The boy has socks.

Jerry's New Socks

I am seriously on fire with the socks. To be honest, I have been watching seasons 1-3 of Fringe on my computer (bought the instant videos on Amazon) and that leaves me with a lot of time for knitting that I can put on autopilot.

Do I even need to tell you what pattern I’m using? It is, again, Judy Gibson’s You’re Putting Me On Toe Up Sock pattern. And since I have a certain way that I do all the things in the pattern, I thought I’d give you some more details.

Jerry's New Socks

The Toe

I use a figure-8 cast on for the toe. It’s a little tricky when you first learn it, but it’s also really cool. I learned it first when I knit HelloYarn’s Top Down Bonnet for Maggie way back when (Oh my, that link has a picture of Maggie from 2007! You must click it!).

I’ve refined the way I knit the cast on. Here’s what I do. I loop the yarn around the needles (using two needles). Then I knit across each needle (now I’m using three needles). Most instructions will have you begin the increases on the next round, while also dividing the stitches between four needles. I do those things on separate rounds. First, I knit one round and divide the stitches evenly between four needles (so I am actually using five needles). Then on the next round I begin the increases. I find the work is less fiddly when I do it this way, and that makes me a happier knitter.

For the toe, I use a KFB increase. When the work is so tiny and fiddly at the beginning, the KFB is the easiest for me to handle, and it’s relatively quick. Here’s how I do it:

Needle 1: KFB, k to end of needle.
Needle 2: K to last 2 sts, KFB, K1.
Needle 3: Same as Needle 1.
Needle 4: Same as Needle 2.

The Bind Off

Getting a loose bind off at the top edge of a toe-up sock is crucial. I use the same one every time, and like Grumperina, the first time I used it was on the cast off edge of my Leaf Lace Shawl (again with the old knits! 2007!).  I don’t know what Evelyn Clark calls this bind off, but I’ve seen something called a Russian Bind Off that is very similar.  What I do differently is that I don’t slip stitches back to the left hand needle.

I described the bind off like this in the pattern for my toe up Celery Socks:

K1, *K1, insert L needle tip into the front of the 2 sts from left to right and knit them together from this position.* Repeat between *s until 1 st remains. Cut yarn and fasten off.

It is easy and effective. You need not change to a larger needle, either. If anything, you work this cast off just as tight as any other stitch. It’s naturally Very Stretchy!

Jerry's New Socks

The yarn I used for these socks is Cascade Heritage 150 and I loooooove it. It’s technically sport weight, but it’s on the thin side if you ask me. But the socks are cushy. I went back to the yarn store where I bought the yarn, to buy more, and they didn’t have any. And instead of the yarn being sold out because it was super popular, I think they didn’t restock it because nobody was really crazy about it. Oh, well.

Best part of these socks? Jerry loves them! He’s been wearing them around the house, and that makes this knitter very happy, indeed.

More info about pattern and yarn for these socks on Ravelry.

Since I wasn’t finished with Fringe when I finished these socks, I started another pair. Trekking XXL (one of my favorite sock yarns!) in pumpkiny colors!


The girl has socks.

new socks for Mag

I wouldn’t believe how big Maggie’s feet are except that I just knit her pretty big socks and they fit. I estimated her foot size when she was away at school and I thought maybe her feet were about 5″ around and 6″ long. WRONG. Her feet are more than 7″ around and 7.25″ long. The socks seem too big when I am looking at them but they fit her perfectly. I am so confused. When did she become not a baby?

It was gorgeous outside today after school, so she played with her new pocket knife at the picnic table and posed her feet for some pictures. It was cute. I love the pictures.

new socks for Mag

new socks for Mag

new socks for Mag

new socks for Mag

new socks for Mag

As much as I’d like to deny it, Jerry has big feet, too. If not big for his age, at least bigger than I expect them to be. I am taking no chances with him, so I had him trace the outline of his foot and measure the circumference of his foot and ankle. He picked out the yarn (blue and gray from the stash, good stuff) and hopefully everyone will have toasty warm toes if, by chance, it ever gets cold here in North Carolina.

More information about yarn and pattern can be found on Ravelry.


Waiting for Yarn

I was really chugging along on the Stripe Study shawl. I took it when the kids and I went to Buffalo last weekend, and I made some headway on the airplane. But I quickly realized that although the yarn  has ample yardage, using a size 8 needle meant that the garter stitch was really eating up the yarn. I placed an order for more yarn on Wednesday, ran out on Thursday, and expect delivery on Monday or Tuesday. While I wait, I’m knitting more socks.

super socks

I barely knit all summer, and now I have this really panicky feeling that when it gets cold we won’t be prepared. What if there are no wool socks that fit the kids? What if their mittens are too small? What if they want a sweater and I haven’t knit one yet? What if…ad infinitum. All I really need to do is rummage through the wool basket; I’ll probably find loads of things that fit everybody. But what if nothing fits anymore?!?!?!

Anyway. While I wait for the new skein of yarn to arrive, I’m getting to work on that unwritten list of ‘knits I think we don’t have but we probably do’.

The socks above fit Maggie (with room to spare, but not too much). The next thing on the unwritten list is slippers for me; mittens and socks to fit Jerry, who is growing up too fast and I demand that he quit it right now; new hats for everyone! (This one is the most absurd because even kids can’t really outgrow a hat. Or at least they outgrow them very slowly. I just like knitting hats.)

Are there things you are knitting in preparation for winter? Are you already covered for when it gets cold? I need to know I’m not the only one!