Wearing wool vacation socks

Back in 2011 I dyed this yarn:

It’s a skein of Trekking sock yarn and I used it to mop up all the left over dyes on a dye-workshop-weekend we were having on one of the Dutch Wadden isles. The skein was well wrung out prior to mopping and the dryness caused the small flecks of colour.

Recently I was granted a Karma wish and I wished for Anneke to use this skein and knit socks for me:

I love them! They fit so fine and the colour knitted up great, with all the little splashes of colour.
Anneke is someone who knits as tight as I do and that’s a big pre in socks since it enhances wearability and shape. And they hug my feet, which I prefer.

I love wearing them and since I didn’t have to knit a stitch myself I know of no mistakes or coulda-woulda-shoulda-doubts of these socks. Carefree wearing!

Very happy wearing too, these colours lift my spirits. The yarn always did, from the moment it came out of the dyepot, and now I have these friendly happy socks. I’m glad to finally use the yarn that has been waiting in my stash for so long, always to be passed over because some other yarn caught my fancy or because I couldn’t knit for a while.

All those years ago, at the same dyeing workshop, I dyed another sock yarn and tried to play with the colours. This one was wound into segments here at the cabin, before travelling to the isle, so that I would get some sort of broad stripes:

In 2012 I knitted these purple socks from it, back when the blog was barely a month old:
Ah, it’s the Prickly Pear Socks pattern by Thayer Preece Parker, with a mock cable that I like so much.

Back then I was very principally against using superwash yarn because it’s such a nasty chemical proces to burn off the scales of each fibre so it won’t felt in the washing machine. Lots of waste. The same goes for the production of bamboo yarns and seacell yarns. Awful polluting stuff.
So these socks are made with Schoppenwolle non-superwash yarn.

And of course earlier this year someone put them in the washing machine on 40 degrees and they felted into unrecognizable prickly pear jam tubes.
So I got my scissors and made the legs of the socks into wristwarmers:

Here, in the cabin, I enjoy practical knits with rustic looks and frankly I don’t care how I look as long as I’m warm, comfortable and covered in colours that make me happy.


Finished: WolMetVerve Blattwerk Socks.

Pattern Blattwerk by Stephanie van der Linden. Modified.
Yarn: Wol met Verve Super Sock Merino. I used 80 grams in the end.

I finished the first cuff a second time.
Then I went back to the toes, took them off, and reknitted them in the Wol met Verve yarn:

I picked up all the stitches in the last row of the right yarn. Then I snipped through every stitch of the wrong yarn to release the toe. I didn’t want to spend time unpicking every stitch and saving 30 cm of yarn. The snipping and grabbing the little pieces of yarn was cathartic 😉

With these sock I somehow forgot how to “heel”. They’re not the same, left and right. The left one had to get a couple of more shortrows at the very end before I could start the leg pattern (which later turned out I positioned wrongly).

The right one had to get a whole other shortrow heel worked into it because I hadn’t round the corner enough at all. A few short rows weren’t going to solve it. I unvented a tomato wedged heel, I think. Nobody’s impressed, especially not Lillepoes who has such funny toes herself. Like she dipped them in whipped cream:

On the left one you see “the hack” I implemented when I ripped out the leg because I had knitted it over 60 st instead of 70. When I ripped back to 70 st I just started knitting again, not decreasing the gusset any more, and I knitted the rhythm of the faux rib where it should be, not where I had started it after the heel.

It changes halfway, the faux rib goes into being a one K stitch column and the previous 1 st K column transforms in a 3 st faux rib.
This is how I ended up with the appropriate number of leafs on the cuff: 7 instead of 6.

Another pair of fine socks!
In quality yarn, in a good colour for this Summer and done with stitches that do not bother my rsi. Yay!
Also: I shouldn’t worry that I haven’t got enough yarn for a pair of wrist cuffs AND socks. There’s still 11 grams of the yarn left.

Which means I can cast on for another pair of fine socks with that other quality yarn that I used to knit cuffs with, the purple grey glitter I got from Wolbeest at that funny fair Wolspektakel Kerkrade:

Toe up. Just to make sure. And to practise more “heel”. Oh well, as long as I end up with a wearable item I don’t care if it’s construction is unconventional or made up as I go along. Knitting is flexible.

Finished: Logwood Blattwerk socks

They were finished 9 days ago but I didn’t get around to taking pictures.

95 grams of plantdyed sockyarn by Wolop. “Blauwhout” in Dutch, “blue-wood”. Logwood in English. Fascinating colour! Changes from anywhere between grey and purple depending on the light.
Needles 2 mm
A modified version of the pattern Blattwerk, by Stephanie van der Linden

I’ve lost my knitting chair to the cat.
The self-evidence of it is mind boggling. Humans have no say in it.

Weird Wool Wednesday: SSS=Stupid Sock Syndrome.

Oooh! Aaah! Finished!

With spare yarn to reknit the toes.
It’s such a nice leafy pattern, Blattwerk. And the WolMetVerve colour is so nice.


On the second sock I knitted the leg over 60 stitches instead of 72 and now the leafs do not fit my heel:

It’s only been two weeks since I did this the first time:

I’m seriously suffering from SSS: Stupid Sock Syndrome!


Off to the frog pond.

Hee, talk about froggy socks:

It’s the Miyuki Bead Frog Sock in progress.

No rippin’, just chillin’.

Socks in Progress

I’ve spend the last two days in bed and had plenty of time to knit on the socks:

One sock is finished and the other is nearing the cuff detail.

The first sock had a figure 8 cast on of 2 times 14. Increasings were made every third round, +4 per incr. round. This made the toe too pointy for me:

For the second sock I did a cast on of 2 times 18 and increased 4 stitches every other round until I reached 2 times 31 stitches:


My sock doesn’t fit

I finished the first plant dyed Blattwerk sock:

I adjusted the pattern to accomodate my high instep. I topped the leafs with a double decrease. And changed all the twisted stitches into regular ones to please my shoulder impingement. I did twist them on the cuff though, to make it different from the leg:

And then:

it didn’t fit.

The leg is too tight for my heel to pass.

I don’t understand. I had the yellow socks with me all the time, studying them and copying that.
Why won’t the leg fit?

It’s because I knitted it over 60 stitches. Like I do all my legs of all my socks.

I know this leg is patterned and this usually affects the stitch number. But I assumed that the faux rib would be a bit stretchy just like the faux rib called “koffieboontje” is but it isn’t. It actually doesn’t stretch at all. On top of that I thought the combination of knits and purls would give more give so I wasn’t worried at all. Just focusing on getting the leafs beautiful and carefully knitting all those twisted stitches in the cuff.

Mind you, the pattern does specify to knit the leg over 70 st. But because I had made modifications and knew the pattern by heart and had my example socks I didn’t reread the pattern.

As usual I fitted my sock many times during the knitting, right to the top of the heel flap. From then it was a home stretch, I thought. I have skinny ankles, I can get away with a leg and cuff of 54 st. 60 will be good.

Well, it isn’t. I’m ripping everything out and wil restart from the top of the heel flap and use 70 stitches. This yarn and these socks are too beautiful not to be made into a pair of fitting socks.

The colour, when I knit with it it’s a true grey but from the corner of your eye it’s a purple grey. And under artificial light it’s purple grey for sure, as all the photo’s show.

Plant dyed yarn is a marvel.


Knitting on the sock right now. We drove to the cabin earlier today, me and Lillepoes.

One of us was protesting all the way here:

And now she refuses to come outside even though she absolutely loves it here.

She’s beaming and meowing to me through the glass door:

Cats are weird. I better go in and pet her.

Finished: socks and Winter

I finished my socks this afternoon, on our way to the cabin, and when we arrived here so had the first day of Spring!

I used 64 grams and with the rest I’m going to make some stranded wristwarmers, together with a white sock yarn. Just like my Fair Isle winter cuffs.

Sitting outside for the first time, with tea and cat. All the birds are singing. Butterflies that hibernated are out. It’s a lovely end of the week.

UPDATE 2  hours later:

Cat stole my chair. Last year habits are picked up with such ease.


But look how happy she is! 🙂

(ear mufflers because it’s Commuter o’Clock now)



finished: second pair of SlipStripeSpiral socks

(I’m keeping the Ranunculus flowers as long as possible, in various vases depending on their vitality. So beautiful. Delicate flowers, faceted cut glass and chocolate bonbons, those are my city dwelling luxuries)

The socks did knit up kinda similar:

Here’s the first pair again:

It took exactly 50 grams of the green Meilenweit. 70 grams of the purple Opal and about 20 grams of the solid blue Trekking.

The deadline for this pattern is tonight, 12 o’clock USA time.
Then, in about five days, the new round will start. It will again have two weeks competition time but I’ll need to knit faster because I’ll be competing with other people for a limited number of places.

If the new pattern is as entertaining qua techniques and colours as this SlipStripeSpiral pattern I’ll probably knit this fast again. I mean, I knit this two pair in exactly two weeks, that’s so fast!

If the new pattern has cables or twisted stitches I’ll have to pace myself very much, in order to relief my shoulder. I plan to set myself a fixed number of rounds each day. Just thought of it, while writing this paragraph. Good plan.

As far as this pattern goes, I’m going to knit it again. With only 1,5 heelwedges and a small gusset for my high instep (increase 4 stitches on each side). Knitting the heel over 40 stitches. Less ribbing on the cuff, I detest knitting rib.

It’s such a great pattern for a self striping yarn in combination with a solid one. Especially ugly self striping yarn gets a magical make over in this pattern.

Some of the luxuries in my living room:
No bonbons though. Not for unscheduled photos. Unsurprisingly.

Stroopwafels and SlipStripeSpiralSocks

On March the 1st I started the pattern. It started with a starshaped toe, using the two balls I used for binoculars.

Nice toe! Starshaped. A new technique for me. The multicolour part is new to me too. You don’t alternate colours, you just have the colours chasing each other. Not jogs at the end of round.

As soon as I started the slipped stitch part I knew I didn’t like the way the colours knitted up. It’s the variegated yarn. I want stripes instead.

So I switched to the best stripey yarn I have: purple and green with sparkles! I chose a dark blue solid to combine it with. It’s left over yarn from my Old Jeans Town cardi (2014). That’s a handdyed Zitron Trekking XXL sock yarn. The self striping Opal yarn also has some dark blue and it might result in a plaided look.

This is as far as I got on the first day:

The same nice toe and slipped stitches with a bit of a plaid thing going on! Yay!

On March the 2nd I went to the market and bought myself flowers, stroopwafels and a funny little perforator called “haps! haps!”:

Ranunculus are one of my favourite flowers. They are so cheery and airy and they have gentle greens and they talk of Spring. I never buy myself flowers, never get them either, which makes this feel like a real treat. I believe Ranunculus can only be bought for a few weeks.

Stroopwafels are the Sock Madness Doping for the Dutch. We all eat them and we show each other our cups of coffee with a waffle on top in photos on the internet. We compare brands and bakeries. We tease the American and Canadian knitters and they tease us right back by ordering them online. It’s all good fun.

 pic from Huffingtonpost from their article explaining stroopwafels to Americans.

Every weekly market in Holland has a booth where a chef bakes and sells stroopwafels. It’s very Dutch. Just like every market has one of these noise machine/street organs:

My local stroopwafel experts are Rob Hendriks and his wife. They’ve been on this market for 34 years! They really want to pamper their costumers and Rob has a collection of fun one liners. Getting one of their freshly baked, warm stroopwafels filled with caramel is delicious!

 pic by Wonderlicious that ran an article about Hendriks Stroopwafels (in Dutch)

 Rob Hendriks Stroopwafels

Here’s a video interviewing the couple. It’s in Dutch.

At their booth they sell various kinds of stroopwafels including glutenfree or with real full fat butter. I chose some organic stroopwafels because they do not contain fructose glucose. The chef didn’t bake these himself, he buys them from a wholesale retailer called The Stroopwafel Express. They taste great! Much better than the kinds that contain fructose glucose. These waffles taste like the old fashioned waffles from the previous century.

Stroopwafels are historically connected with the city of Gouda, where my friend Wolop lives. Stroopwafels were invented there! Isn’t that a strange city? Famous for cheese, candles, stroopwafels and ceramics. Curious city.

Gouda Day 58 | 29 May 2008 | Stroopwafelpic by Manuel and by Shereen M

Stroopwafels didn’t get baked and sold outside the city of Gouda until after 1870. There are still four large plants running in Gouda.

Then Wolop tells me she’s knitting on her Sock Madness socks and doesn’t even have waffles in her home, her Gouda home! That’s grounds for disqualification, right?

I made some tea, took my flowers and waffles and settled in for a bit of knitting. It was a lovely hour. I wasn’t exactly sure when to start the heel. I opted for a bit more than others: 63 rows of slip stitch pattern. 6.5” (16,5 cm) from the tip of the toe.

Then I did the heel. It is a Sweet Tomato Heel with Japanese Shortrows. All new to me but the pattern explains it really well and I managed to work through it without faulting. It did take three hours however, Japanese shortrows are a bit fiddly…

Managing the short rows in the first wedge with a piece of waste yarn:

Halfway I inserted 3 extra stitches on the instep on each side because it was getting a bit tight, with my high instep. In the second sock I will insert a proper gusset.

Then the heel was finished:

Now it’s time for the easy yet entertaining slip stitch pattern for the leg. Easy knitting until I reach the cuff.

Because I will be visiting a knitter on Friday and we’ll be knitting together on our Sock Madness socks I had the clever idea to leave this piece of easy knitting for that occasion. Can’t juggle Japanese Shortrows and a conversation about stroopwafels. That’s why I cast on another toe for a second Sock Madness sock:

This one is knitted from the same 100 grams glittery Opal sock yarn I’m using for the other sock, only this is knitted from the inside of the ball. Combined with a green Meilenweit that I hate the colour of.

The pattern is excellent for colours you hate. Somehow they combine into marvelous combinations! It’s quite addicting to want to knit one more row, just to see how things combine and turn out.

I’m not sure yet if this is the second sock of the first pair or the first sock of the second pair. I love the colours on both socks and would love a pair of each.

Now it’s the end of March 3rd and this is where I am:

Nearly time for the heel. I had to stop though, I’m going too fast. My wrist is is startingto hurt and the weak spot in my shoulder has woken up. And I antagonised my gut with the gluten in the stroopwafels. So I’m going to pace my fun. And I’m switching to chocolate, I gave the last two stroopwafels to my husband.

But boy how I love doing this. Sitting in my knitter’s chair, with tea, cat and flowers next to me and a good light on my knitting where each row gives new colour combinations.

Afternoon Tea pic by Vicky