Introducing … the Knapweed Socks

Hello dear readers! I hope this finds you well and, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoying a peaceful late summer! Today I’m excited to share my latest (and last, for awhile!) design, the Knapweed Socks! These toe-up, mid-calf socks feature textured buds and blooms reminiscent of Common Knapweed, a hearty, thistle-like wildflower that you’ll find blooming all summer long in the UK. So you can have a bit of summer meadow peeping out of your shoes or boots all year long!

The Knapweed Socks are knit from the toe up and feature 1×4 twisted rib, a short row heel, and, the stars, the textured buds and blooms! These are created using bobble and dip stitches, and the pattern has detailed written instructions and tips for working these. They are a lot of fun!

And if you are (like I often am) put off by the idea of all that reverse stocking stitch, good news! The socks are knit inside out from the toe up until right before you begin the bobbles, minimizing the need to purl. This resulted in one of my favorite unexpected features of the sock … I love the way the German short row heel looks once you turn the socks inside out … there’s something so pleasing about that little chain! (Side note: one of my fabulous testers reported that she successfully knit the whole sock inside out without any issues, so that’s a possibility as well, you’ll just need to do a little mental gymnastics!)

I’m really pleased to have these socks out in the world … especially because they really are my sock knitting happy place … pretty simple (I like simple socks as they tend to be my out and about project), but with a few details to keep things interesting! And while I knit these consecutively for portability, if you like knitting socks two at a time or have been wanting to try that technique, these are really well suited for it. I find toe-up socks are much easier to get set up for two-at-a-time knitting, and the simple pattern makes them a great option for this method.

For the pattern sample, I used one of my favorite no-nylon sock yarns, Mondim by Rosa Pomar (which also features in my Shorty Shorty Shorties [Rav link]!). I loved seeing my testers’ different versions of this sock — and let me take this chance to say a massive thank you to the fab group I had testing this pattern out! The pattern works well in a solid or semi-solid yarn, which lets the texture shine, but it also holds up really well in yarns with a bit of variation in them … it can really make the dip stitches pop! I also think these could be really fun in a very slow changing gradient yarn.

There were a few moments when I thought this pattern wasn’t going to make it out before the summer ended and a new wee babe joined our family, so I’m very pleased to be sitting at my desk this Monday morning, letting you know the socks are ready (and that baby is stilly happily ensconced in my belly!). As a thank you to you lovely blog readers for being here with me still, the code 38WEEKS will get you 10% off the Knapweed Socks from now through end of day Wednesday! You can purchase the socks over on Ravelry or in my Payhip shop (where, I’m afraid, I haven’t figured out discount codes yet … so if you’d like to purchase with the discount but can’t use Ravelry, just send me a note at and I’ll sort things!)

My little assistant helpfully holds a Knapweed bloom in frame!

New Pattern Alert: Socks for Summer eBook!

Hello friends! I hope this finds you well and, for those of you in the northern hemisphere, enjoying sun-soaked days filled with ripe stone fruit and juicy tomatoes and eves sat out watching the lightening bugs dance. In my neck of the woods, summer is a much cooler and damper proposition … but the silver lining is it’s almost never to warm for woolly socks!

Shorty socks for summer, and beyond!

Whether you live in a place where summer temps rarely break 70 F or a spot where it swelters all summer long, today I’m really excited to share a little eBook I’ve been working on with what I hope are the perfect socks for summer (and beyond). Say hello to the Ginnel Socks and the Shorty Shorty Shorties, my newest pair of sock patterns. (And do make sure you check out the end of this post for a small treat for blog readers!)

Continue reading “New Pattern Alert: Socks for Summer eBook!”

Five things I learned knitting Bressay (and the finished article)

My Bressay is done. I thought I might never write that sentence! I began this sweater in … April 2019 as a knitalong with my pal Jenni. By the time Willa arrived on the scene in October, the plain portions of the body and sleeves were long done, but the colorwork (which starts before the sleeves and body are joined for the yoke) was nonexistent. And I figured it’d remain that way for quite some time. But I slowly chipped away at it and now, five months after Willa joined the family, the jumper is done. I’m calling that a win! Continue reading “Five things I learned knitting Bressay (and the finished article)”

Yarnalong: Felix, The Familiars, and This Golden Fleece

Ahoy! I’m hoping to sweep out the cobwebs here (more on that in a later post) and get back to writing at least semi-regularly — and what better way to reenter than with a Yarnalong post!

Knitting: The Felix Cardigan by Amy Christoffers. My mom and I cast these on when she was visiting us and our new arrival a few weeks ago. Progress hasn’t been the fastest (see: new arrival + still working on other projects) but I divided for the sleeves last night and am looking forward to the shorter rows that will bring. I’m not used to using such big needles (knitting on a US 10/ 6 mm) and they’ve been a bit hard on my hands. But, left hand willing, I’m hoping to make enough progress to give this a quick try on today and make sure the fit in the shoulders is good!

I’m knitting this in the called for yarn, Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mountain Mohair, in shade Raven. I really like the deep charcoal and know it’ll be a great wardrobe staple. The single ply 75% wool 25% mohair blend makes a fabric that seems lofty but sturdy. I think it will make for a cardigan that’s warm but not as heavy as you might expect from a garment knit in worsted weight yarn.

Reading: I’ve got two books on the go at the moment. The first is This Golden Fleece, a really interesting combination of personal knitting memoir and Britain’s knitting and woolly history. I’m nearly halfway through, but with it being a hardback, I’m finding it easiest to read when I’m not holding or feeding a little babe — so progress is a bit slow. When I can catch time for a quick soak in the tub, reading a few more pages of this is a real treat!

The second book is The Familiars, historical fiction set in 17th-century Lancaster during the Pendle witch trials. Commemorations of the Pendle witches are everywhere around Lancaster, and I’m really enjoying reading something set where I live! I’m enjoying spending time with the first person narrator, even though the world she inhabits is a bit lonely and sad. Once I start reading it, it’s hard to put down … luckily, Mr N got me a Kindle for my birthday which makes it ever so much easier to read while breastfeeding!

Head on over the original Yarnalong to see what other knitters are working on and reading this week!

Yarnalong, January 2019: Waiting for Rain, Mondim Socks, and James Herriot

I’m in the midst of the last few days of our Australian holiday, so this will be short and sweet, but I wanted to pop in quickly for the first Yarnalong of 2019. 

Knitting: My knitting’s been coming along with me everywhere this trip. I finished my Doocot sweater the first week, so have been working on Waiting for Rain and some vanilla socks out of Mondim sock yarn ever since. It’s been a long time since I’ve not had a sweater actively on the go, and while I’m looking forward to getting back to garment knitting when we return to the UK, I’ve got to say, it’s been fun watching smaller projects grow quickly! I’m well into the second skein of my shawl, and my socks’ feet are nearly done. I’ve had a new idea for a little sock design, and I’m wondering if I should try it out on the leg or  keep them simple. 

Reading: I had high hopes for holiday reading, but most evenings I’ve nodded off before I can make much progress. But I’ve made a small start with James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small which I’m really enjoying. It’s funny and gentle and a perfect light read to see in the new year. 

Head over to the original Yarnalong post  to see what others are knitting and reading — what are you up to this week?

Onward Knits — Interview and Giveaway!

Today, I’m so happy to share an interview with my dear friend, Kate Jordan, who’s just published her very first book, Onward KnitsKate and Mr. N went to university together in New Zealand, and I met her for the first time over three years ago  during our trip to NZ after years of online chatting about our mutual love of wool and knitting. Since then our friendship has been sustained by Facebook chats, Skype knitting sessions, and, earlier this year, an epic trip to Edinburgh Yarn Festival!  I actually find it a little hard to believe that we’ve only spent a few weeks in each other’s company over our years of friendship–the internet is a wonderful thing!

Kate, speaking at the Onward Knits launch — which, fittingly, was held at a bar in the Wellington Railway Station.

Continue reading “Onward Knits — Interview and Giveaway!”

Happy Thanksgiving 

A bold red grouse I met on a walk this morning
Just a quick note to say happy Thanksgiving if you’re celebrating today! I’ve got so much to be thankful for, not least knitting and the community that surrounds it. So thanks to all of you who chose to spend a little of your day here. Sometimes I wonder if the knitting blog is a dying breed (there are so many other places to get knitting chat theee days) but I really value this space and all of you! If you’re in the United States (or anywhere else for that matter), I hope your day is full of good food, good company, and maybe a spot of knitting. 

Yarnalong: Lotta + Behind the Scenes at the Museum

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Hi there! Just a quick post today as I’m still traveling, but I’m so excited about the book I’m reading that I didn’t want to miss this month’s Yarnalong!

Knitting: My Lotta Dress from the most recent issue of Laine is coming along … I’ve been working on it as and when while I’ve been traveling, and have just divided for the sleeves.  As soon as I finish this clever horizontal detailing on the body, it’s just miles of stockinette …. perfect for working on while catching up with friends the rest of this week and for my flight back to the UK next Monday!  I’m loving knitting with the toothy and tactile Tukuwool sock — I see more projects with it in my future. But I’m missing knitting along on it with my lovely mom since I left last Friday.

Reading: Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson.  I’ve been in such a reading funk lately … I have had such a hard time picking up a book and staying with it.  I started BTSATM on my trip, though, as I’m reading it for a book club, and I adore it.   The first person narrative grabbed me right away, it’s chronology jumps around in a way that’s fun and not gimmick-y or confusing, and I love the richly textured picture it paints of a family’s life in post WW2 Yorkshire.  I’m not all that far in, but so far, so good!

Head on over to the original Yarnalong post to see what knitters and readers all around the world are up to! What are you reading and knitting this week?

TWO YEARS (and a bit…)!

This past weekend was Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival … the very first yarn festival I ever went to, and one that I was lucky enough to go to several times during the time I lived in Baltimore (miss you, Charm City!)  As I saw little pictures and post pop up around the Kniternet about the festival, I thought back to the last time I went, two years ago, with a lovely group of friends …

Which got me thinking about how my two-year old Maryland Sheep and Wool Fest post was one of my very early blog posts …

Which made me realize that I had missed my blog-o-versary!

Continue reading “TWO YEARS (and a bit…)!”

America bound!

Well, our bags our nearly packed, the knitting (obviously the most important part) is just about sorted, and tomorrow, we fly!  I can’t wait to see my family and am so excited to spend Christmas and New Year with them, and hopefully, settling in for some serious knitting time with my mom and sister! I imagine I’ll pop in here and there (maybe to share some holiday cooking, or my mom and sister’s knitting, too!) but, before the hubbub of the holidays begins, I wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a happy and peaceful festive season!

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This picture is actually from my trip to Manchester last week, but no less knitting has been packed! 

Hope all’s well in your corner of the world — thanks, as always, for spending a bit of your time with me!

xo K