Tag Archives: knitting

First knitted socks

Hello there! I’ve got some more knitting to share with you today – my first pair of socks.

While out shopping a while ago I found myself drawn to the lovely selection of self patterning sock yarns available. I think I’ve been a little envious of numerous knitted socks that I’ve seen on the blogosphere, so went ahead and brought myself a ball of Regia Snowflake Ski 07708. The practical side of me was very happy to see that the yarn is machine washable up to 40 degrees (can’t be doing with hand washing socks)! Then I set about finding a suitable pattern…

self striping socks front

The a nice ribbed sock pattern by Glenna of Glenna Knits fit the bill nicely – I figured the ribbing would help make all the knitting on small needles a bit more interesting while not adding to the complexity (since this is my first pair after all) and it is kindly provided as a free pattern.

I treated myself to some bamboo 2.5mm double pointed needles (dpns) for this, which were great to work with. I’ve found that I am more comfortable using 5 dpns than the 4 assumed in the pattern which meant I had to concentrate a little more when working the heel and gusset as the pattern references needle number, but it wasn’t a big deal.

self striping socks back view

As I have big feet (that are totally in proportion with my tall frame!) I sized up the pattern by casting on 72 stitches instead of 64. I’ve also since realised that the choice of a ribbed pattern was a great move for my first pair of socks as it makes the fit pretty forgiving!

The stitch repeat in the heel is not one I’ve come across before and I was a little unsure how it would turn out, but all is fine and I guess the pattern helps to give the heel a bit of extra strength? As well as the totally new to me technique of creating the heel and gusset, I enjoyed getting a bit more practice of Kitchener stitch (aided by the free Craftsy class Ins & Outs of Grafting) to close up the toes. It is so satisfying to create the invisible join!

self striping socks side detail

The perfectionist in me of course wanted to knit up two identical socks, so I made sure to start the first sock at a point where there was a distinct colour change in the yarn that I could use again for the second one. Came out pretty well even if I do say so myself!

I’m very happy with these socks and love wearing them around the house keeping my feet warm in cold weather. Unfortunately I’ve found that the wool makes them too itchy to be comfortable wearing next to my skin (a problem I always have with wool), hence I’m usually wearing them over tights as in the pictures.

self striping socks side view

For my next pair I’ll be hunting out some cotton sock yarn so that I have the option of wearing them as regular socks as well as over tights. I’m finding the vast majority of sock yarn is a wool blend, especially the ones dyed to be self patterning, so if you know of any good cotton alternatives please let me know!

Knitted hat

Hi there! I’ve been a bit quiet here, but with the new year I’m refreshed and making good progress with a few projects so hope to be posting regularly again. To start, I’d like to share with you this hat that I finished last month.

I hadn’t done much knitting over the last year or two, but after discovering that a couple of my colleagues knit and looking through some of the fantastic things they’ve made I was inspired to pick up the needles again.

For a few years now I’ve been meaning to knit myself a hat as the store brought one that I used to wear would get a bit itchy after a while. I’ve had visions of designing a stranded knitting pattern along with ear flaps, but decided to start simple to ease myself back in. I’d also expected it to get colder earlier in the season and so was keen to be able to finish the hat fairly quickly!

Knitted hat

I made this using a yarn that I’d brought in New York a few years ago – Malabrigo Rios colour Archangel 850. The yarn is lovely and soft, so comfortable to wear all day. Plus it says it has good washability, so practical too!

To make the hat, I used the gauge from a test square and my head circumference to calculate the number of stitches required and started out with single ribbing, knitting it long enough to turn up. For the main body of the hat I wanted something a little more interesting than simply stocking stitch but as the yarn has a lovely variegated colour I also didn’t want a fussy pattern, so I settled on an uneven basket weave.

Knitted hat flat

I knit the hat using a circular needle so it was a quick make with no sewing up at the end. It wasn’t until I got to the decreasing that I realised I didn’t have any double pointed needles of the right size, but as I was impatient to finish by that time I decided to try using the magic loop method for the first time. While the first few rounds were not the easiest since the number of stitches was so high in comparison to the length of the needle, I managed to make it work and finished up the hat very quickly. I am happy to have tried a new technique and can certainly see its appeal for projects that you take travelling.

All in all, I’m very happy with this hat and it is starting to get plenty of wear now that it is turning colder here in London. I think I’ve caught the knitting bug again, so am already working on some socks for my next project…

Knitted mittens

Despite the warm sunny weather we’ve been having in London, it is time to share some of my knitting with you!

For the past few years most of my knitting has been self drafted, which has meant slow projects and these mittens were no exception.

mittens

The mittens were made for a lovely friend of mine who is often doing sweet, thoughtful things for me so I wanted to make her something as a way of giving back. We picked out the yarn at John Lewis (Sirdar Montana double knitting shade 0200), I took a few measurements, she told me the kind of style she liked then I set to work.

I’ve made myself some gloves before which thankfully were about the right size for her so I could use that pattern as a rough base. There was still quite a bit of unpicking and reworking though as I experimented with the shaping and also to get a nice colour distribution since using the yarn as is would have resulted in a much longer green section.

Shamefully I have to admit that these were finished a winter later than intended, but my friend was very patient and grateful when they were finally complete. Their first outing was a walk through the London royal parks on a pretty cold winter day so we warmed up with some yummy hot chocolate after 🙂

mittens and hot chocolate