We’ve been enjoying a run of frosty mornings here in the East of England, and what better way to celebrate than to wear my recently-completed sparkly socks?

I enjoyed working on these and they were a nice, speedy knit. The wool, West Yorkshire Spinners’ Signature Sparkle 4-ply in the Silent Night shade, behaved perfectly with a nice spread of the darker and lighter areas. West Yorkshire Spinners sell ready-made socks in some of their Christmas yarns and I notice on their website that the light and dark sections show a distinct spiral effect. This will happen with yarns dyed in distinct sections when the stitch count and gauge combine in a particular fashion. I don’t mind it when the colours pool or spiral but it can seem strange if you’re not used to it.

This may be odd, but I chose my entire outfit for today based on the socks I wanted to wear! I quite often wear my long-ish cotton skirts around the house in winter as I find a long, voluminous skirt can be warmer than trousers. This skirt is the one I bought for £1 at the Sue Ryder Vintage Shop in Norwich about three years ago and I must say I am getting my money’s worth out of it! Definitely in the cost-per-wear range of a penny or so. If only I could make the same boast of all the items in my wardrobe.

Knitting has continued most nights as I work on the gift-knit top. I’m particularly pleased with the shoulder seaming on this. As it has no shaping, I was able to do a 3-needle bind-off which I completed holding the right-side (outside) face of both the back and the front against each other then I did the bind-off as knit stitches.

This has given a lovely, subtle furrow when you turn the garment right-side out. If you hold the wrong side (inside) face of the pieces together and do three-needle bind-off, you get the ridge on the outside of the garment. This is sometimes done as a design-feature and definitely has its place. The written pattern for this garment calls for you to graft the shoulders together so I could have used the Kitchener Stitch I often use on my sock toes – this would have given a more seamless appearance from the outside. I could also have cast off the stitches and then sewn or crocheted the seam closed; this is what I usually do when the shoulder is shaped in ‘steps’ of cast-off stitches. When I can be bothered, I will occasionally shape the shoulder with short-rows which is a hybrid where you can get the shaping I like but still end up with a full row of stitches that you can bind off with the three-needle or Kitchener Stitch methods. I definitely should do that more often.

I’m thoroughly enjoying this gift knit and I still think I might make a broadly similar garment for myself at some point. Perhaps I would tweak things here and there. I would definitely adapt it for knitting flat as I just can’t see any compelling reason to knit it partially as a circular knit. I can also imagine it with some kind of textured panel, either replacing the lace at the bottom edge, or replacing the colourwork section.

I had fun the other evening digging out my knitting notebook and having a look at some ideas I’d had the last time I used it which is a good couple of years ago. I need to get back into the habit of writing down my ideas around knitting because I often like them more when they’ve been allowed to marinate for a year or two.

I hope your January is progressing in a suitably sparkly manner, and if it’s rather dull then perhaps you could toy with the idea of adding sparkly socks to the mix!

4 thoughts on “Frost on her toes

  1. thats a really beautiful sock yarn. I could do with some sparkles too. Sadly this yarn is not available in germany. I am also knitting my second sock at the moment, but its a green one.

    1. Isn’t it funny how different crafty things are in the different countries? Here we seem to have followed the American example of having independent local yarn shops which stock a mix of smaller and larger brands. When visiting France I enjoyed browsing in the Bergere de France shops which were more of a chain dedicated to the single brand. When I visited Germany I noticed a similar thing with Lana Grossa shops – I loved the one we went into in Dortmund. We can get some Beregere de France and Lana Grossa yarns here, but you’d never find an entire shop dedicated to one brand, not even Rowan.

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