Thursday, February 07, 2019

Pattern Release: Vamp City Socks!

Vamp-up your style with some sexy lace socks that would kill to be in some black boots. They’re dying to be worn, so why don’t you get out your stakes-er-needles and knit them up!

Valentine’s Day Sale! Grab this pattern for only $2.14 now until 2/17 at 11:59pm CT. No coupon needed.
METHOD: Top-down

Yarn: less than 400 yards of fingering weight yarn
Needles: set of 4 dpns (or one 40+’’ circular needle) in the size US 2 ½ (3 mm) and 1 darning needle
Notions: 1 stitch holder, 1 stitch marker, (Optional) 3 yards of matching ribbon (1 ½ yards per sock)

US 2.5 (3 mm) GUAGE: 32 sts and 42 rows= 4’’ in stockinette stitch

LEG MEASURMENTS: 8 ½’’ long and 3 ½’’ wide (unstretched lace)

K=knit P=purl St(s)=stitch(es) WYF=with yarn in front WYB=with yarn in back
DPN(s)=double pointed needle(s) RD=round P2tog=purl two sts together
K2TOG=knit 2 sts together P2SO= pass 2 sts over right needle YO= yarn over
SL 1= sl 1 st (purl-wise) WS=wrong side RS= right side
I knit these socks and first published this pattern for a vampire-themed KUAS yarn club back in 2008. Flash-forward to February of 2019...I realized this pattern was never added to Ravely! Whoops. So, I completely "revamped," (yes, pun intended) the pattern instructions and photos to give it a more modern KUAS Designs look.

My goal with all of my patterns is to be clear and accessible to knitters of all levels. I try to include tips, or extra details for tricker techniques/instances where I feel a novice knitter might struggle. 

I write patterns in the way my 2004 self would have understood things. I like clear-cut instructions on how the sts are divided on the needles, and how you manuver them during the heel portion. I don't assume that you have knit thousands of socks. I figure that someone reading my pattern might be new to knitting and working dpns, and would benefit from this style of instructions.

These are wonderful socks for boots that rise a few inches above the ankle. Because there's only 60 sts and most of it is lace, it's a super-quick knit. 
You can't help but feel pretty in these.

Friday, February 01, 2019

When Socks Attempt to Bite the Dust

Sooner or later, our socks attempt to bite the dust. I say "attempt," because it looks really, really bad when there's holes the size of your, well, entire heel because you never thought to check the bottom decade-old handknit socks. FYI- wearing your handknit socks with "winter dry heels" is really not a good idea for preservation.  (Nor does wearing worn socks with felted clogs.)

They look pitiful, and act as though they should retire to a good, quiet life in a memory box or landfill, but that's not going to happen to this pair. No sirrie. Not until the fat needles click.

Brace yourself, this is what 11 years does to a sock. This is when it was a spring chicken:
These were my Gypsy Socks that I hand-dyed back in 2008. Did you know that I used to sell yarn (back before kids)? I's been forever. Here's the original blog post on the socks. They were beautiful in their hayday.

I digress: have you read Nicolas Sparks books? I haven't since maybe 2010. They are like Hallmark movie channels...once you read one or two, you've read them all. ;)

Luckily, I have a little box of leftover yarn that I've been saving for when I eventually make a Cozy Memories Blanket. I was hoping to start that after several more pairs of knit socks so I could have a wider range of colors available to use.

Look how much the colors have faded over the years. There has been a couple of accidental washing machine episodes, but those luckily hasn't felted it more than what you see.
One sock was in a more desperate state than the other. I picked up stitches according to the size of the hole. Unfortunately, these holes were right on the heel turn portion of the sock, in which you can only do so much to make the patch-work match the original shape of the heel.
Sorry, I didn't take a picture while it was in action. However, I picked up one stitch on each side every row--sometimes knitting them together with the first or last stitch and sometimes keeping the extra stitch as an increase, depending on the shape of the hole. I did not pick up the very edge of the stitch, but picked up the stitch before/after the loose stitches because the stitches around the edge of the hole are worn and frail. As "fun" as this was (please note the sarcasm), I don't want to have to re-patch in a month or two.
You can see how the inside is all felted around the hole.
All in all, it wouldn't win a ribbon at a state fair, what with it being all worn and now has an awkward square in the middle of the heel, but it does the job. Hopefully I can still get a year or two out these if I treated it more gently. Maybe buff my heel? Don't wear it in clogs and boots?

These socks have always been a little loose due to the stretchiness of the fiber content, which wears them much faster. Always knit socks to be form-fitting.
It looks good enough, and the goal was to knit a patch in a manner that mostly blends in and doesn't feel odd on the bottom of your heel. Check.

I'm curious. Have you had to patch a sock heel yet?