Hello friends, and happy Thursday! I’m particularly excited today because I have some big news to share ….
My first ever pattern is for sale on Ravelry!
I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty giddy over it. If you’d asked me this time last year if I’d ever put a design up for sale, I would’ve probably laughed at the idea. But today I hit publish on a pattern that’s dear to my heart, that’s been tested by a handful of really lovely knitters, and that I’m really proud to send out into the world!
If you’re a regular reader, you’ve seen these socks before. Mr. N really loves handknit socks, and so when we decided to elope, I knew I wanted him to have a pair to wear on the day (it was casting on for my Mahy shawl and his socks, in fact, that made me feel like we were really going to get married!)
I never intended to “design” a pair of socks for the wedding. I scoured Ravelry, with a pretty particular idea of what I was looking for — a relatively simple sock (both so it would knit up quick and so Mr. N would wear it after the day … I really wanted us to use our wedding knits in daily life), but with something a little special. But since socks are one of the few things I’m confident knitting without a pattern, when I couldn’t find what I wanted, I didn’t worry too much about coming up with something myself. I went stash diving and found some (discontinued) Colinette Jitterbug that matched the shade of my wedding shawl nearly perfectly. Then I set off knitting, settling on a small twisted stitch cable panel to run down either side of the leg. I liked its simplicity, and that it was made up of two distinct, but entwined strands.
I’d initially thought I might carry the cable down the side of the foot, but I worried it might be a bit uncomfortable, rubbing up against a shoe side, and also it was much faster to knit a plain stockinette foot! For the wedding socks, I knit the two legs separately but concurrently, working on one leg for a few repeats, then another. They grow surprisingly fast, I think mostly because it’s tempting to keep working just one more 6-row cable repeat. Once I got past the heel, I put both socks on the same needle to get exactly matching stockinette feet and then popped on a contrasting toe!
For Mr. N’s pair and my second sample, I opted for an afterthought heel, and the pattern includes detailed instructions for that as well as a slip stitch heel with gusset (which has been knit by some of the test knitters!)
My second sample is knit in Blacker Yarns Mohair Blends 4-ply. I used undyed Lantic Bay for the Main Color and Portmellon for the toes:
I’m excited to have another no-nylon pair of handknit socks in the mix, and I’m looking forward to knitting up a few other versions with no-nylon yarns. There are so many exciting no-nylon sock yarns out at the moment — if you’re looking for some for this pattern or any other, you might also consider Doulton Border Leicester 4-ply (which my lovely friend Jenni is testing the pattern in with beautiful results), Black Isle Yarn’s brand new semi-worsted spun BFL and mohair blend sock yarn (I was lucky enough to get a skein at Yarndale and can’t wait to try it), Woolly Mammoth Fibre Co‘s new Natural Sock, or Ovis Et Cetera’s Herba (these are just ones I’ve encountered in the last month!).
Obviously I’m partial, but I’m just so addicted to this little cable. I love how crisp it looks in a smooth, plump sock yarn, like the Colinette I used for Nick’s, the West Yorkshire Spinners 4-ply that Diane used, or in friend and fellow blogger Sharon’s lovely grey pair, and Mimmie’s similarly-toned duo! I love that the cable stands up to the gentle halo of the Blacker Mohair blend in my second pair, and Joanna and Marnie’s lovely versions in the same blend. And I love that it’s bold enough to stand up to multicolored yarns, like in Mairwen’s completely joyful rainbow striped pair (also knit in WYS 4-ply) and Sarah’s infectiously cheerful Northern Yarn Lonk version. I’ve already got at least three more pairs planned — for awhile, I think this will be my go-to nearly but not quite vanilla sock!
The pattern includes four sizes, and two gauges, so it includes a real range of options for fit. My Blacker pair were knit in the smallest size and are neat, nearly ankle socks, perfect for peeping out of brogues, but I’m planning a slightly slouchier version in some lovely ballet pink Black Isle sock yarn next. In addition to including the two heel options, the pattern includes written and charted cable directions, as well as detailed instructions for cabling without a needle (this is a great pattern to practice on!) It’s written a a cuff down sock, but the cables are reversible so you could knit toe up too if that’s your preference!
If you’d like to snag a copy of the pattern, you can head over to the Ravelry page and make sure you use the code “SOCTOBER” for 15% off through the end of the month. If you think you might cast on a pair, I’d love to hear about what yarn you might use in the comments !
More soon, and until then, happy knitting!