A First Step in Sock Knitting

Note from the SpaceCadet:  My friend Amy (DPUTiger on Ravelry) is a knitting teacher, a quilter, and a newly-minted weaver.  And she’s been kind enough to write about her favourite way to start new sock knitters on their journey…

Socks seem to be part of the “Magical Mystery Tour” of knitting. Somehow, people get all freaked out with sock heels, short rows, gussets, kitchener stitch … the list goes on.

And with all these amazing hand-dyed yarns to choose from, why not add sock knitting to your repertoire?

I teach sock knitting at Bloomin’ Yarns, my LYS.  On Ravelry, I’d say one of the questions I see most often is how to get started with sock knitting. I have a prefab answer that I use over there, but you lucky folks get the expanded version with the why’s and wherefores behind my answer.

The number one thing that I recommend for a first sock is usually Fuzzy Feet. It’s a free pattern from the Winter, 2002 issue of Knitty.com. Why do I like it so much for a first sock?

knitting, sock yarn, sock knitting, tutorial, fuzzy feet, knitty.

The first reason is that it calls for a worsted weight yarn. I believe that using fingering weight yarn and sock-sized needles is a skill all by itself. When you are used to using worsted weight yarns and needles in the neighborhood of a US 8, it’s a big change to go down to 8 sts/inch and a 2.5mm needle. And it’s better to learn one thing at a time, not two.

If you already do enjoy small needles and want to jump right in with that set-up, then you can go wind your next skein of SpaceCadet so you’re ready to roll with my next guest post.

So what else is so great about Fuzzy Feet?

They are knit with a worsted weight feltable wool (like Cascade 220) on US 10.5 needles, which makes them very quick to knit. I usually use a 16” circ, so I don’t even have to mess with a small-circumference technique like DPNs (double-pointed needles), two circular needles or Magic Loop. The construction is identical to a traditional top-down sock so you can learn the process with great big comfy needles. And the best part? It doesn’t matter in the least if you mess up, because when you’re done… you felt the slippers.

knitting, sock knitting, felting, fuzzy feet.

Have you ever felted anything before? There is virtually no stitch definition left after the felting process so those wonky short rows to turn the heel? Those gusset stitches that you picked up that are a little loose and open? The kitchener stitch at the toe that isn’t quite perfect? Gone. All of it.

You wind up with a pair of comfortable, warm slippers. And you learned the mechanics of sock knitting! Even my uber-picky husband likes his Fuzzy Feet. He’s on pair #2, since he walked through his first pair by the end of Winter #3.

knitting, sock yarn, sock knitting, fuzzy feet, tutorial.

So what’s the next step after you’ve finished your Fuzzy Feet? I’ll be back to talk about that next time!

What a Response!

The response to the May Giveaway has been phenomenal, and it has been exciting and so much fun for me to see the response!  I love making these yarns and fiber, dreaming up the colours in my head and then mixing and coaxing them out of the dyepot — that’s why I started dyeing — but absolutely nothing beats the thrill of getting feedback, learning how to be a better dyer by getting other people’s opinions on my work.  And this week, people have been signing up to the blog, tweeting about SpaceCadet Creations and — most importantly to me — sharing about their favourite items, their projects,  and the yarns they love in the comments and on Ravelry.  As a dyer, usually working all on my own, it has been just wonderful. Thank you all so much!


Now, I want to show you a new colourway I put in the shop yesterday.  It wasn’t what I intended at all, but I just love the result.  It started out as purples blending into pinks — and, when you look at the photos, you might think that’s what it is — but when I pulled it out of the dyepot, I just didn’t like it at all.  It was too  sugary-sweet, too bright and girly…  Not what I’d intended!  So I quickly mixed up a deep, rich orange and poured it over part of the yarn and — voila! — the yarn changed moods completely.  The colourway has real depth now.  I think it’d would be wonderful knitted up as a triangular shawlette, peeking out from the collar of dark coloured coat and casting its warm tones onto the face.

Fingering Weight Yarn in Superwash Merino, in Sunset over a Stormy Sea

A evening storm over the sea is a spectacular sight but, after the winds have died down and the palm trees have stopped swaying, as the sun begins to sink beneath the water on the horizon, its rays reach up and turn the sky into a blaze of wild pink and orange, streaked with the deep purple clouds, now spent and tamed.

Each skein is approximately 100g of Superwash Merino in a wonderfully soft 3-ply, fingering weight yarn. Two skeins available, sold separately.

Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino
Weight: Approximately 3.65oz / 100g (approximately 490 yards per 100g)
Colourway: Sunset over a Stormy Sea, 100425-002
Care Instructions for the final item: Hand or Machine wash, Lay flat to dry.

Each item is individually hand-dyed by the SpaceCadet, using professional grade acid dyes which are mixed by hand from primaries. Please be sure to buy enough for your project as the colours may not be able to be reproduced exactly.
SpaceCadet Creations is a smoke-free, pet-free environment.
Please remember that the colours in pictures may vary depending on your computer monitor. The colours in the photos are as accurate as possible.