Friday, August 21, 2020

Summer of Socks


** Please note: this post contains links to Ravelry pattern pages **


I never planned for this to happen but I guess it's a thing now. This summer has officially been the summer of sock knitting. Shortie socks, that is. I honestly thought I had lost my knitting mojo earlier this year when a shawl I was working on just didn't turn out the way I thought it would. Then the move was happening and all ideas of knitting went down the drain. Once my family and I were moved in and somewhat settled, I had the urge to cast on something mindless. But quick. I needed some instant gratification. 

*Shortie socks has entered the chat*.

Socks and baby knits are my usual go-tos for instant gratification but I wasn't feeling the baby knits, but most importantly, I wasn't feeling up to the task of digging through the stash to find appropriate yarn for a baby knit. What I did have within reach though, was sock yarn. So socks it was going to be. To make the socks actual instant gratification for me they couldn't be my usual 6" up my leg full sock. No, they were going to have to be super short and vanilla. I also didn't want to think about think about the pattern and do any math, so no modifying my usual sock recipe. 

I had already knit the popular Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner before and liked how they were fast, easy, and that they had fit perfectly. Done! I grabbed a skein of yarn from a yarn bin closest to me - which wasn't hard since I have yet to find a permanent spot for them all to be so they're all currently taking up space in the corner of the dining room, and cast on the first sock while waiting for The Kid to virtually connect with his school teacher and classmates. I haven't looked back since.

Spring Mix Shortie Socks
Spring Mix Shortie Socks

The first pair of Rose City Rollers that I had knit (3 years ago!) had a rolled cuff, as per the pattern. While I didn't mind the rolled hem, they just weren't that comfortable for me whenever I wore them with booties, which are my choice of footwear if I can't be in sandals. So for this pair I switched out the rolled cuff and did my preferred 2x2 ribbing. I guesstimated how long I should knit the cuff and in the end made the ribbing 3/4" before continuing on with knitting in the round for a total of an inch before starting the heel flap. I continued on with the pattern until I got to the toe. I think I got distracted enough that I had started the toe a bit too soon, so to make up for it I decreased the toe a few stitches more than called for.

I was pleasantly surprised about a few things: one, how fast these socks had knit up for me as I'm still having issues with my right hand. Since I haven't been working for almost two months leading up to knitting these socks, my hand was feeling good enough to knit for longer periods of time than I was used to. Also, I was working on these socks while supervising The Kid during his learning from home school period and while having what felt like endless family movie nights. It felt good to finally produce something during this pandemic. Pleasant surprise no.2, these socks almost came out identical even though I wasn't trying to because...pleasant surprise no.3, having small feet meant this pair only used one skein of Knit Picks Felici. I did a stupid move in that I didn't weigh my skein at any time during the knitting process and took a leap of faith in that I would have enough yarn to finish the pair after removing a few stripes so that the second sock could start on the same colour as the first sock did. Thankfully, it all worked out for me in the end and aside from the stripes I took out, I had a small amount leftover, so in total I used less than 200 meters (approx. 200 yards) for a pair of shortie socks. 

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici
Colour: Spring Mix
Needles: Knitter's Pride Karbonz Fixed Circular in 2.25mm (US 1)


Positively Pink Shortie Socks
Positively Pink Shortie Socks

The second I bound off the last stitch of the Spring Mix shortie socks, I had immediately cast on another pair. This time, with a single skein of self-striping pinks that I had no idea what I was going to do with. I had originally bought three skeins of this colourway, thinking I was going to knit a pair of knee-high socks. Those socks ended up as regular socks because I had misplaced the third skein while I was trying to match up two of the skeins in hopes of making the socks identical (for the curious, I'm talking about these socks). I finally found the third skein while culling the herd but didn't have the heart to give it away or to try to destash it. I mean, it's pink. What if I needed it? So I threw it back in the stash, thinking one day it will find its purpose. And look! It did!

This pair took me a week to whip up. This shocked me immensely, as it has been quite a while since I've been able to knit for such a long period of time and so quickly. I changed a few things this time around, I used a needle a size smaller than my usual size for the ribbing and I had knit only one round between the ribbing and the heel flap to make the leg height a bit shorter.

Again, I didn't make the effort to make these socks a matching pair but I think they came out pretty close. I didn't even bother taking stripes out so that the cuffs on both socks were started on the same shade of pink. This is most likely due to the fact that I had started the second sock in the truck while waiting for the Mr to do our grocery shop and I really couldn't tell the shade difference between some of the pinks. During the earlier pandemic times, the Mr and I saw no sense in both of us going inside a store together to do the shopping when one person per household just makes more sense in order to avoid having too many people inside at a time. As a result, I did a lot of knitting on these socks while being outside and will always remember knitting on them while getting the chance to visit and enjoy usually overly busy touristy hot spots.

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici
Colour: Positively Pink
Needles: Knitter's Pride Karbonz Fixed Circular in 2.25mm (US 1)


Pride Shortie Socks
Pride Shortie Socks

Next up, yep! You guessed it, more shortie socks. Can't stop...won't stop.

Since June is Pride month I figured I should knit a pair of rainbow striped shortie socks to commemorate. Not to mention that I have like, six skeins of this colourway in the stash. And yes, like the pink pair above, I had already knit a full pair of socks in this colourway before (that I had called my Reading Rainbow Socks). I wasn't in a hurry to get these socks off the needles but they did work up pretty fast because as I've said a million times before, knitting self-striping yarn is so addictive!

June was a weird month. Well, what month during this pandemic hasn't been weird? But June for me was when The Kid went back to school on a very, very part-time basis (but was still doing the majority of the school work virtually), the Mr had taken a lot of time off, I was still not working and with no idea as to what was going to happen with my work situation, and with Covid cases being so low on the island, things were slowly opening back up again. These socks had accompanied me to a lot of local breweries.

Funny story: even though these socks had knit up fast, it took me weeks to officially finish them. I'm going to assume that I needed to cast on the next pair of socks because I was going to go somewhere where I could knit for a longer period of time and needed a project that could match that. I guess I got thoroughly swayed by the thrill of turning the heel that I had completely forgotten about these rainbow awesomeness and they quickly got lost under a pile of other WIPs. Had I paid attention, I would've realized that the second toe only needed the toe grafted together. Oh well. At least I discovered this detail weeks later and not years later, and can still say I finished these socks in a month span!

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici
Colour: Rainbow
Needles: Knitter's Pride Karbonz Fixed Circular in 2.25mm (US 1)


Opal Shortie Socks
Opal Shortie Socks

Sock no.4 for this Summer of Socks! I found my Ziplock bag of Opal minis from the Opal Christmas Advent Calendar that I got five years ago and decided to take a break from the self-striping yarns and knit socks that were mis-matchy. I still had sixteen minis from the advent and had a hard time choosing which minis to use. For some reason I thought it would take four minis to make a pair of shorties (yeah, I didn't bother to look at the other pairs of socks I had knit using these minis to see how many I had used) and selected the four that looked like they would blend well together.

I didn't deviate from what I did with the previous pairs so there's really nothing to say about this pair other than the fact that I ended up using 2.5 minis instead of my predicted four. Now I wonder if I could challenge myself in knitting another pair of shortie socks using a mini per sock and pair it up with a solid coloured yarn for the cuff, heel, and toes?

Hmmm...I'll have to keep that challenge in mind for later. For now I got other yarns demanding to be turned into shortie socks!

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Rose City Rollers by Mara Catherine Bryner
Yarn: Opal 4-ply Sock minis
Colour: Unknown, each mini label does not contain the colour info
Needles: Knit Picks Nickel Plated Fixed Circular in 2.25mm (US 1)


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