Friday 14 August 2020

The FO reel: April-June 2020

I do a lot of crafting. Sometimes I make things that take a few hours, and some projects take years, but I am definitely guilty of finishing projects, then not thinking of them again, so I thought I'd put together a few finished object (FO) posts showcasing the projects I've finished so far this year. I'm going to focus on my yarn-related projects for the first couple of posts, but there might also be a sewing post if there is enough demand - the Covid lockdown inspired me to get that sewing machine out of the cupboard! This is the April-June 2020 installement, you can find the January-March 2020 installment here.

The FO-reel: April-June 2020

 Rainbow banners - one day all this will pass

Remember April? That strange month when we were indoors all the time. The lockdown has now eased, and it seems surreal to think that we were ever in that deep lockdown. These knits were my antidote to the lockdown: bright rainbow banners to hang in windows and let everyone know that we were still here and that we could make it through.

Ravelry project pages:*

Ravelry pattern page* (at the time of writing, the pattern is only available on Love Crafts, but I will be adding it to all my other places to purchase in the next week or so; Ravelry will list all the places you can get the pattern).

Hiding in the Bamboo socks - perfect for pandas as well as humans!

 I was sent some sock yarn by the lovely people at Love Crafts, and the colour inspired me to knit these socks inspired by bamboo - the colour reminded me of the stalks at our local boanic gardens, where the kids love to play hide and seek. The ribbed textre gives the socks lots of stretch too, which makes for a great fit.

The yarn is MillaMia Naturally Soft sock.**

Ravelry project page: Hiding in the Bamboo*

Want to buy the pattern? You can find it here.*

Easter weekend knit - Sparkle Pony socks

When I first started buying handdyed yarn, I fell in love with Cuddlebums yarn. Cuddlebums specialises in rainbows and I don't think she's ever dyed a colourway I don't like! This yarn was some that I got several years ago, but had never quite made it to the top of the pile. It's sparkly and pastel and rainbow, and I decided to knit it into socks over the Easter weekend.

The pattern is from my head, and I haven't managed to find time to write it up yet, but it's on the list. Hopefully I'll get on to it in the next few weeks.

Ravelry project page: Sparkle Pony socks

Gigantic socks!

My husband really likes hand knit socks, but socks in his size take forever to knit, so don't happen often. When I found this DK weight yarn in my stash, I decided that it would make good socks for him (DK weight = quicker to knit!). I rattled these out pretty quickly as they had roughly the same number of stitches as socks for me. The pair weighs 150 g, which means I should have enough for a second pair if I play around with the stripes...

Ravelry project page: Gigantic socks

Playing with Colourblocking

Image copyright I Like Knitting

I've been designing more garments this year, which has been really satsisfying. I'm really pleased with how my Soft Contrast Cardigan (designed for I Like Knitting) turned out. I've bought yarn to make one for myself as I designed it to be exactly the sort of thing I wear - it has pockets for throwing my keys into as I leave the house!

Ravelry project page: Soft Contrast Cardigan*

You can find out all about the pattern here.*

More Black and White - Just Checking In

Image copyright I Like Knitting

 Another pattern for I Like Knitting on the monochrome theme: the Just Checking In socks. These socks were really easy to knit as you add the vertical stripes at the end! So much fun - I think there may be more pairs in the future...

Ravelry project page: Just Checking In socks*

Find out all about the pattern here.*

The 'I meant to finish this in the spring' project - Daffodil socks

I have quite a collection of self-striping yarn, and could probably create my own 'knit through the seasons in stripes' KAL (I might do that next year...). I'd had this ball of yarn for a few years and wanted to knit it up in Spring. I cast these on before Spring, hoping I could wear them by around April 1st when the daffodils were out. Instead they took until June, and only then because I made a concerted effort to finish them one wet weekend. I love them, and can't wait to wear them in the Autumn. Maybe I'll manage a daffodil photo shoot next Spring?

Ravelry project page: Daffodil socks*

While I was finishing up socks... - Halloween socks


Speaking of seasonal socks not quite hitting their season: I cast on these Halloween socks in the Autumn. Then lost the project bag in mid-October. The bag finally turned up in a bag of Bags for Life in the Spring, and I got back to the socks in June. I am clearly ready for this Halloween! I knitted these socks as a sock snake (knitting a giant tube, then adding heels, toes and cuffs at the end). I didn't really enjoy the process, so I don't think I'll do it again...

Ravelry project page: Halloween socks*


The pattern links I have included in this blog post all lead to Ravelry. If you cannot use Ravelry, or would prefer not to, all my patterns can be found on LoveCrafts.**

* Ravelry link. Caution: readers with photosensitivity may be triggered by these pages.
**Affiliate link.

Tuesday 11 August 2020

Seed Head socks: buy now and donate to a great cause!

Last month, I unveiled my Seed Head socks,* and have been delighted by their reception! Thank you for every like, favourite and purchase! If you haven't purchased yet, but were planning on doing so, until August 14th, I'll be donating £2 from each sale to the Flower Power Fund, which uses yarny loveliness to raise money for Marie Curie UK, a charity that supports people living with a terminal illness. At the time of writing, sales of my sock pattern have raised just over £200!

The Seed Head socks feature dip stitches that create shapes reminiscent of the seed heads that we see growing in the fields and hedgerows in the UK. The socks incorporate plenty of these dip stitches to create seed heads that sit on either side of a central, cabled stem. The dip stitches have the added advantage of being a lot of fun to knit, and once you have knitted a couple, they get much quicker to work! In case you are unfamiliar with dip stitches, I have included a photo tutorial at the end of the pattern to help you.

The Seed Head socks are knitted from the toe up and I’ve given two options for knitting the heel:
  • A gusset and heel flap construction, shaped with short rows, with a slipped-stitch pattern on the heel flap for reinforcement. The gusset length is affected by your row/round gauge, so a table of gauge-dependent lengths is included to help you achieve the perfect fit.
  • A short row heel.

The pattern includes instructions to knit either fully matching-socks, or mirrored, fraternal socks, and the instructions for the Seed Head pattern are given in both chart and written formats. The pattern is needle-neutral, and the socks can be knitted using DPNs, short circulars, or long circulars using the magic loop technique.

The sample was knitted in Tempo 4ply by Eden Cottage Yarns, who very kindly provided yarn support for the design. The colourway used is Hibiscus, but Eden Cottage Yarns make many beautiful semi-solids that allow any design to sparkle.

From July 15th to August 14th 2020, £2 from each pattern sold will be donated to the Flower Power Fund. You can buy the pattern from my Ravelry* and PayHip stores. The pattern is also available on LoveCrafts.**

Want to see what the Flower Power Fund has planned for the rest of the year? Why not follow them on Instagram?


Here's everything you need to know about the pattern. If you want to add the pattern to your Ravelry queue or favourites, you can do so via the pattern page* - remember, the more people that buy the pattern, the more we'll raise for the Flower Power Fund!
A (B, C, D, E, F)

Finished sock foot circumferences: 14 (16.5, 19, 22, 24.5, 27) cm [5.5 (6.5, 7.5, 8.75, 9.75, 10.75) in] designed to fit with 2.5 cm (1 in) negative ease. These are the sizes of the finished socks; for the best fit, choose a size that is approximately 2.5 cm (1 in) smaller than your foot circumference.

The stitch counts for the patterned panel are modified so that the cabled panels are the same width as the stocking stitch sole, this results in the socks fitting the same as a regular stocking stitch socks with a stitch count of 46 (54, 62, 70, 78, 86) sts.

32 sts x 44 rnds = 10 cm (4 in) in stocking stitch
23 sts = 6.3 cm (2.5 in) in SMALL Flower panel
23 sts = 7.4 cm (2.875 in) in LARGE Flower panel

All st patterns are worked in the rnd on 2.5 mm (US 1.5) needles, or size needed to obtain correct gauge.

Notes are included to adapt the pattern to your rnd gauge.

170 (240, 310, 400, 500, 610) m [190 (270, 340, 440, 550, 670) yds] of a dedicated 4 ply sock yarn.

Note that these numbers are for guidance only as the lengths of both the legs and the feet are variable to fit. The short row heel version will use less yarn than the heel flap and gusset version. See pattern notes for further guidance on yarn choice.

  • 2.5 mm DPNs
  • or a 2.5 mm circular needle at least 80 cm (32 in) in length
  • or a 2.5 mm 20 cm (9 in) circular needle

  • Stitch markers x 4 (you may wish to use 2 extra markers when you are working the Seed Head sts)
  • 2.5 mm crochet hook, optional
  • Tapestry needle
Pattern notes
The instructions are for the smallest size, with larger sizes in parentheses: A (B, C, D, E, F).

If you have a limited quantity of yarn and you want to ensure you do not run out of yarn for the second sock, first wind the skein into two balls of equal mass, and stop knitting your first sock when your first ball is about to run out.

The socks shown are knitted in Eden Cottage Yarns Tempo 4 ply [4 ply; 100 m (436 yds) per 100 g skein; 75% merino wool, 25% nylon] in the colourway Hibiscus and size D for a UK women’s size 9.5 foot [foot length 27.25 cm (10.75 in)]. The sample socks used 360 m (394 yds) of yarn. Yarn support was provided by Eden Cottage Yarns; you can find all their yarns on their website:

I would recommend using a dedicated sock yarn for these socks, either a wool/nylon blend or a high-twist wool yarn.

I have included instructions for both a heel flap and gusset and a short row heel. It is totally up to you which you choose to do, but I find that if you have a high instep, a heel flap and gusset provides a better fit as there is more space in the heel.

Links to the following resources are given at the end of the pattern:
  • Dip stitches
  • Judy's Magic cast-on
  • Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off
  • Wrap and turn
  • Choosing what size socks to knit
This pattern was tech edited by Jo Torr.

*Ravelry link. May affect people with photosensitivity.
**Affiliate link.