Socks

Knit with me on The Longest Day!

Please join me on The Longest Day (Sunday, June 20) as I knit to raise awareness (and hopefully a whole lot of funds) for the Alzheimer’s Association. Each year the Alzheimer’s Association challenges individuals to help fight the disease by raising funds and awareness for care, support, and research on the day with the most light.

For my part, I’ll knit from sunrise (somewhere around 5:00 am) to sunset (somewhere around 9:00 pm) Mountain Standard Time on a pair of socks I designed specifically for this event.

The cable-and-eyelet pattern in my Fading Memories Socks represents the twists and turns in the memories of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s, in a gradient colorway inspired by The Longest Day logo.
For every Fading Memories Socks pattern sold, I will donate $5 to Alzheimer’s research.

The yarn I used is Fading Shadows gradient kit of 5 mini skeins specially dyed by Greenwood Fiberworks. The yarn is 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon; there are 92 yards (20 grams) of each color for a total of 552 yards (120 grams). The gradient kits are available through Longmont Yarn Shoppe of Longmont, Colorado.

For every gradient pack of Fading Shadows sold, Longmont Yarn Shoppe will donate $10 to Alzheimer’s.

On Sunday, June 20 (the longest day of 2021), I’ll knit another version of Fading Memories Socks and post my progress in hourly (or somewhat hourly) Instagram posts.

Because it’s better to knit together, some of my favorite yarn shops have joined in the fun. In addition to donating a percentage of their sales to Alzheimer’s, they will host free Zoom knit-a-longs (I’ll be there), complete with prizes and special offers. Contact the shops directly to register. Those who join all four knit-a-longs will have a chance for special awards.

Four Purls of Winter Haven, Florida: 10:00 to 11:00 am Eastern Time (9:00 to 10:00 am Central Time, 8:00 to 9:00 am Mountain Time; 7:00 to 8:00 am Pacific Time)

River City Yarns of Edmonton, Alberta: 12:00 to 1:00 pm Mountain Time (2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern time, 1:00 to 2:00 pm Central Time, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm Pacific Time)

Bazaar Girls Yarn Shop of Port Townsend, Washington: 1:00 to 2:00 pm Pacific Time (4:00 to 5:00 pm Eastern Time, 3:00 to 4:00 pm Central Time, 2:00 to 3:00 pm Mountain Time)

Longmont Yarn Shoppe of Longmont, Colorado: 4:00 to 5:00 pm Mountain Time (6:00 to 7:00 pm Eastern Time, 5:00 to 6:00 pm Central Time, 3:00 to 4:00 pm Pacific Time)

Follow me on Instagram at annbuddknits. Better yet, join me in the knit-a-longs and support a great cause!
Either way, please visit my  fundraiser page and make a donation.

Thank you.

 

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Socks in Progress

I admit to having more than my share of handknitted socks. At last count there were 32 “active” pairs and another 38 pairs in my workshop/gift bin. That’s 70 pairs for a total of 140 individual socks!

Still, I find myself unable to stop knitting them. Whether I use double-pointed needles or the magic-loop method on a long circular needle, I find socks most satisfying to knit. And I prefer to wear them above any store-bought pair.

I love the endless combinations of stitch patterns and yarns. I rarely visit a yarn store without purchasing a skein of sock yarn and I have dozens of skeins of sock yarn to prove it.

I am currently working on three pairs. Clockwise from upper left: a pair of  Topsy-Turvey Socks in Madeline Tosh Tosh Sock in the Curiosity colorway (ready for the heel flap), a pair of Ann’s Go-To Socks in The Cyborg’s Craft Room Assockilate in the Impromptu Dance Party colorway (halfway down the foot), and another pair of Ann’s Go-To Socks in Jorstad Creek tweed sock yarn in a brilliant lime green (ready for the Kitchener stitch).

If you’ve never tried knitting socks, I suggest you get a copy of my Getting Started Knitting Socks book. It will guide you step by step through the process. If you’re ready to expand your sock horizons, check out Sock Knitting Master Class and New Directions in Sock Knitting. You’re sure to find a pattern that will, well, knock your socks off!

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Free Time!

I don’t know about you, but I always feel as though I’ve been given a gift each fall when Daylight Savings Time ends. I love the concept of “falling back” an hour.  I only wish it didn’t necessitate “springing forward” each spring — it takes me a week to recover from the lost hour. But I digress.

This year I decided to take advantage of the hour gained by going off Daylight Savings Time last Sunday by starting a new project. I cast on stitches for (yet) another pair of socks at the top of the hour and marked my progress at the end of that hour. The geek in me decided to count the stitches –2,448 stitches in 60 minutes!

Not bad for a free hour’s work!

The yarn is Jorstad Creek Tweed Sock (100% BFL wool; 435 yards [397 meters]/100 grams) in the Chartreuse colorway. I’m using my go-to rib of k3, p1, and working the upper leg on size US 1.5 (2.50 mm) Signature double-pointed needles; I’ll work the lower leg, heel, foot, and toe on size US 1 (2.5 mm) needles. Working the upper leg on one size larger needles is a trick I learned long ago from the venerable Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. It gives just enough flare in the upper leg to accommodate the calf muscle. Brilliant!

How did you use your free hour?

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Ode to the Longest Day

I’m happy to announce that I’ve uploaded a new pattern on Ravelry.

I designed Longest Day Socks while knitting from sunup to sundown as a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s awareness and research. During the 16 hours of sunlight, I completed one and half socks and raised more than $2,000.

I admit that I took a a little break from knitting and didn’t finish the second sock until a few days after the event.

These socks are worked from the top down in columns of traveling stitches that resemble vertical lines of lightening bolts, Harry Potter fashion.

The socks begin with a Twisted German cast-on, followed by a few rounds of twisted rib. The remainder of the leg and the instep are worked in the embossed lightening bolt pattern for an interesting, but not-too-complicated knit. A traditional round heel (composed of a heel flap and gusset) provides a comfortable fit. The tip of the toe is closed with Kitchener stitch.

Use the coupon code CURE ALZHEIMER’S to receive 20% off the purchase price of Longest Day Socks between now and midnight September 15.

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A New Pattern

I’ve recently posted the pattern for my Hygga Delight Socks on Ravelry.

Like a lot of people, I’ve embraced the Danish concept of hygge, which roughly translates to “cozy.” And what is cozier than slipping your feet into a blend of merino, cashmere, and silk? I designed these socks for unbridled self-indulgent luxury. Wear them while sipping cocoa in front of a fire, reading a novel on a stormy night, or simply relaxing at the end of a cold day.

These socks are worked with one strand each of two luxury fingering weight yarns held together throughout. The cuff begins with a decorative Channel Island cast-on followed by a few slouchy welts. The heel is composed of a flap and gusset; the toe is finished with the Kitchener stitch.

I realize that the heat of the summer is not exactly prime time for knitting such thick and warm socks, but I promise that cold weather will be here before we know it. Like any good Girl Scout, you’ll want to be prepared.

You’ll find my Hygge Delight socks on my Ravelry page. Use the code COZY to get 20% off the purchase price between now and midnight August 1. Then be prepared to laugh in the face of winter.

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How Does a Square Sock Fit?

Since I posted my completed my version of Nicola Susen’s Square Socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting, I’ve received a lot of questions about how the sock fits.

I have to admit that I didn’t take time to knit a gauge swatch (I can’t believe I’m admitting this!) and these are a little too big for me. I’m confident that I’ll find the perfect feet someday.

Here are a few images of the socks on my feet. They are surprisingly comfortable, given the unusual construction. The slanted bind-off at the top of the leg evens out greatly when the sock is on a foot. The only issue might be the circular starting point at the ball of the foot. People with sensitive soles may find it uncomfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmm, I wonder which socks I’ll knit next…

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A Finished Square Sock

I’m having so much fun with Nicola Susen’s Square Socks from New Directions in Sock Knitting that I find myself knitting on it when I ought to be doing other things. I love how this sock is constructed so differently from the standard toe-up or top-down sock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s no real heel to speak of. Once the foot is the desired length, the the leg begins in bias k2, p2 ribbing with mirrored increases worked at the center front of the leg and mirror decreases worked at the center back. This forms a tidy knit columns at the center front and back of the leg, with k2, p2 ribs angled between them. When the leg is the desired length, the top is finished back and forth in rows with a stitch bound off at the center front of each row while decreases are continued at the back of the leg.

The result looks oddly angled, but wet blocking helps it to assume a more sock-like shape.

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A “Square” Foot

As I knit my way through Nicola Susen’s Square Sock pattern from New Directions in Sock Knitting, I’m struck with her ability to create a sock shape out of simple squares.

The sock begins with a square to form the ball of the foot. Two quarters of that square are put on a waste-yarn holder while the other two quarters are decreased to form closure at the top of the toe. The decreases are worked in four sections to end with just 2 stitches in each section. These remaining 8 stitches are gathered with yarn threaded on a tapestry needle.

At this point, the sock shape isn’t readily apparent.

 

The two sections of held stitches are then returned to the needles and worked in a bias tube with decreases worked along the top of the foot and increases worked along the bottom of the foot.

When knitting socks, I typically work with four double-pointed needles–three to hold the stitches and one to knit with. Hovever, the “square” format of this sock construction makes it easier for me to hold the stitches on four needles (one needle per section) and knit with a fifth.

So far, the sock has an odd shape. The cast-on “point” at the ball of the foot looks suspiciously like a heel. I think blocking is going to be a key step in this pattern.

 

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Square Socks by Nicola Susen

The next pair of socks I plan to knit from New Directions in Sock Knitting is Nicola Susen‘s Square Socks (page 134).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This sock construction relies on a clever formula for squaring the circle: you knit two squares and two tubes in seamless succession. It begins with a circular cast-on centered under the ball of the foot. These stitches are divided into four groups that are worked outward in rounds as increases are worked on both sides of each group to form the foot square, which determines the fit.

When the diagonal of the foot square is the same as the foot circumference, the live stitches from two adjacent sides of the square are worked in a diamond shape to form the top of the toe. The stitches from the remaining two sides of the foot square are worked even in bias stockinette until the foot reaches the desired length, then the stitches are worked upward in a bias rib pattern for the leg.

Nicola used two colors of fingering weight merino for her socks, reversing the placement of the colors on the two socks.

For my version, I’ve chosen Dream in Color Everlasting, an 8-ply sock yarn composed of 100% superwash Australian merino (420 yards/100 grams) in a single colorway called Rosy 734.

I’m using U.S. size 1.5 (2.5 mm) double-point needles to get the specified gauge of 18 stitches to 2″, or 9 stitches per inch. I plan to follow the instructions for the larger size, which has a foot circumference of 8 1/2″  (21.5 cm) to fit my largish feet.

 

The first few rounds are tricky, but the knitting gets easier as more stitches are formed on each needle and the size of the square increases. So far, I’ve increased to 39 stitches in each of the four sections for a total of 156 stitches, which is the stopping point for the smaller size. Although this is not progressing in a recognizable sock form, the knitting is engaging and I’m enjoying the symmetry of the paired lifted increases.

I also LOVE this yarn!

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