Socks of Pain

So my biggest craft fail to date has been socks! This year I did much better at making loads of Christmas presents, especially for my friends at Christmas 2. Last year, however was a different story. I thought it would be quick and fun to knit a pair of socks for each of the 3 guys in my group. I was wrong. It took me a week less than A WHOLE YEAR to knit them all. I think this is partly because once I’d missed the deadline, there wasn’t really a rush to finish them! It also meant, though, that I didn’t knit much else during the last year as each time I thought about it, I realised I should finish the socks first!

I used a free pattern from a little wool shop in Inverurie so I’ll copy it all out here in case anyone wants some knitting punishment. These are not the first thing I knitted in the round, but they may well be the last…..

Pattern: To fit medium adult
Abbreviations:
k                   knit
p                   purl
St(s)            stitch(es)
P2tog         purl 2 sts together
Ssk2tog     slip next stitch knitways, put point of left needle into front of both these sts and knit them together
DPN           double-pointed needles

You will need:
1 x 100g Ball of Trekking or Opal 4ply sock yarn and a set of 2.5mm DPNs, stitch markers and a needle to sew in the ends.

Tension:
36sts and 48 rows to 10cm using 2 1/2 needles.
Place your stitch markers on your needles when required in the pattern and pass them from left needle to right needle as you reach them.

Sock Ribbing:
Cast on 60 sts (loosely). Divide these sts evenly over 3 DPNs.
Check carefully that sts are not twisted.

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Bringing your 4th DPN into play, join into a round and mark the start of round, working in a k2, p2 rib pattern for 16 rounds (the first few rounds are always fiddley, however, after a few it does get easier!).

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Cuff:
Rounds 17 – 73 (66 rows): knit (by ‘knitting’ every round, you will make stocking stitch).

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Heel Flap:
Knit 15 sts, turn.
Row 1: slip first st, p29, turn.
Move rest of sts to spare needles.
Row 2: slip first st, k 29 sts, turn.
You will now be working back and forth on these 30 sts and repeating row 1 & 2 a further 14 times (you will have worked 30 rows in total).

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To Shape The Heel:
Row 1: slip first st, p16 sts, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 2: slip first st, k5, Ssk2tog, k1, turn.
Row 3: slip first st, p6, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 4: slip first st, k7, Ssk2tog, k1, turn.
Continue in the same way by taking in one more st every row until all the sts from the heel flap are included. You will now have 18 sts on this needle.

Sorry, blurring photo! And apparently I stopped taking pictures at this point.....

Sorry, blurring photo! And apparently I stopped taking pictures at this point…..

Gusset:Pick up 15 sts knitwise down side of heel flap, place a marker. Knit 30 sts from cuff, place a marker, pick up 15 sts knitwise from the other side of heel flap. Arrange these 78 sts on 4 needles and bring a 5th needle into play).

Gusset Shaping:
Round 1: k to within 3 sts of first marker. K2tog, k1, k to next marker, k1, Ssk2tog, k to end of round.
Round 2: k
Repeat rounds 1 & 2 decreasing until you have 60 sts left on your needles ending with a round 2.

Foot:Knit 48 rounds (or desired length, take out or add in rounds depending on length of foot – I made 2 pairs this length and one pair with 56 rows for my tall friend with large feet).

Toe Shaping:
Round 1: knit to 3 sts before first marker, k2tog, k1 (slip marker), k1, Ssk2tog, knit to 3 sts before next marker, k2tog, k1 (slip marker), k1, Ssk2tog, k to end.
Round 2: k
Repeat rounds 1 & 2 until 24 sts are left, ending on a round 2. Knit to first marker.
The knitting part of the Sock 1 is now complete. All that remains is to arrange the toe sts so that they can be grafted together.
Grafting is a wonderful way of invisibly joining knitting sts.
You need to arrange the remaining sts onto 2 needles so that the first 6 and last 6 sts of a round are on one needle and the mid 12 sts are on a second needle.

Grafting:
Cut yarn leaving a 20cm length to work your grafting.
Thread your length through a needle. Hold the 2 DPNs together parallel with the thread hanging from the back sts at the right.
Put the needle purlwise into first st on front needle and pull yarn through.
Put the needle knitwise into first st on back needle and pull yarn through.

Then:*Put needle knitwise into 1st st on front needle and slip st off knitting needle. Put needle purlwise into next st on front needle and pull yarn through. Put needle purlwise into first st on back needle and slip st off knitting needle. Put needle knitwise into next st on back needle and pull yarn through.*

Repeat from * to * until all the sts have been grafted.
Secure the only 2 ends you have neatly to the inside of your sock.
All that’s left now is to knit your second sock!

I found the pattern pretty easy to follow, except the last bit about the grafting – I didn’t do it right so the toes all looked a bit odd. But I was kind of passed caring by the time I got to the end!

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Square Cushion

When I first got back into knitting a couple of years ago, I tried to make as many Christmas presents as possible. Since I had no life that Winter, I managed to make 2 scarves (which you can see here) and 2 cushions, both of which were stripy and used mostly the same wool (to cut on costs) but with a couple of differences (you can see the other cushion here). This cushion included pink as it was for my friend Fran and she likes pink. You can find the pattern here – there’s no point me typing it out and I think it might breach copyright or something.

I’m not sure if the colours are meant to match on the seams when you sew it all together, but my tension is always a bit off so mine didn’t but I don’t think it affects the look of the cushion at all.

Square stripy cushion

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Tip: As I said earlier, my tension is always a bit rubbish (i.e. looser than it should be) so I would buy the cushion pad after you’ve finished the knitting to make sure it will fit.

Round Rug

Last Christmas I made a rug for my sister, to match the colours of things she and her husband already had in their sitting room. I thought a round rug would be nice so I used the pattern I had already used for the round cushion to make the rug and just kept on knitting until it seemed big enough for a rug (though it’s not massive). When it got a few rows bigger than the cushion was, I transferred it onto a round needle (though it’s not knitted in the round) because it would no longer fit onto straight needles.

Round, stripy rug

 

I backed it with some quite thick fabric (though I don’t remember exactly what it was) to make it stronger and help it keep its shape.

I backed it with some quite thick fabric (though I don't remember exactly what it was) to make it stronger and help it keep its shape.
.

 

Round Cushion

When I first got back into knitting a couple of years ago, I tried to make as many Christmas presents as possible. Since I had no life that Winter, I managed to make 2 scarves (which you can see here) and 2 cushions, both of which were stripy and used mostly the same wool (partly to save money) but with one or two differences (you can see the other cushion here). This round cushion was for my friend Chloe as she likes red circles. I won’t type out the entire pattern as you can find it here and I’m pretty sure it would be a breach of copyright or something.

When I was knitting the back of this cushion, I seemed to forget how to do purling so the back was done in garter stitch and not stocking stitch as it was meant to be.

Round-Cushion-1-PS-medium

The lovely fat cushion!

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The back, with a big red button in the middle.

Round-Cushion-5-PS-medium

Tip: I used this pattern again to make a rug for my sister and since they hole in the middle of each side of the cushion was quite big, instead of casting on 14 stitches, I cast on 8 stitches and did the first row twice to get up to the right number of stitches.

Tip 2: I waited until I had made both sides of the cushion until I ordered the cushion pad to go inside it as I seem to never be able to knit to the size patterns expect me to and I’m too lazy to check my tension so the cushion might be bigger or smaller than you expect it to be.

Make It: Pin Board

When we moved I bought a new desk from Argos (terrible quality, I know, but it was cheap), which came in quite a lot of packaging. I was looking at the box and all the polystyrene and wondering whether there was something I could make out of it when it hit me that it would be nice to have a pin board – partly to put things on and partly as something to fill up the large white blank walls in the new flat.

I made the actual pin board a little while ago but have only just got round to fixing it to the wall so I can finally write this post about it!

The polystyrene was all in strips to I had to fit all the pieces I had together like a jigsaw. Some of the pieces were thinner that other bits so I put some cardboard underneath to make the surface as even as I could.

Pin-board-9b

I had an old pillow case (from a set of single bedding) which I cut up to cover the pin board. Annoyingly it wasn’t quite big enough to cover it in one piece so I covered it in 2 pieces. If I was to do this again, I would measure my fabric first and make the pinboard fit it (rather than the other way round), unless I had a really big piece of old fabric or bought some specially.

I had an old pillow case (from a set of single bedding) which I cut up to cover the pin board. Annoyingly it wasn't quite big enough to cover it in one piece so I covered it in 2 pieces. If I was to do this again, I would measure my fabric first and make the pinboard fit it (rather than the other way round), unless I had a really big piece of old fabric or bought some specially.

If I had a staple gun, I would have stapled the fabric on, but since I don’t and I was trying to make this completely for free, I used some tack which I had anyway (for fixing our broken chest of drawers) and tried to make the back look as neat as possible, though it doesn’t really matter too much.

If I had a staple gun, I would have stapled the fabric on, but since I don't and I was trying to make this completely for free, I used some tack which I had anyway (for fixing our broken chest of drawers) and tried to make the back look as neat as possible, though it doesn't really matter too much.

This is it finished. I wish the fabric was a bit more straight on both sides, but we can’t all be perfect.

This is it finished. I wish the fabric was a bit more straight on both sides, but we can't all be perfect.

And this is it (finally) on the wall. I’m pretty pleased with it, considering it didn’t cost me anything! And it even works! There are things pinned on it!

And this is it (finally) on the wall. I'm pretty pleased with it, considering it didn't cost me anything! And it even works! There are things pinned on it!

So there we have it: some packaging I would have thrown out, an old pillow case, some glue, some tacks and voila, a pin board!

This is what it looks like now, with a few more things on it and some lights!

Yay, more twinkle lights!