Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Fresh Off The Needles: Wild Flowers

Hey, look! I actually finished something!! 

Which is good because it has seriously been nothing but Starteritis City around here, so it's nice to have something off the needles. I just wish I was also able to put the needles back in their package and feel even more accomplished. But no, instead I had immediately cast on another pair of socks. Like I said, it's been about casting on all the projects around here lately. I know I'm not the only one feeling the need to knit every pattern that I see, but enough about that. Let's talk about these socks!

I'm actually a little surprised that I finished them. The pattern, Business Casual by Tanis Lavallee, is a fun and easy knit; and the yarn, 80/20 Sock by Lichen and Lace, is wonderful (and beautiful!) to work with. I thoroughly enjoyed watching these two knitterly elements work up into a pair of socks. I enjoyed it so much that I was a bit sad to see the project end. I do have another skein of Lichen and Lace in the Pressed Flowers colourway on the same base, which I probably won't knit with anytime soon because well, let's face it, I get distracted by pretty yarns way too easily. As in I could be dead-set on knitting with a specific skein for weeks and then change my mind like that (imagine me snapping my fingers) for no particular reason. Also, I am sort of making myself knit with yarns that I have acquired from past knitty events, just to make myself feel better about my stash (and maybe, just maybe I'll allow myself to purchase more without guilt at the next knitting event?).   

Anyhoo, the actual knitting of the socks was pretty straightforward. The pattern is easy to memorize and the two-stitch cable is really easy to "read" as you knit along, to the point that I found that I didn't even have to knit a full pattern repeat before I was able to stop looking at the pattern for every round. Actually, the only time I had to refer to the pattern was when I got to the round where the cables met at the start/end of the pattern repeat. Although I do have to admit that there is one cable crossing at the back of one of the socks that looks a little off...that was a result of what happens when you enjoy one too many tasty Caesar cocktails on a hot summer evening...

I didn't get bored even once while knitting these socks. I also made no modifications as I thought the pattern was pretty perfect as is. I had read a few project pages on Ravelry in which knitters had mentioned that the socks fit pretty snug due to the stitch pattern, and many knitters had to go up a needle size in order to make the socks fit comfortably. I had hemmed and hawed about doing this too but ended up using my go-to needle size - which is a 2.25mm (US 1). I think using DPNs really helped in making me more aware of how tight I yanked on the working yarn with each stitch and ultimately helped in getting a looser gauge that made the sock fit nicely and not at all overly tight.

I would definitely recommend this pattern to any sock knitter, even to an advanced (or adventurous) beginner - as long as they already know the basics of sock knitting and sock anatomy. I'm already looking forward to knitting another sock pattern by Tanis Lavallee called Smokestack Socks, possibly even knitting it in some Tanis Fiber Arts sock yarn!

I have a fair amount of yarn leftover (about a quarter of the skein) and I had pondered knitting a sample of the two-stitch cable pattern so that I could frame it or insert it into an embroidery hoop a la Purl Soho's Liberty of London Swatch Portraits. That was the game plan for quite a while until a few weeks ago when I was overcome with this intense need to knit crazy leggings. While I would love to preserve this gorgeous combo of yarn and pattern in the form of a framed piece of knitterly art, I think I would also love to be able to wear this yarn in something else other than socks. BUT I've got gifts to knit, so I'm going to have to put the idea of hand knit leggings aside for now. Which means I'm going to also set aside the leftovers until I can make a final decision. But how awesome would scrappy knitted leggings be?? So awesome that it makes me want to knit my gifts just a smidge faster.

Until I can make that decision, I think I'll just enjoy these marvelously colourful socks during these dull, dreary and cold winter days for now.

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Business Casual by Tanis Lavallee

Yarn: 80/20 Sock by Lace and Lichen
Colour: Wild Flowers
Needle: Hiya Hiya Sharps Fixed Circulars in 2.25mm (US 1)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Wild Flowers


  1. Hi,

    I found your blog whilst looking up knitting things on the net and have really enjoyed seeing the fantastic things you've made. Your socks are really cool!

    I was wondering if you could recommend a sock pattern for a first time sock knitter please? Thank you.

    1. Hi Emma!

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and for your kind words! :)

      I'm not sure what kind of sock you are wanting to knit, but I highly recommend Wendy Johnson's Socks From the Toe Up. It has not only techniques, basic plain vanilla socks that you can mix and match elements, but also some lovely and easy patterns. If you're looking for a cuff down sock I think Ann Budd's Getting Started Knitting Socks is a fantastic resource, as well as anything by Kate Atherley. I hope that helps you get started on the path to sock knitting! :)

    2. Fantastic, thanks so much! Sometimes getting started is the hardest part and a good book or similar resource makes all the difference.

    3. I agree! So I really hope that these books help. Also, I've noticed with a few friends who really wanted to like sock knitting, that sometimes switching how you knit the socks (I had a friend who wanted to knit toe-up socks but realized she actually preferred top-down) or even the needles you use, can make a huge difference.

      Good luck! :)

  2. these are stunning, I love that yarn you chose SO much, and what a perfect pattern for it! I will have to give that pattern a whirl.

  3. Hi! My sister is starting to knit socks, and she mentioned that she needs some blockers ... I like the look of yours - please share: what's your source? Thanks.

    1. Hi Samantha! My blockers are from Knit Picks. :)

    2. Thanks Melissa!
      And thank you for sharing your knitting/sewing/crafting/life adventures for us to follow along :)


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