Havirland, knit, Knitting, socks, Tutorial

Self-striping socks

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Hi there!

Long time, no see! Hopefully now that the PhD is 99% done I’ll have more time to post here. Today I wanted to talk to you about my newly found love of self-striping sock yarn. It’s no secret that I’ve been obsessed with knitting socks since I knit my first pair, but despite my love for stripes I wasn’t convinced they would work well in socks.

I finally took the plunge when my amazing friend Carol, AKA Havirland dyed her first batch of self-striping yarn. The question was how to approach the heel. There are many kinds of heels one can use in socks. I typically knit mine top-down using a heel flap. But instead of going that way, I took the opportunity to learn the afterthought heel. The result is pictured below.

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Yarn: Havirland Pax Sock “Ecto Floral” self-striping.

Pattern: top-down sock, 56 stitches in 2.25 mm needles, afterthought heel.

 

I like the look of this heel but unfortunately it doesn’t fit my feet as well as a traditional heel flap, so for round 2 of self-striping I chose to knit socks with a flap. I happened to have some “Lady Orange” yarn also from Havirland, so I was able to match it to the orange of one of the stripes in “Godzilla in Paris”. I get 8 stripes per color for this yarn so I knit 4 rows, switched to Lady Orange and knit the heel, gusset and decreases. I then switched back to the main color. The result is pictured below.

 

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Yarn: Havirland Pax Sock “Godzilla in Paris” with a heel in “Lady Orange”.

Pattern: Top down, 56 stitches in 2.25 mm needles, coordinating heel.

 

I love this combo! However, it is unlikely that I’ll always have yarn to coordinate with my self striping, even considering my huge Havirland love. So I also knit a sock with a regular flap heel, knit continuously with no extra yarn whatsoever and only 2 ends to weave! The result is pictured below.

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Yarn: Havirland Pax Sock Self-striping “This are not the droids you’re looking for”

Pattern: top-down, 56 stitches in 2.25 mm needles, traditional heel flap.

 

I hope this experiment is useful to you if you decide to take the plunge into self-striping yarn. Let me warn you, it’s addictive!

 

 

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halloween, knit, Knitting, socks

The joy of socks

Halloweensocks

A couple months ago I knit my first sock. It was difficult and I was not convinced I was really into it. A lot of patterns are cumbersome and don’t properly explain why or how one goes about making a sock. Then came the ‘Rose City Rollers’. A simple, well explained, addictive and FREE pattern by a lovely lady who inspires me on a regular basis, Mara, aka Orangeknits.

The rollers made me fall in love with sock knitting. I am told this happens quite often. Weird as it sounds, making socks to me is like making protein. When I am frustrated in the lab because new experiments won’t work, I make protein. I still remember my first prep, which took me forever and seemed extremely difficult. Now it’s one of those few things that bring me instant gratification. Socks have become the go to knit for when I’m feeling uninspired or simply too exhausted to take on a complicated pattern.

rosecityrollers

I’m a fan of simple patterns that highlight amazing yarns. One of my current favorite dyers is Havirland, aka, Carol. She’s another one of those wonderful people I’ve come to know through instagram (yay for good social media). Her yarns are fun, unique and often pretty nerdy. She is as much a fan of Halloween as myself and so she makes fantastic spooky color ways. When I saw her Halloween minis set, I knew I had to get it and make a pair of socks with it.

hallosocks

I consider these socks to be the best thing I’ve ever knit. Not just because I’m extremely happy with the final product (see first picture), but also because they made me realize I can actually combine colors/variegated yarn in a pleasant manner. – I have always told myself and my husband, I had no idea how to combine colors. I called it being¬†‘color impaired’. But no more. I am now ready to tackle a million more colorful projects and see where my instincts take me.

In the meantime I’ll dream of Halloween.

PS. My halloween socks are 56 stitch rollers with a longer leg (7 inches) and a 3×1 ribbed cuff that measures about 1.5 inches (20 rows).

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