Monday, 21 September 2015

What socks it all about......

It's not long before we all cast on our socks for the Great British Socks Away KAL, we have some great prizes lined up which I will reveal once we have got under way.  

In the mean time I have asked some of my favourite designers and sock knitting friends to share why they love knitting and / or designing socks.....   

Stumpy on Ravelry

"I love to knit socks because I love to wear them and they are a very portable project."

Joeli from Joeli's Kitchen
"I love to knit socks because they are quick, mindless, always fit and are one million times better than store bought socks."

Pheasant Vanilla socks in WYS Signature Birds
Mazzy AKA Mazknitter on Ravelry

“I love to knit socks because there’s such variety in design, texture and colour. I can wear something that I’ve hand-knitted almost every day of the year and don’t have to obsess about whether they ‘go with my wardrobe’ because even if they’re a bit bright and quirky I can wear them secretly inside boots, where they’re not seen but I still know that they’re there. I love knitting my own socks because they last so much longer than shop-bought (even if 100% wool ones sometimes need a lot of TLC and darning): some of my hand-knitted socks are easily over 20 years old and still getting regular wear. And, finally, I love to knit socks on buses because when I do it then people talk to me because they’re intrigued by all those little needles and the idea of ‘turning a heel’.”

Louise Tilbrook
"I love to design socks because they are the perfect, portable project. A small canvas on which to unleash your creativity and you have a fabulous giftable item at the end."
Planum Socks
Clare Devine's Sock Anatomy
in The Knitting Goddess Britsock 

Shelley AKA All4meggomoo on Ravelry 
"I love knitting socks because they are a portable project & because the patterns and designs are endless meaning you have a truly unique pair of socks."

Clare Devine  
“I love designing and knitting socks because of the many ingenious ways a sock can be constructed. I love experimenting with heels and toes and always enjoy finding a new way to adjust socks for the perfect fit"  

Kate AKA Katestwirl on Ravelry
"I love knitting socks because they’re portable enough to knit on the commute (even if you don’t get a seat) and because I’m ever so slightly addicted to self striping yarns."

Do you love to knit or design socks?  Or perhaps you have not yet been bitten by the sock knitting bug..... let us know!  If you fancy joining the Great British Socks Away KAL the sign up thread is still open.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Sock and Yarn Ideas for the Great British Socks Away KAL

Have you decided on what socks and yarn you will be casting on for our GB Socks Away KAL?

Here are some of my favourites sock patterns and yarns if you are still undecided (as I am).

If you are new to sock knitting and fancy joining in the KAL you might want to have a look at Sock Anatomy by Clare Devine.  The book includes nine designs sized from baby to adults.  East design looks at a different technique and there are lots of diagrams to support you.  It is also a great book if you want to learn about different sock construction methods.  All the patterns use West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply, a great value British sock yarn which comes in a wide range of shades.

Another brilliant pattern is Rye, a free pattern by Tin Can Knits.  The socks are worked in Aran weight yarn and the super Tin Can Knit ladies have created some tutorials to accompany the design.  I think these would be great for wearing around the house to keep your feet warm and would be particular toasty in the WYS Bluefaced Leicester Aran.  If you don't fancy making adult size socks the pattern covers baby and children sizes also.
Rye by Tin Can Knits.
Image used with kind permission from Tin Can Knits

If you are looking for a book that will take you through a range of skill levels then Rachel Coopey's Coop Knit Socks V2 fits the bill.  Included in the book are twelve designs ranging from Dave, a plain top down sock to the pretty cables and twisted stitches of Eula.  These socks would look simply stunning in The Knitting Goddess Britsock.  If you were looking for a yarn which contained no nylon, Blacker Yarns Classic 4 ply fits the bill.

Britsock in the Tiffany colourway
When I looked on Ravelry there were 24,535 entries for sock patterns!  Here are a few links to my favourites.

  • If you fancy making some crochet socks Ravelry has a large selection including Lounge Around Socks by Sarah Reed. 
  • Joeli Caparco's Toasty Explorer Socks have been in my Ravelry favourites since the pattern was released.  These would make excellent hiking socks as they are made in a DK weight yarn.  Joeli has made herself a pair in the WYS Aire Valley yarn.
Joeli's Toasty Explorer Socks
  • I tackled my first afterthought heel with these next socks.  It is Rosthwaite by Louise Tilbrook.  The design features easy cables which look really effective.  I made mine in West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply.
My Rosthwaite Socks

I also hear that Karie Westermann will soon be releasing her sock patterns which she designed for the Old Maiden Aunt Sock Club earlier this year.  
I hope that has helped you on your way to choosing what to cast on for the #GBsocksawaykal.  The sign up thread is open so pop over and share what you will be starting on the 1st October.

Friday, 11 September 2015

BritYarn #9 A trip to London and Cornish Tin

Show Notes

Saturday  5th September - was great to see so many of you.  Purchases from:
The Wool Kitchen
Knit Sonik
Yellow Bear Wares

Wild and Woolly LYS Sunday afternoon

Monday, 7 September 2015

Announcing the GB Socks Away KAL


As the 1st Socktober draws near it's the perfect time to announce BritYarn's Great British Socks Away KAL. 

The KAL will start on Thursday 1st October over in the BritYarn Ravelry group and the rules are very simple.

  • We will all cast on our socks of choice on Thursday 1st October.
  • The yarn must be either be grown in Britain OR be grown local to you if you do not live in Great Britain.  Of course you are still welcome to use British grown yarn if you wish.  The yarn can be from your stash, a BritYarn purchase or bought from elsewhere.
  • Any sock pattern may be used.
  • To be eligible for a prize you need to post a photo of your finished pair of socks in the FO thread in the BritYarn Ravelry group by midnight Sunday 8th November.
  • You may double dip as long as the above rules apply.
The sign up thread is open so pop over and let everyone know what socks you will be casting on and what yarn you plan to use. The sign up thread is also the place to ask any questions or seek advice from fellow KAL members.  We have some great prizes lined up, which I will reveal once we have got under way.

This does not have to be just a KAL. It can also be a CAL if crochet socks are more your thing.

If you have never knitted socks before and fancy joining joining in, socks can be made in any weight of yarn.  Tin Can Knits have a brilliant free pattern suitable for beginners called Rye.  These are knit in an Aran weight yarn, making them much quicker then 4 ply socks.  Tin Can Knits have created lots of useful tutorials to help you along the way. 
Tin Can Knits Rye Socks
Image used with kind permission from TCK.

BritYarn has a selection of sock patterns which might take your fancy, if you are stuck for ideas!  Also BritYarn's next blog post will explore different sock designs and yarn options.  I can't wait to chat to you all in the sign up thread!