Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Eeeek...squeals of delight. I finished my "magical blue socks" last night.  However, I won't show you all the photo till I'm finished with the tutorial.

If you want to see part one of my "magical blue ribbed knit socks" tutorial, please click on the link below:
Magical blue ribbed knit socks with tutorial

Today we'll be knitting the ribbed knit cuff part of the sock.  I decided to go with the "stockinette stitch" test swatch when figuring out how many stitches I needed for my ribbed knit cuff.


Glad you asked.  I don't like slouchy socks, so I wanted to make sure they held up nicely.  So if you remember back to the previous post, my test swatch in stockinette stitch came out to 1" inch = 9 stitches. 

I rounded down to 10" length around the calf, again because I like my socks to fit well.  So 10" inches around multiplied by 9 stitches to the inch = 90 stitches.

When knitting, I like to make sure that I'm working with a number that is a multiple of 4 and 8. It makes the knit piece so much nicer and easier to work with.  In this case, that number is 88 stitches. I always round the number DOWN.

COOL TIP: For added "elasticity" and  strength in your knitted socks, try knitting the initial beginning of the cuff using double pointed needles that are one size SMALLER, then the needles you plan to use for the main portion of your sock project.

So find a set of Size 00 US (1.75 mm) double-pointed knitting needles.

If you're like me, you have about three sets laying around the house.  Just don't sit on them. It hurts. Been there, done that...for real. Ouchie.

Okay, so with your Size 00 US (1.75 mm) double-pointed needles, cast on 88 stitiches.

COOL TIP: For a nice, loose cast on that is not too tight, hold TWO of these double-pointed needles together when casting on your first set of stitches.  As you continue to knit your socks, the tension will tighten up just a bit, and be just perfect.  Otherwise, if you don't do that, you run the risk of it being too tight.

Now that you've cast on the 88 stitches, you want to carefully join it together in the round. Make sure that the stitches are all pointing the same direction, so that you don't end up with one of those mobius-things.

With your Size 00 US (1.75 mm) double-pointed knitting needles, knit a ribbed stitch as follows:

knit 2, purl 2

Knit that around for a total of 7 rows.

At the beginning of Row 8, switch to larger Size 0 US (2 mm) double-pointed knitting needles.  Continue in the knit 2, purl 2 ribbed pattern until the cuff measures 4" inches in length from the top. In this case, you'll continue in this pattern until you complete a total of 50 rows.

I chose a short cuff because I only had one skein of this sock yarn and my feet are gigantic. So I wanted to make sure there was enough yarn to cover both of my feet.  This is why I made the cuff nice and short. Here is what my cuff looks like after I had reached the 4" inch cuff length:

That's enough for today's lesson.  Next time I'll show you how to knit the heel flap and shape the heel.  I've got some cool tips/tricks for doing this, too. Oh and it comes from making many, many mistakes. No matter. I LOVE knitting.

Again, let me know if you have any questions whatsoever. If I need to explain anything in more detail, I'll be happy to do that for you.

With that, I leave you with this photo for the day:

That's a photo of my vintage Foley Sift-chine triple screen sifter. Isn't it CA-UTE? I LOVE vintage stuff. This one is from the 1960s. I purchased it at a yard sale awhile back.

That is the news from the ocean shores of California today.  Love and hugs to your day today, Heather

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Hi everyone,

Okay, I'm back with a sock tutorial.  I've been knitting myself a pair of blue ribbed knit socks for myself.  I thought this would also make a really nice tutorial. So here I go..wish me luck.  I'll be sharing a little bit each week. Before I get to the sock tutorial, I wanted to show you a photo of one of the finished knee-high ribbed knit socks that I made for my father:

There was some "shaping" involved in the cuff, which meant increases and decreases.  That went well. I'm not sure if I did the increases and decreases in the right spots. In fact, I'm pretty sure I did NOT, but I did achieve the end result I was looking for. My dad tried it on and laughed. He was so happy because the socks fit perfectly.  The sock looks "small and skinny", but they stretch to fit, and it was like sand in an hourglass. Absolutely perfect fit.

Okay, now for the good stuff.  Here's my "tutorial" on how to make socks.  The pattern that I'll be giving here are socks to fit my big Size 11 feet.  Actually, they're more like a size 10.  However, my feet are really wide, so I usually have to wear a size 11 shoe.

The first thing that you want to do when knitting custom-fit socks is to measure the feet of the person you are knitting the socks for. In this case, I'm making myself a pair of socks.  There are THREE things that you want to measure:

A) Length of the foot (from the back of the heel to the end of the big toe)

B) The diameter of the calf (where the top of the cuff will be).
- in this case, I measured the diameter of my calf about 4" inches from the top of the heel. I'm making these socks to wear with my Teva walking sandals.

C) Ball of the foot (measuring the circumference around the widest part of the foot)

When I take the B and C measurements, I ALWAYS take those measurements standing up.  The numbers will always be more accurate and realistic that way.

So just how GIANT are my feet?  Here's what I came up with:

A) 10 1/2" inches long

B) 10 1/2" diameter around the calf (measured 4" inches from top of heel)

C) 9 1/2" inches around ball of the foot.

The next thing to do is to choose a sock yarn that you like.  I happened to have this in my knitting stash, so I wanted to use it up. This is a German sock yarn that is mostly wool with a bit of acrylic mixed in. This is really nice because it makes the socks washable. You also don't have to add reinforcing thread in the heel or toe, unless you want to, since the yarn already has some acrylic built into it:

The yarn I am using here is called "Zauber Wolle" That means "Magic Wool" in German. This yarn is not cheap, BUT it has the ABSOLUTE BEST color transitions of any variegated sock yarn I have ever seen so far.  This is enough to make one pair of socks with a short cuff.  Oh, also gather some knitting needles, a ruler, a DVD to watch while you're knitting.  Here's a slightly closer photo of the yarn that I'm using for these socks:

I'm just loving these different shades of blue.  I'll be using two different sizes of double-pointed knitting needles. However, you don't need to worry about that till the next lesson. Today I'm just going to talk about knitting a gauge swatch to figure out how many stitches you'll need for your socks. 

I am using Size 0 US (Size 2 mm) double-pointed knitting needles for my socks. 

I knit TWO different gauge swatches.

The first one is in "knit 2, purl 2" ribbing for 32 stitches across times 42 rows.  The result was:
1" inch = 16 stitches across

The second gauge swatch was knit in stockinette stitich (knit across and purl back) I also knit 32 stitches across times 42 rows.  The result was:
1" inch = 9 stitches across

This is what my "rib stitch" gauge swatch looked like:              

I like my socks to be custom fitted. I also don't like socks with cuffs that slouch around my ankles.  That was popular in the 80s. Been there, done that, don't want to do that again. So, I'm after a nice-looking cuff that will fit nicely around my calf.  So in this case, even though I had 16 stiches to the inch when using the rib knit pattern, I decided to go with the stockinette stitch gauge for figuring out how many stitches I need to knit the cuff of my ribbed knit sock.

I subtracted 1/2" inch from the measurement to get a nice fit. In this case, my calf is 10 1/2" around minute 1/2" inch = 10 inches. 

Take the number 10 and multiply that by 9 stitches to the inch = 90 stitches.

I ALWAYS use four double-pointed needles whenever I knit something in the round, and knit in with the fifth needle. You get a much nicer garment that way with less stress at the corners on the those stitches.  That is something I learned while living in Scandinavia. 

I also like to make it a number that is divisible by 4 and 8 so that I have an even number of stitches to work with.  In my case, I rounded DOWN to 88 stitches.  It's a nice even number AND it works with my "knit 2, purl 2" ribbed knit cuff.

That is all for today's sock tutorial.  Next Wednesday we'll actually start knitting the sock itself. So practice knitting your gauge swatches. If you have any questions, please let me know.  I'll do my best to answer your questions.

I'm also a really experienced sock knitter. I've been doing this for over 12 years now. However, this is my first time teaching someone else how to knit socks. So please let me know if there's something I need to explain better for all you sweet readers.

Until then, I leave you with a photo of these beautiful, pink flowers that I photographed a few days ago:

I'm just loving all of those different shades of pink. 

That's the news from the beautiful ocean shores of California today.  Love and hugs to your day, Heather 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


UPDATE: on May 10th at 4:53 p.m.
Okay, I just want to remind all my sweet readers, that this is NOT a sock tutorial. This is just my experimenting, trying to find the perfect sock pattern for my dad :) :

I WILL actually be doing a sock tutorial as soon as I finish knitting this second ribbed sock.  In the meantime, I did pick up a really fun book of sock patterns at the library today. Inside was a pattern for a really nice tube sock.  I may try that pattern next for my father :)

I hope you are all having a wonderful day.  That's the news from the ocean shores of California today.  Love and hugs, Heather :)

Hi everyone,

Okay, so I finished the first sock.  It's not quite what I'm after in terms of the increases and decreases in the ribbed cuff. That's okay.  It fits my dad's foot perfectly. However, I only made the cuff 11 inches instead of 14. Ooops, totally forgot about that.  I'll post a pic of that sock at the end of today's post.

I started working on the second sock a few days ago. I'm changing the pattern slightly.  Again, I'm not exactly sure of what I"m doing, since I don't have a pattern to reference. So this is just something I'm making up as I go along.  I'll also include "instructions" on what I"m doing.  If you want to try this, you can. Just remember, this is not really a tutorial. Rather, I'm just sharing this, so if any of you more experienced knitters out there can give me some ideas/help, that would be greatly appreciated.  As of the end of  last night, I'd knit 2 inches on the ribbed knit cuff:

The two things you need first:
- sock yarn
- double-pointed knitting needles.

If you have questions about why I use certain things, just leave me a friendly comment. When I get ready to do an actual sock tutorial "officially", then I'll go more into the knitty gritty of why I like to do things a certain way.

Using Size 00 US (1.75 mm) double-pointed needles, cast on 120 stitches.

Knit 2, purl 2 in the round till cuff measures 1"
In my case, it was rows 1-12

On Row 13, increase to 128 stitches:
I did this: (knit2, purl2) x4, inc 1 purl stitch.

I repeated that whole process 6 more times.

Then I did this: (knit 2, purl 2)x2, increase 1 purl stitich

Then continue in ribbing pattern in the round, paying attention to those extra stitches.  I used "stitch markers" to mark off the different sections so I don't get confused.

Continue in this pattern until Row 24 = 2 inches (from top of cuff)

On Row 25, increase to 136 stitches.

On Row 25 I did this: (knit 2, purl 2)x4, purl 1, increase 1 purl stitch

Repeat that whole process 6 more times. Then:

(knit 2, purl 2), purl 1, increase 1 purl stitch

Continue following ribbing pattern, being mindful of the extra purl stitches till you complete Row 37 = 3 inches

On Row 38, decrease to 128 stitches this way: 
(knit 2, purl 2)x4, purl 2 together

Repeat that whole process 6 more times.

Then: (knit 2, purl 2)x2, purl 2 together

On Row 40 switch to Size 0 US (2 mm) double-pointed needles. Why?...because I forgot to do it at Row 38. Hee hee hee :) :)  I was watching "Anne of Green Gables" on my dvd player.

This is what the second sock looks like as of Row 42:

When I do my "official" sock tutorial, I'll be more mindful of how I write out my instructions.  You should see my composition book. It's a mess with all my notes.

I think this is a good place to stop for now, or else this post will go on forever and ever. That's not so bad when it comes to knitting.  This is a photo of the first sock that I knitted for my father.  The leg looks really skinny. Remember it's done in the rib stitch, specifically knit 2, purl 2 with some minor changes fr increasing and decreasing. It's got a really nice stretch to it. It fits my dad's leg perfectly.  Here is what it looks like:

I just loved seeing my dad's happy face when I finished the first sock. He doesn't say so, but I can tell he's really anxious for me to finish the second one. Everytime we're sitting in front of the tv, I'm knitting. He keeps sneeking peeks at what I'm doing :) :) Sweetness :) :)

Oh,  I'm reworking my "It makes cents to me" posts on Fridays.  I've got some ideas .

What else, speaking of my daddy, here's a photo of him walking my aunt's dog.  Aren't they cute?  I am so grateful that God spared my daddy's life:

This is my sweet daddy walking my aunt's dog.  I like to call her "my dog" while my aunt is away.  She's definitely a "sniffer", so when you take her for a walk, just plan on it taking a long time. 

That is the news from the ocean shores of California today.  Love and hugs to your day, Heather

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Hi everyone,

So  I'm "glad" that I ripped out 8 inches worth of ribbed knitting in the round to start all over.  This version is still not quite what I'm imagining in my head. However, it certainly is much better than the previous attempt.  As of Friday afternoon, this is where I was at with the cuff on the first sock:

I'm knitting like it's going out of style, trying to get these socks finished, while not ignoring my other household duties like eating and sleeping.

This is where I ended up last night after watching the "Hawaii 5-0" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" crossover tv event last night:

The sock looks really skinny, but remember that anytime you knit in knit2, purl2 ribbing, that it's super stretchy.  Plus, this is just an experiment in knitting. However, I know that my daddy will happily wear these socks once they're finished.

He was watching tv with me last night and kept looking over at me while I was knitting. He had a smile on his face. So even though he's not talking a whole lot about it, I can tell that he's excited to see progress on the socks ;) :)

That is the news from the ocean shores of the California today. I hope that you all are having a good day today. Thanks for visiting me.  Love and hugs, Heather