends showed me a bag she’d made. I instantly wanted to own it so I asked her the cost and rather than give me a price she suggested a swap: I make her a pair of socks in return for the bag. What a win/win situation 🙂 Have a look at this lovely bag made of leather and tapestry fabric and fully lined.

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I love all the little pockets that Jo included inside the bag. It’s so easy to find everything. There’s even a key ring holder that’s attached to the bag so you’ll never lose your keys.

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In return I made Jo these Cable Rib Socks using Patons Patonyle 4ply yarn, probably one of my favourite sock yarns.
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I love the very subtle cable in this pattern. It complements this striped yarn nicely.
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When Jo published a comment recently on Facebook that she’d just made herself another denim bag and had cut out two more for sale, I immediately jumped in with a comment that I’d like to buy one as the denim bag would do nicely on the weekends. Again, Jo came back with the comment ‘how about another pair of socks?’. So I made another pair for Jo using the Circle Socks which is a free pattern on Ravelry.
Jos Circle Socks 01

This pattern is deceptively easy and the effect is fantastic!!

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I noticed on Ravelry that some people had continued the circle pattern down on the top of the foot but I felt that it would be a bit too textured and maybe uncomfortable when wearing shoes or boots for a while so I kept to the pattern which was just plain knitting for the foot.

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And this is my gorgeous denim bag made by Jo using recycled denim jeans.

Jos Bags 01

And customised especially for me 🙂 Love that zippered pocket on the outside of the bag.

Jos Bags 02

It also has the keyring holder attached to the bag. Plus the jeans’ pockets have been used on either side of the bag for more storage.

Jos Bags 04

Love the compartments inside and take a look at that gorgeous lining 🙂

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Plus a zippered pocket inside.

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I was very lucky as this bag came with its own matching purse.

Jos Bags 05

I am amazed at all the beautiful work including the personalised tag on the zip.

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Aren’t these bags just stunning? And they’re one of a kind too! I am very lucky indeed. I also discovered that Jo had kindly given both pairs of socks to family members so I am busily making another pair for Jo to keep for herself as she deserves them!

If you’re interested in Jo’s bags you can contact her via her Facebook page Jo’s Handy Handmade Bags.

And now a quick look at a few bargains I’ve managed to pick up at local Opp Shops. This is becoming quite a habit and is quickly filling my home with all things sheep!

Baa sheep mugSheep ceramic twoSheep PortugalSheep

And lastly some good news to share. I recently entered this competition:

Flock and Needle 1

And I won the major prize!! A project bag stuffed with yarn 🙂

Flock and Needle 2

This a truly wonderful prize and I must thank Alison from Flock and Needle for being so generous 🙂 And if you’re very quick you’ll catch the tail end of the Easter sale where all yarn and project bags are only $25 each!

Flock and Needle prize

My prize arrived on the Thursday before Easter so it was a lovely Easter gift without the calories 🙂

That’s all my news for now. I hope you’ve been doing lots of crafting during the Easter break as I have.

Until next time…

Melanie

Delilah Socks – Pair # 56

Delilah socks is another gorgeous pattern from the book The Sock Drawer by Verity Castledine. I would highly recommend this book if you’re an avid sock knitter as I am 🙂

With its simple four row repeat and the added interest of twisted stitches, Delilah is a wonderful introduction to lace knitting.

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Who’d have thought that a simple four row repeat could create such a lovely pattern.

Delilah Socks 03

The yarn I used for these socks was the second batch I solar dyed using Queen food colours. I used the Knit Picks Bare Hare undyed as the base yarn.

Delilah Socks 09

There are two sizes you can knit and I chose the larger size. If you wish to knit these socks in the larger size, here are a few errors that were spotted that you’ll need to take note of:

Delilah Errata:
For the larger size cast on 72 sts and not 70. The pattern repeats are 12 sts.
To turn the heel
sl 1, k19, ssk, k1, turn (for large size only)
Heel
Turn, and work on the next 36 st leaving remaining 36 unworked on your needle (for large size only)

This is quite a popular pattern in the book with some knitters making more than one pair and I can understand why 🙂

Delilah Socks 07

So, if you’re after a new sock knitting book, this is the one for you. Beautifully photographed with interesting patterns that are easy to understand.

Delilah Socks 11Delilah Socks 12Delilah Socks 14

To finish off, here are some of my latest Opp Shop bargain buys 🙂

ANZ money boxAvon sheepLamb

This next framed picture is quite different. The wording on it says “1st prize RAS Wolverhampton Shropshire Ram”

Shropshire Ram

Although this mug is not sheep related, I loved the Parisian pictures and it’s made of porcelain and is so light as opposed to some quite heavy and chunky coffee mugs that I own.

Paris mug

And finally…..I treated myself to some ChiaoGoo Interchangeable needles in the small sizes (2.75mm, 3.25mm, 3.5mm, 3.75mm, 4.0mm, 4.5mm, 5.0mm, small ended cables in 35cm, 55cm, 75cm, set includes small cable connector, stitch markers, small end stoppers, keys and a needle gauge). I absolutely love them!! The tips are nice and pointy which makes it so easy when stitches can get a bit tight and the steel is a matte look but still lovely and smooth. These came from my local ChiaoGoo dealer: Chantelle from Fiberific. Super quick postage was an added bonus!

Chiaogoo Interchangeable Needles small

That’s all my news for now! I’ve just volunteered for another sock knitting pattern test knit so I’d best cast on!

Until next time…

Melanie

 

 

Suvena Socks

I bought this gorgeous sock knitting book called The Sock Drawer from the UK recently. It has some beautiful sock patterns and the photos in the book are quite stunning. As you know, I do love knitting socks and when a new book appeared in another knitter’s Instagram feed I was immediately intrigued and sought out the book.

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I certainly wasn’t disappointed. After reading through the book I decided on the Suvena socks.

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I was really quite intrigued at how the cable pattern moves across the front of the leg in a spiral. Slowly twisting across the from top of the socks, this travelling cable is inspired by a fish tail braid. Its name comes from the Indian word for ‘braid of beautiful hair.’ The six row repeat is memorised quickly and the travelling element deceptively simple to master.

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It’s quite beautiful isn’t it?

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I knew exactly what yarn I was going to use. Remember the solar dyeing I did not long ago? I think this yarn was a perfect selection.

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I love the shades of orange and yellow; they’re such fresh colours.

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I must stress here that I did find a couple of crucial errors in the pattern which would cause some angst to those quite new to knitting socks. I made the L size and here are the corrections to the errors I found:

Errata: large size only

To work the heel:
Working across 36 st,
WS: sl 1, k2, p4, k4, p4, k6, p4, k4, p4, k3
RS: sl 1 wyif, p2, k4, p4, k4, p6, k4, p4, k4, p3

To turn the heel:
With RS facing,
sl 1, k19, ssk, k1 turn
sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn

suvena-socks-08

There is a Facebook group called The Sock Drawer KAL where more errata can be found for some of the other patterns. It is such a shame the patterns weren’t tested by a number of knitters before being published as this is the only thing that lets the book down. The presentation of the patterns and the photographs are beautiful and it really is a great addition to any knitter’s library. I am so glad I own this book 🙂

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I can see these socks are going to be a favourite not only because of the pattern but because of the colours too 🙂

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I have since made another pair of socks from the book which I’ll show you very soon.

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So, if you are on the lookout for another sock pattern book to add to your collection, I would highly recommend The Sock Drawer by Verity Castledine but do check beforehand if there are any errors in the pattern and if you do come across something that doesn’t seem quite right, post a comment in the Facebook KAL as someone else may have a solution.

Until next time…

Melanie

 

Sassenach Socks – Pair # 53

These beautiful socks are the latest pattern test knit I completed for Dana Gervais who is the most prolific sock pattern writer! The detail in these socks amazes me and they were an absolute pleasure to knit.

sassenach-15

I used a solid colour to ensure the pattern was highlighted as much as possible. I bought this yarn from a Facebook destash and it had no tag on it but I believe it could be a merino/alpaca blend. It’s very soft and was a pleasure to knit with.

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Inspired by the book and television series, Outlander, Sassenach socks are designed to be a mix of both masculine and feminine while being modern and distinctly argyle.

Worked cuff down, this fun sock pattern uses cables and lace to create a contemporary argyle pattern down the front of the leg and on the top of the foot. The heel features an eye of partridge heel flap and half handkerchief heel. The sock ends with a wedge toe that is grafted closed with Kitchener stitch.

Instructions are given to knit the socks in narrow, medium, wide and extra wide widths.

sassenach-24It took me a while to get into the pattern rhythm but by the end of the first sock I was well into it.

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I read the pattern once however by the time I reached the toe section in the first sock I just assumed you knitted the pattern until it was time for the toe decreases which resulted in this look.

sassenach-04What it should look like is this.

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Now, I’m a bit torn as I quite like my look!

sassenach-04-horz

Seeing as my socks will be covered by shoes no one will notice the difference anyway! I’d be interested in what finish you prefer. That just goes to show that some mistakes actually look okay!

As I mentioned, there’s lots of lovely detail in the pattern which shows off so well against a solid colour.

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I’m on a bit of a sock knitting roll at the moment after having purchased this book.

the-sock-draw-by-verity-castledine

The book is beautifully presented with some lovely patterns but be warned, if you are fairly new to sock knitting there are some errors in some patterns so make sure you join the FB page which itemises some of the errors. I’m on my second pair of socks using the yarn I solar dyed not long ago. Will show you them very soon 🙂 And I will also note any errors I found.

I can’t leave before I show you some of my latest Opp shop buys 🙂

What do you think of these cute sheep (or should I say, ram) slippers?

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They were only $3 a pair and they’re both size L which fit perfectly 🙂 As one of my friends said, one pair for upstairs and one pair for downstairs 🙂

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Plus this lovely sheep mug with black and white sheep on it.

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I actually bought this mug at a chemist. Couldn’t leave it behind could I?

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And lastly, one of my friends was cleaning out her jewellery box and found this brooch which she believes is about 30 years old. I was the first person she thought of 🙂 Isn’t it gorgeous? I wore it to Knit and Knatter last Saturday.

knitting-brooch

That’s all my news for the time being. I hope, if you live in Australia, you’ve managed to keep as cool as possible as this awful record-breaking hot weather hits the country.

Until next time…

Melanie

Solar Dyeing with Queen Food Colours

With all the hot weather we’ve had lately in Brisbane, I decided to use some of the sun’s heat by doing some solar dyeing using food colours.

Now let me warn you, I am not an ‘exact measurement’ dyer when it comes to mixing the food colours and water. I found half the fun was actually putting about a cup of water into a jar (I had a nice collection of old jam jars) and then adding a few drops of the dye until I had a colour I liked. When the mixture ran out, I’d just add some more water and dye and made another shade. It’s really fun!

Before I started I soaked my skeins of wool overnight in a 3 parts water / 1 part vinegar solution. The vinegar helps the yarn grab the dye more quickly. Plus, if your yarn is scratchy, it softens it up quite nicely!

There is lots of information on the internet about dyeing and I would suggest you read as much as you can so you understand what you are actually doing!

Chantelle from Fiberific has made a fantastic YouTube video on basic dyeing with food colours although she uses steaming to set her dye. This video is very informative and I’d recommend you watch it if this is your first foray into dyeing. She shows you how to lay out your plastic Glad Wrap and wrap your skeins in the sausage shape.

Here is the result of my dyeing:

This effect was obtained by randomly squirting drops from a pipette all over the skeins. It will be interesting to see how it knits up.

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For this effect I simply alternated between an orange dye and a green dye.

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Once I had ‘painted’ the dye onto the skeins, I just rolled them into a sausage shape in plastic Glad Wrap and placed each sausage into a black garbage bag on the pavers out in the sun. Once the colour has been absorbed and any liquid is relatively clear is when your yarn is ready to rinse and hang out to dry.

This is my favourite colour which is a combination of yellow and yellow/orange.

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I have used this yarn to make a pair of socks and they are coming along nicely 🙂

suvena-socks

So if you are interested in dyeing some yarn using the sun’s heat I would highly recommend it. All my skeins are OOAKs (one of a kinds) as I didn’t measure the drops of colour I used. I find this is less stressful and it’s always a surprise to get a unique skein.

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Don’t these skeins look amazing!!

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And here are caked skeins

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Have fun solar dyeing with food colours 🙂

Until next time…

Melanie

Away From the Lighthouse Socks – Pair # 52

Another another sock pattern test knit is completed!! This pattern, called Away from the Lighthouse, is by Penny Schumers. This is my second test knit for this designer, the previous was for the Down the Hourglass socks.

Because they are constructed to withstand powerful storms, lighthouses are frequently depicted as symbols of strength, shelter, protection and peace. This stitch pattern reflects a strong pillar accented by two twisting “waves”.

away-from-the-lighthouse-11I love all the details in this pattern, particularly the cables.

away-from-the-lighthouse-10Despite the fact I was using a cable needle and not twisting the stitches as I knitted them, these socks were surprisingly quick to knit.

away-from-the-lighthouse-16I absolutely adore the beautiful and gradual colour changes in this sock yarn but I wasn’t overly impressed with the yarn itself and that’s mainly because it’s a single and tended to split a bit. The yarn is Knit Picks Chroma Fingering which is a 70% wool / 30% nylon yarn.

chroma-fingering

Having said that, I bought two different balls of the Chroma Fingering so I’ll have to be extra careful when using the second ball. Luckily, the colour changes are so lovely, they override the singles aspect of the wool 🙂

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My favourite part of the of knitting socks is ‘turning the heel’ and making sure there are no little holes when picking up the stitches along the heel flap.

away-from-the-lighthouse-13I would highly recommend this pattern but make sure if you do decide to knit these socks you select a relatively solid colour and not a highly patterned yarn.

away-from-the-lighthouse-05away-from-the-lighthouse-07away-from-the-lighthouse-08away-from-the-lighthouse-14Until next time…

Melanie