Current Obsession // NoShow Socks

La Maison Rililie-noshow socks

[image via – la maison rililie]

Every so often, I come across a design that I fall head over heels for and want to knit IMMEDIATELY. This is the case for La Maison Rililie’s No Show Socks.

I love these low-cut ankle socks! It’s a toe up, (bonus!) gusseted heel construction. I guess it’s time I learned a new heel right? For someone who has tiny feet (size 5’s people!), I average about 27g per sock. Even less if I use contrasting heels, toes and cuffs. That leaves me with approximately 46g of left over sock yarn to play with and I have lots. I see many no-show socks in my future!!!

La Maison Rililie-noshow socks3

For more info, visit La Maison Rililie’s website or Ravelry page.

 

 

 

 

 

MY SOCK RECIPE

I’m a toe up, magic loop kinda girl.

I like to knit my socks concurrently on 2 separate needles whenever possible.

I use 2.25mm/ US size 1 – 32” circular needles. My favorites are Addi Sock Rockets and Hiya Hiya Sharps.

Here’s my recipe:

  1. Cast on 8 stitches per needle using Judy’s magic cast on
  2. Increase at the 2nd stitch and 2nd to last stitch of each needle every other round until I have 30 stitches per needle. (I use KFB (knit front and back) to work my increases.)
  3. After I complete the first toe, I take another needle and cast on for the second.
  4. Once both toes are complete, I knit the foot up to the heel. I do the same for the second sock.

*I convert cuff down patterns to toe up by reversing the order of the foot & leg pattern starting from the last row working my way backwards. For example, if it is a 4 row repeat, instead of starting with row 1, I’ll start with row 4, then 3, and so on.

  1. Knit the heel one at a time, using Fish Lips Kiss Heel
  2. When both heels are complete, I knit the leg. I prefer them to be as long as the foot (or at least 6″) because I find it cozy like that.
  3. Knit the cuff, working 20 rounds of my version of 2×2 twisted rib which is cheating knit through the back loop but purl as normal.
  4. For the bind off, I use the simple stretchy bind off
  5. Block the socks using this and this
  6. Weave in the ends only if it’s a gift, haha, and no, my husband doesn’t count. He doesn’t mind that string hanging out inside his foot 😉

HOW I LEARNED TO KNIT SOCKS

When I first started knitting, like many, I used good ‘ol acrylic. It was socks that introduced me to all the beautiful indie dyed yarns, which opened up the world of knitting for me. I felt this is a good place to start my story. How I learned to knit socks.

Disclaimer: This is a long one. I’ve included links that helped me through this process along with a list of patterns used. I do hope you’ll find it useful if you are a beginner sock knitter or thinking of casting on your first pair, or even if you’re simply curious to know how I got this party started. 

I was making scarves for my husband and eldest son at the time. Knitting podcasts kept me company and almost every. single. one of them were making socks. I remember thinking – WHY? I don’t see the point. How can one even knit with such fine yarn and tiny, tiny needles? Not to mention how expensive yarn is only to put on your feet???

Fast forward 2 years later, and I am now a self professed SOCK ADDICT.

Boxosocks
I ALWAYS have a pair on the needles (sometimes two or three – don’t judge!) and carry it everywhere I go.

When I got the hang of it, I told my family they were all getting socks for Christmas.

2016 was the year of socks.

This is how it began…

I’m a self taught knitter. I watched many tutorials online, specifically Staci Perry of Very Pink long before my husband surprised me with a knitting kit for Christmas. I also have my cousin to thank for showing me how to do the knit and purl stitches the next day.

Ok, back to the scarves and podcasts. After seeing many beautiful hand knit socks, curiosity got the better of me. I thought, can I do this? It looks daunting. I browsed Ravelry for the “perfect beginner’s sock pattern” but was quickly overwhelmed. Nothing screamed, “Knit me! I’m the one you should try”.  So, I went on You tube, looked up sock tutorials and came across Staci’s video: Knit toe-up socks using german short rows. It’s made with DK/sport weight yarn, size US 3 needles, and the best part? NO WRAPS AND TURNS! (I’m allergic to them, btw, I always substitute it with German short rows (GSR).

There are many different ways to knit a sock. You can use magic loop, double pointed needles (DPN’s),   2 circular needles at once, or 9” circular needle. My preference is magic loop. I tried DPN’s but found it too fiddly. There is something about the motions in magic loop that captivated me. I love getting to the end of a row and adjusting the needles back to starting position. It’s an art!

I practiced magic loop, picked up some acrylic from Michaels and got to work. The pattern was well written and the video links were a tremendous help. It literally held my hand through the entire process. The result? Success on my first try! 5Apologies for the blurry pic – it was taken last year before I knew I was going to be blogging about it. 

I was eager to use fingering weight yarn, but didn’t care for a provisional cast on. I heard a lot about Judy’s magic cast on and Fish Lips Kiss Heel so I gave it a try. I bought Patons Kroy Socks in the colorway Blue striped ragg and size US 1 needles. I didn’t know at the time this particular yarn is a bit heavier than fingering weight and I didn’t like the fabric I was getting. I ended up frogging it and tried again with size US 1.5 needles. Much better! (See #14 below.)

In total, I knit 14 pairs of socks less than a year later. 

No’s 1-8 were gifts:

1234Hand Knit socks - blog graphic

Here are the patterns I used:

No 9 – Tulsi socks by Verena Cohrs

No 1 & 10 – Blueberry waffles socks by Sandy Turner (free pattern)

No 11 – Hermione’s everyday socks by Erica Lueder (free pattern, my favorite!!!!)

No 12 – Express Lane socks by Diane Mulholland (free pattern – lace)

No 13 – Mrs Weasley’s Family socks by Molly of A Homespun House

These are all great beginner patterns. I found using this helped me stay on track.

Now, to answer my question – why hand knit a sock?

  1. It’s FUN. Knitting socks allows me to play with self striping, and speckled yarns since I prefer to knit everything else in tonals or single colors. It is such a treat to knit a sock in a colorway I love or watch the stripes appear as I knit.
  2. SHOPPING SMALL. Supporting small businesses is important to me! Most indie dyers and designers are stay at home mamas –  just like me, doing what they love to support their family. I’m all about that.
  3. It’s PRACTICAL. You always need socks.   

I hope I’ve inspired you to cast on your first sock! Let me know in the comments if you found this helpful at all. If you’re already a sock knitter, how did you learn?

On my next post, I’ll share my sock recipe. Until then, happy making!