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Lots of Socks

happy-feet-2

We’ve got socks-on-the-brain at Loop, this week. No, not a new illness, we’re planning our summer knitting: small, portable projects that can build our winter gift giving stash… or end up on our own feet, come autumn.

I like to use my “fancy” sock yarns to knit the bodies of my socks and then slip in contrasting, afterthought heels in hardwearing Lang Jawoll Superwash sock. Not only is this great for self-striping and hand-dyed yarns, as the afterthought yarn won’t break up the colour pattern, but it extends your “fancy” sock yarn so you can get more out of it.

We have Jawoll Sock in 53 colours! Each ball comes with a matching spool of nylon tucked inside. Knit the spool yarn together with the ball yarn on toes and heels and areas that receive a lot of wear (such as fingertips on gloves).

Lang wool

 

Afterthought heels can also be replaced if they start to wear-out before the rest of the sock. Just pick-up the stitches from the main body, reknit the heel and then cut out your old one.

stacko-socks

I’ve made odd-matched socks, so I can really extend the number of socks I get from three balls of yarn… and so I don’t get bored with my colour choices. The three balls I’m using here can give my little feet at least 7 odd-matched socks.

small-yarn

Tosh Sock in Saffron, Lang Jawoll in Taupe 45 and Tosh Sock in Fig

There are loads of great patterns for socks with afterthought heels. I’ve included my own recipe as a pdf download at the end of the post, as well as some detailed snaps of that afterthought heel in progress.

picking upColumns left to right, top to bottom:

a) The sock heel from the right-side with bright yellow waste yarn for my heel.

b) Turning the sock inside out and looking at the waste yarn from the wrong-side makes it easier to spot the stitches for picking up.

c) The waste yarn is still attached, while the circular needle picks up the sock stitches between the waste yarn purl bumps.

d) A close-up of a few of the stitche,s being picked up from the waste yarn.

e) All the stitches are on the needles. Time to remove the waste yarn.

Next comes the knitting of the heel.

knit heelColumns left to right, top to bottom:

a) Beginning at one side, I unpick the waste yarn. I may use small scissors or an extra needle to pull the waste yarn back out, through the stitches.

b) All the stitches are on the needles.

c) Push the stitches down onto the needle cable and feed the ends of the needle tips up through the sock to turn right-side-out.

d) All ready to knit.

e) The first half of the stitches are knit. You can see one strand is coming from the Lang ball and one from the nylon spool. The yellow thread holds a single stitch that I failed to pick up. I will pick it up as I come to it. I’m about to make the 2 extra sts by twisting the sides of stitches between the upper and lower needle.

Time to start knitting that heel.

knitting-heel

And then graf,t with kitchener stitch, to close final stitches.

graft-heel

Yes, I admit it, even though I twist my edge stitches, I sometimes still end up with a little hole at the corners.

hole

I don’t sweat it though. I’m happy to turn it inside out and darn shut while I weave in all my ends.

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That’s it, all done (hole invisible now). Happy knitting! – Juju at Loop

finished

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