Graveyard Socks

On any given day of the week, you might hear me saying the following:

  • I love wool.
  • I love garter stitch.
  • I love colorwork.

If I had to choose a favorite, I would be at a loss. I equally enjoy all three of those things. When it came time to design my new pattern, I was able to combine all three loves and the result is balanced, simple, and wearable (another three things I love in knitting).

Graveyard Socks

The pattern is Graveyard Socks, and the idea came about when I read about the Socks Revived Contest on the Exercise Before Knitting blog. This is my entry for the contest.

Knit from the cuff down, and combining elements of colorwork, plain stockinette stitch and a reinforced garter stitch heel, the socks are a good balance of “I need to pay attention to the chart right now” and “All I want to do is watch TV while I knit”.

The decidedly macabre motif was scribbled on graph paper, then transferred to my charting software while Jerry was watching over my shoulder. It came time to save the file, and I mumbled something about needed a name for the socks. Jerry, who is 7, noticed the similarity of the chart to a graveyard, and the name of the socks was born.

graveyard socks

The heels are knit using garter stitch short rows, and two strands of the yarn are held together for extra reinforcement. If you’re worried about garter stitch ridges digging into the bottom of your feet, I urge you to try this technique. The stretchy nature of garter stitch makes for a very comfortable heel.

The toes are French (or at least that’s what Nancy Bush says). There are three lines of decreases, rather than the usual two, and the stitches are gathered at the end instead of woven.  It was the first time I tried this toe shaping, and I really liked it!

graveyard socks

My foot model, as usual, was Lisa (here and here, her new education technology blog). I can’t thank her enough for helping me with the photo shoot. I had her climbing under the picnic table (not easy!) and taking directions like: “Try to look more dead.” (see first photo) Thank you, Lisa!

Graveyard Socks – $6

Yarn: Nature Spun Sport
Needles: Size 1 (2.25 mm)
Gauge: 8 sts = 1″ (2.5 cm)
For more specific information please visit the Graveyard Socks page, or the Ravelry page for Graveyard Socks.

You can find more pictures in the Graveyard Socks Flickr Set.

As always, thank you for supporting my designs!!

Graveyard Socks

talkeetna

I once had a cheese steak sandwich with my future husband in a little town called Talkeetna, Alaska. He claimed it was the best he ever had. That should explain these pictures.

talkeetna

talkeetna day

talkeetna

talkeetna

Okay, so the pictures have nothing to do with cheese steak sandwiches, but this new pattern that I designed is called Talkeetna, named after the town where I once had a cheese steak sandwich with my future husband.

The pattern is available for FREE because it has been published in the online magazine for kids, Petite Purls!

Get the Pattern: Talkeetna
See my pattern page for Talkeetna here.
To fit: Children from 2-8 years.
Yarn: Lanaloft Sports Weight. If you knit both hat and mittens, you’ll need two balls of each color. For just the hat OR just the mittens, one ball of each color is sufficient.
Needles: Size 3 (3.25mm) or 4 (3.5 mm) depending on desired finished size.

For all the very important details, and the pattern itself, please see the Talkeetna Pattern at Petite Purls!

I would also like you to take special note of the prolific pompoms in this design. The eagle eyed among you will count five, yes five, pompoms. I’m telling you, if I could have fit more on, I would have.

talkeetna

This is the first time a pattern of mine has been published by someone other than me, and I’m so very excited. There are some amazing designs for kids in the issue! I love them all! Some of my faves are the Cheery Scrap Cap by Kate Oates, Little Red by Aine Mahon, and the sophisticated Chanelette by Stephanie Voyer.

experimenting

When I taught a steeking class a while back I had a clever idea to bring a sweater that I had prepared for steeking to show the students how Not Scary steeking is.  I used a J.Crew sweater that I had bought at the thrift store for $3.50.  The sweater is the old J.Crew standby rollneck, in 100% wool.  It was heavily pilled when I bought it, but I snipped off  most of the pills with some sharp scissors and really, it practically looks new.

extreme makeover: thrift store sweater edition

I crocheted the steek before the class, then cut it during class. Then this poor slashed sweater has sat in a bag for months while I decided what to do with it.

extreme makeover: thrift store sweater edition

Yesterday inspiration finally hit: I received Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting from Anne, and it is colder now (necessitating more wool), and I’m going to a wool festival to teach a class on stranded knitting.  SO!  I decided to knit some colorwork bands on the borders using a chart from the AS book and I can wear it while I teach my class!

First a swatch.

extreme makeover: thrift store sweater edition

Then, what I thought would be a quick, one day project took me hours and hours. And I’m only halfway done. And I don’t know if I like it or not.

extreme makeover: thrift store sweater edition

Here’s how it went. First I checked my gauge and decided how many stitches to pick up. Next I picked up the stitches, cast on steek stitches and began to work the pattern in the round. After a turning row after the color pattern was complete, I knit a facing to cover the colorwork band and the green reinforcing stitches.

extreme makeover: thrift store sweater edition

The knitting didn’t take long, it was the figuring and planning and finishing that took longer than I thought (it always does, but I love that part anyway). I’m not sure I’m in love with the colors, but I used yarn I had on hand. The front band is now very heavy, but every time I try it on it lays nicely. The top of the band matches up with the top of the rollneck in a pleasing way, but the bottom is all out of whack and I can’t decide if it’s okay or not okay. If it is not okay, I can’t figure out how I would fix it.

extreme makeover: thrift store sweater edition

Nonetheless. The sweater is 1) warm, 2) visually interesting (I think) and 3) a way to have a something unique without having to knit a whole damn sweater.  I should finish it.