I just received some beautiful yarn for a design I will be working on later this summer, and it reminded me of the 2015 Pantone color of the year, Marsala. Of course, I had to go looking for other Marsala colored yarns, just to see what is out there. Here are some of my favorites.
Today I am showing one last pair of socks I have recently finished. This is yet another plain ribbed sock knit with the Simply Socks Poste Striping yarn I love so much. This pair was knit for my oldest son, at his request.
The colorway is called Poenari Castle, and it has black, gray and acid green stripes. I love that many of the Poste Striping colors are named for travel locations and interesting places. Poenari is a castle in Romania, and is linked to Dracula stories.
Looking over at the week's socks, it seems like I knit mostly plain stockinette or ribbed socks. This is a new development, brought on by my recent interest in self striping yarns. I really do love to knit socks from patterns. In fact, I have a pair of Monkey socks on the needles right now, and a lenghty queue of patterned socks I do plan to knit. Here are a few of my favorites.
Double Helix by Jeni Staman, from Knitty First Fall 2011
Deflect by Hunter Hammersen, from Knitty Deep Fall 2013
Stitch Surfer by Louise Robert, from Knitty Deep Fall 2012
Skew by Lana Holden, from Knitty Winter 2009
Do you see a pattern here? Knitty is such a great resource for interesting knitting patterns. I need to remind myself to check it out more often. Browsing through back issues for patterns I have missed is fun too.
Now for the giveaway.
What is your favorite sock yarn? Leave a comment to this post before Sunday May 31st letting me know what your favorite sock yarn is and you will be entered to win a 100 gram skein of Regia from the popular Arne and Carlos line, in color 3655 Fall Night. This is some pretty special yarn and not easy to come by.
If self patterning yarn isn't your thing, I will offer up two 50 gram skeins of a discontinued rainbow striping color as an alternate prize. One winner will get to choose which color they prefer.
Be sure to leave your email address or Ravelry ID so I can contact the winner. The contest will close at midnight on may 31st.
TGIF. Sock week ends with a pair that will definitely keep my toes warm.
These are knit from a worsted weight sock yarn - Regia 8-ply Color in Berry Fusion. I love how fast and easy these were to knit. If I could find more of this yarn in less variegated colors, I would be knitting many more of these thick socks. As I mentioned earlier this week, I don't usually knit with variegated yarns. This one is okay, but still, I think I would have preferred a semi-solid or maybe stripes.
This time, I used Mrs. Crosby’s Train Case. This yarn includes Outlast, a super high tech phase change fiber that is supposed to help regulate your body heat. I just want it to keep my toes warm next winter.
Again with the purple, here it is called Wild Huckleberry.
This time in the Ashikaga Park color - dark gray, light gray, and lavender stripes. These I have worn a few times, and I love how the yarn has really softened up after washing. See Monday's post for more about my love of this yarn.
The leg is knit with a 3x1 ribbing that continues on the top of the foot. The heels are worked with a heel flap, and I don't mind how the stripes look with this construction. I started the heel flap at the beginning of a stripe. After I completed the heel turn, I broke the yarn and advanced it so the stripes continue in pattern on the top of the foot. Thanks to Susan B Anderson for this nifty idea.
This is a merino/nylon blend in a 3-ply that is silky soft and a joy to knit with. With so much going on in the yarn, I chose to knit a simple stockinette sock. Although I don't usually go for variegated yarns, I do like how color, called Care, pools. It looks like a watercolor painting. And of course, it has just enough purple to suit me.
For added durability, I knit the heel and toe with Meilenweit from Lana Grossa, a more traditional (not merino) wool sock yarn, which I assume will hold up in the places that need it most. I chose a pale heather gray that will work as an accent with many colors. I expect it will make an appearance on several of my socks in the future (Yes, I'm looking at you, Malabrigo Sock).
It's sock week here at handmaineknits. In the bits of free time I have found between the design projects I worked on this past winter, I have been knitting socks. Apparently, only purple socks.
The color is called Danxia Landform. Aren't those little colorful stripes wonderful (only one of the six colors is purple). The heels are knit in a coordinating solid turquoise color also from SSYC. It almost matches the blue stripes in the sock. The leg is knit in a 3x1 ribbing, and the heel is from a Lara Neel pattern, Fork in the Road Socks. I'm still unsure about the heel construction, I will need to wear them a few times before I decide if it works for me. I have been be looking for an alternative to the afterthought heel, which has never fit me quite right.
I already have plans for the leftovers, this yarn is too good to not use up every bit. It is a superwash Corriedale/nylon blend. Not quite as soft as merino, but it feels great, and definitely seems sturdier than merino.
Cypri, from the winter 2013 issue of Twist Collective, can easily be modified into cowl.
I began by casting on enough stitches to work 11 repeats of Chart A. After joining in the round, I worked 12 rounds of garter stitch (alternating knit and purl rounds) in my main color. I continued alternating knit and purl rounds while working Chart A. When I got to Chart B, I worked only stitches 30 to 57 of the chart on each round, these continue the stitches from the end of Chart A. I also omitted the edge decreases. At the end of Chart B, I worked 12 more rounds of garter stitch in the main color, then bound off.
The final cowl is 9 inches high and about 42 inches around, enough to wrap twice.
My latest pattern, Stutzen, was released this week.
Stutzen is a triangular shawl inspired by the calf gusset patterns in traditional twisted stitch stockings, called stutzen. These cables are created with traveling slipped stitches worked over a striped garter stitch backdrop.
The shawl begins at the center top with a garter stitch tab, and is worked out to the edging. Eyelet increases at the center spine and outer edges create the triangular shape. A lace border flows from the cable pattern and ends with a scalloped edge.
While the patterning looks complex, only one color is worked at a time, the pattern is created by slipping the main color stitches over the contrasting color rows. That means there are three easy rows after each row of cable crossings.
measurements the shawl is about 48 inches wide and 24 inches deep at center back.
yarn I used Malabrigo Sock; 440 yds / 402 m per 3.5 oz / 100 g skein; 100% Superwash Merino Wool.
MC–1 skein in 855 Aguas, or approximatly 350 yds/ 320 m (80 g) fingering weight yarn
CC–1 skein in 854 Rayon Vert, or approximatly 210 yds/ 190 m (48 g) fingering weight yarn
needles Size 5 US / 3.75 mm circular needle, 40” / 100 cm long.
What I have been knitting lately? Socks, socks, and more socks. I've managed to finish three pairs between my two latest design projects (to be published later this year).
From left to right:
Zebra stripe socks. I have been stalking this pattern for a long time - zebra stripes, how can you not love that. I have to admit, I initially assumed that the yarn would do all of the work, but that is not entirely true. There is a very clever pattern element that creates the zebra effect. The kit is available from Knitters Brewing Company. I used less than 50 g of the zebra colorway by adding a contrasting color (tidal wave) for the toes, afterthought heels, and cuffs. There is plenty of yarn left for another pair of socks (with purple toes) or maybe some mittens.
A basic ribbed sock knit in a very cheery blue/green color of Zauberball Crazy.
Worsted weight socks based on this recipe by Susan B Anderson. I used one entire skein of Cascade 220 Quatro in the Jamaica colorway, with some bits of gray Cascade 220 Superwash for the cuffs and toes. These will be warm and cozy next winter.
Finally, the last pair was purchased on our recent vacation to Quebec City. When we stumbled upon this little shop selling knit socks, hats, and scarves made from local wool, I couldn't resist a souvenier from Canada. More about Charlevoix wool on their website.
I have been amazed with the wonderful response I have received for my latest design for Twist Collective, Cypri, mainly because it actually began with a rejection letter. A year earlier, I had submitted a design idea for a shawl that didn’t make the cut. I felt strongly about the idea – slip stitch cables on a striped background. They create a strong graphic and are really fun to knit. So I went back to the drawing board and reworked the design.
First, I changed the shape. The original was a top down triangle; this one would be a crescent shape (which is what I would actually prefer to knit for myself.) I liked the idea of lots of detail at the bottom edge, and less detail in the short row shaping portion.
Next I looked at the cable design. The pattern in the original submission was inspired by a traditional twisted-stitch pattern. This design needed something unique, so I began sketching. I started with the idea of a long strand of gems hanging from a chain.
The first sketches (above, left) were okay, but when I turned one upside down, I liked it much better. The design started to fall into place. I refined the shapes and they began to remind me of lady’s slipper orchids (above, right).
The next step was to turn the sketch into something knittable. I lightly sketched the shapes on graph paper, trying to keep in mind the scale and potential gauge. Then I charted the cable symbols right over the sketchy lines. This step involved a lot of erasing as I worked out the cable crossings. I refined it bit more as I knit the swatch. It was finally ready to submit.
The sample I knit for Twist is in Breathless by Shalimar Yarns. It is a superwash merino/cashmere/silk blend that is very soft and creates a fabric with the perfect drape for this shawl. While I love the colors of the sample, byzantium and mole, I want to knit my own in bing and scarab, a purple and teal combo similar my swatch. Or maybe glacier and driftwood, or copper pennies and black truffle. I could go on and on, there are so many colors to choose from.
I'm excited to show off my latest sweater, Cascade Falls, which I designed for SweetGeorgia Yarns.
This is a long, cozy, open front cardigan knit mainly in stockinette stitch with a wide reversible cable panel at the front edges. The yarn used is the insanely luxurious SweetGeorgia Trinity Worsted, a beautiful blend of superwash merino, cashmere, and silk, but it would be equally wonderful worked up in their Superwash Worsted (I'll choose the Deep Cove colorway for mine). You can read more about Cascade Falls on Felicia's blog, or check it out on Ravelry.