Rainbow Socks

A few months ago I made my first pair of colour work socks using an amazing skein of self striping rainbow yarn from Fab Funky Fibres with a contrast of a plain grey from Somerset Yarns.  They are happy happy socks and I love them very much but as I was knitting them I couldn’t help but think about how wonderful the self striping would look all by itself.  Luckily I had enough left over to find out!

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I’m not sure I could imagine a lovelier rainbow.

As I’d made my Zig Zag socks matching I didn’t quite have enough yarn to make these ones match and at one point I was a bit concerned that I was going to have to interrupt the sequence and join in a new bit of leftover yarn but luckily it didn’t come to that.

I used the trusty Sockalong Pattern by Winwick Mum but with my leftover grey for contrast cuffs, heels and toes to help the rainbow to stretch just that little bit further.

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They just make me smile.

Of course I couldn’t resist photographing them next to their sister socks.

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Two skeins of gorgeousness, now four very happy socks!

 

Rainbow Zig Zig Socks

What a journey I have been on with these socks.  There have been tears, rather a lot of swearing and so much joy when I finally finished them, ending up with two socks that fit on my feet!

I have made many socks over my knitting career, I wrote a post here in mid 2016 proudly showing my first 5 pairs of plain socks using the amazing Winwick Mum Sockalong method which I have recommended to many people and have set them on their sock knitting way.

Since then I have branched out into patterned, lace and cable socks and last year I signed up to a sock club from The Knitting Goddess receiving yarn and patterns every couple of months to expand my sock collection (a quick search here shows that I haven’t blogged all of these socks, I’ll add it to my list!)

These socks were my first attempt at using stranded colour work for a sock and so as I was heading into new territory I came back to Winwick Mum and decided to use the Rainbow Zig Zag pattern from the book More Super Socks which I bought at Yarndale and had signed by Christine Perry.

I ploughed, enthusiastically into sock one without properly reading the pattern notes, I know how to knit socks, I’ve made loads, right?! *hangs head in shame*  I did work on keeping my floats, the strands of yarn that are carried behind the stitches, loose but that was the only concession I made to this new style of sock.

Within a week I had this gorgeous specimen finished…

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… what a beauty!  I went to put it on.  I got my toes in no problem.  I went to pull the sock over my heel and it would not move.  It was exactly like the scene in Cinderella where the Ugly Sisters try to squeeze their feet into the too small shoe.  It just would not fit.

I cried, I raged, I was so embarrassed to have made such a rookie mistake and so sad to have made something so lovely but yet not functional. I was gutted.

I went onto facebook and got some great advice, shoulders to cry on and the fortitude to try again and onward I went into sock two, this time using bigger needles, 3mm rather than my usual 2.5mm; a larger cast on, 72 stitches rather than my usual 64; and prepared to make a longer heel flap.  The advice to make the longer heel flap really made a difference to the finished sock and came from the pattern designer Christine Perry via her facebook group Winwick Mum Knit and Natter which is a lovely place I would recommend if you are a sock knitter and facebook user.

Sock two flew along.  I learned the new to me skill of continental knitting and found the colour work went much quicker when I could hold a strand in each hand and knit one in my usual English style of throwing the yarn and the other picking the yarn in the continental style.

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I posted this triumphant photograph on Instagram as soon as the sock was off the needles! I was so pleased that it fit.  The differences between socks one and two can be clearly seen when they are next to each other.

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Sock two, on the left of the picture is noticeably longer, wider and the longer heel flap is easy to see.  I was also really pleased to get through more of the rainbow in this bigger sock.  These socks use two yarns, the amazing self striping is from Fab Funky Fibres and is called The Big One, the plain grey is also indie dyed and is from Somerset Yarns.  Both are 4 ply, superwash merino/nylon blend.

My confidence buoyed by the success of sock two sent me bounding into number three and led to me finally ending up with two socks that fit!  They don’t perfectly match but they are pretty close and just make me smile every time I look at them! The sun even came out so that I could get some photos of them in natural light, these are my happy socks 🙂

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Yarn Along

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I know February is short but I’m still really surprised to find that a whole month has passed and we are back to Yarn Along again.

I will tell the full tale of these socks when they are finished but it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride with sock number one, the one featured in last month’s Yarn Along, not fitting on my foot.  So the socks pictured today are numbers two and three and are hopefully heading towards me having a wearable pair very soon.

The pattern is Rainbow Zig Zag by Winwick Mum from the book More Super Socks and the self striping yarn is a 28 coloured rainbow called The Big One dyed by Fab Funky Fibres.

I mentioned last month that I was reading my way through the Tournament of Books contenders (it starts today by the way which I am very excited about!) and one of those was So Lucky by Nicola Griffith.  I found myself deeply moved by the passion with which she wrote that book and keen to try something else of hers.  Hild is very different.  Where So Lucky is contemporary fiction Hild is set in the seventh century but both feature strong female protagonists and I really enjoy Griffith’s story telling.

I am also more pleased than I probably should be with the serendipitous way that my yarn ball is matching the front cover!

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Yarn Along

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It has been a long time since I joined the Yarn Along but I intend to blog a lot more this year than I did last and having a monthly prompt and link up  to join seems like a great way to make that happen!

On my needles today is my first sock of 2019 which is also my first colourwork sock ever.  It’s a pattern called Rainbow Zig Zag by Winwick Mum and is from her lovely book More Super Socks which I bought and had signed by Christine Perry at Yarndale last year.  I am very excited to watch the ball of self striping yarn reveal itself as the sock progresses.  It was dyed by Fab Funky Fibres and is called The Big One, a massive rainbow containing 28 colours, I can’t wait to see them all.

The book is a part of my efforts to read every book featuring in Tournament of Books 2019.  It is well worth clicking the link to check out the tournament but to simply describe it is an event, run in March each year, giving an opportunity for book fans to have big discussion about books, sounds ideal!  It has been on the periphery of my vision for a few years now but this is the first year I have committed to wanting to join in.  There are 18 books on the shortlist and I have already finished 8 with another one on my audible current listen, one on my kindle and this one, The Overstory, my current physical book.  I’m really hopeful I’m on track to follow and contribute to the discussion when the tournament begins.

As for the Overstory, I am loving the writing and the way that there are multiple stories all held together by a love of trees.  I try not read reviews before I read a book but I did see something about the structure of this novel being unconventional and I’m  looking forward to see how that works as I get further through.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Sunny Log Cabin Blanket

In November 2015 I was riding high on the success of having made my first crochet blanket, the Attic24 Cottage Ripple Blanket.  I was new to crochet but I had finally mastered it and I had a wonderful blanket to show for it.  Then the lovely Lucy announced her next blanket, a crochet-a-long, with steps of the pattern released throughout November and December, I saw the photos and it was love!  It was her Sunny Log Cabin Blanket and the bright rainbow of colours was right upon my street.

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As with all of Lucy’s blankets Wool Warehouse sell packs with all of the yarn you will need, I put on on my Christmas list and my lovely motherinlaw bought one for me.

I was so excited.  I sat, surrounded by toys and tinsel and on Boxing Day 2015 I started making my first blanket square while watching The Snowman on TV.  I made a few of the sunny motif centre pieces over the next few days and then I started building the log cabin of colours around it…

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… and very quickly became fed up.  Oh so much counting.  And colour changing every two minutes.  And all of the ends that produces. Bleugh.

In April 2016, with a mere two of the sixteen squares made, it went into the naughty corner while I worked on things I found more fun!

2016 came and went.  As often happens, with the New Year came new intentions and out it came once more.  I managed another two blocks in January 2017 and remembered why I found it frustrating in the first place.  Back to the sin bin it went.  In one year I had completed one quarter of the blanket.

But it nagged at the back of my mind, this unfinished blanket.  Looking at the photos of other people’s finished blankets I was still head over heels in love with the finished object and in September of this year I vowed that I would not let another year finish without this blanket gracing the back of my sofa.  I decided that I would not pick up any other crochet projects until it was done.

Obviously I had left myself too much wriggle room there and while I did plod with the blanket I also knit a pair of socks for my husband and my Reyna Shawl and so once the shawl was off the needles I also banned knitting 😉

It is astounding the speed of progress from that point onwards!  I worked on it every time I sat down at home, sewing the squares together as soon as they were off the hook to save me a big job at the end.  I love this photo I took last week which features my ripple blanket and first pair of hand knit socks as well as the progress on my log cabin.

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Also in this photo is an amazing cushion made by the talented Heather at The Patchwork Heart.  I am very proud of myself for buying this cushion!  Every time I saw Heather post one of these wraparound granny cushions on her Facebook or Instagram I thought to myself “I really should make one of those, they are lovely”.  But I have a long list of to-makes already, including of course this blanket, and so I bought one she made instead!

By the end of October I had completed twelve squares, the blanket was almost there.  The end was in sight and I started daydreaming about new projects.  With a big final push the last four squares were made in just six days!  Quite some contrast to the 20 months the first twelve took!

As mentioned below the first photo at the top of this post I still had a lot of yarn left over and so I decided to go with a thick, rainbow border of trebles rather than the more low key border in the pattern. 7 rounds of lovely rainbow trebles.

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I am so so so pleased to say that now it is all done I still have that same rush of love for these wonderful sunny colours and Lucy’s clever pattern every time I look at it.  Would you like to see the whole thing?

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Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  It’s just gorgeous!  I can totally forgive it for the journey and I actually really enjoyed the final sprint!

I am pleased to move on to new projects though, hopefully none of them will take almost two years to complete! So pleased, that I cast on a hat just minutes after sewing in the final end on the border last night 🙂