My mother recently underwent a surgical procedure that left my dad and I kicking around the hospital for the better part of 11 hours. The procedure was preventative in nature and went really well. She is sore and slowly on the mend albeit a little grumpy at the slowness of healing. I was a little nervous for her so I made sure to pack my knitting. (Full disclosure….I brought two whole sock projects “Just In Case” that I managed to finish the first set of socks).
To start the morning I finished the cuff of the first sock for my Dad’s 2019 Christmas Sock. And then I started working the afterthought heel. This is the second time I have knit this because my first attempt was WAY to big.
I averaged no less than three comments per hour on my knitting as other families rotated through the waiting room. All very positive and usually followed by compliments when I explained what I was doing. Some of the families were there for much more serious procedures than we were and I think (hope) that it gave them some comfort to be distracted for a minute or two. One woman just asked if she could watch because she found it calming.
By the time we grabbed lunch I had the first sock ready for kitchenering the heel. I neglected to bring my tool tin and therefore couldn’t finish the darn thing. So I left that on some spare needles and started the second sock. I also had like three coffees that day. I hope I didn’t blow my tension out of the water.
By the end of the day I was SORELY uncomfortable in the waiting room chairs. I had managed to snag my dad the one recliner in the room so he could put his feet up and take a rest. But I had managed to put six stripes into the foot of sock number two. I only have two more stripes and I will place the waste yarn for the heel.
I tucked away my knitting and headed home for my kiddos meanwhile my dad slept in a hospital recliner for three more nights. I think I might knit him a medal….
I went to a friends house for a kids play date and BBQ. I didn’t feel like dragging along one my sweater WIPs so I pulled out my Dad’s Christmas socks and put a couple hours in on the re-do of the first sock.
They are going faster this time with the lower stitch count. I am working with 64 stitches instead of 72. I managed to get to the placement of waste yarn for the afterthought heel and a little past it even.
I work my waste yarn for two rows, one down and one back. Then I pick up my working yarn and knit back across. I only had one kind of scrap yarn on hand since I wasn’t at my house. I really hope I can see those dark grey stitches above the light grey yarn. I may be living dangerously!
I’ve had to move my workouts indoors to the fitness center at work. But I’m still managing to get more steps in and put some stripes on my Cheery Vanilla Socks. I looked down the other day and realized I was probably at the heel. So I measured and sure enough I was two rows past where I needed to put in my afterthought heel yarn.
So during a particularly long conference call meeting I tinked back those two rows and knit in the waste yarn. Which, by the way, I just had laying in my desk drawer because that’s totally normal right?
This sock feels and looks super skinny but my stitch count and gauge are right on with my other Felici socks I have made previously that fit. I’m going to be zen about it. If they are are too tight then they will go in the gift pile for Christmas!
I managed to get two pair of ankle socks out of two 50 gram skeins of Knit Picks Felici (with the help of some contrasting heel/toe/cuff yarn) in the soft serve color way. The snake tubes were cranked over 72 stitches. The top pair is for my sister’s birthday and they fully coordinating. I had to get a little more creative and go sort of franken-sock with the second pair.
My leftover tubes weren’t equal so I had to use scraps to extend the toe of one sock. And then I didn’t have enough speckled contrast yarn to do more than the cuffs. So I pulled out some Cascade Heritage sock yarn to do the toes and heels. I think this makes them superbly unique and a great addition to my sock drawer.
With the socks tubes I finished two pairs of socks in like two weeks with only half-monogamously working on them. You certainly can’t beat that!
The first set of shorties are off my needles and I’m starting to work on my pair. These are pair number two in my Soft Serve Sock Snake Socks.
I had to do some finagling with my scraps for these tubes. I went ahead and added the speckled yarn for contrasting cuffs. But those cuffs completed used up that mini skein with nothing left for heels or toes. Also, the tubes were not the same length by a noticeable amount. So I dug out the leftover scraps from the first pair and added until they were the same length. You can see the strip sequence is off for the sock on the right.
Now my dilemma is what yarn to use for the toes and heels? I pulled a couple options from my stash but I’m not completely sold on either. I might need to do a deeper stash dive after the kiddos go to bed. I don’t need these perfect but some degree of coordination would keep my brain happy.
I made the choice to rip both the tubes back a bit and re-knit the toes back down with the self-striping yarn. I then used some Acorn Willow merino nylon sock yarn I got at Woolfest 2019 for speckled heels and cuffs. I think this random mini looks really fantastic with these pastel stripes.
I used Cheree of KirbyWirby’s tutorial for a true cut in afterthought heel. I did a pretty good job of preventing a hole at the corner and matching the gauge of the sock tube. My notes on the number of rounds and decreases that work for me are on my Ravelry project page.
I’ll gift these to my sister when I see her in July. And next up I have two tiny tubes left that I am going to try and eek out a second set of shorties for myself!
I finished both toes on my Soft Serve Sock Snake Socks and cut in the first heel. I’m pretty pleased with my contrasting mini choice. It’s speckled but yet blends nicely with the stripe colors of the Felici
I have a BIG long tube where two 50 gram skeins of this Felici yarn were cranked together. I chose to put a toe at either end. And then I measured from the toe the appropriate length and cut in a true afterthought heel. I have a “recipe” I use to make the afterthought heel a little larger than the often used Knit One Round then Decrease Next Round method. My notes are in Ravelry project page for those interested. But my recipe allows room for my sister and I’s large heel and high instep.
I’m starting the second heel now. And I have a TON of sock tube in the middle. Once both heels are installed I may do some creative measuring to see if I make two pairs of shorties from one snake with utilizing more coordinating mini skeins.
The socks for my dad have kind of been on the back burner lately. I was working on them awhile back and I was talking and knitting at a BBQ and I overshot the heel placement. I was hoping to put in waste yarn for a Susan B Anderson style afterthought heel. But alas it was not to be. I’m going to have to cut in a KirbyWirby style afterthought heel by cutting live stitches. I’ve totally done both before. I was just hoping for the version that is less likely for me to drop stitches.
So with that little oopsie…this project has kind of fallen to the bottom of my WIP pile. It’s not the end of the world but it has kind of killed my mojo a little bit. Has that ever happened to you?
Warning: This post contains some ridiculous #momlife truth and sneaking knitting tricks….
One of my Big Bang Vanilla socks has a heel….despite a dastardly knot in the heel yarn. I put my big girl pants on and decided to cut the yarn and take out the knot and just have a couple more ends to weave in. I couldn’t bear the thought of feeling a knot or join on the heel of my sock. And it worked and I have a lovely contrasting heel complete!
Some of you are thinking….what about the mom truth and the sneaky knitting? Well as you might surmise from the photo backdrop….I knit the last of this heel in my master bathroom while PB slept. Yep….I legit sat on the lid of the toilet listening to a podcast and carving out some knitting time. The bathroom was close enough PB won’t cry from being left alone and it has light to see what I’m doing without waking up PB. It wasn’t super comfortable or my finest knitting moment…..but it was the self care time I needed and I have one finished sock! I am pretty sure this takes my knitting (and mothering) to a whole new level. But what mom hasn’t hidden from her kids in the bathroom a time or two??
I did have a sort of bummer. No….those aren’t the new Flexi-Flip needles. They are horribly bent cheap aluminum needles from Joanns. This project went to work with me a few times and was in my backpack a time or two. Not real sure how they got bent but I’m guessing someone either stepped on them or sat on them. I’m not heartbroken as they are under $10 at Joanns and I have several sets of size 1 DPN needles anyway. I can just use the two remaining good needles from sock #1 and get this bad boy finished up. Fingers crossed…
I know it’s to be expected in commercial yarn….but darn it….knots are infuriating! I am working on the heels for my Big Bang Vanilla Socks and I hit a huge knot.
My heel yarn is some Deborah Norville Serenity Sock. It’s a nice soft workhorse yarn. A lot like Knit Picks Felici and the colors don’t bleed like some other commercial mainstream brands. I was knitting in bed last night (hence the bad flash photography on my comforter) and decided to put this WIP in a mini timeout until I decide how to deal with the knot.