Show off

Here's the full progression from blocked and shiny, back to one blocked one not for contrast, then back to fresh off the needles. I normally block socks like this every time I pull them out of the washing machine? No I very much do not. I do this (with the sock blockers and the carefully making sure the leg and foot are lined up straight and the gentle tugging to keep the top of the cuff straight) happens the first time and for photos or for gifting. After a regular wash, I just smooth them out flat (or flatish, [...]

May 21, 2024|


I am missing socks! Ask me your sock questions so I can think about socks without knitting socks! Socks were my first knitting love and the only thing I designed for a long time (I've written more than 100 sock patterns). And I miss them! But knitting at a good sock gauge hurts my shoulder these days, so I enlist the services of amazing sample knitters when I need them. But oh, oh I wanna think about them for a while. So send me your sock questions and I'll answer the most frequent/most interesting ones in this month's Q&A post. [...]

May 16, 2024|


Why yes, yes I am continuing my ongoing attempts to reacquaint myself with some sock friends from days of yore. Anyone remember these? They have a special place in my heart for a whole bunch of reasons, and I think they may need to come back out to play some time soon, don't you? Photo of the swatch both blocked and unblocked, because folks always ask 'do you haaaaaave to block your swatches?' And I always say 'nope!' But the kind of information you get from a blocked swatch and an unblocked swatch are different, and you should know that [...]

March 24, 2024|


Ok, so I asked if we should talk about what changed between the first version of these (which were my very first pattern...fifteen years ago...when I did not know what I was doing) and the shiny new version that came out this week. And you said yes, so let's do that! So, the biggest thing is what I tend to think of as smoothly you transition between one section of the sock and the next. And this is a little nebulous and hand wave-y to talk about, but it's pretty easy to see. There's an instagram version of this [...]

March 15, 2024|


So...I still have them. The first socks. From 15 years ago. And I have the shiny new version. Wanna see what's changed? First, a small caution, because my heart gets tender and squishy about things these days. My first inclination, any time I get better at anything, is to whisk away all evidence that I didn't always know what I know now. So showing the sock from my Very First Sock Pattern feels like showing you my teenage diary. There are lots of things that make me want to hide my face in my hands and groan in embarrassment. But [...]

March 14, 2024|


Popped is back and oh, oh I have some feelings about this one! These came out fifteen years ago, and they were my very first pattern.  I had absolutely no idea what I was doing—no clue how to write a pattern or take a decent picture. But somehow I talked myself into doing it anyway. And folks liked them, so I did it again. And again. And again. Now here we are, fifteen years later, and somehow those socks that I knit for my own amusement and wrote up on whim have turned into a career and a dozen books [...]

March 13, 2024|

It depends

Do I block my swatches? Eh, depends on what I'm using them for! In this case, I was checking to see if I liked this stitch pattern with this yarn for a pair of socks I'm getting reknit. And since that was all I was doing, I totally could have just taken the wee crumpled bit of business (photo two) and stretched it out between my fingers and said 'yup, that works' and carried on. But that only works because it's a yarn I'm familiar with, getting turned into a thing I'm familiar with, where the sizing isn't super important. [...]

March 11, 2024|

Tidy Transitions

The other thing my brain likes about socks is that they give you lots of chances to do tidy transitions between sections. And oh, oh having those all flow together nicely makes my brain make the good chemicals! To move from the ribbing at the cuff into the patterning on the leg smoothly. To take that pattern on the leg and pull a few bits of it out to continue down the heel. To occasionally do something downright sneaky with the gusset decreases. To find a way to play with the leg pattern on the foot. To keep the fancy [...]

March 3, 2024|

Shiny object

So socks were the first knitting project that actually held my attention long enough to finish the damn thing before I got distracted by the next shiny object to cross my path and wandered off to do something new. ⁠ What can I say, the ADHD is strong in me, and I was terrifyingly unmedicated at the time.⁠ But socks...just about when you were getting bored with the cuff, it was time to do the leg. And then came the heel, and yet another chance to change things up a bit. Then comes a heel turn (which will feel like [...]

March 2, 2024|
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