Saturday 30 January 2021

#SocksOfFebruary2021 - an IG challenge

Do you like making socks? Are you on Instagram? Then #SocksOfFebruary2021 is for you!

In February, @YarnStreetUK and I (@VikkiBirdDesigns) are hosting a photo prompt challenge over on Instagram. The theme is socks, and the hashtag is #SocksOfFebruary2021

Every day in February has a different theme, and the idea is that you post a photo to Instagram that works for that theme – be as literal or as inventive as you like! Hopefully we’ll all find lots of inspiration and new sock knitting friends to chat to online. I would love you to take part! Don’t worry about posting everyday, just post for the days that inspire you. Obviously I’ll be trying to do the whole month, let’s see if I manage!

In case you want to get ahead of the game, here’s a full list of the prompts for the month:

Day 1. Work in Progress – Say hi, share your current WIP, or go all the way and share your sock journey.

Day 2. My Sock Collection – Let’s show off those woolly socks.

Day 3. Indie Dyed Yarn – Colourful creations in indie dyed yarn, show off your favourites!

Day 4. Lacy Feet – Lacy socks for lazy days.

Day 5. Pattern that Rib – Whether it’s a ribbed cuff or the full sock, show off that ribbing.

Day 6. Toe Up or Top Down – which is your style?

Day 7. Creative Colourwork – Let’s share those colourwork creations.

Day 8. Commercial Yarn – Show some love for your favourite commercial sock yarn.

Day 9. Mismatch – Love them or hate them? It’s time to show off your mismatched pairs!

Day 10. Favourite Sock Base – What’s your favourite sock base?

Day 11. Block Those Socks – To block or not to block? Over to you!

Day 12. Bright and Beautiful - Sunglasses at the ready, let’s share those bright ones.

Day 13. My Favourite Needles – What are your go-to needles? Do you prefer DPNs, circulars, or magic loop?

Day 14. All the Hearts – The ones you love the most.

Day 15. Sock Yarn Stash – Share your stash…

Day 16. Go Pink – Pink in all its glorious shades.

Day 17. Stripes all the Way – It’s stripes day! Show off those stripy socks.

Day 18. Grand Plans – What’s up next?

Day 19. Favourite Pattern – No explanation needed today, simply share…

Day 20. Pastels – All the pastels on show.

Day 21. Gifted - Socks you’ve gifted, or socks you’ve received, today’s all about those gifted socks.

Day 22. Blues – All the tones, let’s go blue.

Day 23. Mark Your Progress – Those progress keepers we love to use.

Day 24. Cables – What’s your favourite cable pattern?

Day 25. Sporty Days – Ready, steady, sporty style! Share those sporty socks.

Day 26. Shorties – Short legs, knee highs, or something in between?

Day 27. Scrappy Socks – We’re almost done, it’s scrappy sock day!

Day 28. Wave Those Toes – Contrast toe? Favourite shape? Let’s wave those toes for our last day.


Want to share the prompts on your Instagram? There are six colourful options at the bottom of this post, so you can choose the one that suits your style best!

See you over on Instagram. I cannot wait to see your posts!

Thursday 28 January 2021

All you need is love! 'love' Cushion, available now!

Are you looking for something new to brighten up your living space? Maybe you want the perfect gift for a loved one for Valentine's Day? Or you might possibly be thinking ahead to Mother's Day, and fancy knitting her a gift this year? The 'love' Cushion might be just the thing you're looking for!

Want to get your hands on a copy of the pattern? It’s available now on Ravelry* and PayHip, and you can get 20% off with the code LOVE until 11.59pm GMT, Thursday 4th February 2021.

The 'love' Cushion is a bright and bold addition to your living space, featuring the slogan 'love' across the middle. This pattern is perfect for Valentine's Day, or just for adding a cute touch to your sofa - after many months at home, it can't just be me who thinks their living room could do with a few extra colourful additions? 

The 'love' Cushion is knitted using the intarsia technique, which give a great finish without the bulk of stranded colourwork. I've been really nerdy about the buttonhole placement on this design, spacing the buttonholes perfectly long a custom rib for an amazing finish.

The pillow is knitted in a single strip, starting with a ribbed section, then some stocking stitch for the back, the front is knitted in stocking stitch with the word 'love' incorporated using intarsia. The back is then knitted, finishing with a ribbed section featuring buttonholes to fasten the pillow cover. The side seams are joined using mattress stitch. The cushion cover is the perfect size for a standard IKEA long cushion [65 cm x 40 cm (25.5 in x 16 in)].

Not a fan of charts? The intarsia portion of the pattern is provided as both a chart and written out in full, so this pattern is perfect for you whether you like charts or written instructions!

Want to get your hands on a copy of the pattern? It’s available now on Ravelry* and PayHip, and you can get 20% off with the code LOVE until 11.59pm GMT, Thursday 4th February 2021.

Want the technical details on the 'love' Cushion? You can find them here.

The pattern is also available on LoveCrafts.

*Ravelry link. May cause issues for people with photosensitivity. Proceed with caution.

Monday 25 January 2021

#LooseEndsMAL: RIP time!

At the start of the year, I launched the #LooseEndsMAL, a MakeALong (MAL) to encourage you to go and unearth some treasured works in progress (WIPs) and turn them into precious finished objects. If you’re not in love with the WIP any more, now is the time to let it go! You can read all about the MAL here.

This week I’m going to share the projects that didn’t quite make the cut: the RIP pile. For knitters, RIP isn’t Rest in Peace, it’s rip, where you unravel the yarn back to yarn. There are many reasons to rip a project: the yarn isn’t as nice to knit with as you thought it might be; you got distracted so long ago that you have forgotten what it was you were making; your gauge changed over time, and whatever you were knitting no longer has the right gauge; you didn’t knit a swatch and the finished project comes out tiny or enormous! I think we’ve all been there! Sometimes I just lose interest in whatever I was knitting, usually distracted by shiny new projects that take priority.

Here are a few projects that didn’t quite make the cut.


1. Fruit-tastic stripes!

You met these last week: my watermelon socks. I cast these socks on about 18 months ago, and they were an experiment in two ways:

1.      The yarn is cotton, so this was going to be my first pair of hand-knitted cotton socks.

2.      They are shortie socks, so can be worn in the summer.

I misjudged the row gauge so the socks got put to one side as I made the first foot too long. I have absolutely no enthusiasm for them now, so they have now been ripped back.

Yarn: Regia Cotton Tutti Frutti in Wassermelone*


2. Pond Street

I picked up the kit for this shawl at Yarndale a few years ago. I love the colours, but not the yarn: I find alpaca too prickly to go against my neck, so this is never going to be worn. Add to that the fact that the chevron pattern isn’t something I enjoy knitting (I have an amazing talent for going wrong when knitting things that are seemingly simple), this isn’t a project that I want to finish, even as a gift, so this one has been unravelled. I’ve reclaimed 20 stitch markers in the process too, so that’s a definite win!


Yarn: Baa Ram Ewe Titus


3. Blue toddler jumpers


I think I cast these on for my nephews before the youngest was born, but got distracted and didn’t finish them in time. Both boys are now too big even for the bigger of the two jumpers I had planned. Yes, I could have finished them off for other children (there are always more babies!), but I didn’t find what I’d already knitted terribly inspiring, so they’ve been ripped back.


4. Owl mitts, sort of…

In my tidying, I found a bag that contained three flip-top mitts. No combination of the three created a matching pair, so I’m not quite sure what happened there! I didn’t unravel them, but put them straight in the bin! There was a pile of spare yarn too, but the colours really aren't my thing, so they've been rehomed.

5. Flamingo socks

This is another pair of socks I introduced you to last week. I love the yarn, I love the sock, but I used a really cheap set of needles and I cannot get the gauge to match between sock one and sock two!! The needles have been put in the bin, and I’ll try to make some socks from the spare yarn later in the year, but I can't quite bring myself to unravel the sock, so I might do experiments with that later in the year...

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply* in Pink Flamingo and Sarsaparilla.


What do I do with unravelled projects and spare yarn?

Once I’ve unravelled a project, it’s very rare for me to go back and re-use the yarn, so what do I do with it? First up, I offer it to my mum! She likes to knit blankets from squares, so scraps and oddments are perfect for using up in striped squares if they’re small, and plain squares if they’re larger. I send any other oddments, and partial balls left once I’ve finished a project, to Knit for Peace, a charity that distributes finished knits (e.g. blankets and hats) to places they are needed, and will find a good home for any yarn and knitting supplies to places where they can be used (I tend to send spare knitting needles and notions from magazines to them as I already have plenty of those things). What do you do with your leftovers and oddments?

If I have larger amounts left after I finish a project (usually because I overestimated how much I needed to make the sleeves and body of a jumper longer), or larger quantities of yarn I realise I am not going to use, I tend to list them on eBay as auctions. I set the minimum price I am willing to accept, and then take it from there. I love that the auctions have a finite end point, so I’m not stuck in limbo with the yarn for ages. If you do this, do bear in mind that eBay take fees on both the sale price and the postage, and PayPal take a cut, so it’s not generally worth selling anything that’s worth less than about £5, especially if yoy have to make a special trip to the Post Office to post it.

After all that clearing out, I got rid of a grand total of 768 g of yarn, which feels pretty good! How is your project sorting going? Have you found any hidden treasures?


If you have long-abandoned WIPs that you need a push to get finished, why not join me in the #LooseEndsMAL, either on Instagram or Ravelry,** or let me know in the comments below what WIPs you want to get finished this year. The #LooseEndsMAL runs until the end of February 2021. For full details on how to enter, read this post.

*Affiliate link.

**Ravelry link; may cause issues to people with photosensitivity.