Wednesday 24 November 2021

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2021 is HERE!


The Indie Design Gift-A-Long (GAL) is HERE! Starting right now, a group of over 200 independent yarn-craft designers will be helping you to kick-start your festive-gift crafting!

What is the Indie Design Gift-A-Long?

The Indie Design GAL is a great big knit and crochet along aimed at supporting and promoting the work of independent designers, as well as giving you a headstart on your festive-gift crafting.


Tell me more...

Starting at 20.00 Tuesday 23rd November 2021 (US-EST, that's NOW!) until the end of the year, the Indie Design GAL group on Ravelry will be a hive of activity.*

I heard something about a sale?
The GAL starts with a sale. Every designer participating in the event is offering 25% off a selection of their designs using the code giftalong2021. Simply add the patterns you want to you Ravelry cart, use the code when checking out and get a bargain! To see which patterns a designer has included, head to their designer profile (here's mine as an example) and look for the bundle labelled Gift-A-Long 2021. This bundle will feature all the patterns the designer has chosen to include in the sale. Do note that you will have to checkout separately for each designer you wish to buy from. The sale lasts until Monday 29th November 2021 at 11:59 pm (US-EST).
But I don't use Ravelry?
If you would like to join in with the GAL, and shop with GAL designers, but would prefer not to use Ravelry, you can find a full list of GAL designers here, including any other places where their patterns are available. All my patterns are available on LoveCrafts, and many of my patterns are available on PayHip.

It's GIFT-A-LONG time!
The second portion of the GAL is a massive knit and crochet along. Any paid-for design** by a participating designer is eligible for inclusion in the craft along, just head to the Ravelry group* and get crafting. If you finish an item before the end of the GAL (23.59 EST, Friday 31st December 2021), post it to the finished objects thread for the appropriate category and at the end of the GAL, you could win a prize. There are also plenty of opportunities to join in on Instagram, follow @indiegiftalong for full details.

As well as the sale and craftalong, there are lots of activities taking place in the Ravelry group, including quizzes and games. There is also an Instagram challenge running for the duration of the GAL, with photo prompts for specific days. I'll be taking part in the Instagram challenge, on both my Instagram accounts: head to @VikkiBirdDesigns if you mostly want to see socks, and @VikkiBirdDesigns_Intarsia if intarsia is more your thing.
Want to make one of my patterns?
I am one of the participating designers in the GAL. You can find my sale bundle on my designer page,* and any of my paid for patterns can be knitted as part of the knit and crochet along portion of the event.**

Just some of the patterns in my sale bundle this year!

*Ravelry link: may cause issues for people with photosensitivity, proceed with caution. Note that you will have to signed in to Ravelry for some of these links to work.
**This includes designs published in books and magazines. You can also join in the GAL by knitting a free design by any of the participating designers, but these will not be eligible for prizes. Paid-for patterns published in third party publications count as paid for patterns.

Monday 15 November 2021

House Elf Socks are HERE!


Available on:




 Ho, ho, ho... too early? Is there such a thing as too early when it comes to gift knitting? I've got a new pattern for you today that is perfect for gift knitting - the House Elf Socks. They are FESTIVE, and photographing them at the weekend really upped my festive cheer! Keep reading to find out all about them.

I adore Christmas socks. They make me so cheerful, and yes, I have been known to wear them for a pick-me-up at any time of year...

If Christmas socks are your thing too, the House Elf Socks might be just what you're looking for. Knitted from the top down, with simple colourwork and a fun striped pattern, these socks make a great Christmas gift, or a perfect December treat just for you. I'll be wearing mine while I'm wrapping presents on Christmas Eve.

December is often a bit overwhelming, and my gift knitting list is always, erm, optimistic, but the House Elf Socks will give you a fighting chance because they're knitted in aran weight yarn! Yes, these are a quick knit! I have UK size 9-10 feet, and my socks only needed 48 sts, and were only a couple of evenings worth of knitting time. Don't have aran weight sock yarn to hand? You can hold 4ply (standard) sock yarn double, which makes these socks a great stash buster too.

Ready to pick up your copy? Use the code HOUSE ELF for 15% off. Ends 11.59pm GMT, Monday 22nd November 2021.


Available on:




Thursday 11 November 2021

Advent inspiration

What do you have planned for advent? Every year I see more and more yarn advent calendars, which are a great way to countdown the days to Christmas. But what can you do with the yarn in them? What if they're beyond your budget? What if you already have plenty of yarn? Have no fear, I've got you covered!


Pattern inspiration

Do you have a fancy hand-dyed advent calendar and are looking for some pattern inspiration? I wrote a blog post last year with a few suggestions. Why not go and have a look and see if anything sparks your interest.

Want to make your own yarn advent calendar?

Don't have a yarn advent, but do have plenty of yarn scraps? Last year, I made some yarn advent calendars as gifts for friends, and they went down really well.  Maybe you fancy making your yarn scraps look more interesting by turning them into your very own yarn advent calendar? Or you could get together with a friend and do a yarn countdown-calendar swap? Everything you need to know about making a yarn advent calendar can be found on the blog.


Advent calendars not your thing? Maybe you need an advent project?

This year, I'll be knitting myself a pair of socks during advent using some self-striping yarn that will hopefully arrive in time for December 1st. I'm hoping to find half an hour to myself every day to work on the socks, and by Christmas Day I should have a new pair of socks!

These are the socks I knitted during December last year. Yarn is by The Yarn Badger.

 What are your knitting plans for advent?

Sunday 7 November 2021

#ShowOffYourWoollySocks2021 - days 25-31

In October I wore hand-knitted socks (almost) every day, and shared them on my grid. I have a drawer full of amazing socks that are too lovely to hide in my shoes, so I celebrated them! Here are my socks from days 25-31.

Days 25-26


When is a pair not a pair? When they’re fraternal! I made these two pairs of socks concurrently many years ago. I knitted the rainbow heels, toes and cuffs pair first, then the full rainbow pair afterwards. I keep meaning to make another set because I love both pairs so much! Maybe with pink or purple as the solid…
I might be a bit quiet this week because it’s half term and I want to spend as much time as possible with my kids. Today’s activity is pumpkin carving. Wish me luck.

Day 27

Trying to escape from autumn today with some super socks in spring colours. Inspired by daffodils, this self-striping yarn from @StrawberryFieldsYarns was a joy to work up, and now it makes me dream of lighter days and spring flowers.

Days 28-29

Yesterday’s socks… might also be today’s socks… the weather is dank and gloomy today, so a sofa day is very tempting!

This is my only pair of scrappy socks, and I still made them match as much as possible by adding a neutral to bring all the colours together! The yarn was from an advent swap a few years ago, and I was very proud of myself for keeping up and getting the socks done for Christmas!

Day 30

Running really low on non-Christmas socks now! These cosy socks are an early pair, knitted in a Regia Arne and Carlos colourway.

Day 31 (part one)

What’s that Vikki, today you’re wearing one sock and it still has stitch markers on it? Well, this is my #SOYWSKAL2021 sock. I did not manage to make a whole pair of socks, because knitting from a sock blank was a learning curve! I knitted this sock much tighter than I usually do (I think there are 40 sts to 10 cm, when there’s usually 32…) because I had to tension the yarn enough to straighten out the kinks. I love how the sock turned out though, so will work on sock two throughout November! Did you finish your socks?

Day 31 (part two)


After I failed to finish my #SOYWSKAL2021 socks, I had a deep dive into my sock drawer and found my most seasonally appropriate socks - stripey witch socks! I think these will be perfect for trick or treat with the kids later (and my feet will be warm!). See photo two for some Halloween treats of the edible kind!

Want to see my other #ShowOffYourWoollySocks2021 catch-up threads? You can find them here.

Friday 5 November 2021

#ShowOffYourWoollySocks2021 - days 17-24

In October I wore hand-knitted socks (almost) every day, and shared them on my grid. I have a drawer full of amazing socks that are too lovely to hide in my shoes, so I celebrated them! Here are my socks from days 17-24.

Day 17

Getting in early with my Halloween Socks this year! These fab stripes are by Strawberry Fields Yarns, and I love them, even though I hate orange normally.

Day 18

Isn’t it lovely being able to wear socks you finished in the summer for the first time? I had actually forgotten about these socks that I knitted this summer. They’re modified Hygge Socks by Nordic Stitches Designs, knitted in yarns by Cuddlebums Yarns (variegated) and West Yorkshire Spinners (pink), and are lovely and cheerful. I switched the colours for the two socks, so while they’re mis-matched, they’re definitely a pair.

Days 19-20



A double dose of socky goodness today, because yesterday was very much a run around chasing my tail day. Today is much calmer. Yesterday’s socks are my Siren Song pattern in Space Cowboy by The Wool Kitchen and are the most incredible neon purple. I love them. Today’s socks are also purple, and are vanilla socks knitted in a sock set from Cuddlebums Yarn Can you tell I love purple?

Days 21-22


Another double sock offering today as I was travelling all day yesterday. I own a lot of socks knitted in Felici by Knit Picks. The yarn is so soft, and is ideal for both padding round the house, or wearing while walking all day.

Days 23-24

Have you ever worn the same socks two days in a row? I don’t often, but I got up late yesterday, and didn’t leave the house. A glance at the overflowing laundry pile may have influenced my decision I re-wear these today.

Pattern is Heel Toe Do Si Do by The Crazy Sock Lady.

Want to see my other #ShowOffYourWoollySocks2021 catch-up threads? You can find them here.

Wednesday 3 November 2021

#ShowOffYourWoollySocks2021 - days 8-16

In October I wore hand-knitted socks (almost) every day, and shared them on my grid. I have a drawer full of amazing socks that are too lovely to hide in my shoes, so I celebrated them! Here are my socks from days 8-16.

Day 8

A rare pair of patterned socks that aren’t one of my designs. These are Rainbow Connection Socks by The Crazy Sock Lady,* knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply in Sherbert Fizz and Drops Fabel. I loved knitting these and they flew off the needles. They have lots of slipped stitches, which make them super cosy!

Day 9

Apparently I photographed these yesterday, then didn’t post them. These are the prototype for my Siren Song Socks. I made a couple of changes for the final pattern - most notably, the final pattern is top down, while these are toe up. The yarn was one of my golden skeins: a skein so lovely I didn’t want to knit it up! It’s called Mermaid Hair and is a merino/cashmere/nylon blend that is gloriously squishy! I’m so glad I turned it into socks as they’re a real treat for my feet.

Day 10

Today’s socks had *sparkle*! These are very much the 1980s in a sock and I love them! They’re knitted in an Opal colourway from a few years ago, and it is the sparkliest sock yarn I’ve ever found - do you like your socks to have some sparkle?

Day 11

Some of you have noticed that I moved this year’s #ShowOffYourWoollySocks to October from November. So far, so good. But today is *not* woolly sock weather. It’s summer dress, cardi and tights weather. There aren’t enough of those days in the UK, so I’m embracing it! Normal service will resume tomorrow.

Cardigan is Lush by Tin Can Knits. Yarn is Essential DK/Aire Valley DK by West Yorkshire Spinners (discontinued).

Day 12

Good morning! I forgot to take a photo of yesterday's socks until just before I went to bed, and was too tired to construct a sentence to go with them, so decided to wait to share them. If Monday was summer dress and cardigan weather, yesterday was wellies and woolly socks weather. These socks are knitted in Paintbox Yarns Socks, a great sock yarn, but only a few colours are available now, and this isn't one of them. I've been thinking these socks are about to go through the toe for ages now, but they're still holding up. Maybe I should do a pre-emtive darn…

Day 13

A heavily filtered photo this evening of these glorious Siren Song Socks. The depth of colour is stunning (dyed by Phileas Yarns, who is no longer dyeing) and these socks have made me smile every time I’ve looked down today!

Day 14

It’s a stereotype that the English always talk about the weather, but it’s there for a reason… today is pretty clear, a bit cool and really rather lovely. I’m off out for a walk after the school run to start the day off on the right foot. I’ll be wearing these Knit Picks Felici socks in the colourway Spring Bloom. I love the bright pink stripes in among the greens - I’m much fonder of spring than autumn, and these socks remind me that it will be here before I know it!

Days 15-16

Travel socks for travel days! I went to a 50th wedding anniversary party this weekend, so wore my London tube map socks for two days of travelling. It was wonderful being able to see family members I hadn’t seen for at least two years, but wow, all that driving has made me tired! Today is definitely a sofa day (I’ll share today’s socks when I’m dressed. That might be roughly lunch time 😂).

Yarn is Mind the Gap by Trailing Clouds.

Want to see my other #ShowOffYourWoollySocks2021 catch-up threads? You can find them here

*Ravelry link. May affect users with photosensitivity. Proceed with caution.

Tuesday 2 November 2021

Milk Chocolate Socks

Want to give your feet a treat, but aren’t sure you have the patience to knit socks in 4-ply yarn? DK socks are the answer! They’re much quicker than 4-ply socks, but still fit inside your shoes. DK socks also make great gifts, and knitting in DK weight yarn also frees up more knitting time for you to knit something for yourself (maybe a pair of socks in your size!).

The Milk Chocolate Socks are knitted from the top down, with a heel-flap and gusset construction. They’re my basic DK socks, knitted in stocking stitch with a slipped stitch pattern on the heel flap.

The Milk Chocolate Socks are written in sizes to fit the whole family [ten sizes, in circumferences from 7.5 cm (3 in) to 28.5 cm (11.5 in)] – if you have an especially knitworthy family to knit for, you could make a full set of matching socks!

The socks are knitted in a wool blend DK with 25% nylon, which makes the yarn stronger and increases its lifespan. If you’re knitting for someone extra-special, why not see if your favourite indie dyer has a wool/nylon DK weight yarn that you could try as a treat to yourself?

Milk Chocolate Socks is the first pattern in my DK Selection-Box of Socks – a collection of DK socks, all named in honour of chocolates in a selection  box. Why not check out the other patterns in the collection too? I'll be releasing them over the next few months.


In keeping with the chocolate-treat theme of the collection, I've got something really special for newsletter subscribers: sign up to my newsletter to get the first pattern (Milk Chocolate Socks) for FREE, and the ebook for £10 (ends 11.59pm GMT, February 28th 2022).



Want to pick up a copy of the pattern now? You can get your copy on:




Want all the technical details? You can check them out via these links:

Milk Chocolate Socks

DK Selection-Box Of Socks

DK sock yarn suggestions

Ever wanted to cast on some DK socks but got confused trying to buy the yarn? I’m here to help!


Why knit DK socks?

DK socks are a great option for cold winter’s days – they are thicker than 4-ply socks, but thin enough that they still fit in your shoes. They’re also perfect for long walks as they add extra-cushioning between your footwear and your feet. From a knitting perspective, DK socks are great because they’re much quicker than 4-ply socks – perfect if you’re making them as gifts.

DK yarns fall between 4-ply and aran weight and you can expect a DK sock yarn to have between 225 and 280 m per 100 g. Outside the UK, you might find DK yarns referred to as light worsted. DK yarn ball bands will suggest using 3.75-4.5mm needles and 21-24 sts per 10 cm (4 in), but for socks you’ll want to knit the yarn on smaller needles and at a tighter gauge (more stitches per 10 cm) to increase the durability of your socks.

Ply structure can make a real difference to the longevity of a yarn, and for socks you want a yarn that has many plies, and for the plies to be twisted together tightly. This structure means that if one ply of your yarn wears thin, the others are there as back up.

Top: plied yarn - great for socks; bottom: singles yarn - wears too quickly to make good socks

My favourite sock yarns are wool-based. Wool is breathable, and wicks away moisture from your feet to keep them warm and dry. Wool also has natural elasticity, which means that your socks will stretch to fit your feet, but return to their original size when you take them off. Wool with longer staple-length is more durable: Merino is a short staple yarn, which makes it very soft, but tends to pill and wear with use. Bluefaced Leicester has a longer staple, which makes it more durable, while still being soft.

Wool can be blended with other fibres to increase its durability. Nylon is the most common option, but bamboo and silk are also popular. Do you need this? It depends what you’re going to be using your socks for. If they’ll be used exclusively as bed socks, you can forgo strength for something softer; if you’re planning on using them as walking socks, you’ll want a hardier wool that is less soft and more durable.

One thing to be aware of when buying DK weight socks is the yardage. I find that I generally need just over 100 g for a pair of socks for me (I wear a UK women’s size 9.5), and significantly more when making larger socks. You might find that you need to add a contrast for heels, toes and cuffs, or play it safe and buy two 100 g balls!


What’s my go to DK sock yarn?

I love West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK (also called Essential DK), which is a great blend of 75% British Wool and 25% nylon (225 m per 100g ball), but it’s DISCONTINUED, so unless you have a stash of it somewhere in your house, you’re not going to be able to get hold of it. West Yorkshire Spinners replaced Aire Valley DK with their Colourlab DK,* which comes in a great range of colours, including stripes. It is a 100% wool yarn, so is great if you want socks for lounging around in at home, but less good if you want socks for everyday wear.


Closest alternative: Wool/nylon blends

Novita Muumitalo

The closest like for like yarn I’ve found is Novita Muumitalo, which has the same 75% wool, 25% nylon composition, yardage (225 m per 100g ball) and ply structure, and it’s machine washable, which is a must in my house. The yarn is a little bit rustic, so look elsewhere if you want something kitten-soft, but the rustic quality tends to lead to stronger yarn that wears better long-term. The yarn comes in a small range of bright colours, which is great if they’re your colours, but not if they’re not. You can also get striped versions under the name Novita Muumihahmot.*


Want moodier colours? Novita Nalle

I recently wanted some DK sock yarn in moodier colours, and found that Novita also make a slightly thinner DK weight sock yarn, Novita Nalle,* that knits at the same gauge, but has 260 m per 100 g ball. Novita Nalle is also a 75% wool, 25% nylon sock yarn, and is machine washable, and I am looking forward to seeing how it hold up next to its heavier sibling yarn.

Opal and Regia

Opal and Regia are two of the biggest names in sock yarn. They’re both German companies, and the yarns they offer that are closest to DK are referred to as 6-ply (they also make 8-ply yarns, but these are closer to aran weight).


Opal 6-ply

Opal 6-ply comes in a range of solid colours and at 420 m per 150 g ball, it’s on the thinner side (280 m per 100 g), but comes in 150 g balls, which means one ball should give you enough yarn to make a pair of socks even in larger sizes. The yarn is a 75% wool, 25% nylon blend, and is on the rustic end of soft. I have found that Opal sock yarns wear really well, and the yarn is a very cost-effective option. Opal also make seasonal self-patterning 6-ply yarns, which are great for knitting vanilla socks.


Regia 6-ply

At 375 m per 150 g ball, Regia 6-ply* is chunkier than Opal (Regia 6-ply has 250 m per 100 g), but is hard to get hold of in the UK, especially in plain colours. If you can get hold of some though, it’s a great value sock yarn that wears well. Again, it’s a slightly rustic 75% wool, 25% nylon option and is great for making walking socks. The 150 g balls mean you should have plenty of yarn for any size of sock.


Merino/nylon blends

Lots of sock knitters like to make socks from merino/nylon blends because the socks are soft and feel like a real treat for the feet. If you like merino/nylon blends, then you’re in luck, because this blend is quite easy to get hold of in DK weight.


Hand-dyed options is the retail arm of yarn wholesalers Chester Wool Company, and as such, they sell the same bases as many indie dyers. Their Platinum DK is a 75% merino wool, 25% nylon blend that is perfect for socks (225 m per 100 g skein). You can buy it undyed from, or you can contact your favourite indie dyer and see if they have any in stock that they can dye for you. You can also buy Platinum DK in 50g skeins, which is great if you want to add a contrast colour.

Fancy trying some hand-dyed merino/nylon DK? Check out Castleview Yarns’ selection.


Coop Socks Yeah! DK

Coop Socks Yeah! DK is produced by Fyberspates, and is another 75% merino wool, 25% nylon blend with 112 m per 50 g skein. It comes in a wide range of moodier colours, alongside some brighter ones, which is great if you want a pop of contrast. 50 g skeins also have the advantage that you can buy close to the exact amount you need, making it more cost-effective than some 100 g options, especially if you would have to buy two 100 g skeins to make a pair of socks.


Merino/bamboo blends

Fancy going plastic-free? The nylon component of sock yarn can be replaced by other materials such as bamboo. The fibre in the yarn is actually viscose, a cellulosic fibre, but it sourced from bamboo. The yarn has great stitch definition, so is perfect for textured socks, and wears well – I have mitts in this blend that I wear all the time, and they’re showing very few signs of wear. This is another base used by indie dyers, so contact your favourite to see if it’s a base they stock. You can also buy direct from if you fancy dyeing your own.

Fancy trying some hand-dyed merino/bamboo DK? Check out BlueFern Yarns’ selection.


Need some sock patterns for your DK sock yarn? Check my designs:

Spinnaker Socks

DK Selection-Boxof Socks Collection**

*Affiliate link.

**Ravelry link. may affect people with photosensitivity, proceed with caution.