Archive for the ‘Patterns’ Category

Ernie and Newton

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

The 2013 Cookie A Sock Club kicked off the new year with two new sock patterns, Ernie and Newton, knit in Indigodragonfly MCN Sock (as well as two delicious cookie recipes for fig bars and pecan sandies!) I’m enjoying seeing everyone’s finished socks and cookies in the Ravelry group.

Newton  features a broad lace leaf motif down the front and back, separated by cables down the sides.


Ernie features a vertical leaf and rib pattern.


These patterns are exclusive to the Cookie A Sock Club until February 15, 2014.

Now Available: Makoto and Wayward

Monday, February 18th, 2013

The first two patterns from the 2012 Cookie A Sock Club, Makoto and Wayward, are now available on Ravelry.

Makoto pair

Makoto was inspired by fortune cookies.

While I suspected that fortune cookies are not really Chinese, I had no idea that the origin of the fortune cookie was a source of debate with several people claiming to have invented it. In fact, it was so hotly contested that the San Francisco Court of Historical Review gathered evidence and held a mock trial where they ruled that the fortune cookie was invented by Makoto Hagiwara, a Japanese immigrant living in San Francisco. Even though the fortune cookie has precursors in Japanese culture, they became a mainstay in Chinese-American restaurants.

So all this rambling about fortune cookies, what’s that got to do with socks? Well you see, when I get an idea in my head, my stubborn mind can’t let it go. I wanted to make fortune cookies, and I even recalled a stitch pattern I had seen that resembled the shape of a fortune cookie. A ha! A brilliant thought for the club, thought I. I became obsessed.

The Makoto socks, named after the inventor of the fortune cookie (though the ruling appears to be disputed by a small contingent in Los Angeles), are a little crazy and unconventional just like the original fortune cookies must have been. A lace pattern forms the shapes of tiled fortune cookies spaced with large holes created by double yarnovers. With increasing and decreasing on every round, the pattern forms a bit of biasing which affects the elasticity of the fabric.

 Makoto – $6.50


Wayward side

Wayward features traveling sets of geometric cables over a twisted ribbing background. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? But it’s not really that tough once you dig in.

The Richness of Martens yarn from Alisha Goes Around is luscious and has great stitch definition, perfect for showing off fancy stitchery. I love twisted stitch cables at least as much as the next sock knitter, so I chose a simple intertwining cable panel, mirrored it, mirrored the pair again, and started knitting without a definite plan in mind. They were to be my wayward socks. The twisted cabled stitches meandered, criss crossed, and wandered as wayward souls do. I kept some notes and kept going, making decisions on the fly, sometimes having to backtrack. Of course I petted the yarn at the end of every round. Mmm, cashmere and silk. I don’t often design this way because I learned early on that knitting without a plan can mean problems later down the road.

The Wayward socks are a fun knit and not that complicated when broken down into pieces, but the charts appear monstrous. There are a lot of them. Don’t let that fool you. You only have to print the charts you need for one size. One of the things I love about electronic patterns is that there’s no limit on size. The Wayward socks, at a whopping 20 pages, is the type of pattern that would never make it in print.

 Wayward – $6.50

Flight and Striation

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Flight and Striation are the final patterns from the 2012 Cookie A Sock Club.


Flight features a not-too-complicated airy feather motif.



Striation’s geometric lace pattern is mirrored from left to right.

The yarn is Sinful Sock from Stricken Smitten, a luxurious cashmere blend in a deep, rich violet that proved nearly impossible to photograph accurately – but was so lovely to work with!

These patterns are exclusive to the Cookie A Sock Club until December 15, 2013.

Vogue Knitting loves Geometry

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

I just picked up the latest issue of Vogue Knitting (Winter 2012-13) and was delighted to see Radial featured in the Style section on page 14. The headline is Geometry: Experiments with shapes yield bold statement knits, and Shapes + Form gets a mention alongside the designs of Norah Gaughan, Kristin Ford for Shibui Knits, and Bergère de France. Exciting!

Vogue Knitting Radial


Rambutan and Dragon Crystal

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

The final patterns from the 2011 Sock Club, Rambutan and Dragon Crystal, are now available.

Rambutan bamboo walk

The Rambutan socks are a play on texture with an eyelet welted pattern that swirls around the foot. Because of the heavy twist of the pattern, the two socks are mirrored in opposite directions.

Dragon Crystal side

The Dragon Crystal socks are highly three-dimensional and have large swathes of smooth fabric within the stitch pattern itself.

These were originally knit up in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga!, which you can now find at either Cephalopod Yarns or The Verdant Gryphon. With 20% cashmere these are a real treat for your toes!

Of course, if you’re looking to get in on the sock club fun, there are a few memberships still available. I’d love to have you join us!

Chicane Cardigan

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

It has truly been a year of sweaters! After this summer’s release of Shapes + Form, I  am excited to introduce Chicane,  featured in Wool People 4 from Brooklyn Tweed.


Chicane is a simple zip-up cardigan with cycling-inspired details for both men and women. When I was designing Chicane, I thought about creating a garment that both my husband and I could wear, something aerodynamic and unfussy. The shaped elbows are knit sideways and provide extra flexibility in a critical area.


The cardigan pattern has sizes ranging from 34″ to 58″ in both the men’s and women’s versions. The women’s sizes have waist shaping and a slightly different fit to the armholes and shoulders for a more flattering fit.


Shelter is so different from the sock yarns that I ordinarily find myself working with. It’s light, lofty, and unmistakably wooly. I really like the complexity of the colors in Shelter as the color play within each strand of yarn creates a tweedy effect with lots of depth. Simple knitting really shows off the beauty of this yarn.


It’s been a pleasure working with Jared Flood and the entire Brooklyn Tweed team. As always, they have put out a great collection of pieces from designers all over the world. I’ve been checking out the Wool People 4 lookbook this morning and I love the variety of shapes and textures.


You can get your copy of Chicane directly from Brooklyn Tweed or on Ravelry.

All photographs © Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood


Sarsaparilla & Hamantaschen

Monday, November 19th, 2012

For the sock club, I like to feature colors, yarns, and patterns that are more “guy-friendly” in October. This month’s yarn and pattern are rustic and homey, appropriate for the rugged man who loves flannel or for anyone who loves sitting by the fireplace sipping cocoa or mulled cider. Of course, now that an autumn chill is in the air and the holidays are fast approaching, many of us are also thinking about gift knitting.

The yarn is a wool-tencel blend that was exclusively milled and dyed for the club by Green Mountain Spinnery. We tested the yarn to see how it held up, and it surprised me by holding up better than many superwash merino / nylon blends after repeated washings and even a dry cycle. In my book, that makes it a great candidate for gift socks that are likely to accidentally get put in the dryer.

The Sarsaparilla socks feature a chunky cable pattern that goes well with the rustic nature of the yarn.

The Hamantaschen socks feature triangular patterns that are tiled to look like diamonds.

Club members have been keeping busy knitting up this month’s socks, and for good reason: a finished pair of October socks is worth two entries into the Grand Prize drawing to win a membership to next year’s sock club. If you’re in the club and you haven’t been posting photos of your finished projects in the appropriate Ravelry threads, now is the time. You have until December 15th to post photos!

Dorie from Washington knit up a pair of Sarsaparilla socks in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in a gorgeous brown, perfect for fall.

Mia from Germany also knit up a pair of Sarsaparillas in an intense shade of purple Wollmeise:

Josiane from Switzerland knit up her Hamantaschen socks in the club yarn:

And it looks like those sheepy sock blockers are popular! Ann from Boston is also showing off a pair of Hamantaschen socks  on them.

These patterns are exclusive to Cookie A Sock Club members until October 15, 2013. Want in on next year’s club? Sign ups open next week on Monday, November 26th.

Looking for more socks?

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

Just in case I haven’t kept you busy enough with sock patterns, here are some sock patterns I contributed to books that have come out in the past year.

First of all, I am excited about  The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes, author of The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and The Knitter’s Book of Wool. 

Clara Parkes spends a significant portion of the book discussing the various pros and cons of all different types of sock yarns, focusing on how twist, ply, and fiber content work together to create elasticity, durability, moisture management, and stitch definition. If you’ve read her other two books on yarn and wool, some of the ideas here will be familiar to you. However, the specific application of all this knowledge is really valuable when it comes to making socks that behave just the way you want them to.

The remainder of the book features 20 sock patterns. The patterns are organized by technique, starting with simple ribbed and textured patterns and moving on to cables, lace, colorwork, and slipped and twisted stitches. There are 15 top-down socks and 5 toe-up patterns to choose from.

See all the patterns from The Knitter’s Book of Socks on Ravelry here.

In Elm, I used a careful pairing of increases and decreases within a simple rib motif to create the illusion of smooth, overlapping branches. While the pattern has less elasticity than a straightforward k2, p2 rib, there’s still sufficient stretch for a comfortable fit. The socks were knit in String Theory Caper Sock, a hand-dyed merino-cashmere-nylon blend that’s become a sock club favorite.



For so many knitters, knitting is definitely a family affair. My Grandmother’s Knitting by Larissa Brown celebrates the passing on of these crafting traditions and honors the influence of those who’ve come before us with 21 patterns and 17 family stories. It’s always interesting to learn how people got their start in knitting or designing.

See all the patterns from My Grandmother’s Knitting on Ravelry here.

My family history is complicated, with lots of travel around Asia and the United States. The curved lines on these socks represent their journeys. I named the Wan Jai socks after my grandmother, whose name translates to ‘sweet heart’ in English. These socks were knit in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20, a beautiful and soft merino-cashmere-nylon blend.

 Sock Knitting Master Class by Ann Budd is a wonderfully complete sock technique book. Inside, there’s information on all the different cast-ons and bind-offs that are good to use for socks (8 and 7 of them, respectively) as well as 6 different heels and 5 different toes.

It features 10 top-down patterns and 7 toe-up ones. Nearly every possible technique is featured: cables, lace, stranded colorwork, entrelac, twisted stitches, intarsia, shadow knitting, replaceable soles, traveling stitches, stripes – there’s something for everyone. Many of the patterns have multiple sizes and Clara Parkes has written helpful notes on every yarn featured in the book.

See all the patterns from Sock Knitting Master Class on Ravelry here.

I contributed the Asymmetrical Cables socks. The semi-solid color and texture of the Pagewood Farm St. Elias yarn I chose for these socks called for a bold pattern, so I decided to knit hefty yet simple cable panels with garter-stitch interiors. Each sock has a stockinette background that showcases the movement of the cable panels. The panels start out in parallel on the side of the leg, then they diverge as one panel swoops across the front of the leg and the top of the foot to create an elegant visual line.


Munch Hoodie Vest

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

When Kristine from A Verb For Keeping Warm asked me to design something for her Pro-Verbial club, I jumped on the bandwagon! She is always telling me that I dress like an Expressionist with weird hoodie vest things that drape and look odd. For the club, I decided to tone myself down a little bit and go a somewhat prettier route with a lacy hoodie vest that makes the most out of the yardage of the yarn. The Munch Hoodie Vest (named after the Edvard Munch) is worked in Reliquary II, a lovely naturally dyed laceweight merino-silk 2ply. The brown color is perfect for autumn.

The construction is kind of interesting, starting with the lace panel at the bottom edge, then picked up for the back, then continuing the lace panel from the right front to create an armhole. The panel and back are joined to work the hood which is shaped kind of like a heel turn, then the edge panel is worked all the way around the remaining parts to make the left armhole and the end is seamed to the beginning. Armholes and edges are picked up and worked in ribbing in the round. Did that sound confusing? I made diagrams in the pattern that don’t sound nearly so confusing, I promise!


The pattern is exclusive to the Pro-Verbial club for 6 months and will be available to non-members in April, 2013.

Hex and Slide

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Welcome to October! Two more patterns – Hex and Slide – from last year’s sock club are now available.

Autumn was my favorite season when I lived in the Midwest. The brisk weather and color changes are invigorating, but for this shipment’s theme I went a different direction. I know for many it is the start of gift-knitting season, so this installment was a “man-issue” of sorts featuring many men’s favorite color: grey.

For the patterns, I wanted something simple that my husband might actually wear. Both patterns play on geometry.

The Hex socks feature a hexagonal pattern all over the leg that transitions into plain stockinette on the foot that my husband definitely approves. One of our favorite tools is the hex bit for our drill which we’ve used a LOT to assemble furniture over the years. So consider this also an ode to Ikea!


The Slide socks are a traveling rib sock that angles the rib down the leg and the foot, just like a playground slide. These were inspired by the color of the yarn. I love the simplicity of these, and of course the pair is mirrored.


The yarn I chose is Fleece Artist Sea Wool which hails from Canada. When I began knitting socks, the first pair that I knit and actually liked was made with Fleece Artist merino sock yarn. Those socks traveled with me to Canada, Turkey, Alaska, England, and Iceland. I really wanted to use a Fleece Artist yarn this year and decided on Sea Wool, a Seacell blend.

What is Seacell? It’s a fiber that’s created from seaweed, similar to how rayon is created using other plant fibers and bamboo rayon is made using fiber from bamboo plants. It has a sheen that I think goes very well with the pewter color of the yarn.