Today I’m Making… socks for my bloke

This last week I’ve been on a knitting retreat at the ever excellent Westcliffe Knitting Hotel in Blackpool (really you must go if you can, its fantastic). The one thing I was determined to finish was the socks I’ve been knitting for my bloke for the last couple of months or so.

I didn’t. But I’ve finished them this morning (I came home yesterday evening) and I’m really pleased with them. So is he, and so is his mum!

I found a great sock pattern from 1986 in a charity shop and used that because it has a nice spiral decrease for the toe (like you’d see when knitting a beret) rather than a grafted toe. I dislike that chisel tip look you usually get, anyway, with a few tweaks this is going to be my standard sock pattern, there are also only 5 stitches to pick up after turning the heel and no silly heel flap.   I am going to rewrite the heel to make it sturdier but to be honest I don’t really need to.

So here they are, charmingly modelled by himself with barely any direction from me, he’s worn them round his mum’s just now and she’d like a pair too, scaling the pattern down for her feet won’t be any trouble at all, once she’s measured her foot and chosen her colour I’ll get cracking on them.

I do want to say something about the yarn, and I’m sorry to say its not going to be overly positive. I used the Debbie Bliss Rialto so called luxury yarn.  It looks delightful as you knit (unfortunately I bought three balls so I’ve got to use it up) but it unplys as you knit shockingly and I can’t work a way out to stop it (any suggestions anyone?). It lurches in width from thick to thin to very thick and very thin alarmingly but strangely it hasn’t affected the finished socks that I can see so not a huge problem but not something you’d expect when you’ve paid £10.50 a ball. I am quite worried about wear with it unplying so badly (you can’t do a whole round without it happening), where it has happened the yarn must surely be a fair bit weaker.  Now, I know I could take photos and send it back and blah blah but I’m not going to, I’d rather just not buy it again.


Still for all that I’ve make a very fine pair of sock and Mr GinPoodle is very happy with them indeed so its all worked out well in the end, eh?




Today I’m Making – Progress on the toe-up socks

I say progress, is it really progress if you realise they not going to fit?

I’ve finished one sock and its enormous.  Same as the last couple of pairs I’ve made these are closer to a size 10 than a 6.  What I should stop doing is following patterns that I know are not going to turn out right and go with my own measurements, so that’s what I’ve done.

I have cast on this little git’s brother but the next pair are going to be my own pattern and lets see if that fixes my baggy heel issues.  Do you see the odd pointy toe? Its happening again on the next one, sort of like it though. Happy to report I’m not flat-footed, evidence top left, I always thought I was growing up because I didn’t leave pretty damp footprints in the bathroom but looking back perhaps I should have been focussing on more important things like turning up at school rather than bunking off to see bands or go clubbing.

I’ve made slight progress with the book too (mini review here) his wife has left him for his best mate and they’ve skipped off to Mexico together.  I’m with her so far. The book in the picture I bought from I Knit London and its a Ronseal read, does exactly what it says on the cover i.e. gives you a load of cast on and off methods and tells you which type of project they’re suitable for. I’ve used a y/o cast off for the cuffs and I like it very much.

Today I’m making…. Toe-up socks

I think I started knitting these toe-up socks earlier this year, the yarn is a mega cheapy from Tiger and to be honest the colour is lovely but lets just say I expect they will be hard wearing fellers and leave it at that.  The colour is lovely, a raspberry toed purple but I wouldn’t buy this yarn again.

Other projects distracted me for a while when the pattern asked for a 2.5mm short circular needle and I took an age to get around to buying one.  Mind you I don’t think it’s entirely necessary to use a circular I reckon I could have carried on with my carbon dpns quite happily though the circular does mean you can try them on as you go so that’s a bonus but I prefer the dpn’s.



I’ve never got on with the magic loop method either, I find it a bit of a faff so I think for me socks and circs don’t go.

So here we are working the heel and the finish line in sight so to speak.  If only I liked this yarn more, I’d feel more motivated to crack on with them.

I’m not that motivated to finish this book either, it looked good from the blurb on the back, its a collection of articles published by a writer who died young when he was swept out to sea whilst torturing fish.  Anyway turns out he was massively into dance culture and football which to me just means YOB. I’ve set myself a low target of reading 26 books this year and I’m already one book behind schedule and this bloke isn’t helping. Dunno about Bliss to be Alive, more like bliss to get to the end. Still it was a freebie from my days working at DK so can’t complain too much.

Why don’t I just rip these socks and make some with the huge stash of beautiful handspun hand dyed yarn I’ve bought from I Knit London and just squirreled away? I think there must be something wrong with me sometimes but then again these were supposed to be just a trial pair to see if I got on with a toe-up sock and I can take the fancy stuff with me to Westcliffe when I go back for a week at the end of July.

Oh didn’t I mention that before? I’ve only booked myself in for a whole week at the Westcliffe Knitting Hotel in Blackpool the last week of July.  Can’t bloody wait.



Today I’m Making – Ankle Socks in Spain

I’m just back from holiday in Tenerife, I stayed at the Sandos San Blas Nature Resort which was all new to me.  I have never stayed in a 5* all inclusive resort before and to be honest I’ve always turned my nose up at all-inclusive but I’m a changed woman now.  I loved it, it was all very fancy but very chilled and calm and I’d definitely go back.  I’d go back for the slippers alone.


This is the view from the lobby cafe bar with a rare picture of me, I take terrible pictures and in this one I look like I’ve lost my eyebrows in some sort of accident that’s left one side of my face swollen. It’s probably something to do with my high mojito content by this point.


On my last holiday in Greece I made a load of flower puffs towards making a blanket, and I need to make another 600-odd so I really should have taken that project with me, what with the ease of making the flowers and the simple portability of small crochet projects but my friend has started making her first pair of socks and I’ve been suffering from crushing sock envy ever since so…. Socks in Spain.

Last year I was knitting a pair of tiger stripe socks in Skiathos, they were the first pair I made and I’m very fond of them but they are quite big and baggy on me.  I wear them as fall-down socks but I prefer ankle socks so I’ve not made any more the same length since.

I bought the yarn for these ones I think at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia in March, I think it was there but to be honest I buy so much its hard to keep track of what came from where.  Anyway, I remember it being on a stall in a basket full of sock yarn that was ridiculously cheap – something like £2.50 a 50g ball and it was nice stuff too, mine is Drops Fabel Print no. 677 in Green/Turquoise.  It comes out in varying width stripes of several shades of blue and green and feels fantastic.


I based them on the pattern that came with the sock kit I bought from Knit’n’Caboodle but I made the rib shallower, the cuff is a lot shorter and I adjusted the foot length so that they fit my foot exactly.

The other thing that’s different is the cast-off at the toe, it was supposed to be Kitchener stitch but I forgot to take a yarn needle away with me so I did a double row cast off instead.  To be honest its probably for the best because I’ve been blessed with the sort of toe nails that if not carefully restrained turn sharp enough to cut through steel overnight so  bit of extra reinforcement there won’t go amiss.  They do have a bit of a funny ridge across the toes but I’m not planning to wear them with sandals so it won’t matter.


I only finished one sock and that was on the flight home so I’m going to have to get a move on with the other one because I want to wear them to Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair on Saturday.

image  Since this photo was taken I have started on the heel flap. I’m quietly confident.