The Knitting Goddess Sock Club (2018)

As I have mentioned previously, last year I signed up to a sock club with one of my favourite yarn dyers, The Knitting Goddess.  Joy is based in Yorkshire, not far from me, and I just love what she does with local wool.  By signing up to the sock club I received a skein of yarn in the colour theme of rocks and a sock pattern written by Clare Devine at Knit Share Love every other month.  My intention was to knit one sock per month and have six pairs of gorgeous socks at the end of the year.

But then last year happened!  2018 was a bit of a year for me personally and while I did do some knitting, things were all over the place and I also sorely neglected this blog.  I did manage to knit four of the six pairs last year but only blogged one of them.

I am ecstatic to share that I have now finished (and photographed!) all twelve of the socks and have finally completed my Sock Club knitting.

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Here they all are!  I love all of the colours very much and really enjoy the way the work together as a cohesive collection.  This is exactly what I hoped too achieve when signing up for a sock club.  All of the yarn is the same base, British Blue Faced Leicester with nylon added for strength and they are all so soft and squishy.  You can’t see them very well stacked up like this so I’ll share each pair on its own too.

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First up, way back in January, was Bend & Fold.  As you can see the socks don’t match.  This is a key feature of these patterns, they are all similar but not the same and named by Clare Devine as The Correlative Sock Collection.  I did write a post about these ones last year with more photos and you can find it here.

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In March there was a pretty lace pattern, that’s a horror to photograph, called Leaf & Bloom.  I love these socks and have worn them a lot but I am sorely tempted to use this pattern again on a paler, more pastel coloured yarn.

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May’s socks were so much fun to knit.  No cables or lace just a clever combination of knit and purl stitches to create this really tactile textured pattern.  These ones are called Dots & Lines.  They were also instrumental in helping me to be able to knit from a chart as the written instructions are so lengthy it really benefitted me to learn how to read charted patterns.

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It was back to the lace in July with this summery little ankle sock in a vibrant pinky purple.  The pattern is Ebb & Flow with waving patterns reminiscent of the sea.  This was the last pair I actually managed to complete last year and was the first toe-up pair of socks I ever made.

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The club pattern for September was Twist & Turn with it’s thick cables.  I only finished these very recently and they have a blog post of their own here.

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The final pair, from November and knitted by me this summer is Short & Sweet with its eyelet pattern.  My pair of these socks have more than a couple of ‘unique design features’ where I went off pattern and made a mistake but you can’t see them when I arrange the socks just so!

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Twelve patterns, six pairs of socks, knit over a period of eighteen months.  I am thrilled by what this pile of yarny loveliness represents.  I learned new skills, improved at those I already had and have so much functional beauty to show for the journey.  I am so pleased that I decided to use a sock club to push me in this manner and the one I chose was just perfect.

Sock Club – Twist and Turn

Last year I signed up to a sock club with one of my favourite yarn dyers, The Knitting Goddess.  Joy is based in Yorkshire, not far from me, and I just love what she does with local wool.  By signing up to the sock club I received a skein of yarn in the colour theme of rocks and a sock pattern written by Clare Devine at Knit Share Love.  My intention was to knit one sock per month and have six pairs of gorgeous socks at the end of the year.

But then last year happened!  2018 was a bit of a year for me personally and while I did do some knitting, things were all over the place and I also sorely neglected this blog.  I did manage to knit four of the six pairs last year but only wrote one of them up.  You can find that post here (Sock Club – Bend & Fold).

I am happy to say that this year has been far less turbulent and so I am working hard to catch up.  I finished the pair of socks I’m about to share with you a couple of weeks ago and am now close to the end of sock one from the last pair.  I am hopeful I’ll be able to pull together all of the sock club loveliness into one mammoth post before too long.

On to this pair!  These were the September 2018 instalment of The Knitting Goddess Sock Club.  The pattern is Twist and Turn by Clare Devine and like all the socks from this particular club is for a non matching pair.  A pair of fraternal twins, similar but not the same, which is brilliant for people,  like me, who suffer from second sock syndrome!

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The yarn is a blend of lovely sheepy Blue Faced Leicester and nylon and the colour is called Chert and is a sort of greyish, purple tinged brownish rock colour.  With all of the yarn colours from this club I’ve found it difficult to be able to articulate the palette but have really enjoyed the colours.

Both socks have the same foot design but the cables on the legs vary from sock one to sock two.

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I also love the way that the heel construction forms a shape on the back of the sock.

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Very lovely socks.  Its just a shame that its cool enough to wear them in June!

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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!

 

Yarn Along

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Not a very photogenic book for this month’s yarn along, in fact if I’m perfectly honest, the art on this book cover makes me feel uncomfortable and creeped out!  Luckily the socks are pretty enough to draw the eye away from the book.

The sock yarn may look familiar if you are a regular here as its the same self striping dyed by the amazing Fab Funky Fibres and contrasting grey that I used on my Rainbow Zig Zig Socks.

The scales tell me that I have enough left over for a pair of non-matching socks with contrast cuffs, heels and toes but I have to say I’m a bit concerned about the size of my yarn balls regardless of the reassuring maths, I suppose only time will tell.  I’m using my absolute favourite, go to, basic sock pattern from the fabulous Christine at Winwick Mum although this is my first time with the contrasting colours.

I am reading Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan for challenge number 2 – an alternate history novel from Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge.  That and because its a new book by Ian McEwan and I’ve enjoyed everything I read of his in the past.

The book is set in 1980s Britain but not the 80s Britain I grew up in.  This one is far more technologically advanced and the protagonist has just purchased a lifelike humanoid robot.  So far I’m interested in how this novel is going to play out,  I’m loving the writing but also I don’t find myself reaching for it that often and so it has yet to fully hold my attention.

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

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.

Sock Club – Bend & Fold

This year I decided to organise a couple of crafting goals rather than just allowing myself to meander along between whatever projects catch my eye.  Not that I mean I’m going to stop choosing projects on impulse based on something cool I see on Instagram or Facebook or Ravelry or an idea that just happens to pop into my head but that I am going to do those things alongside the things I plan!  I have already posted about my Temperature Blanket , an ongoing crochet project that will take all year and for my knitting goal I am going to make myself 6 pairs of socks.

It seemed to me that the best way to achieve this knitty goal would be to sign up to a sock club.  A large number of the wonderful independent yarn dyers I follow run clubs but I felt myself drawn to The Knitting Goddess, I have bought yarn from Joy each time I have visited Yarndale and love her ethos of keeping it local, with all of her yarns being British and some being from Yorkshire.  It also doesn’t hurt that I also love the colours she uses!

Sock Club dispatches every 2 months with a skein of yarn delivered to my home and a pattern from the truly fabulous Clare Devine @ Knit Share Love arriving in my inbox and Ravelry library. This gives me a month to knit each sock and hopefully time to work those impulse makes in around them!

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This is the yarn for January. Its a blend of wool from Bluefaced Leicester sheep to make it soft and squishy and a little bit sheepy and nylon to make it strong enough for socks.  The colour is called Lepidolite which wikipedia tells me is:

Lepidolite is a lilac-gray or rose-colored member of the mica group of minerals with formula K(Li,Al,Rb)2(Al,Si)4O10(F,OH)2.[1][2] It is the most abundant lithium-bearing mineral[3] and is a secondary source of this metal. It is a phyllosilicate mineral[4] and a member of the polylithionite-trilithionite series

The theme for the sock club yarn is rocks and I am really looking forward to a drawer full of these earthy muted tones.

So to the pattern!  Clare has named this series of patterns Correlative Twins.  Each pair of socks contains two patterns for socks with similar but different patterns.  I have never been an odd sock wearer but the draw of learning more techniques and avoiding second sock syndrome was strong enough for me to overcome this barrier and knit one of each sock with my yarn to make the non matching pair.  You can find the pattern here on Ravelry.

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Sock one had these beautiful twisty cables made with twisted stitches and lots of knitting through the back loop.  I found the amount of counting needed to put my cables in the right places to be quite challenging and had to be careful to choose good times to knit these (not while watching my favourite TV shows!).

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Sock two had the same triangular panel containing the design but instead of twisty cables this one has a blocky arrow design.  I was feeling more confident by the second sock, found it knit up quicker and I think I like this one best.

Together the detail on both socks looks like this –

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And the full socks like this –

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The heels look a little funny on my sock blockers but are a detail on the socks which I really love.  On my feet they look much better!

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This is my first time shaping the gusset decreases beneath the foot but I find the little detail so pleasing I think it may become my go to heel shape in future.

I am thrilled with these socks and am really looking forward to pushing myself with new designs throughout the year.

Rhian Socks

There is something so satisfying about finishing a pair of socks.  And these socks are especially pleasing as they have turned out to be so gorgeous.  I bought The Sock Drawer book from the lovely Verity Castledine of Truly Hooked at Yarndale last year but have been too busy hooking to knit socks.  I knew that I wanted my first pair this year to be from the book though and spent a while agonising over which of the patterns to choose.

I went with Rhian because it looked to have the perfect balance of being a straightforward pattern with complex looking results and on that front it definitely delivered.  I went with a plain yarn to allow the pattern to shine and chose the Butterscotch colour way from the West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply range. I used this yarn in a different colour to make my Dragonfly Socks last year and so knew it was lovely to work with and deliciously soft.

I love these socks and am so pleased that they are finished and ready to gift.

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Yarn Along?

“Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading and I love sharing my projects and current reads here.”

These are the words the lovely Ginny at Small Things used to open her blog post each Wednesday for over 6 years before inviting people to also share their current makes and reads, an invitation I readily accepted when I first started blogging and was keen to find other people with similar interests to me.  I have loved joining in with the Yarn Along and was sad to hear that Ginny had decided to stop hosting.

So what now?  I’m not sure!  Where Ginny is hoping to find more spontaneity in her blogging I love having the structure of knowing that certain days are for certain subjects and worry that without them the frequency of posts may dwindle and content be limited only to finished objects.  So maybe I’ll move to Work in Progress Wednesdays, or perhaps a weekly roundup on a Friday?  I will be continuing with the Weekly Photo Challenge on a Tuesday so am drawn to something later in the week.  Or I might just continue Yarning Along but without the link up.  I definitely intend to continue Yarn Along on my Instagram so it perhaps doesn’t warrant duplication.  Decisions decisions!

But for now, while I consider next steps, here is this week’s Yarn Along.

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On my kindle The Power by Naomi Alderman.  On my needles almost a full pair of Rhian socks.

I am absolutely gripped by this book.  I only started it yesterday bedtime but am struggling to put it down, only stopping last night when the kindle hit my nose when I just couldn’t hold it up any longer and sneaking every minute I can squeeze out of today.

The sock pattern is Rhian from The Sock Drawer book by Verity Castledine (available to buy here) made with West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply yarn in butterscotch and I love them so much.  Not much more work to do here until I have the pair finished and ready to gift.  Before I started this book I thought I may get them finished today but that is now looking unlikely! I am hopeful they’ll be done by the end of the week though.