Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Some Tuesday morning

Here I come to you with nothing but ashes... I think somebody warned me that we are in Mercury Retrograde until the end of March, and all plans may/will go astray... it comforts me to know that there really was nothing I could do here. I accept my faith. I don't have any regrets.

So say Farewell. She is gone. For ever.

I was fighting against the winds also in other aspects of my life Tuesday morning than just knitting ... and let's not forget the very strong northerly wind that was blowing on my face and through my clothing and spoiling my usually pleasant walk the very same morning and made me hate the weather too...and finally the poor cardi had it all. I did not pull gently but did tug, the yarn did snap and in the end I did use scissors and then finally the cardi did reach the point where the rest did go to the garbage bag. But here what is left of her. This was supposed to be the knit for the book The Life of Pi. Those of you who don't know, Pi's mother never made it to Canada, she was doomed and so was this cardi.

Don't feel sorry. This is fine and the end of this story. Let's pick up a new book.

Toe-Up Socks.

The first on the top is Knitting Basic Toe-Up Socks and the second is Priscilla's Dream Socks from Interweave Knits Web Pages.
These three from the bottom are Wendy's toe-up sock pattern and the two are variations on her pattern. They are otherwise the same, except I tried two different ways to the second half of the toe. So it is not difficult but it does feel awkward and I don't like it very much just now. But I think I will use one of these patterns on some fabulous sock yarn that I don't feel like wasting one bit. Are there any other toe-up socks patterns out there that I should try?

PS. The green stockings are from the book handknit HOLIDAYS by Melanie Falick. I know several books have some stockings in them but I don't know if there is a book that would have mostly stockings in it. Anyone know any?


  1. leonie from holland13:25

    Dear Lene, I am glad you are back again. I was worried a bit by your need of sleep etc. I very much enjoy your blog, and the beautiful things you knit lighten my life. You have taste and distinction and I really think you are an artist in the serious sense of the word. All those beautiful animals you knitted! I look forward to may more of your fanatstic projects. PS I know all about teen-agers; they break your heart, but when they grow up they love you, admire you and care for you. And small or even large mistakes you make don't matter, children are in general a very forgiving lot.

  2. You are brave, Lene. It takes a lot of strenght to frog something you have worked a lot on. Sad to say I do know the feeling.
    I think Wendy's pattern is a very good one, except that she doesn't tell you how to lift the wraps in order to get an almost invisible turn. I have to check out the two others you mention to see how they differ from Wendy's

  3. You can do that? Just pull it apart when it's obviously not going well? You mean you don't have to have it stare at you from the back of a closet, mocking you and laughing at you?


  4. I'm glad you have no regrets about the curry cardigan. Do you have any plans for the yarn you were able to save?

    Thanks for refrencing where you got the pattern for the green stockings. When my sweater is done maybe.... I don't have the space to work on more than one project at a time.

  5. Voi, voi. Tuhon oma indeed.

    I love knitting toe-up socks, myself. They seem to be the perfect winter project--small enough to bring with you, warm for the knitter to do, close to the recipient's heart (er, feet?). Here in New England, we're almost out of winter, though, so I had better finish up all the socks on my needles.

    The yarn company Elann also has a toe-up sock pattern for free on their site. I believe the address is

  6. Ellen in Conn16:25

    A quick listing from Amazon:

    Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch (PB, 2005)

    Knitting Vintage Socks : New Twists on Classic Patterns by Nancy Bush (HC, 2005)

    Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles: a Manual of Elegant Knitting Techniques and Patterns by Cat Bordhi (PB, 2001)

    Folk Socks: The History & Techniques of Handknitted Footwear by Nancy Bush (PB, 1994)

    Knit Socks! by Betsy McCarthy (HC, 2004)

    Socks Socks Socks : 70 Winning Patterns From Knitter's Magazine Sock Contest by Elaine Rowley ed, Alexis Xenakis (Photos) (PB, 1998)

    Simple Socks : Plain and Fancy by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts (PB, 2004)

    Learn to Knit Socks by Edie Eckman (PB, 1999)

    Stupid Sock Creatures : Making Quirky, Lovable Figures from Cast-off Socks by John Murphy (PB, 2005)

    The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook: Dyeing, Painting, Spinning, Designing, Knitting by Lynne Vogel (PB, 2002)

    Crocheted Socks: 16 Fun-To-Stitch Patterns by Janet Rehfeldt, Mary Jane Wood (PB, 2003)

    Vogue Knitting on the Go: Socks Two by Trisha Malcolm (Editor) (HC, 2002)

    Simply Socks: 45 Traditional Turkish Patterns to Knit by Anna Zilboorg (PB, 2001)

    The Sock Journal: Knit the Year in Socks by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer, ed. (PB, 2004)

    Socks (Vogue Knitting on the Go) by Trisha Malcolm, ed.

    Caps, Hats, Socks And Mittens by Louise W. Borden (PB, 1992)

    Ethnic Socks & Stockings : A Compendium of Eastern Design & Technique by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts (HC, 1995)

    Homespun Handknit: Caps, Socks, Mittens & Gloves by Linda Ligon, ed. (PB, 1988)

    The Sock Calendar: Socks for All Seasons by Catherine Wingate (PB, 2002

    Socks: A Spin-Off Special Publication for Knitters and Spinners by Rita Buchanan, Deborah Robson, ed. (PB, 1994)

    Adorable Sock Dolls to Make & Love by Connie Stone, Emola Lowe

    Socks for Sandals and Clogs by Anna Zilboorg (HC, 2004)

  7. Too bad about the cardi. I hope you will try something else for Pi.

    For socks I really like Charlene Schurch's book.

  8. Priscilla's Dream Sock is pretty much the same as the socks in her book Simple Socks: Plain & Fancy, which was published the next year. But she has a lot of other toe-up possibilities in her book Ethnic Socks and Stockings (1995), some of which would fit in a shoe and some of which wouldn't. Anna Zilboorg's Fancy Feet (1994) has one toe-up pattern, as does Betsy Harrell's Anatolian Knitting Designs (1981). Both make more of a clog sock than one that will fit into a shoe.

    I don't think Schurch's book has toe-up directions; haven't gotten it yet.

    I've made one (!) turkish sock, years ago, and am about to start a toe up sock from Simple Socks, so can't comment on the functionality of the patterns -- yet! Give me a week or two....

  9. Good Afternoon Lene!
    Oh dear, that lovely curry cardi sure did a great Portrayal of the ending of Pi's Mother. I would say your project for the book is now complete. ;)
    I may do the same example with the green stockings I am making for her as they are not going well at all and I am getting frustrated with them. It must be fate, to not be able to finish something for her as she herself didn't survive.

    There is something very earthy about completing the turn heel on a sock and I always feel connected to my ancestors when I complete a sock the old fashioned way.
    Although, I may have to give this "toe up" sock business a try now.

    P.S. Oh thank you for sending some snow my way. We had a mini blizzard here over the last 36 hours and got about 24 inches of snow by last night. But, it is all melting this afternoon in the very bright sunshine. And, your right, snow falling is great weather for knitting socks in! :)

  10. I am a pretty new sock knitter (only two pair finished, ever). I have been using the figure-8 cast-on (10 or 12 stitches cast on). My feet are not pointy (my toes are pretty close to all the same length), so I need a square-er toe on my socks than some people. I cast on 12 if my gauge is 10 st per inch. I knit across the 12, then knit the other 12 onto 2 needles (6 and 6), and then I start the increasing -- putting the first 12 onto two needles: k1, make 1, k5,
    next needle: k5, make 1, k1.

    Because of my square toes I increase in every round: k1, make 1, k to end of needle, k until 1 stitch left, make 1, k the last stitch, etc, etc, until I have half the number of stitches I mean to have going up the foot.. Then I switch to increasing every other round until I have as many stitches as I want.

    I don't much like arguing with the yarn about all those increases on that tiny piece of knitting (especially with a yarn with cotton in it!!!!), but I really like the way the toes look and fit on the actual socks.

    -- Vicki in Michigan

  11. Regarding toe-up socks, have you seen Lucy Neatby''s book "Cool Socks, Warm Feet"? I highly recommend it. She does mostly garter-stitch short-row toes and heels, although other heel and toe variations are included.

    Your drawings are charming!

  12. I always look forward to your posts! I really need to be more on top of my blog.
    I got handknit holidays in today, after seeing the stockings in your blog. I also ordered some other sock books, but you're right, there's very very few stocking patterns. And searching online just gives christmas stockings or very vintage stockings. You know, the kind you need to hold up with garters.
    I'm keeping a close eye on your blog to see if you find some good stocking patterns, because it's basically all I wear, under my boots.

  13. So sad about your cardi. I loved the idea of this curry coloured cardi to keep a woman from India warm. But never mind, you win some, you loose some...

  14. The Life of Pi and the life of the 'curry' sweater are similar to me. I tried to read the book and gave up - it seems you either love or hate the book! I like your toe up samplers! Glad you are feeling better. Those north winds are always so 'raw' feeling!

  15. miriam02:36

    i think i like the top sock the best. It looks very neat.

  16. miriam02:37

    ps, we had snow here this morning. a whole inch! that is a lot for us southerns and in March!

  17. I revisited your drawing to remind myself of the words for "doomed." Last night while Amelia was at German another knitting lady and I were working on socks. She was teaching me to make a spiral ribbing. Now I feel like my mom -- only I could not count to three! So my sock sample was tuhon oma.
    My wry sense of humor takes strange delight in the similarity of sound between 'tuhon oma' and the name a german child calls grandmother -- 'Oma' :)

  18. I just discovered your blog and am now addicted. I love it! I love your knitting, your writing, your Finnish lessons. Heck, I just like you! Hello. :D

  19. I like your variations. I have just been working on my first Toe-up socks (Wendy's! small world!) and I like the toe a lot (since my other toes are very square) but want to put a little variety in the sock body. I look forward to what you think of the heel also - a little poofy I think - and I plan also to figure out how to make the reinforced heel (backwards).

    I bury my failed projects at the bottom of the pile rather than punish myself with the agony of pulling it all out. You are made of steel!

  20. Don't feel bad Lene! I rip out whole sweaters all the time. Some times they are just not meant to be. I feel sad for the yarn. I do not want it to be part of a sweater that is not I rip it out!

  21. Sorry to hear that your lovely cardi disappeared. Those pretty toe caps are tempting me to try another toe up sock, but I have to be strong and remember that my toe cap looked good too. Its when I got to the heel that the fun ended. I had so many needles going when I tried to turn the heel, that it looked like I was doing open heart surgery. I was also confused about how the stitches should be divided amongst the needles. So, I gave up. But if I can find a better pattern with a few more instructions, then maybe I will try again sometime.

  22. I've been hankering to try toe up socks and just haven't yet. I don't know why, it just seems strange to me, even though there are plenty of knitters swearing by this method. Nice site, Come visit!

  23. My favorite toe up sock pattern is free online at: or just google Judy Gibson's Toe Up sock pattern.
    I like it because of the sizing options and I've been able to plug my own cables, lace, and "what have you" into the body of the sock.
    You knit beautifully, Lene. Love your blog!