my Sock Madness prize: a dragon bird house WIP bag!

This is the prize that the moderators of the Sock Madness have given to me. They commissioned a special design from FiberRachel: a dragon WIP bag!fiberrachel1fiberrachel3fiberrachel2



final round for Sock Madness!

The final pattern!

Labyrinth Socks by Heidi Lenore

Stranded knitting with a non repeating pattern, a vikkel braid cast on that won’t disentangle in the next row and various labyrinths from around the world.

Knitters worldwide are now competing for places 1, 2 and 3.

The finalists are spread like this:
2 Netherlands
2 Germany
3 Finland
1 New Zealand
2 Australia
1 Canada
1 France

And they’re off!


First finalist is Knea from Finland! She submitted finished socks at 10:51pm Zemy time (New York). She knit a pair of intricate stranded socks in just under 15 hours!!

A second finalist has finished: PaiviH! Also from Finland. What an amazing speed!

A few finalists have one sock finished and are working on their second: HeleenK from the Netherlands and EternalKnitter from Tasmania, Australia!

They are working their two colours. In the thread we are talking about hand positions to hold the yarn, colour dominance and whether there will be enough yarn to make it to both toes. The designer reckons there will be

Guess we now know who’s at the centre of the labyrinth:

yarn chicken.

dragons for Skeincharmer

The latest design for Sock Madness is by Skeincharmer:

I made a drawing of how she came to design the Elica Diamantifera sock:

I also drew this:

Skeincharmer had a sharp eye and replied: “Somebody has two right legs and two left ones… ;)))”

So I drew this and claimed I totally meant to do that:

We have a famous dragon fountain in the Netherlands:

In close up it has a message to all Sock Madness knitters: “trust the pattern!!”

Dracofication of a Ravatar

The new pattern in the competition dropped! Each team has 5 runners and only 1 will proceed.

The pattern is Elica Diamantifera by Natalia Vasilieva, a pattern with slip stitch and an interesting heel construction:

It is an HG heel which is a free pattern by Olga Shkuta

When the specifications for the competition sock where released it was mentioned that the pattern would drop within 6 hours instead of the usual 48. So I drew this:

The pattern dropped an hour later!

This drawing is a “dragonfication” of the ravatar of Haastjerepje, the very active sock knitting moderator in both the Dutch sock knitters group and the international Sock Madness group.

You remember the ravatar I drew for her in last year’s competition? She fielded the many many (unneccessary) questions with such grace and ease. All the while testknitting competition socks:

She also test knitted the current pattern and look how fun two gradiënts are:

I don’t care much for stripes or slipped stitches but I DO like this gradiënt fun. I want to cast on and use up some of my stash, cheered on by the fun and momentum that is Sock Madness. But first I have to draw a dragon for this round…. and it’s such a short round! Oh oh oh, no time! No time! No time to say hello, goodbye!

new Sockmadness pattern: Expecto Draconum!

The new pattern is Expecto Draconum by Elisabeth White
 pic by E. White
Aren’t they elegant?

You do need to be flexible though, to pose like that.

It has colour stranded knitting and I’ll be trying out a new technique: ladder back jacquard, where you have an extra purl stitch in the area with one colour, to secure the second colour. It makes for very stretchy colour work.
 pic by teaching site Fabriclink

Now hundreds of knitters are rushing through the pattern instructions and this stranded knitting.

The first round of SockMadness had 1315 knitters starting the pattern and 775 knitters going through to competition teams. The second round had 594 of them going through (6 people did not finish in time and their teams did not fill up).

The third round had 400 going through to this pattern, Expectum Draconum, and of them 200 will proceed to the next round.

I started the pattern too. With a dark purple and that pink Wolbeest Hibiscus variegated. If I make one sock that would be good. It can be partner to my checkbox sock, which has a similar looking front, to non-knitter eyes.

The new pattern for Sock Madness dropped yesterday afternoon. And this morning somebody already had finished a pair!

That is madness.

They must have a true sock knitter’s outlook on life:

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??

drawing: happy chicks, happy dragon


Ice cream and yarn parlour Da Giovanni in Swalmen will celebrate a Knitting In Public day. Seeing “kip” = “chicken” in Dutch I drew these knitting chicks in one of their ice cream holders.

Also this round of Sock Madness is finished. Blackberry Socks are now done! But not by me. I enjoyed blackberries in another way:


I drew these two early this morning and only dipped my brush in my tea instead of my water once.

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.



more WIPs

The new Sock Madness pattern dropped and it’s Symphony Socks by Elisabeth White:

Beads! Twisted stitches! Lots of little cables!

It’s a lovely pattern but pretty much from the start I knew I’d better be sensible and stop racing. Allow myself to become a cheerleader in the Sock Madness competition. A sock like this, with little cables and a deadline, would ignite my RSI. The same thing that knocked me out in the first round of the competition last year.

It’s not too bad to bow out. I had so many things I wanted to knit on instead. The startitus was raging and now I got to do something about it.



This flew off the needles.
It’s my continuous version of Debbie Vest by Aethalia O’Connor. Provisional cast on at the back, only need to cut yarn once before the body is cast off.

This part took 150 grams of handspun, about 340 metres on needle 3,75 mm. Getting pattern gauge which is 19 st /10 cm
The ribbing on the neckline and arm holes is done on needles 3,25 mm. Which means my 3,75 mm needles are free to cast on another Continuous Debbie vest in the green yarn I bought at Midwinterwol for a Spring vest.

I’ve also started on my mushroom dyed stranded project:
It will be a wristwarmer. So much more sensible than trying out for a vest.

This way I can try out the pattern I made on Stitchfidle and find out the gauge. I was tempted to cast on for a steeked vest but that’s really too ambitious if you don’t know your gauge, if you don’t know how much yarn the stranded parts take, if you aren’t sure about the design you made anyway and if you have never steeked before.
Also: next week there’s a woolfest in Nieuwpoort, organized by De Schapekop, and I promised to show my stranded mushroom thingie there. Knitting a stranded vest in fingering weight in the coming 7 days is ludicrous.

The yarn knits very nice and the pattern makes me want to do one more round, one more round, just one more round 🙂
I’m knitting on 2,25 mm and my gauge seems to be 26 stitches in 10 cm. The colour work is done over 60 stitches, the ribbing over 54 st.

In between I’m knitting away on my magic ball:

Here’s me this morning, having a bit of quality time by myself 🙂

The yarn is indigo dyed sock yarn from Wolop and I’m making it into Blattwerk pattern socks top down. The magic ball unravels while I knit and reveals little presents. This one was made by Lieneke from Wolop.
I’ve nearly finished one leg and the first little present is in sight!

On my plate i a Dutch pastry called a Bokkepootje. This one is huge! Usually they are about the size of a finger:
 pic by cliokchia
It consists of two almond merengues, glued together with buttercream and both ends are dipped in chocolate. With almonds sprinkled on top. Here’s a recipe.

The name means something like “Billygoat-feetsie” and originates from a baker in the very old dike-hamlet of Tuitjenhorn. In this God loving community there was an annual gathering to commemorate all the local people who had died. Eating pastry was part of that event. Eating little devil-feet shows wished victory over evil influences in the hereafter.
(I did not know. Eating “bokkepootjes” no longer has this connotation but it does explain where the name comes from.)

Two vests, a sock and a stranded cuff can be added to the WIPs I’m already working on.

Weird Wool Wednesday: evil stroopwafels

Stroopwafels (Dutch sirupwaffles) are the official doping of the SockMadness.

Today I learned that the small ones are more evil than the regular ones:

When I started to take this photo there were enough mini stroopwaffles to cover every part of both socks.

But you know…. it took some time and some sugared fuel to come up with this idea. And then I had to stop before I ran out of waffles.