Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

Again, apologies for the lateness of this post. I now have a monitor, so I am now back as usual. At some point, I shall need to send my laptop away for repairs, but I’ll worry about that later!

So, back to socks. This week I’m explaining how I wash and generally care for my socks on a day to day basis.

I wash socks in batches of 5 pairs (usually. I can fit 6 pairs on a towel, so sometimes if I’ve been lazy and they’re really piling up I do a batch of 6.). How many you do a time will depend on personal preference, and how many socks you have.

So, after all the socks are piled up ready to be washed,IMGP0223I first of all make sure I have complete pairs, and there aren’t any odd socks missing. Then I carefully go over every sock to check for weak patches, either to fix or to make a note of to watch of more wear. I’ll talk about weal points and repairs in a later post. Also, because I have long hair and I’d rather not wash it with the socks, I pull off and throw away all my hair off them. It’s amazing how much can accumulate on them!

So now the socks look like this

IMGP0224The next step is to actually wash them. If necessary, wash the sink you’ll be using, then fill it with warm water and some form of cleaning agent (I use cheap shampoo, but there are some detergents designed to be used with knitting). Then lay your socks on the bubbles, and leave them to sink down into the water.

IMGP0225Because I don’t want to leave my socks unattended for long periods of time (and it’s a shared bathroom I don’t want to put out of commission for so long!) I gently push them down and stir around. Don’t be too harsh on the socks, otherwise they’re in danger of felting.

After washing them for a bit, I rinse in the same manner- fill the sink with warm water (you don’t want to shock the socks by having a vastly different temperature here) and soak the socks. When you think they’re bubble-free, drain the sick and squeeze as much water as you can out of the socks. DON’T wring them out, they’ll end up massively deformed. As I’m doing this step, I line them up on the edge of the sink in their pairs. Again, it helps make sure that random socks haven’t gone down the drain or anything crazy!

IMGP0226Now all that is left is drying them. I don’t own any sock blockers, and so I lay them out on a towel.

IMGP0227I lay them out on my bed, as I don’t have much floor space! When I go to bed, I replace the towel and roll it up, and then the next morning I roll it out again. In the Winter, they can take 4 days to dry, but when it gets warmer it takes closer to 2!

When they are dry, all that is left to do is fold them up and put them away ready to be used next time!

Sock Saturday- delayed

Hi all,

Unfortunately, I have somehow dropped my laptop and destroyed the screen, and currently am borrowing my housemates TV to see what I am doing. I anticipate getting my own screen on Monday, and should be able to post my Sock Saturday post then.


…I’m not quite sure how much stitching I’m going to get done.

I’ve started another cross stitch card which doesn’t need much stitching to be finished


The caption on this is going to be ‘Sent with Love’, so it can be sent to anyone :) However, I’ve got a bike training day on Saturday, and my PhD work is getting rather frantic, so my Sunday will probably be spent working…We shall see.

Also, I’m in Oxford for a few days, and I’ve found a few yarn shops to visit tomorrow. I wonder how much I’ll spend…I always need more sock yarn :)

I love hand-knit socks. I’ve nearly memorised my standard vanilla sock pattern numbers, yet I have virtually no posts dedicated to the wonderful things. They’re usually thrown at the end of other posts, in a ‘oh hey, I made more socks’, which I think is a bit of a shame. So I decided to make a few posts just about hand-knit socks. They’re lovely things, and deserve more air-time! If there is anything you want to know about socks, drop me a message and I’ll see what I can write about :)

First thing I decided to do was have a look at all the socks I’ve knitted, and see what yarns come up most often.

First thing to do: corral all socks.


Some of these are drying, so we won’t disturb them too much, but here are close ups of all the other socks (except the pair on my feet… :P )

IMGP0220This pair is knit with Rico Superba Mexico (thanks ravelry!) It’s actually very similar to some other sock yarn I’ve got (Superba Chinee) which is a massive coincidence since I don’t think I got it from the same shop( and certainly not the same time!). I knit these with a looser gauge (60 stitches rather than 66), but I think they’re holding up well.

IMGP0215This pair…was a massive mistake. It’s knitted in Wendy Happy, which is a 75/25 bamboo/nylon mix. I’ve never worn them, and I don’t really think that I ever will. Note to self- stick of sock yarn/wool blends for socks! On a related note, it’s also been discontinued now, according to ravelry, which is a shame, because I think it would make awesome shawls.

IMGP0218These are both regia yarn, and they’re lovely to wear. The only problem I’ve had with these is that the socks on the right aren’t colourfast, but when they do bleed, it doesn’t stick to other socks I wash at the same time, so we’re all good.

IMGP0219The yarn used for these socks is apparently Schoeller and Stahl Fortissima Color. I’ve had these for a while now (I knitted them the Summer before I came up to York), and the yarn feels slightly flimsy. Not enough for me to not wear them, but I think I wear them less than other socks.

IMGP0216These two pairs of socks I call my ‘work socks’. They’re one colour, rather than the bright mix I really like wearing, and they’re patterned with cable-esque work, making them look (in my mind) professional. I don’t usually wear these, but save them for work events which require me to be well-dressed. The purple yarn on the left is 100%wool from Loncon 3, which I went to with my dad. The yarn company is a foreign one. The yarn feels like it’s going to hold up really well (it’s tightly spun) and the yarn feels quite rough, so it can be quite painful doing lots of walking on them, but I quite like that. The blue pair is knit with some of the Superba Chinee I mentioned before. Again, this yarn seems to be holding up well, although I’ve only worn them a few times.

IMGP0221This pair…are apparently too old to be listed in ravelry. Wow. Umm, I knit these quite loosely, and made the mistake of pairing a busy yarn with a pattern, with the result that you can’t see the pattern, but you still have the stress of the pattern on the yarn. These are probably the closest to giving out, just because I knit them so far before any of the others, and quite loosely. It’s probably regia, but feels slightly thinner than my other regia socks, just because they’re been used so much more.

I’m currently wearing these:

Digital StillCameraThese are knit with Opal, and they feel about as thick and fluffy as my regia socks- maybe a little bit rougher, but not enough for me to really notice.

Now onto the socks that are currently drying:

Digital StillCameraI call these my zombie socks, because of the mix between purple and green. These are knitted with Zig Zag, and are slightly tight. This might be because the yarn is slightly thinner, as I’ve knitted exactly the same pattern later, and they aren’t too tight. I keep deliberately choosing these socks to wear, because I’d quite like to wear them out so I don’t need to keep wearing them! Now I’ve got so many though, they might get stuck at the back and not really brought out.

LoriansocksMy other jaywalkers. These are knit with Heart and Sole, which I think I love. It’s slightly cheaper than regia, and feels just as nice getting knit up. However, it’s also really hard on the feet, and I certainly wouldn’t choose these socks for a long walk! I would wear these to work events I think :) (These are getting washed for the first time, so I don’t know how it wears, and whether or not it will get softer after washing).

Cardiff2More regia, and I don’t know what it is about these socks, but they’re wonderful! These have been worn quite a bit more than others, just because they don’t seem to loose their softness after multiple washings! I would love to get other colours in this design line, to see if they also keep so soft.

Liasocks3More regia!

Digital StillCameraand finally…more regia!

Wow, I have quite a few pairs of socks! 13 pairs in some kind of rotation, even if it is just ‘when posh socks are needed’, and that pair of Wendys I am probably going to just throw out.

Most of them are regia (5 or 6), two Rico Superba and various others. Most of them are regia, just because that’s what is easiest to get in the UK. However, others are starting to increase in number- I’ve got the first of another pair of Zig Zags on the needles, and another Heart and Sole and Rico in the stash.

Regia is probably the nicest I’ve got. Depending on whether or not the Heart and Sole softens after washing, and how much, they might take over, but there isn’t as big a range available locally as there is for regia. Although, combining Heart and Sole with Zig Zag makes it about as easy to get hold of, so there is that. So I suppose I need to get on knitting up my Zig Zags and see how they do with a pair of socks that fits better!

So far, I haven’t bought any sock yarn online… but part of me wants to start. The rest of me is holding the purse strings… Have you bought sock yarn over the internet? Independent maker, or big company? What did you get? Did you like it? (Hello, slippery slope!)

Next week, I’ll talk about washing and general maintenance of socks.




With my mum’s sewing machine!

I’ve managed to sew the main pieces of a dressmakers dummy pin-cushion. It doesn’t really look right, but I’ll chalk it up to experience and maybe make a better one next year. And the year after…I might start a trend here!


This pattern comes from here. It’s a video tutorial, which I found a little annoying, but it’s well explained and the printable is a pdf directly underneath. Now I’ve made it, and brought it back up North to stuff, it needs to do South again so I can borrow the glue gun to finish it! Talk about long-winded!

I also sewed two triangles together, and then hand sewed it into a little container. This is going to be an ort container, and I have some buttons to sew onto the fold over bits.


This pattern comes from here, and I’m really tempted to make myself one as well! They’re just so cute!

But not everything was completed with the machine. I hand sewed the last of the blue jugging balls. Now they’re just awaiting stuffing, and then practise with more than 3! I can’t wait :)


I keep forgetting to mention, so I’ll stick it here. There’s a pdf with a load of different juggling ball designs, here. So far I’ve only made the 4 and 8 panel shapes, but after stitching all these, I may try some of the others. They’re excellent palate cleansers, between larger projects.

I also cut out some of my butterfly and orange fabric, to make 7 balls, They’ll get sewn up after my small Christmassy ones, but that is probably going to wait until I’ve finished my mum’s birthday bits. I’ve still got lots to go :)


Before I went home, I knitted up another pair of toe-up matching jaywalkers :) This time they even fit! (Not like my zombie ones!)

LoriansocksMaking them matchy-matchy was a challenge, but great fun :) I’ve got this yarn in a darker shade (it’s heart and sole) to do a pair in the same way- toe-up matching jaywalkers, but first I needed a break from matching, so I’ve started another completely different pair. One of them matches one I’ve already knitted, so I’ll get a pair and an odd sock out of this :) I picked up the other yarn when I was in town…I have no idea how the yarn is patterned, which makes it great fun and a lovely surprise as I knit. No doubt sooner or later I’ll get a repeat, which will spoil it somewhat, but hey ho!


I also started knitting a cover for my ear-buds. I’m using cotton sport-weight, and my 1.5mm Karbonz. Yes, I am slightly insane :) It’s taking way longer than I thought it would (big surprise :P ) but I’ll get there. I’m loving the colour repeats on it, so it’s all good!

earphonesSo what have you all been up to over Easter? Any tips for getting back into working mode after the holidays?

WIPocalypse the fourth

So, we’re now more than a quarter of the way through the year (and that’s a rather scary thought!), and it;s time for another WIPocalypse post. The question this time…

Which specialty stitches do you love doing on projects? Which do you dread?

I don’t do those needlework projects, so I’ve never done such things as eye stitches, or butterfly stitches (or whatever they’re called- I usually just skip to the pretty pictures!)

However, I do enjoy beading projects, and will commonly swap out confetti stitches or French knots for them (not that I hate French knots, just that I much prefer beads, they’re so pretty!)

Wow, I’m coming across rather strangely this month! I totally blame the cold I’ve got, but hey ho.

Anyway, I’m not so fond of back-stitching, but the effect of it makes it totally worth-while! As long as I don’t need to do it all in one go, but can stitch a section and then back-stitch it.

Another thing I love is using sparkly thread, although I’m not sure if that counts as a specialty stitch. I think so, as it takes more effort, but I suppose that you’re still making the standard cross for cross stitch, or back-stitch, which I’ve already mentioned.

I can’t really think of any other specialty stitches that I do really. So, onto the pictures!

I managed to finish my butterfly! Woot!

butterfly7It has been ironed (gently, so as to not ruin the beadwork or blending filament), and is off at the framers. My parents will pick it up tomorrow, and then bring it up to me in July when they come up to help me move. I can’t believe that it’s so close(and yet so far still) to getting hung up!

I haven’t done much other cross stitching- I’ve been busy working on my mum’s birthday presents, but they’re sewing, rather than cross stitch, so I’ll talk about those in another post.

However, now that butterfly has been finished (and I’ve worked through a few cards to get it out of my system!), I’m ready to pick up another big piece. And next I will be working on Stained Glass again. This is how far I have gotten so far


and so hopefully I’ll be able to put a few stitches into it at some point :) I also do have a few cards I need to get done, but they’re not especially urgent right now, so we’ll see what I feel like working on.

Dorset buttons take 2

So apparently my buttons are a little tricky to see(oops, sorry!), so here’s another photo of them :)


Also, I was busy yesterday completely making the first (well, technically second, but one was finished a while ago) pin cushions for my mum. What do you all think of this one? I think it’s utterly adorable, if a little plain :)crownAnd here’s a sideways view of it

crown2This one is destined to go on my mum’s sewing machine (attached by velcro so when there are multiple pin cushions, she can swap and change as she wants to :) ) to remind her that even when it’s going wrong, she’s still the queen of it all :)

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