weird wool wednesday: knitting when you can’t see

Yesterday I went to the eye-specialist, to check for glaucoma. There was none. But I got these eyedrops… just like two years ago. So I had to knit blind, just by touch. Which means plain stockinette stitch. Which resulted in finished Fee Dragee socks:

They took 65 grams of sock yarn, on needles 2 mm
I ran out of grey so below the pink band mid foot is a different grey.

Eyes are back to normal but they were like saucers yesterday. Hee hee!

as a matter of fact, I have!


Round 3 sockmadness: Safe Harbour

The pattern was published yesterday late afternoon. And already people show a finished pair! They are sneezing out socks.


The pattern is Safe Harbor by Amy Rapp. It has a wonderful stitch in the centre:
 pic by Amy Rapp

I’m working in dark green:

In a yarn that is well plied and round, so the stitches will be clearly defined. I dyed the yarn myself.

After one pattern repeat I’ve decided to change the cable part and the open lace lattice on both sides of the interesting centre stitch. I’m putting in my favourite faux ribs from Prickly Pear Socks by Thayer Preece Parker. Herring rib and a faux rib.

My love for Prickly Pear shows on the pattern page…

Matching Sock Problem. The sock WIPs.

Some people need two exactly matching socks. I love wearing those too, it feels so organized! So in control of life and limb.

But looking at my sock WIPs I concede that I mostly knit sibling socks… I’d better learn to extract some feeling of control from that.

There’s that one Checkbox sock finished I showed you yesterday. It will surely get a non-identical sibling. I can only hope the next pattern plays nice with my colours so they seem somehow related.

These are my Chance socks Work In Progress (WIP):

The pattern is Chance Socks by Anne Rutgrink. They are steadily progressing. But I’ve got to keep the pattern nearby for the cables and a dice to decide which cable to knit next. Yarn is Cat Sock yarn by Wolbeest and I put a cat marker in. I think I’ll attach a permanent marker to the socks. A cat 🙂

Not this one though, this is my progress keeper:

There was a tiny problem when I turned the heel: my instep is too high and the sock got too tight:

I consulted with Anne and we discussed options. She advised to do whatever works for me. So I winged it:

I ripped out the heel flap and did not decrease. Instead I rounded the heel with 99 stitches on the needles. I put in a second set of shortrows. Then I started to decrease a bit. And then a lot. And now it’s just knitting steadily upward until I need to decrease some more for my skinny ankles.

These will be short socks, just above the ankles. Because they will eventually replace my Wolop Slush Shake Socks. Made from that wonderful sock blank that I dyed with help from Wolop in Anna-grey-purple:

I love these socks!

I wear them A LOT and I’m quite rough on them. Walking in them on the brick floor or even outside. Wrenching them into my sneakers without loosening the laces…

This is them today:

They hold up well! I photographed in raw morning light but the colour is still the same. The yarn pills a bit but doesn’t wear. Plenty of months left to wear these.

One sock was knitting toe-up and this sock is weaker at the heel than it’s top-down sibling. This has to do with me being a loose knitter. Also with me not understanding toe-up heel construction very well thusly focusing on weird decreases instead of tension:

Don’t let me wing a heel on a toe-up sock! I have no idea what I’m doing.

Next sock WIP:

I haven’t knit on the Lente Sokken by Dutch Mama. All clues are out now and there are so much cables! Again I’ll have to knit near a computer with the pattern and have to look at the knitting all the time and I don’t have much knitting time like that. Also I am doubtful about the fit and this makes me knit other, more fun things.

Last sock WIP are the Fee Dragee socks, the qualifying pattern for Sock Madness by Caoua Coffee. They are now my no-need-to-look-at-them/ car knitting project. I save them for mindless moments.

As soon as I qualified for the Sock Madness I abandoned the half rib from the pattern and gave them plain stockinette stitch feet. Nicer to knit for me and a nicer fit in my shoes. I ran out of the grey yarn and attached a different yarn. I inserted a sneaky pink line to fool the eye. I’ll end up with two similar looking socks except one will have a pink line in the middle of the foot.

Matching Sock Problem? Ain’t no such thing.

round 2 of Sock Madness ends today!

Bake those brioches fast!

I finished my one Checkbox sock just in time:

Its mate will be in the same colours but in the next pattern of the Sock Madness.

Pattern Checkbox Socks by Rachel Leggett, yarns by Wolbeest, Wolop and me.

The brioche sits comfortably on my feet. A bit fluffy but not too much.

I did less blocks of brioche on the foot because I have a wide knobbly foot and do not like noticeable stitches on the sides.

The heel sits a tad under the foot, making me walk on the wrapped stitches. It’s part of the design and I don’t notice it when using this sock.

I like the colours! Forrest berries, yum.

finished: the “wrong” Madness socks

Yesterday I was out knitting all day but forgot the Checkbox brioche socks on the table at home….
Luckily I brought a back up project:

These are the Dropped Madness socks from last year’s competition. These started out with pattern Dropping Madness Socks by Maria Ekblad. The right one is the competition sock where I went wrong and only did the pattern on the front of the leg. I stopped these socks and casted on another pair of competition socks that got me through the round:

Ooh I remember now, about the mustard grey socks! I was so glad to start Sock Madness with them. I casted on while visiting Utrecht and going to the movies for the first time this century: Trainspotting 2.

Later I visited the gorgeous British shorthair Odin from stitch marker wizard The Woolly Dodo for some colour inspiration:

In the proper competition sock I scared a little hat into existence when my husband saw me starting my first afterthough heel ever.

Later I went back to the mustard grey ones because I’d been longing to own a pair of stripes socks in this colourway ever since I saw Nasti’s beautiful socks.

So last year, after the competition, I casted on a second sock in ochre and grey, changed colour every four rows, and tried to make a sibling to the Dropped Madness but without the cumbersome stitch pattern. I like sibling-socks:

Only the Dropping Madness pattern is knitted toe up and has an afterthought heel and I was knitting the second sock top down and I know nothing about afterthought heels. How and where should the increases go when doing top-down? Over the Summer I put in a round here and there, trying to wrap my brain around the numbers. I copied the Dropping Madness pattern more or less but it was no fun because I could not try them on and had no way of checking of things would work out.

Yesterday was the last day of my struggles: cutting open the waste yarn, try them for fit and putting in afterthought heels. An afterthought heel is a good way to get a striped finish to a striped sock. I didn’t know what I was doing, couldn’t understand the pattern and winged my way and decreased on two sides. Basically I gave the heel a toe. In hind side I could have decreased more evenly and created the shape of a bull’s eye, that would have looked nice on a striped sock like this.

An afterthought heel like this does not sit well on a high instep. Also: that’s an ugly jog when changing colours:

The grey Drops Delight yarn has made me angry from the time I casted on, in Sock Madness 2017. It’s a single ply, it’s not rounded yarn, has not enough twist and it’s fuzzy. A nightmare to tink or pick up live stitches. Now that the socks are finished it’s already giving the socks a grey halo. Bah.

Conclusion: these are not my favourite socks. Too much un-fun things going on. But they are finished and I’m sure they will be well appreciated once the love for ochre/ mustard comes around again. Probably sparked by some garment I sew. A quick T-shirt in a fun mustard print. I can see it.

Today I travel to Utrecht again and I’m bringing this years Sock Madness sock:

It already has a heel and it’s a nice Sunday morning here in the city. The sun is out and the birds too. I already had some yoghurt with forest berry jam for breakfast and there will be some fruit filled pie later in the day.

Sock Madness Brioche Dragon Breakfast (but perhaps we prefer ice cream)

The new SockMadness pattern is a sock in brioche stitch. Contrast colours are important. I drew a dragon bringing the knitters a brioche breakfast to chose from:

The pattern is Checkbox Socks by Rachel Leggett:

Squishy socks! There are currently 712 projects of this pattern and it has only been released last Saturday! That’s how large this free, online sock knitting competition is.

Imagine how much work the moderators have to do! What with the mailing program not wanting to send out hundreds and hundreds of emails and they had to manually transfer every knitter, including doing a a multiple Chap lock check that they aren’t a robot.

And then the knitting started. And half of the knitters had never done brioche stitch. So questions about the pattern were coming. Hundreds and hundreds of them. The moderators answered them all.

I started a sock too.  Just after we heard from the court that indeed out case is inadmissable and will not be heard. Bummer. But kind of expected. I gathered some soft squishy things to console me:

Knitting brioche is straight forward, once you’ve got the hang of it. I can do it with two colours in one row. When I had just learned to knit Brioche I recorded how I do this, here’s a link to a flickr video, if you are interested.

The problems come when you have to decrease in pattern, for the heel. But I’m not there yet. I’m at the “look at the berry nice colours!” stage:

The pink white yarn is handdyed by Het Wolbeest. Is that why I crave forest fruit yoghurt ice cream with every stitch??

Spring Socks!

This is the colour I chose for my next sock project:

It’s the onion dyed Wolop sock yarn witha contrasting colour from Wolbeest Advent Calendar.

The pattern is NOT Sockmadness! It’s a lovely Dutch mystery design and I saw a sneak peak of the flowery cuff which I love so much plus the knitting along that I cast on.

Pattern Lente Sokken by Dutch Mama

My cuff:

I put beads on. It’s not on the original pattern. This took about 1,5 hours.

The second one went much faster:

So pretty!

I think this colour will be a good addition to my sock collection:

I love wearing the lighter colours in Spring and Summer. The whites, light blues, light greys, lilacs, greenish yellow and pink. These new socks are a light green and fit right in.

City Sock Stock Inventory!

Do I have enough socks???

These are all the socks I have in the city. These are the ones I wear all the time, except for the red ones, curiously enough. All the other ones I wear often and gladly.

This is where they live, in our front room, near the place where I change my outdoor shoes for my (felted!) indoor shoes:

In the neighbouring cubicle there’s a camping place for the socks that need to be washed. It’s en route to the washing machine which is to your left, down the stairs, through the kitchen into the utility part of the basement.

Hmmm. Which colour socks would be a good addition? Gotta think ahead what with SockMadness and all.

Weird Wool Wednesday: Sock Madness

I wasn’t going to participate. And then this happened and now I am a cheerleader in the official 12th Sock Madness:

Sock Madness is way too much fun to let pass by. In the Dutch Sock Knitters Group there’s a lively and friendly bunch. We’re cheering on the people who knit in teams, who are racing. Cheerleaders get the patterns and can knit along.

Fee Dragee by Caoua Coffee

64 stitches, dutifully knit according to pattern. No mistakes left that I’m aware of.

This photo shows the true colour: good contrast.
It also shows some purl-mistakes in the last round of the colour work. These were fixed by laddering down to them. This in turn causes those few purl bumps to appear like they are a row too late in the top photo but they are not. I have very loose gauge. Blocking will visually fix this.

I cast on too loose on first sock and didn’t go a needle size up on the bumps even though the pattern suggested it.
Remedied in second sock (the one with the markers). Trust the pattern. The motto of the SockMadness.

SM is the only time I knit a pattern exactly as written. It’s nice to not be a smarty pants for once but just follow the lead of the designer. I might learn new things or at least do things I wouldn’t incline to.

This is a good pattern! Well written and do-able for wide range of people. And fast! Even for me who hates doing k1, p1.
I loved learning the purl bump fabric and the special ssk, which is neater than the standard one. You slip the first stitch knitwise, slip the second one purlwise and then knit them both through the back loop. It produces a flatter ssk than the regular one and it mirrors the standard k2tog.

Now I’m a cheerleader. Not racing which is good. Looking forward to waving virtual pompoms around and perhaps even draw a doodle or two to make people laugh.



finished: Ravenclaw knee socks!

Everything from the one Wolop skein! 100 grams of self striping yarn and a 20 grams mini for toes, heels and cuffs. There’s about 9 grams left of the mini. Done on needles 2 mm.

On the left shin you see where I casted on with Tillybuddy’s cast on. I knit the sock downwards and then picked up stitches to knit upwards. It’s not very neat. Lesson learned. Better have a real provisional cast on if you work with smooth, round plied yarn such as this quality sock yarn.

On the right sock I undid the cuff of the regular length sock I had knit, basically I knitted upwards from live stitches. Much prettier.

This was a delight to knit. And I say this as someone who does not like to knit stripes nor knit with blue yarn! This is such nice yarn and balled up in such a pleasant way:

with a colour change for every direction.

Wolop is into all kinds of Harry Potter! She just released installment two of her monthly Harry Potter sock club.

This will be next month:

I you feel brave you can send her an email at