Thursday, May 19, 2016

Scrappy Sock Knitting

In trying to clean up my yarn stash over the past few months, I have been reminded of all the partial skeins of sock yarn I have in there. Oh, mercy! I used to be more of a sock knitter, but in recent years I let that slide a bit. A couple of years ago I separated some of the sock yarn leftovers into like colors to maybe make something with them. I am formulating a post with a list of great scrap sock yarn projects, some I have done myself and some I'd like to do. While I'm formulating that post, I'd like to show you what I recently completed with one of the groups.
I had these six partial skeins grouped because I just love the browns, creams, roses and rusts together. All of these were used in various Figheadh pattern samples and there was enough left over to really accomplish quite a project. When I started to work with these, I just thought I would make a couple of pairs of toe-up socks. But once I was done with the second pair, I realized there was enough for a third! 

The first pair (seen above on top of the pile) was made with all six yarns. Once I knitted the toe in one color, I began ten-round stripes with the rest, returning to the toe color for the heel, mirroring the same sequence on the leg as on the foot, and then finishing the cuff ribbing with the same yarn as the toe and heel. 

On the second pair (seen above under the first pair), I used one yarn for the toe, the heel, and the cuff ribbing while alternating two of the other colors in three-round stripes on the foot and leg. 

In the picture above, you can see the partial third pair on the needles. It was worked almost totally with just two of the six colors in two-round stripes. I say almost, because I ran out of the brown on the last of its stripes and had to use another of the browns for one half round! You can't even tell.

Here are the finished four pairs of socks made with the six partial skeins--yes, four! After that third pair, I weighed the remaining yarn and determined that if I was careful, I could squeeze out another pair. The fourth pair was by far the trickiest, and I should have made them two-at-a-time the official way. Instead I made them wacky two-at-a-time. That is to say that I knit to a certain point on the first one, then knit to that point on the second one on a separate set of circulars that said they were the same size (liars) and back and forth like that to the end. Yeah, they are not the same size. But that's okay! 

That fourth pair was knit with one color on the toe with a color band in color number two before working one-round stripes with colors three and four. Then color five made the heels, and the same little band with color two appeared just before the cuff ribbing, which was knit with color number six! You can see how much yarn was left when all this was done above the four pairs in the picture above. 

Here's a shot of the four pairs of socks together with (almost) all the Figheadh samples made before those. Bear with me--lots of info!

Clockwise from noon, you see the Beechbone Gauntlets in MacKintosh Iona Fingering in Safari; then socks #4 made with all six; then another pair of Beechbone made with Sanguine Gryphon Eidos in Panchea; then socks #2 made with Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock, Spirit Trail Fiberworks Alexandra, and Fleece Artist Merino 2/6; then socks #1 made with all six; then the Ironwork Mitts knit with Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock in Ivory and Spirit Trail Fiberworks Alexandra in Honeyed Plums; then socks #3 made with the Mackintosh and the Sanguine Gryphon; and in the middle is one sock made for the Fundamental Toe-Up Socks pattern that was knit with Plymouth Happy Feet in color #3. The sixth yarn was Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in Orchid, which you can see as the lighter stripe on socks #2. I can't show you the Figheadh project it was used in, because it's still in progress (aka secret).

Note: Many of these yarns are no longer available, but please go and see the new yarns offered by these lovely companies!

This was such a fun project! I posted the progress on Instagram and when I asked for a vote, they chose socks #2 as their favorite out of 45 votes. 

How about you? Which is your favorite? 


Unknown said...

Oh my gosh, such a lovely palette of colours! You made some beautiful socks with your left over yarn! I'm quite envious! Have you got these on Ravelry at all? I will be favourating them for sure :)

Unknown said...

P.S. ....the socks at seven o'clock (large stripes) are definitely my favourite, but I do love them all!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I was browsing the web and came upon your blog. You have a gift coordinating two different color skeins, it´s amazing. I was looking at your beautiful cardigans from 2011, and I wanted to ask you how you combine them since it´s so subtle the mixture. Do you knit two rows of each color, like on your Wanda Nell Cardigan? Please forgive my English, I’m from Chile. Gloria 

Jen Hagan said...

loop and bar, Thank you so much! You know, I usually forget to post my projects on Ravelry. I need to get these up there, even though they do not follow a pattern. Except for the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, that is, which I've used so many times now I have it memorized. It's a good one!

And your sock pick was in second place on Instagram. ;-)

Jen Hagan said...

Gloria, that is so nice! I did use two-round stripes on one pair of these socks (like Wanda Nell--thanks for mentioning her!) , but I decided to experiment with others, like three-round stripes and also changing color every round. I like them all! They each give quite a different look.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jen, again, amazing knitting abilities!!! Gloria :)

Anonymous said...

Hi again Jen. I would like to learn how to knit socks, like the beautiful ones you knit... :) Would you please direct me as to how I can go about this? Perhaps recommending a book, a site? I would really appreciate it!


Jen Hagan said...

Hi Gloria! Sorry it took me so long to answer. Thank you for the sweet compliments! There are many talented sock designers/knitters from whom you could learn. Here are a few names: Wendy D. Johnson (, Antje Gillngham, Cat Bordhi, and Charlene Schurch, all of whom have published wonderful books to help you knit socks. Check them out!