Chevron Socks

Chevron Socks

I’m back from the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival with another round of selfless knitting for man feet! I was un-lazy enough to swatch the yarn, so they actually fit the recipient (I like to think I learn from my mistakes).

I drafted the sock until the chevron detail. That pattern is from Lacey Volk– she might be my new favorite knitwear designer. She hasn’t been very active online in the past couple of years, but her patterns are still available. I used the Flying Geese pattern (available for free on Knitty) to create the chevrons at the top of each sock. The triangles are worked in short-rows; for being such a tricky pattern, the designer’s descriptions are thorough and easy to follow (as long as you actually read the instructions and don’t just forge ahead like I did the first time around).

Chevron Socks

Yarn: Brown yarn is Stroll Tweed Sock Yarn from Knit Picks- I used less than one skein. This yarn was thinner than I expected when it arrived in the mail but worked fine with the thicker blue yarn (Verdant Gryphon Bugga). The white yarn is some undyed yarn from my stash.

Pattern: Self drafted (below) and Flying Geese

Needle size: US 1.5 circular needle, gauge 7 sts per inch

Chevron Socks

Quick pattern instructions (more in depth instructions can be found here):

CO 28 sts with JMCO. Knit around. Alternate rows of increasing and knitting until you have increased the toe to 64 sts around.

Toe stripes: Knit 16 sts, break yarn (so the color breaks are on the bottom of the foot. Pick up and knit:

  1. 1 row with the white yarn
  2. 2 rows with the brown yarn
  3. 1 white row
  4. 2 brown rows
  5. 1 white row

Knit the foot: Break yarn and pick up the blue yarn again. Knit around until the sock measures 3″ less than the foot.

Gusset: Begin gusset increases on the first side of the needle, increase the gusset until you have increased 22 sts (86 sts around)

Turn the heel: knit and purl across the first side of the needle in short rows, wrapping and turning at the end of each row until you have a trapezoid with 10 wrapped sts on each side of the heel.

Knit the heel flap: Knit across the heel and down the wrapped sts, then pick up one gusset st and knit it together with the last wrapped st. Turn and purl across the heel to the other side, pick up the gusset st and purl it together with the last wrapped st. Continue like this until all of the gusset sts have been used up and the heel flap is formed. Alternate every two rows between brown and blue yarn to make stripes.

Knit the ankle: Knit around until the sock is 3.5 inches shorter than the desired height.

Increases for the chevrons: increase to 68 sts around so you have 34 sts on each side of the needle.

Chevrons: Consult the Flying Geese pattern to make the chevrons. Begin under the heading: First Main Color Triangle. Knit the first two main color triangles in blue and the first two contrasting triangles in brown. Then knit another two main color triangles in brown and the second two contrasting triangles in blue.


Form the cuff: Knit 1 row around in blue. Then K2tbl, P2 around until  you have 1.5 inches of ribbing at the top of the sock. Cast off with a stretchy cast-off method.

Chevron Socks

Chevron Socks


Finished Shower Reveal


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The shower is finished! After 1 month and 2 days of being out of commission. 1 month and 2 days of taking showers… elsewhere. At the neighbor’s house. At friends’ houses. Jumping in the pond and calling it “clean enough”. Sponge baths. Generally being dirtier than I prefer. All that is now in the past. The shower now has a patched and functional, if somewhat unusual, accent wall/lower half of one wall. More importantly, the shower is no longer leaking water into the wall next to it and rotting the studs and drywall.

Remember the before picture? <– scroll to the bottom. You can click on the link in the last sentence if you want to see it. I’m not going to put the picture on my blog a second time. It’s too gross. The shower was BAD. Now it is good. And instead of  looking at gross pictures, you can look at these very nice pictures of my pretty fixed shower.

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Elementary, Watson- my fourth pair of socks

elementary watson socks
Your fourth pair- what?! Didn’t you already knit way more than four pairs of socks? (1 2 3 4 5 6)

Why yes smart reader, indeed I did. In fact I finished these in September of 2015 and then gave them away (to my dad) and then remembered that I hadn’t taken pictures of them. This is the seventh pair of socks I have posted on the blog. So here are pictures and details after ~7 months of wear. Drum roll please.

elementary watson socks

Pattern: Elementary Watson Socks by Sherry Menton

Yarn: Verdant Gryphon Bugga

Needle size: 0

These knit up HUGE. I knit them for my dad, so I started with the men’s size. Knitting at the recommended gauge, they were ginormous. So I frogged them, switched to a smaller size needle, and then knit the women’s size. These fit him well.  You can see more pictures on my ravelry site here.

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Other than fitting problems at the beginning, it’s a great pattern, esp for being a freebie. Mainly because 1) pages upon pages of instructions, and 2) easy to follow cable charts. I wanted to learn to knit cables. Dad likes cables. This pattern taught me to knit cables. Happy Claire likes knitting and happy dad likes warm feet. Yay for handmade presents.

elementary watson socks


Maya Dress II


Maya dress

Oh look I sewed something! It’s been a while- I think the last thing I made was the Cabernet Cardigan I sewed before I moved out of Richmond last year. My sewing machine has been active mainly mending and altering things I already own. But then winter abruptly turned into spring and I thought it would be nice to have another loose dress to throw on. Katie’s version of Maya reminded me of how much I wore the first Maya dress I made. I found this lightweight woven rayon (I think I added it to my last order- for the free shipping- from Fashion Fabrics Club or Girl Charlee. It’s been a while). 2 yards of 45″ rayon was ample fabric for this dress. Compared to my last Maya, the construction was very different.

Lots of pictures after these construction details:

  1. I cut a size 2 of the bodice (down from a size 4 on the last dress) and did a full bust adjustment using this tutorial. Picture below.
  2. Then I added a 3/4″ seam allowance to the bottom of both the front and back pattern pieces
  3. I cut a rectangle for the front of the skirt that was 32 x 26″ and one for the back that was 34 x 26″ (big booty adjustment).
  4. I sewed french seams on the shoulders and sides of the bodice, and on the sides of the skirt
  5. Then I used bias tape to finish the neck and armholes (instead of the facings provided in the pattern)
  6. The skirt was shirred until it was the size of the bodice waist and attached using a 3/4″ seam allowance
  7. The seam allowance was overlocked and then pressed up toward the bodice. It was sewn down as close to the edge as possible, leaving space for 1/2″ elastic to be inserted (this video was helpful)
  8. I inserted a piece of elastic the size of my waist, sewed the ends together and then finished the waistband.
  9. I made a 2″ hem at the bottom of the skirt for some extra weight.

Here you can see the difference between the original front bodice pattern (right) and the adjusted piece (left- the original is traced on it in blue)

full bust adjustment

Here are the pretty bias tape/french seam finished insides and the hem:

Maya dress detail

I might add some patch pockets on later this summer if having a dress sans pockets proves to be impractical (it probably will be…)

Maya dress


Maya Dress

Striped Socks- still small

self-drafted striped socks

Remember those fairisle socks I was working on in January? They’re done! (They’ve been done for a while) I can fit my feet into them! But they’re still a little small- I guess that is what you get when you only swatch one of your two yarns. They fit okay, except for the part just above the heel- too tight. Not sure what I did wrong there- maybe knit the heel too tightly? I’ve worn them ~3 times, and they’ve stretched out a tiny tiny bit (but I might just give them to someone with smaller feet than I rather than endure future foot constriction- anyone want to trade?). They’re so preeetyyyy.

Self-drafted knitted socks

I knit them on US size 1 needles with a self-striping, sport weight, wool/nylon blend from a local yarn store and some scraps of some pink Odyssey yarn from the Verdant Gryphon. I’m so into the southwestern vibe of the tuscan red and beige and brown stripes- just fantastic. Reminds me of family vacations to Nevada when I was younger. There’s a little left, so I might knit another pair next winter if I can find something nice that coordinates as well as the pink does.

Sad they don’t fit. Happy they’re done! Not bad for my first try at knitting socks freehand.


knitted socks

Mermaid yarn and shower tile

Mermaid Yarn

Gryphon and I had been trying forever to get together to dye yarn for a sweater I’m planning on knitting. After a few dates fell through (one or both of us kept getting sick), we finally managed to get our convalescent butts to the same house with all the stuff we needed to dye yarn. I had been planning on dyeing the yarn some nice, neutral, warm brown… but we forgot to get brown dye. Instead I thought it would be a good idea to dye it spruce blue and mossy green. Blame it on my sick brain. Far from the desaturated greeny-blue I was imagining, I am now left with 8 skeins of bright, aqua-fantastic mermaid yarn. GAAAH. Every time I look at it and panic/feel bad. It’s so pretty. The little mermaid would give up her voice for this yarn. But it’s not a color I’m going to wear. Is it worth knitting the sweater if I know I wont wear it? I could give it to my mother? ALL THAT BEAUTIFUL YARN, GONE TO WASTE (;^_^;) <- that is supposed to be a crying emoticon.

mermaid yarn

I don’t want to re-dye it because then it will be too darkly colored for a cabled sweater. I consider how much I care about this, but I’m stuck in between forging ahead with my original plan and picking a new pattern to knit (after I re-dye the yarn something dark and earthy (to make it forget its oceanic past)).

In other news, I’ve been fixing the shower in my house. From the earthquake ~5 years ago (I wasn’t living here), the tiles looked like the trolls from Frozen had a bowling party in the shower. Knocking out the whole lower half of two shower walls, patching a ripped shower pan (??), and then re-constructing them  is no easy feat. A much more knowledgeable friend (or three) has been coming over every morning to help. It is starting to look much better. I feel better about my creative abilities because I can successfully (sort of) tile (part of ) a shower.

Here is the before (I swear it was way grosser than this picture lets on):

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And here is the (almost) lovely after:

tiles after

Yum pretty salvage yard tiles.

Ta for now. I think I will go sew something and forget about all my yarn woes.

Cozy Little Toes baby socks

cozy little toes baby socks

Short post today- I knit three pairs of socks for a friend’s baby. This is the first, smallest pair. I didn’t manage to get pictures of the other two before sending them off. The pattern is Cozy Little Toes, free on Ravelry.  This pair is the smallest, newborn size. I also knit the biggest size listed in the pattern in leftover yarn from these socks and a pair of basic toe-up socks (pattern drafted by a friend; I can share it on request). It may sound obvious to say that small socks knit up quickly- but they do! It is nice to have a quick project once in a while.

Since I’m sitting here sick in bed, I’ll continue this post with an update from my crafting room:

  • I finally finished the socks that I wanted to have done last month, and have now started on a pair for a friend.
  • The Flying Geese pattern from Lacey Volk has caught my eye, especially in these colors.
  • I’ve also been getting the itch to sew again. Vogue 9100 and accompanying fabric is sitting on my sewing table.
  • Have you listened to the update from Serial season 1? I’m gripping the edge of my seat.

Hope you’re staying warm and toasty despite the cold front.



Sad sock failed fair isle

Fair Isle Don'ts

Beware the Fair Isle, ye beginner knitters. The rain and gloomy weather in central Virginia today are particularly fitting for this little knitting fail. Having knit so many pairs of socks from patterns, I wanted to draft my own pattern. I had visions of brown and tan and red stripes with contrasting toes and heels and snowflakes around the ankles. I found the right yarn and started knitting on Christmas day. The knitting was long and included much ripping out of rows of knitting.

Fair Isle fail

Joy of joys! They came out looking exactly like I imagined. Except for the minor detail that I can’t get them on my feet. Because the Fair Isle knitted snowflakes are really tight, despite the long, long floaters I left behind each stitch. I should not have attempted Fair Isle knitting for the first time on the part of the sock that needs to be really stretchy.  Now I know. Next time I will do better. But aren’t they so pretty?

The most depressing part is that I really wanted to have these finished by the end of January. I’ve been mourning for three days now, so I think it is time to finally rip the snowflakes out and get on with finishing these socks. Wish me luck. I’ll be back with the finished pair soon.

Fair Isle fail

Hermione’s Everyday Socks: Toe-Up Instructions

Hermione's Everyday socks

The sock saga continues, combining one of the most popular sock patterns on Ravelry with my love of toe-up sock knitting. I reversed the Hermione’s Everyday Socks free pattern (instructions below) and proceeded to knit these socks toe-up and two-at-a-time. I used the Beekeeper Self-Striping Yarn from Turtlepurl (it is designed for striped socks and comes in two little skeins. I also used a 32″ long, US size 0 circular needle. This made for some dense (but not bulky) socks that are warm but still fit into regular shoes comfortably.

Hermione's Everyday Socks Toe-Up

Hermione’s Everyday Socks, Toe-up version

design credit to Erica Lueder, original sock pattern can be found here

Using JMCO, CO 24 sts (if you want to do two socks at the same time, here’s how to start). There will be 12 stitches to start on each needle for one sock. If you’re knitting two at the same time, remember to drop your yarn at the end of one sock and pick up the yarn for the other.
Row 1: knit all on both needles
Row 2: needle 1- K1, make 1 (M1), Knit to last st, M1, K1
needle 2- repeat needle 1
Continue to alternate rows 1 and 2 until you have 32 sts on each needle (64 sts total).

texture pattern
Work in texture pattern across needle 1 (the top of the sock), and knit across needle 2 (the bottom of the sock). Continue until you have knit the desired length of the foot (three inches less than the finished length of the sock).

Hermione's Everyday Socks Toe-Up
Begin gusset increases as follows
Row 1: needle 1- work across in texture pattern
needle 2- K1, M1, place marker, knit to last stitch, place marker, M1, K1
Row 2: needle 1- work across in pattern
needle 2- knit across
continue repeating rows 1 and 2 until you have knit 12 gusset increases on each end of needle 2, for 56 stitches total on needle 2. There will still be 32 stitches on needle 1.

Hermione's Everyday Socks Toe-Up
Heel turn
*knit the entire heel turn and heel flap for one sock before moving on to the second sock*
Knit to the first marker, wrap stitch, turn. Then begin to knit in short rows.
Knit to the next marker, wrap stitch, turn. Purl to the first marker, wrap stitch, turn.
Knit to wrapped stitch, wrap stitch, turn. Purl to wrapped stitch, wrap next stitch, turn.
Continue to knit in short rows, wrapping a stitch at the end of each row until you have 7 wrapped stitches on each side of the heel turn (this makes a trapezoid shape with wrapped stitches on the sides).
Heel flap
After the last row of purls, turn and [slip 1, knit 1] to 1 stitch before the marker, continuing to knit through the wrapped stitches. At the last wrapped stitch, remove the marker and knit the last wrapped stitch together with the first gusset stitch. Turn. Purl across the heel and down the other side of the turned heel (through the wrapped stitches). Remove marker and purl the last wrapped stitch with the first gusset stitch through the back loop.
Right side: [Slip 1, knit 1] to one before the last stitch, and then knit two together (the last heel flap stitch with the next gusset stitch.
Wrong side: slip 1, purl across to the last stitch, purl two together through the back loop.
Repeat these two rows  (right and wrong sides) until you have 32 stitches left on needle 2 (you may not use all of the gusset increases).
Knit around both needles in texture pattern. When you have reached the desired leg length, knit 2 inches of ribbing (K1 through the back loop, purl 1). Cast off and weave ends in.

Hermione's Everyday Socks Toe up

Pussy Willow Stockings


Pussy Willow Stockings

Another pair of socks! The pattern is Cat Bordhi’s Pussy Willow Stocking pattern from the Sock Knitting Master Class book. The yarn is more of the Bugga yarn from the Verdant Gryphon in my stash. These were a late birthday and early Hanukkah present for my mom. Each sock features a simple lace pattern that mimics a pussy willow branch curving up the sock. This pattern is full of simple-yet-interesting details, like the moccasin toe and how the gusset is formed by the lace pattern. Classic Cat Bordhi.

Pussy Willow Stockings

I mistakenly knit these two-at-a-time on one long needle, rather than one at at time on two needles (as the instructions specified). With moccasin toes, you knit them and then you do some tricky rearranging of the stitches on the needles (very difficult on a circular needle with two socks on it). If you want to knit these socks two-at-a time, I would recommend knitting the toes separately and then transferring them to the same needle after you’ve rearranged the stitches. Other than the toe snafu, it’s a nice, simple pattern with pretty details.

Pussy Willow Stockings

In other news, you may have noticed that the blog has been slowing down…  I recently moved to an intentional community in Virginia, where my busy life has whisked me away from my blog and all my favorite readers and friends. I’m living on a beautiful 450-acre farm with about 100 residents- life is good! I spend time gardening, making tofu, being a nurse, and cooking big community meals. I’ve also been veeery social, which has led me to sew and blog less. Knitting has replaced the lion’s portion of sewing, since it is easier to bring to social events. I anticipate that my blogging schedule may only be once a month (at most) from here on out.  Bear with me! I’m making an effort to stay alive in the blogosphere.

I’ll leave you with some more sock pictures. Till next time!

DSC_1129 (2) Pussy Willow Stockings

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