Knits for feet

We’re all looking for something homey and comfy to help sooth that savage beast who wants to yell “enough already.”  Knitting stuff for feet, actually knitting anything, will help us knitters stay grounded in trying times.

This is a pair of socks I knit from one skein of Schachenmayr Regia Arne & Carlos Pairfect. There’s a pattern inside the ball band. It’s printed so tiny I had to get out the magnifying glass that I use to read the warnings on pharmacy products. Once I read it I saw it was just your basic sock pattern, so I decided to rely on a pattern that I could read easily: Vanilla Latte socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes.

Vanilla Latte is a Ravelry freebie that over 14,400 Ravelers have knit and posted on their project pages. It’s a bit of a sock recipe, where you pick your heel style and your toe style. I picked an eye of partridge stitch for the heel and what the designer calls a “rounded toe wedge.” This pre-dyed yarn isn’t going to show up properly without stockinette. So I worked the rest of the sock plainly, instead of relying on the pattern stitch that is the signature of Vanilla Latte. I guess I made a very plain Vanilla Latte.

Perfect fit!

When I saw the pattern for Katerina Mushyn’s Two Needle Socks appear on Ravelry I quickly acquired some bulky yarn and set to work. The pattern calls for Aran weight, but I figured I’d be using these as slippers or boot socks and I wanted to knit a tight gauge. So I tried a new (to me) bulky yarn, Sirdar’s Harrad Tweed Chunky. It was ridiculously discounted and I figured I’d give it a go. The yarn is very messy to work with, because slubs fly all over the place, so I can’t recommend the yarn. But the socks? Well check them out.

First, let me show you my feet wearing my new socks. I’m doing this to convince you, from the outset, that this pattern really does work.

This pattern results in a sock that is a good fit for human feet. But here’s what you have when you complete your knitting.

I just had to knit them to see how that turned into this:

As you can tell, there’s a fair bit of sewing to pull this off. It’s nothing challenging though. They aren’t going to win any beauty contests, but they were a hoot to knit! And the pattern is a Ravelry freebie.

The Russian designer’s English version of the pattern is easy to work with. But if you have any trouble, I very much enjoyed her video on how to knit the pattern. From watching the designer’s video and examining her sample before it’s sewn together, it’s clear that the designer slipped the first stitch of each garter stitch row (purlwise) and purled the last stitch of each garter stitch row. That’s what the English pattern is referring to as the “edge stitch” in the decrease and increase sections (the toe and the heel). The instructions for sewing the socks up are especially useful and that starts about 19:45 minutes into the video. Knitting hands speak a language we all understand.

These past few months have also found me replenishing the big guys’ bootie supply. That doesn’t sound right. I’ve been knitting Kris Basta’s freebie Better Dorm Boots. Versions of these dorm boots have been kicking around the internet from the early days of the old Knitlist. I like Basta’s version. My only modifications are that I use a chunky weight yarn rather than two strands of worsted. And I knit the ribbing through 60 rows rather than 45 because I like them cuffed.

My favorite yarn for these best dorm boots is Plymouth Encore Chunky. The 75% acrylic 25% wool makes for easy care.

Patons Shetland Chunky works well too:

I knit mine using size 10 US needles and they fit a size 10-11 manfoot. Be sure to bind off loosely on the cuff so you don’t cut off a fellow’s circulation!

Oh Juicy!

Black Sheep Knitters Guild had its annual “Brown Bag Swap” a few months ago. You probably already know how that goes. Bring a gift, pick a gift, steal somebody else’s gift, or pick a new one. I generally favor the strategy of picking a gift that isn’t nicely wrapped. After all, maybe you can tell a book by its lack of cover. It’s a fun diversion.

I’ve never knit with Bad Amy. This Indie dyer‘s yarns tend to sell out quickly. And she runs yarn clubs that have a lot of competition to get into. Someone-who-will-not-be-named put this self-striping skein of the “Oh Juicy” colorway into the swap. Oh Lordy! A gift can only be stolen twice and then it lands where it landed. Oh Juicy was chosen. But the giftee didn’t get to keep it. Steal #1. When my swap number was called soon after, it was Steal #2. And so Oh Juicy stayed with me. Lovely stuff. 80% merino, 20% nylon. Should hold up well.

This is my Oh, Juicy knit up in Virginia Rose-Jeane’s great free pattern, Vanilla Latte Socks. It’s one of the most knit free sock patterns on Ravelry: 7685 projects posted. It is top-down knit, designed to be worked on magic-loop or two circulars. But it is very easily adaptable to double pointed needles. That’s my preference.

I knitted the largest size, on 72 stitches, using US size one needles. I chose the “eye of partridge” stitch for the heel and the rounded toe.

A perfect fit.

And, if the sock fits, wear it. These are mine, for sure.

The skein is generous. I needed only 14 grams of the 25-gram contrast yarn. And I had 20 grams left of the 100 gram skein of the main color.

There was enough yarn left for an Oh, Juicy bear.

This is my old stand-by bear pattern, from Lesley Ann Price’s “Kids Knits” book. You’ll have to search the library stacks to find that one. Thirteen of the eighteen Rav project pages on this bear are mine. And that’s not all I’ve made. In the last 20 years or so, I’ve probably knit a hundred of these guys! The bear is knit flat, in one piece (after you join the legs on the needles). Very little seaming. Piece ‘o cake. My Juicy has already been gifted to a little guy.