Monday, June 29, 2015

Knitting socks

Hello everyone,

I know I have told this story maybe too many times, but here it comes again ;)
Last October, my family and I traveled to Finland to meet Veera and her family.  We had to do a photoshoot for our second collection, Interpretations 2, and we decided to get to know their country and do the photos there.

We had a wonderfully amazing time.  Just imagine and Argentine family living for a week in Finland's countryside.  Everything was just magical.  And so one day Veera told me she and I were signed up for a sock class one of her friends was teaching in town.  We drove to this sweet cottage (or villas, I don't know the exact term for their beautiful wooden houses) in the middle of the woods, and we enjoyed a wonderful evening learning how to make socks by the candle lights.


I had learned previously how to make them (like 9 years ago I made 2 pairs), but I had no idea what I was doing when I took this short class.  I took some notes in a tiny notebook I was carrying with me, and I started to make my so-called first pair of socks.  


For these ones, I don't have many notes...  I just wrote down that I CO 56 st, and I think I should have CO 48 or even maybe less than that.   But I adored them.  SO MUCH!  They were really special to me.  For the 'body' of the sock, I used Cascade 220 in a heathered gray colorway that Veera kindly 'borrowed' me (like I was going to give it back to her, right?)... And for the toes I went bright and I used Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Chamomile colorway.

OK, and these were my notes, check it out: they are very impressive ;)

It's the evening already, so the colors are home are tinted by winter lights...

So (if anyone is interested to know), what I think I did with these ones was:
Using 3.5mm needles, I CO (using a cable CO probably?) 56 st, and then worked for about an inch in 2x2 ribbing.  Then I continued with the 'leg' pattern, which was the same ribbing, but interrupted by a 'purl to end' row every... maybe 4 or 5 rows.
When the leg was long enough (and this is where the notes came in handy) I worked the heel flap:
1 (RS): K 28 (and kept working only over half the stitches)
2 (WS): (Sl1, p1) 14 times.
And then repeated rows 1 and 2 13 more times (so I needed to have as many rows as stitches I had on my heel flap).
Then I had to do the short-row thingy you do to shape the bottom of the heel flap correctly.  So:
1 (RS): K20, ssk, turn work.
So, let's see what I understand happened here (remember my teacher was Finnish and she spoke Finnish most of the time, so I felt a bit embarrassed to ask too many questions).  I think you need to leave 25% of the stitches unworked before getting to the end of the row, right? So that would be 7 stitches.  But then I have to knit the first of these 7 stitches together with the last stitch from the row I am working (if that makes sense).  So let's say I had to knit 21 st and leave 7 st unworked, I worked a ssk and joined together the st number 21 and the 1st st of the remaining 7 st.
2 (WS): P1, (sl1, p1) 6 times (13 st worked), p2tog, turn work.
Here happens the same thing.  I need to leave 7 st unworked on the other end of the heel flap.  I have 21 st on my needle after turning on the previous row, so I will join st number 14 with the 1st of the remaining 7 st.
3 (RS): Knit until you find that ssk you had work on row 1, remember?  Do not knit it!  Work a ssk with the following st from that segment you had left unworked.
4 (WS): P1 (sl1, p1) until you find that p2tog you had worked on row 2 and purl it with the following st.
And then continue to repeat rows 3 and 4 until you have used up all st from the segments at each end.
When I finished my heel, I worked a RS row, and then I picked up 1 st from every 2 rows of the side of the heel flap, then I worked over the st of the lef I had put on hold, and then I picked up the same amount of stitches from the other side.  This brought me to a total of stitches I don't really remember, but I think I had to decrease about 6 st on each side to get back to my original 56 st count to work the rest of the foot.

Yeah, they were really big...
So then I worked the foot until I considered it long enough, changed colors, and then divided the stitches in 2 halves.  I worked one decrease on each side of each half until I had left about 10 st on each half.  Then I grafted both halves together and voilá!
I am proud to say that I gave my first pair of socks as a gift to the person who introduced me to this lovely technique again: Veera.  Hope she's enjoying them!  (See?  I did give the yarn back to her!)

So after these were done I was kind of hooked with it, so I decided to make a second pair ❤️.



These socks are so dear to me. They took a while to make cause they were on hold for several months, but they are also reminder of my trip to Finland.
The yarn I used is made by one of Finland’s most famous dyers, Knitlob's Lair, and it is called Väinämöinen Sport.  The colorway is called Tammi.
It was gifted by my friend Tiina, who owns a yarn store in Jyväskylä called Titityy. As soon as I arrived home I felt this urge to keep the memories of Finland alive by knitting with this extraordinary colorway something cheerful and totally not related to work. The socks were put on hold during my Argentine summer (and fall, which is also really warm), but winter stroke a couple of weeks ago and I quickly finished them in order to wear them as soon as possible. 
For these, I more or less did the same (I am so damn original)...  I CO 48 st on 3 mm needles (see?  they fit a tiny bit better, hehe), and I work for about 4 cm of 2x2 ribbing.
Then I decided to work a faux cable, which is done by breaking the ribbing: work 4 rows in regular ribbing.  On the 5th row: K1, yo, k1, p2.  On the 6th row: K3, slip the 1st st over the other 2, p2.  And then you just repeat that..
When I got to the heel, I worked it over half the stitches (so that's 24).  And for the short row thingy, since I had to leave 25% of the st unworked at each side: k17, ssk, turn... and on the WS row: P1, (sl1, p1) 5 times, p2tog.  Then everything else I did exactly as for the previous one, only using fewer stitches.  
I just love them.  I know, socks?  Really Joji?  Are you just going to knit socks?  Well no, I am going to knit socks only every now and then, but I am thoroughly enjoying these!

So what happens when you finish a pair of socks?  Apparently you feel compelled to start another one.  Who would've guessed...
In Argentina, people don’t usually take their shoes off when they get into their homes. We stay with our shoes on all day long, while working, cleaning, cooking, chilling, studying… It’s just the costum here, and the way we were all brought up.
I have been thinking lately, however, that everyone at my house gets really annoyed with shoes. I personally struggle to find shoes that are comfortable, and I have such chubby feet that everything is usually tight. And so do my children. The moment they get inside and take a break from whatever they are doing to chill… They just take their shoes off and kick them anywhere.
So today we were talking about it, and we decided we are going to start taking our shoes off as soon as we get inside too, like most other people do around the world. I have a feeling that will help my kids be happier and keep their shoes always at the door (which will make their mother happy too).
Anyway! As first step I tell Nano ‘Look, see? Mommy has hand-knit socks, so it’s alright. I can do it too’… And he sais ‘Oh! Those look so cozy and warm!’
So here I am, casting on a pair of hand-knit socks for my boy, to wear and tear while barefoot around the house ;)

I am using a beautiful yarn my friend Vero gifted me years and years ago!  It's called Merisock, (it used to be made by Punta yarns, from Uruguay) and it's a blend of merino and nylon.  Very sturdy looking.

I tried knitting this with a single thread of yarn, but it was just too skinny, these socks would never be finished!  So I am using the yarn held double.  Nano wears a shoe size Eur 35 (Wait, what??? Where did my baby go?), and I CO 40 st onto 3mm needles. I will probably make the same recipe, you know...  It is a bit intimidating to search Ravelry for sock patterns, there are millions of them!  So I will just make him what I call the Finnish sock, made with Uruguayan yarn ;)
Anyway!
So this goes a bit off topic from the regular content of the blog, but I am having so much fun with these that I thought I'd write about them.

Hope you are having a great week!
~Joji

7 comments:

bubulina said...

Thank you Joji for sharing this 'sock adventure', very interesting post! I only knitted socks for babies, couple of years ago. I don't know, they are not very appealing to me...they seem kind of boring. But, some time I might come in need of them, so you never know!

Potiron said...

I personnally like to do toe-up socks, that way I can go as high as I want to without worrying about having enough yarn to finish the sock.... there's a pattern out there somewhere, kind of like an app, you enter your foot size, the needle you're using and it calculates everything for you... MAGIC!!!

enjoy your sockadventure, your family will love whatever you come up with!!! I love the mix in cultures Finnish and Argentine + a little uruguay kicked in... lovely as always...

Alejandra said...

Qué lindo Joji!!!! Yo también estoy feliz de tejer tantas medias este año, las medias son lo más: chiquitas, portátiles y lo mejor de todo, la cara de la persona querida que las recibe❤️�� vivan las medias Joji!!!!!

Heleen Kok said...

Thank you for your lovely blogpost about how you did get hooked to socks and maybe your family too! I love knitting socks and even designed a few. Most imfortant is a good fit for me because I wear them all the time in my boots. And a pattern that keep interesting but still easy because socks are my on the way projects. Maybe you once will design socks too! Hope your sons love the handmade socks too! Xx HeleenK

Jenn said...

Joji, I love this post! It is hard to imagine you intimidated by anything knitting related. I am knitting a pair of socks too, and just learned magic loop yesterday. I was always intimidated by it but turns out it is easy. I am already thinking about my next pair....

Enke Kristina Walther said...

Now seeing your gray/yellow ones I REALLY need this 'Finnisch socks'!!! They are so simple but wonderful at the same time <3 AND I think there is still some Cascade and Madelinetosh in one of my stash boxes ... Thank you so much for your blogpost xxx

Sonja Kuvik Loyd said...

I love your socks,The colors especially are just right.I have yet to knit socks,I haven't been knitting but almost a year.Guess its time I learn,and If you don't mind,Ill use your pattern and colors.
Beautiful !