Archive for the ‘Socks’ Category


Professor Moody’s Hose: Now on Ravelry!

<> Whatever yarn you want. I used 4 oz.  Dream in Color Smooshy, colorway Blue Lagoon
<> Set of 5 double point needles.  I used US sz. 1 for a gauge of 8 sts per inch.  Using the small directions yielded a small ladies’ sock.

<> Appropriately sized cable needle or extra dpn.

Sizes: Lots of ribbing makes these socks very stretchy.
Note about the sizes: I choose my yarn and needles based on the number of sts in the foot. Thus, the size labels are only that, labels. You could knit these for a large person using worsted wool, and the small size directions. Use the size that best suits your yarn, gauge, and recipient.  Mine were knit with fingering weight yarn and the small instructions to yield a small ladies’ sock.
<> Small – 92 sts at calf, 60 sts at ankle and foot
<> Medium – 100 sts at calf, 68 sts at ankle and foot
<> Large – 108 sts at calf, 76 sts at ankle and foot
<> Extra-Large – 116 sts at calf, 84 sts at ankle and foot

I designed these after the hose we see Professor Moody wearing for one second at the Yule Ball in the movie version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I was intregued by the calf shaping, as it doesn’t seem to follow conventional stocking rules. This is my own interpretation of his kilthose.

These are traditionally knitted cuff-down calf length stockings with a fold over top. There are “clocks” running down the inside and outside of the leg, all decreasing occurs at 4 points next to these clocks, there is no back seam. The clock design incorporates a 5 stitch twisted ribbed cable and a 6 stitch zigzag brocade panel that counts rounds between cable crosses. All decreases occur during cable cross rounds so there is very little need for the chart or pattern once you understand how it works. The heel is done in heel stitch and is started one pattern repeat above the ankle split. The clocks continue into the foot, the sock ends with a plain toe.

Ready to go?
<> Using your favorite stretchy cast-on, CO 92 (100, 108, 116) stitches, divide evenly onto 4 dpns 23 (25, 27, 29) sts per needle, and join into the round. Leave your cast-on tail to mark the beginning of the round. The round will begin and end at the back of the leg.
<> Work K1 P1 ribbing for 2 inches, then knit 3 rounds plain. Then we’ll set up for our patterns.
<> Establish your pattern-
Sizes Small and Large:
1st and 3rd needles: P1 *K2 P2* 3 (4) times K2tbl P1 K2tbl P2 K3.
2nd and 4th needles: K3 P2 K2tbl P1 K2tbl *P2 K2* 3 (4) times P1.
Sizes Medium and Extra-Large:
1st and 3rd needles: K1 *P2 K2* 3 (4) times P2 K2tbl P1 K2tbl P2 K3.
2nd and 4th needles: K3 P2 K2tbl P1 K2tbl P2 *K2 P2* 3 (4) times K1.
<> The 6 st panels between needles 1&2 and 3&4 are your row keeper panels, the groups of K2tbl P1 K2tbl will be your ribbed cables. These 20 sts form the clock and are the only elements I have charted- the rest of the stocking leg is worked (as established) in K2 P2 ribbing.

The clock chart: Read top to bottom, left to right.
Note: I would encourage you to not make your zigzag panels mirror each other. This will make your life easier while working the ankle and heel.

“B” indicated a twisted stitch, Ktbl.

To work twisted rib cable: Cable Front: Sl 2 sts onto cable needle, hold to front. K2tbl, P1, K2tbl off cable needle. Cable Back: Sl 3 sts onto cable needle, hold to back. K2tbl, P1, K2tbl off cable needle.
All decreases occur next to the clocks and during cable cross rounds. All decreases are P2tog. Start your decreases on your 5th (small and medium) or 6th (large and extra large) cable cross round.
<> Decrease Round 1:
Small and Large: P1 K2 P2 K2 (P2 K2) P1 P2tog P2tog P1 {clock as charted} P1 P2tog P2tog P1 work rest of needle as established, repeat for other side of leg. 8 stitches decreased 84 (100) sts remain
Medium and Extra-Large: K1 *P2 K2* 2 (3) times P1 P2tog P2tog P1 {clock as charted} P1 P2tog P2tog P1 work rest of needle as established, repeat for other side of leg. 8 stitches decreased 92 (108) sts remain
<> Decrease Round 2: Next cable cross round- Just outside each cable you have 4 purl stitches. P1 P2tog P1 at each set. 4 sts decreased 80 (88, 96, 104) sts remain.
<> Decrease Round 3: Next cable cross round- Just outside each cable you have 3 purl stitches. P2tog P1 on needles 1 and 3. P1 P2tog on needles 2 and 4. 4 sts decreased 76 (84, 92, 100) sts remain.

<> Decrease Round 4: Second cable cross round after last decreases-
6 sts before the clock: P1 P2tog P2tog P1 {clock as charted} P1 P2tog P2tog P1 work rest of needle as established, repeat for other side of leg. 8 stitches decreased 68 (76, 84, 92) sts remain.
<> Decrease Round 5: Next cable cross round- Just outside each cable you have 4 purl stitches. P1 P2tog P1 at each set. 4 sts decreased 64 (72, 80, 88) sts remain.
<> Decrease Round 6: Next cable cross round- Just outside each cable you have 3 purl stitches. P2tog P1 on needles 1 and 3. P1 P2tog on needles 2 and 4. 4 sts decreased 60 (68, 76, 84) sts remain.
Work one more cable cross – more for knee length stockings. Then…

I dislike sock patterning rubbing the backs of my heels when wearing shoes, so I’ve worked heel stitch on the back of the leg before dividing for the heel flap. You can take or leave this idea without hurting my feelings- I’ll give you the instructions for both. Note: For the high heeled sock you will be losing 3 sts from each zigzag panel to the heel sts while still needing them to count cable rounds- if your zigzag panels are identical (ie. not mirrored) you will still have the proper tools- needle 2 will count 3 rounds, needle 3 will count 3 rounds.
<> Low heeled sock or patterned ankle- work one more cable cross round before dividing for heel.
<> High heeled sock or smooth ankle- after last cable cross round:
Round 1: needle 1 knit plain, needles 2 and 3 work as established, needle 4 knit plain
Round 2: Knit needle 1’s sts onto needle 4, you now have 1 needle with heel sts and 2 needles with front/instep sts. Work front as established, work heel sts *sl1 K1* across
Round 3: Work front as established, work heel plain.
Repeat Rounds 2 and 3 until the next cable cross (second cross after last decrease) ending with *sl1 K1* heel sts. You may have to go around 1 more time to end up with *sl1 K1* heel sts, this is not important.

<> Using the 30 (34, 38, 42) stitches from needles 1 and 4 work back and forth in heel stitch (*sl1 K1* on right side, sl1, purl to end on wrong side) until you have 18 (20, 22, 22) chain sts on each side.
<> Turning the Heel: sl1 K16 (18, 20, 22) SSK K1 turn, sl1 P5 P2tog P1 turn. Sl1 knit to within one if the gap SSK K1 turn, sl1 purl to within one of the gap P2tog P1 turn, repeat until all heel stitches are worked.


Gussets and Foot:
<> Pick up and knit all the chain sts up the side of the heel, work across the instep as established, and pick up a corresponding number of sts down the other side of the heel.
<> The round now begins at the bottom of the foot. Next round. Gusset 1: knit to within 7 of the instep, K2tog, then re-establish the clock pattern – P2, K3. Work across instep. Gusset 2: K3, P2 to re-establish clock pattern, SSK, knit to end.
<> Continue as established, decreasing at each clock every second round until you have the same number of sts as at the ankle.
<> Work foot to desired length.

<> Discontinue all patterning. The 6 st brocade panel now becomes the decrease panel. Arrange your sts so the needle breaks occur at the exact sides of the foot – same as – the center of the 6 st panel.
<> Round 1: Needles 1 and 3: Knit to 4 of the end, K2tog, K2. Needles 2 and 4: K2, SSK, knit to end.
<> Round 2: Work all sts plain.
<> Repeat the foregoing 2 rounds until you have a total of 28 (32, 36, 36) sts, graft the top and bottom of the toe together.


Please please please: This pattern has not been test knit. If you discover any mistakes please let me know so I can fix them!


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Finally Finally Finally.  The socks that wouldn’t get done are… DONE!


Pattern: Moody (Blues) Hose.  I was inspired to design these socks after the kilt hose we see Professor Moody wearing for one little second during the Yule Ball in the 4th Harry Potter movie.  And I like the Moody Blues.

I was interested in the construction of Moody’s hose because the calf shaping is not like any I had seen before. The decreases occur at 4 points, one each side of the clocks running down the side of the legs.


Whether or not this is actually how the original socks were knitted is moot, I liked this method of shaping. Spreading the decreases around the leg may not be very anatomically correct, but it has a nice effect.

Yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy, colorway VS160 Blue Lagoon.  Purchased at Knitting Bee.

Started: (ahem) August 2007  Finished: February 21, 2008   Finally!!!

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 1 / 2.5 mm double point needles. Gauge: varied… The first sock was knitted at about 8.5 sts/in the second at 8 sts/in.  The more I knit the looser I get, but I think that’s pretty typical for most knitters.



This was more fiber Peggy sent me. There were small samples of Gotland and Border Leicester of similar colors so I spun up both and plyed them together.  This is the first stuff not overspun, I might even call it a bit underspun, but it would make a lovely drapey fluffy lace if it were a softer wool and there were more of it.

And Spinning a Sweater’s Worth?


I bought a full pound of this natural dark brown carded Corriedale sliver.  Lots of vegetable matter, but O so soft.  I’m doing a woolen spun, Navajo 3 ply yarn.  The first bobbin yielded 50 gms/170 yards.  Sportweight.

So far I’ve only spun up one bobbin, and already knitted it up, so I really need to sit back down at the wheel!  I love how light and sproingy the woolen 3 ply is.  It’s heavenly to knit with, if you like that sort of thing.

The sweater will be Helloyarn’s Cycling Aran.  This was the first sweater I ever lusted after as a brand-new knitter.  After an unsuccessful first attempt last winter due to a poor yarn choice, I’m trying again.  Adrian’s blog is also one of the first I started reading that involved spinning, so it seems appropriate that this is my first handspun sweater.

Plans for a February Baby Shawl were scrapped in favor of getting started on birthday knitting, our family has 2 in March so I need to get going!

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After botching the first pair of Ravenclaw socks for Nikolai I had to make him a pair that actually fits.


So there you have it. Basic cuff-down sock on 50 sts. I stopped messing about with short-row heels and went back to the tried and true heel flap for these.

The stripe on the leg is the leftovers from his Halloween socks, and the one pink toe is where I ran out of yarn. These things happen, especially when knitting 3 pairs of socks from 100 gms of wool! A big thank you to Libby for the Ravenclaw yarn, I never imagined we all 3 would get socks from one ball!

And that brings us to the other FO. I couldn’t resist giving you a teaser while it was blocking, it’s too lovely not to share. So, without further ado I give you, the Kiri Shawl:


The Kiri Shawl by Polly Outhwaite of All Tangled Up.

Started: October 26th, 2007 Finished: November 15th, 2007

Yarn is Knitpicks Wool of the Andes colorway Amber Heather. 5 skeins / 250 grams / 550 yds.

Needles: US sz. 10 / 6 mm 32″ circular needle but going back and forth.

Finished Size: 77 inches wingtip to wingtip, and about 38 inches from neck to point. Huge.

The time it took me to finish this project is completely different than the actual knitting time. I started this as a distraction from Fishtrap, and couldn’t order more yarn until Fishtrap was done. If you subtract all the time I spent dillydallying to finish Fishtrap and all the time waiting for my order to arrive, the knitting was completed over about 4 days.

Despite purling back very row I found this to be a very soothing and addicting project. When I had the yarn, this was the only thing I wanted to knit. The loose gauge, the lovely pattern, and the thick-ish wool all added up to the perfect relaxing TV-watching project.

Does this make me a lace knitter? I can’t decide. I loved how fast this knit up using worsted weight wool, but I think it could be maddenly slow with lace weight yarn and teensy needles. I just don’t know.


I wore this yesterday to Nikolai’s preschool and got lots of nice comments on it, even all bundled around my neck under a jacket. Either I have low-self esteem or I’m narcissistic, but hearing knitwear compliments from non-knitters is about one the best things out there.

What’s your favorite thing about being a knitter?

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Socks and Grace

A friend [Mrs. Fishtrap] and I have an ongoing discussion about how God gives us the children He thinks we can handle.  Mr. Fishtrap was required to be away from the family for 2 weeks before they would fly across country to meet him.   Mrs. Fishtrap did not know how she would handle 4 year old twin boys for 2 weeks without some sort of divine intervention.

Lo and behold, we had fabulous weather. Lots of outdoor play, gorgeous sunshine, picnics at the playground, fieldtrips to the waterfalls, etc.  Mrs. Fishtrap had a wonderful positive 2 weeks alone with her boys.  She called the weather her divine intervention.

Lo and behold, again, the day she and the twins left to go meet Mr. Fishtrap across the country… the weather turned. Storms, rain, wind, power outages, and cold.  How would we make it our 2 weeks until our good Fishtrap friends came home?

We all got sick.  We are all functioning, but at a lower level. The level that makes being cooped up inside not only bearable, but pleasant.  And that has given me ample time to knit more socks.  This was my divine intervention.

And these are my new socks.


Basic Cuff-Down socks on 54 stitches.

Yarn was sent to me by Libby for a recent Hogwarts socks swap. I was in Ravenclaw House, so she dyed the yarn appropriately herself.  These were knit on US sz. 1 / 2.25 mm dpns.


Special features: It’s been a long time since I worked a short-row heel so I wanted to dust up a bit on the technique. I love the simplicty of a short-row heel, but it never seems to be large enough to satisfy me on fit. I tried to counter that problem by knitting the heel on 3/5 the total stitches instead of the normal 1/2 total stitches.  I like the way these fit, and the reverse stockinette adds some visual interest.

Moving down the foot, I was inspired by Lynn to try some slipped stitches along the arch to snug the sole to the foot. I like it, the fit is fantastic. Thank you Lynn for the great idea! Next time I’ll try the socks on first though and start the slipped stitches closer to the heel.

The only thing I don’t like about these socks is how short the leg is. But that is entirely my own doing and here’s why.


After finishing the boys’ handdye socks I set out to make them scrap-cuff Ravenclaw socks. These are Gabriel’s, knit on 48 stitches. These were my first experiment with short-row heels, using garter stitch on the normal 1/2 total stitches. The foot is the right length but the heels Do. Not. Stay. On.   At all.

Lesson learned. Make heels bigger.

So I started Nikolai’s on 54 sts and made the heels larger… you see what happened.  I completely over-corrected and ended up with socks way too big for Nikolai, but perfect for me.

No frogging and I get new socks.  Divine intervention?

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For Nikolai.  He chose the colors and we dyed yarn on Halloween.  Started yesterday, finished today. Kid socks are a perfect instant grafitication project.

Basic cuff-down socks on 56 stitches. These are a little loose in the foot so the next ones will be on fewer stitches, probably 52.


And there’s Nikolai, shouting “NO PICTURE!” teeheehee…

The waterfall is on a local river. We spent a wonderful afternoon there yesterday with the Fishtrap twins… doing boy things… throwing rocks, hunting salamanders, carrying sticks, watching the salmon swim upstream, adventuring in the forest.  How grand to be a kid in a place like this, how lucky are we?

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Graciously modelled by Gabriel while napping in the recliner.

I take full responsibility for the horrid dye-job. Gabriel chose the colors, but I made them ugly. Well, he likes them and they fit and they are warm. Good enough.

Basic 48 stitch cuff-down socks. I couldn’t believe how big I had to make these!! The last socks I made him, in July, were only 42 stitches and were (seriously) an inch shorter in the foot. His feet are only 3/8 inch – 1 cm shorter than his brothers’. What has this kid been eating?

Umm…. Crazy pills?

Fishtrap is almost ready for its bath!!! After all the ends are darned in it’s off to the wash and block before hems are sewn up for delivery!!!

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I promised an update on Fishtrap so here we go:


Just past the sleeve/body join. This is 13 skeins of KnitPicks Swish Superwash DK in color Mist.

Unfortunately I have hit a block. All interest has been lost. It may have been the relief of reaching the yoke. It may have been the realization there is already 1600 yds of yarn in this puppy and I’m not near done. It may be the horrendous amount of stitches currently on the needle. It may be that I’m a little peeved that my swap partner has vanished. It may be Nikolai throwing a fit and attempting to pull the needle out. (Go back to Childhood post…. I love my children, I love my children, I love my children… usually!) Know what I think the problem is?

Baseball. The World Series. The Boston Red Sox.

Who wouldn’t root for a team with socks mowed on their infield? Why don’t I have any red sock yarn?! I want to knit RED SOCKS! Not having any red sock yarn means I’ve been rooting around the stash and casting on and dabbling and ripping at an astonishing rate.

I cast the second Spiral Boot Sock (remember those?). I cast on the second Moody Stocking and started writing the pattern. I cast on Dashing. And I’m feeling extra rebellious and casting on Muir tonight.

Denial… it feels sooo good! Won’t you join me?

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Fun Stripe


Favorite scrap socks ever. I discovered this yarn combination when knitting my Mom’s pirate socks and I can’t get enough!   I’m loving the colors.

Specs: Started- recently (?) Finished- today.

Generic 64 st sock. Knitted on sz. 0 / 2mm dpns.

Yarn: Blue is Sunbeam St. Ives 4 ply sock wool, 80% wool 20% nylon.  Pink is SWTC Tofutsies #728. Leftovers from Mom’s pirate socks and my Jaywalkers. I started out with 100gms of each- this is the 3rd pair of socks and there’s still more yarn!!!  I was trying to finish it!  This would be a good reason to knit toe-up scrap socks but obviously I did not. Oh well, next time… it’s not like I’m going to stop knitting socks.

I do love these socks, and had a fun little photoshoot tonight but… on Monday they are headed to a new home across the country. Hope they fit!

Fishtrap update coming soon!

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Just for Fun

I did a 10k (6.2 miles) run this morning with my mother and a friend…. I’m tired.

The Great Columbia Crossing. Or the Bridge Run, as we locals call it. (that’s not the official event page, but it has the best pictures of the Bridge- even if you don’t like clicking links you should really go see the gorgeous pictures. And we live here! How lucky are we???)

The Bridge Run is something you can only do here, at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. We start in Washington State, then run and run and run and run over the Columbia, admiring beautiful views… all the way back to Oregon. The bridge itself is over 4 miles long – and tall! It’s exhilarating to climb all the way above town then to swoop back down to finish— and a hot bowl of clam chowder at the end!

This event is the only time pedestrians are allowed on the bridge, so it’s not something just anyone can do just anytime… It was a blast. I love all the little conversations you strike up in progress- catching up with old neighbors and high school friends, chatting with total strangers as you pace each other up the hill, watching the same gung-ho 10 year old pass you then stop, gasping, then sprint past again, while we sensible old hands just jog steadily on and on.

It reminds me how much I love running. I can’t do it much because the cartiledge in my knees disintregrated through overuse. When I was 19 I was told to stop running now, before I lost all use of my knees. I did stop running and some cartiledge has re-grown, but not enough to run. And that’s just fine too, a good yearly dose of fantastic scenery and running comraderie (and sore knees) is enough.

I haven’t run since last year’s Bridge Run but something about the ballet is keeping me in shape- I ran about 4.5 miles before giving in to my screaming knees and walked the rest of the way in. I registered as a walker so I didn’t get an official time, but somewhere in the 1hr 10 minutes range. Not too shabby.

The weirdest thing was wearing “regular” cotton socks. When was the last time I did that???

I wish I had pictures for you!! The boys and I will have to go and get some of our own to share. In the meantime here’s what I worked on this weekend.


Fun socks for a special lady. Have a great week everyone!

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Full Circle

Perhaps it was the fatigue of two days of splitting wood, perhaps it was lack of a good meal, perhaps it was dehydration, perhaps it was hormone related… but whatever it was I had a really rough time at ballet tonight and ended up in tears by the end of class.

The last time that happened (when several pre-professionals joined our class and left me demoralized) I went out and bought cheerful yarn for cheerful socks because hey, even if I can’t dance well, I can knit better’n any of them (goddammit)!


It was childish, petty, vindictive knitting. Bet you didn’t realize that was possible!

Anyway, I was feeling pretty miserable as I dressed to go home when I noticed the socks I was pulling on. Yep, those self-same cheerful Jaywalkers.

I may not be able to dance, but I can knit (goddammit) !

And now that I can, again, laugh at myself, it’s time to knit more socks.

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