It's Almost Here! Sunshine + Socks KAL

We’re gearing up to knit lots of socks this summer in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. This Friday is not only the first day of summer, it’s the first day of the Sunshine + Socks Knitalong.

You can make any of my sock patterns for this KAL, and they’re all on sale through Friday, June 21. Use the coupon code SUNSHINE to save 20% (you can use the code as many times as you like).

If you love lace, cast on Plumtree or Couplet. If color is your thing, go for the Rowhouse Socks or Sugar Dusted. Find more ideas in my Ravelry socks/mitts/hats pattern bundle.

A sock is the kind of knitting project you can fit into any summer day, no matter how high the temps go or where you happen to be. A few rounds here and there, and before you know it, you’ll have a new pair of socks for fall (or gift giving). And you needn’t feel rushed — the knitalong lasts until September 1.

Join us on Ravelry for a fun summer of sock knitting!

LINKS

New Pattern: Sugar Dusted Socks

If you haven’t decided which socks to knit for the summerlong Sunshine + Socks KAL starting next week, here’s a new design to consider — my just-released Sugar Dusted Socks.

A pretty confection of texture, lace, and color, the Sugar Dusted Socks feature columns of lace on the outer leg and foot, surrounded by clusters of purl stitches. Worked top down in two colors of fingering weight sock yarn, they're easy yet engaging to knit.

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I used a solid main color and a speckled contrast color for my sample pair, but you could do just the opposite — use a solid on the cuffs, heels, and toes instead. Or two solids? The possibilities are endless — this design lets you create a truly unique pair of socks using colors you love.

I used the Bakery Rye colorway of Bare Naked Wools Better Breakfast Fingering for the main color. This yarn marinated in my stash for a long time until the lightbulb went off and I knew what to make with it. The lovely neutral was a good match for a colorful skein of The Fawn and the Fox Otter, in a colorway called Let’s Stay Home. The Better Breakfast Fingering, a blend of merino, alpaca, and nylon, is a soft yet sturdy yarn with a satisfying crispness equally suited to textured stitches and lace. The Otter, a blend of superwash merino and nylon, was a delight to knit — with every round it was great fun to watch the colors change.

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I’ve added the Sugar Dusted Socks to my Sunshine + Socks sale on Ravelry — save 20% on this pattern and all of my sock patterns with the coupon code SUNSHINE. The sale ends on the first day of summer, June 21.

Friday, June 21, is also when the Sunshine + Socks summer knitalong starts. Knitters are already chatting about yarns and pattern ideas — feel free to join in anytime. The KAL will continue all summer, ending on September 1. There are some great prizes, too — head to the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group to get all the details. I hope you can join us for a summer of leisurely sock knitting!

LINKS

Summer Sock Sale

I myself don’t wear wool socks in warm weather, but I do love to knit them. A sock is the perfect knitting project for summer: small, portable, easy to pick up and set down. You can tuck one in your bag and take it with you wherever you are, whether that’s in your car (not driving, of course!), the beach, or your own backyard.

Now through the first day of summer, all of my sock patterns are 20% off on Ravelry. Use the coupon code SUNSHINE to get the discount. You can use it as many times as you like through Friday, June 21. That’s the day the Sunshine + Socks KAL begins in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. Once you pick your pattern(s), come join us for a fun, relaxed-pace summer of sock knitting.

Next week, I’ll be releasing a new sock pattern called Sugar Dusted — a pretty confection of texture, lace, and color. It will be added to the sock sale so you can get the 20% discount. Stay tuned!

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Sunshine + Socks Summer Knitalong

Save the date! The next Blue Peninsula knitalong starts on June 21, the first day of summer. Seems like the perfect day to start a summer KAL devoted to socks, don’t you think?

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You can knit any of my sock designs for the Sunshine + Socks KAL. And before it starts, I’ll be releasing a brand-new pattern. While you wait, feel free to browse my sock patterns on Ravelry.

More about the KAL and the new pattern soon!

Treat Yourself KAL Ideas: Hands and Feet

The Treat Yourself KAL is meant to be relaxing — but sometimes working on a deadline feels stressful, and we don’t want that! So if you’d like to join the knitalong but aren’t sure you’ll have time to finish a large project like a sweater or shawl, consider choosing something smaller. Mitts, mittens, and socks are not major time commitments, and they’re also portable, easy to bring with you wherever you go.

You can make any of my designs for this KAL, which starts Monday, January 14. Here are just a few ideas for hands and feet - see more in my socks, mitts, and hats Ravelry bundle (hats are quick small projects, too, and I’ll talk about them in another post).

Treat Yourself Knitalong Ideas: Hands and Feet

Pattern: Indikon
Yarn: Sportweight

I have a soft spot for the squishy texture of these mitts. They’re incredibly warm! I’ve worn them so much they’re beginning to wear thin in places, so I might cast on a new pair for the Treat Yourself KAL. The pattern provides instructions for two sizes; you’ll need 190-225 yards/174-206 m.

Pattern: On the Other Hand
Yarn: Skeinny Dipping Merino Single (fingering weight)

This pattern gives you two design options for the cuffs - make one of each, or make both mitts the same. They’re nice and long, great for keeping cold air out of your coat sleeves while leaving your fingers free.

Pattern: Leaf in the Wind
Yarn: Cascade 220 Fingering

For winter’s coldest days, you’ll want your fingers well covered — and that calls for mittens. Inspired by the art of Agnes Martin (and named after one of her paintings), the Leaf in the Wind mittens pair striped garter stitch cuffs with geometric stranded-color patterning.

Pattern: Couplet
Yarn: Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors

I love when I hit on a design idea that gives knitters options. Like the On the Other Hand mitts, Couplet gives you two options for the cuffs — one with lace (shown here) and one without. Choose whichever strikes your fancy!

Pattern: Rowhouse Socks
Yarn: Fingering weight - three colors

Here’s a project for those odds and ends of sock yarns in your stash. The colorwork is not complicated, and once you’re past it, the solid-color part of the sock is really perfect for knitting while on the bus or in line or at meetings (or hanging out at home with your knitting inspector/kitty).

I hope some of these patterns appeal to you for the Treat Yourself KAL! If you’re joining in, what will you make?

Coming up next time: garment ideas.

LINKS

Treat Yourself KAL

Bonnie Sennott: Ravelry Designer Page

Bonnie’s Socks, Mitts, and Hats Bundle

Avoiding Second Sock Syndrome

Whenever you need to knit two of something — a sock, a mitten — there's a risk that the project will stall. It can be boring to do all the same stuff over again, which leads to procrastination. Isn't it curious how all kinds of temptations suddenly appear? You notice a whole bunch of new patterns on Ravelry you really must cast on. Or some gorgeous yarn you've always wanted to try goes on sale, so of course you have to get it on your needles ASAP.

Or maybe the second item isn't boring to knit, in fact you know you'll enjoy it, but because the first one took so long (life gets in the way!), you're now in the wrong season. It's hard to feel motivated in June to finish a pair of mittens you began back when it was actually mitten weather.

And how about sweater sleeves? Raise your hand if you've got a sweater three-quarters finished, but you're not sure when you'll ever actually wear it because you just can't bring yourself to slog through the second sleeve.

Sock knitting at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts

Sock knitting at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts

My solution is to work these kinds of projects in stages, rather than finish one completely and then start the second one. For socks, I work the leg on the first one, then set it aside and cast on for the leg of the second sock. When both socks are done to the heel, I work the heel and gusset on each, then the foot on each, and last of all the toes.

An advantage to this method is that since the heels and gussets are done close to each other in time, I'm more likely to remember any special adjustments or modifications I made and do the same on both socks. Ditto for the toe shaping.

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Here's my current sock project, a "plain vanilla" sock knit over 64-stitches, with 2x2 ribbing followed by stockinette stitch. The first sock is finished as far as the heel, so I've transferred the stitches to dpns and set it aside for now (this frees up my 9-inch ChiaoGoo circular for the second sock).

Sock knitting on the Norwottuck Rail Trail in Amherst, Massachusetts

Sock knitting on the Norwottuck Rail Trail in Amherst, Massachusetts

For these socks, I'm using Platinum Sock from End of the Row Yarns in the Peacock colorway. I'm really smitten with these saturated colors — they're so evocative of spring and summer and all the color that's bursting into view this time of year. I'm mostly working on this pair while walking — I keep them in my shoulder bag, so whenever the urge or opportunity to walk arises, I can pull out the sock and get in a few rounds while also getting some exercise.

Sock knitting at the Quabbin Reservoir in Ware, Massachusetts

Sock knitting at the Quabbin Reservoir in Ware, Massachusetts

Have you tried knitting two-at-a-time socks on circulars? That also seems like a really great way to avoid Second Sock Syndrome. I haven't gone there, because I'd need to purchase even more needles, and I feel like I already have enough. I'm also not sure how well the long circulars would work for walking and knitting. 

Do you suffer from Second Sock Syndrome? What are your favorite tricks for finishing projects that require knitting two of anything?

Yarn Giveaway

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Instagram yarn giveaway! I have two pairs of 100-yard mini skeins of American Sock by Pigeonroof Studios to give away -- the lovely yarn I used for the contrast colors in my new Rowhouse Socks.

To enter, head to my Instagram feed and follow the instructions on the yarn giveaway photo. (Don't leave a comment here on the blog -- only on Instagram.) Good luck!

Rowhouse Socks  by Bonnie Sennott

Rowhouse Socks by Bonnie Sennott

New Pattern: Rowhouse Socks

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New in my Ravelry pattern store: Rowhouse Socks, a sweet colorwork design to brighten your winter knitting.

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A pretty row of houses circles the calf in these top-down socks knit in three colors of fingering weight/sock yarn. If you've never done colorwork before, the Rowhouse Socks are a great project for getting your feet wet (sorry about the pun — I couldn't resist!). The colorwork pattern is an easy 8-stitch repeat, and you never use more than two colors in any round.

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I knit them with yarns hand-dyed by Krista McCurdy of Pigeonroof Studios. The main color is her High Twist Sock (100% superwash merino) in the Picholine colorway. The two contrast colors are her American Sock (also 100% superwash merino), chosen from a mini skein set of six one-of-a-kind naturally dyed colors. Krista's colors are rich and vibrant, really perfect for colorwork knitting.

The pattern's now in my Ravelry pattern store. As always, you can save 20% with my Create Your Own Collection promotion: purchase four individual Blue Peninsula patterns at the same time to automatically receive a 20% discount on all four patterns (no coupon code required).

Thanks very much for reading, and happy sock knitting!

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Sneak Peek: Rowhouse Socks

Kitchener stitch — do you love it, or hate it? When I first learned to knit socks, grafting the toes with kitchener stitch made me nervous. Incredibly nervous. I'm not sure why, because if you take your time and follow the steps, it's not difficult. Maybe it was just a big fear of "messing up." 

Anyway, I grafted the toe of a sock yesterday — and it went without a hitch. I have no nervousness whatsoever about kitchener anymore. So if it makes you feel queasy, hang in there! As with many things in life, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

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The sock in question is my next pattern, the Rowhouse Socks. They're knit in hand-dyed superwash merino by Pigeonroof Studios (the same indie dyer whose gradient set I used for my Purlish Mitts). For this design, I tweaked the little houses from my Rowhouse Hat so they'd work top-down, and jazzed it up a little by using three colors instead of two.

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These socks require focused attention at the beginning, but once you're past the colorwork, the knitting is easy. That makes them a great travel project and perfect for taking to knit night or work. They also make good walk-and-knit projects, if you're so inclined. As you can guess from these photos, I love to walk and knit — as long as it's not freezing cold. 

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The pattern's written and edited, and the socks are blocked. All that's left is a photo shoot. So they'll be ready for release soon — probably next week!

New Pattern: Tortoise Shells Socks

Just published: a new sock pattern called Tortoise Shells.

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Worked in the round, from the top down, the Tortoise Shells Socks feature cable-and-lace medallions (like tortoise shells in miniature) encircling the upper leg. Pretty columns of faux-cable twists flow down to the foot, set off by a bit of 2x2 ribbing at the sides.

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They're knit with 385 yards/355 m of sock yarn. The sample pair are in Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere, in a colorway called Strange Harvest. I loved this color more and more as I knit the socks. Its rich blend of golds and greens seemed absolutely perfect for fall.

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The pattern provides complete instructions for a women's medium size. You can easily make them smaller or larger by changing the needle size and/or yarn weight. The stitch patterns are given in both written form and charts, and instructions for grafting the toes using kitchener stitch are included.

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The test knitters in the Blue Peninsula Ravelry group have had very positive things to say about these socks: "This pattern is practically knitting itself!" "Pattern is well written and creates a lovely finished project." For me, it's been great to see that these socks look good in both variegated yarns and solids. View finished and in-progress Tortoise Shells here — maybe they'll inspire you to make your very own!

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P.S. Did you know Etsy is holding a big Labor Day Sale? I'm excited to join the fun, with 25% off individual knitting patterns in my Etsy shop, August 31 through September 4. There's no minimum and no coupon code needed. It's a great time to stock up on patterns for your fall projects!