|Gotland 4ply from Blacker Yarns|
|Expresso -Louise Tilbrook Designs|
The yarn came first. Dyed by Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings, this colourway called Cafe au Lait, really spoke to me and as soon as it arrived I couldn't wait to cast it on.
I do love a good self-striping yarn as you know but this time I felt the urge to vary things a little and move away from my usual plain vanilla, toe-up, magic loop socks. I divided the sock into vertical colums and added a travelling cable. Not so much as to break up those beautiful wide bands of colour, but enough to add interest and a little bit of texture.
And I have to say that I am really pleased with the finished product. I love that they are completely unisex and that even my husband asked if I could do a pair in his size.
They are toe-up - in my quest to convert sock knitters everywhere to the way of the toe-up sock and sized for 7", 8" and 9" foot circumference.
Until 11th September 2015 I am offering a 25% discount if you use the code ILOVECOFFEE at checkout. If you wanted to subscribe to the newsletter - I am offering an exclusive discount for subscribers so now might be a good time to sign up.
And in case you are wondering about the name. My lovely Grandma who taught me to knit would often come out with the funniest things when we were out and about. She would get one word mixed up with another - called malapropisms I believe - often with hilarious consequences. She would often tell people, when she reached the ripe old age of 75 that she still had all her 'facilties' (she meant faculties).
Whenever she was in a coffee shop she never drank anything stronger than a cappuccino but was fascinated by the small, strong, dark Espresso. She always insisted though that it was called an Expresso and it became a bit of a family joke.
Sadly my Grandma is no longer with us but these socks remind me of her, her wit and warmth and her generosity in teaching me somthing which has become so important to me.
The July shrug uses 1-2 skeins of yarn (the small size with short sleeves can be knit in just 1 skein) and can be bought either as the pattern only, or as a kit with the yarn you would like.
|The July shrug - pictured on the Baa Ram Ewe website|
Anyway, do pop over and take a look. I'd love to know what you think.
|Comb Gill - Louise Tilbrook Designs|
|Comb Gill, Borrowdale|
Seatoller is a tiny hamlet nestled at the end of the Borrowdale valley in the Lake District and has surprisingly Scandaniavian connections. The striking braided cable featured on these socks is reminiscent of the type of braids sometimes seen with old Norse textiles.
The start of our walk is a gentle one with the cable running along one side of the front and back of the sock and plenty of relaxing stocking stitch to show off a beautiful yarn.
As with many of my patterns it is offered in both toe-up and cuff down formats- all the better to tempt you with.
Our walk is heading onwards and upwards from here - to the dramatic summit of Glaramara via a beautiful mountain stream and waterfall - Comb Gill. But don't worry, the final stop will be a traditional cosy English pub to rest your weary feet.
More details on the Comb Gill socks will follow next week.
|New Years Day in Buttermere|
A lovely, chilled out time was had by all with plenty of knitting and outdoor activities
|A sunny day in Borrowdale|
I am aiming to knit 15 pairs of socks in 2015 with 12 of them being my own designs. I have a cunning plan to base some of them on walks we did in the Lake District recently. With 3 or 4 socks per collection (or walk) they will guide you through some of the wonderful scenery on offer, and of course like all good country walks, will end in a sock named for a local pub :)
The first 2 pairs are on the needles and will be ready for testing soon. So dig out your walking boots and waterproofs (it isn't called the Lake District for nothing) and get ready to join me on Walks in the Lakes - Part 1.
I'm really pleased to be able to share my latest pattern with you today - the Rosthwaite socks.
|Rosthwaite Socks: Cuff down with an afterthought heel|
This pattern was designed as part of my Sock Design Challenge which I ran in September and invited you lovely readers and members of my Ravelry and Facebook pages to vote on key design elements.
The overwhelming vote was for top down socks with some fun stitch detail and nothing too complicated or stressful, and I really hope that you like the finished product as mych as I do.
As a bit of a change for me I have also worked these socks with an afterthought heel. The more I work this heel type the more pleased I am with it and if you have never tried it, maybe this is the project to start you off.
There are a lot of amazing resources on the web and I highly recommend the following as a good place to start.
The Knit Girllls have a fabulous tutorial: here
And excellent blog posts on the subject can be found here and here.
I really do hope you decide to give them a try. As a thank you for all your support and encouragement I'm offering a 25% discount until Nov 30th, 2014 with the code Rosthwaite.
The names currently up for debate are:
1. Copper Mine
2. Bracken Wood
4. An other?
As you can tell, my name choices are skewed by my recent trip to the Lake District. The yarn colour really reminds me of barley sugar sweets but that name is already used :)
Seriously, please do vote and let me know what you think or feel free to suggest one of your own - in the true spirit of this challenge.
I have tried to be faithful to the choices of the majority and so we have a cabled sock with a really effective but very simple repeat. We have it as a cuff down version (although you die-hard toe-uppers) could easily modify it and we have a fun alternative heel which might be something you haven't tried before.
The pattern will also include directions for a regular heel flap and gusset in case your nerves fail you at the last minute or in case you are up against a gift deadline and just want to power on through with your tried and tested method.
The pattern testing will be underway very shortly and my cunning plan is to release the pattern in early November.
Before that though, I will need to find a name for this design and so it seems only fitting that I turn to you for the final vote on this. I am putting together the shortlist and then I'll be asking you to vote once more for your favourite.
I've cleared the needles, browsed my stitch dictionaries and chosen the yarn. So, this afternoon I sit down with a pencil and chart paper to get cracking.
Mmmmmmm....cables....my favourite :)
A technical hitch meant that this didn't go out on Monday as expected.
We are on to Week 3 and having determined that you fancy working on a simple cable repeat we are now thinking about heel options.
Would you prefer:
1. Standard heel flap and gusset
2. Short row heel
3. Something different that you might not have tried before
Leave a comment here on over on the ravelry group to have your say.
|Just an idea - not giving anything away here :)|
The winner of last weeks vote was Cables by quite a margin so I'm guessing that you are up for a bit of workout with these socks.
The next question then is to try and determine how adventurous you are feeling:
Do you prefer your cables:
1. Simple, with a nice, easy to memorise pattern repeat
2. Complex - hit me with the charts - I want a challenge
3. A mixture - a more complex panel with simpler background.
You have until September 15th to decide.
Please either vote here by leaving a comment or over on the Ravelry thread here.
Once a week for four weeks I'll be posting a question about an element of sock design for you to vote on.
At the end of the month I will use your answers to come up with a unique sock design - hopefully one which will be ideal for gift giving - enabling us to have a knit-a-long and produce a fabulous sock gift for someone in the run up to Christmas.
Once we get going we can use the hashtag: #sockdc2014 to keep track of our sockie goings-on on various social media platforms and I dare say there may be the odd prize or two for those who fancy joining in.
You can either vote in my Ravelry group: HERE
Or you can leave a comment below giving your answer as either 1 or 2.
So, for Week 1 a nice easy question...
Would you prefer the main design element of the sock to feature
I'll post the next question on September 7th, so you have a week to ponder.