Completed: Basic Ribbed Socks

1 Sep

I finished these socks a while back – at the end of May, to be specific – and I just realized that I never got around to posting them. Whoops! Better late than never!

Handknit red socksEver since I finished my first pair of socks, I knew I wanted to try again and improve on what I had learned. The biggest issue I had with the first pair was my yarn selection. Since I used an alpaca blend (and before you tell I should have asked the yarn store for yarn suggestions- I did! That was what they said was best for sock-making, for some ungodly reason), the socks tend to slouch and stretch out of shape, and I never liked the little fuzzy halo of fibers that is typical with alpaca. I wanted to try with an easier pattern – one without lace – and a better sock yarn. And here is the result! I think they turned out pretty nice πŸ™‚ Handknit red socksOh, about that random pig in these photos. Ha! That is our pet piggy and her name is Kevin Pancho. Yes, Kevin is a girl (we were under the assumption that we had a boy pig, and then she ended up being a girl whoops hahaha). She’s a potbelly and still just a baby, but she will eventually get pretty big. Before you ask – we have no plans on eating her, she’s just a pet (I mean, unless doomsday comes around and we all start starving to death or some shit. Then, Kevin will be a Food.).

Handknit red socksAnyway, back to my socks (with some random piggy butt)! I used this Basic Ribbed Socks pattern, which is one of those free patterns on Ravelry that apparently everyone has tried (ok, not everyone, but 6k+ people can’t be wrong amirite). It’s a basic, easy sock pattern, knit with fingering weight yarn and constructed from the cuff down. The majority of the knitting is done with a 3×1 ribbing, which keeps the sock from slouching as much, and is a little more interesting than your standard 1×1 ribbing. Because the socks aren’t ridiculously tall, I was able to knit them out of a single ball of yarn. Which means they were quite economical to make! Handknit red socksI knit these for the size 6, which is pretty close to my shoe size (I generally wear a women’s 6.5). The socks fit perfectly, and they are super comfortable! They stay up pretty well, as promised, and the lightweight yarn means that they aren’t too thick to wear with shoes (which isn’t something I’m doing right now, but I’m sure I will be happy for that option come winter!).

For yarn, I used Cascade 220 Fingering. Again, I only had to buy one ball to knit both socks – and I still have a little yarn butt left over. I bought the yarn while I was in Philly for Maddie’s Bramaking class, ‘way back in January, on my evening ladydate with the wonderful Andrea. Andrea took me to her favorite yarn store, Loop Yarn, and this was my yarn souvenir for the trip. I chose this yarn based on the suggestion of the woman working there, and I am extremely happy with how it worked up. I use Cascade 220 worsted weight for a lot of my knitting projects, and while this was my first try with the fingering weight, it’s just as nice as the worsted. Easy to knit and looks good when finished. As you can see in these pictures, it does pill a little with frequent wear (I wear these socks a lot! I even brought them to Peru with me πŸ™‚ ), but, they are socks. Whateverrrr.

I also bought metal DPNs to knit these socks; I was using bamboo before because I like how it grips, but those tiny little needles snapped like crazy on me. The metal ones don’t break (or, I guess, they haven’t broken yet haha), but I have bent them a little bit. As with my first pair of fingering weight socks, I used a size 0. So yeah, teeny little needles!

Handknit red socksHandknit red socksI really enjoyed working with this pattern. It is simple and relatively mindless (so, good for bringing to knitting night, or watching tv, or whatever), and the socks knit up pretty quickly. Turning the heel was fun and magical, and I didn’t feel like I was doing too much endless repetition with all that circular ribbing. I think it’s too soon to say that this will be my TNT sock pattern, however, it’s definitely a contender! I will totally knit this pattern again.

Handknit red socksHandknit red socksHandknit red socksI’m already working on my next pair of socks. Socks are great little portable projects that pack up small and are easy to bust out for a couple of rows at a time. They are especially awesome for traveling, since you aren’t lugging around a bunch of pieces or a big sack of yarn (and if you finish one sock, you can wear it! Yay!). That being said, I also love knitting sweaters, so don’t expect that to go away anytime soon. I haven’t knit as much as I used to in years past – not having a dedicated hour-long lunch break to commit to knitting will do that – but I’m making an effort to get at least a few rows done a couple times a week. Not even because I want to make progress (well, I do, but that’s not the #1 reason), but mostly because it’s an awesome stress-reliever. And it keeps me from falling asleep on the couch hahaha. Handknit red socksI’m including this last picture because Landon and I were arguing about which ~scenic~ spot to take photos. He said the cinderblock was stupid and ugly, I said the deck was even stupider and uglier (sorry, deck.). So you tell me – who was right? Personally, I think Kevin really made the pictures worth looking at πŸ™‚

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56 Responses to “Completed: Basic Ribbed Socks”

  1. LinB September 1, 2015 at 9:58 am #

    Yay, socks! I usually have a pair going for meetings and waiting rooms and riding in the car. I use two sets of doublepoints, cast both socks on at the same time, then work a few inches of one, and then the other to match.

    With worsted weight yarn and size 5 needles, I can churn out about a pair a week. I have to really, really love the recipient of my sock gifts to use fine yarn and size 2s. I only knit socks for myself on size 0.

    You may find that a 2 x 2 rib is the best for non-slouchy socks, as recommended by Elizabeth Zimmerman (Knitting Without Tears is well worth the read, even if you don’t knit.) I vote for the cinderblock photos, as reminiscent of Cinderella, sans slippers.

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      Oh, I’ll have to see if my library has that book. Love reading about knitting πŸ˜€ Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Marg in Canada September 1, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    I vote pig photo shots- it’s not every sewing/knitting blog has a pic wandering around in the background!

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      True! Maybe I’m the first of my kind hahahaha!

  3. Angie September 1, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    Lol. I’m totally making these socks as we speak! I’m making mine a bit shorter and using an eye of partridge heel, which I love! I would ALWAYS recommend a yarn with a small amount of nylon for better wear and keeping them in shape. Have fun!

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      I had to look up the Eye of Partridge heel because I’ve never heard of it, and wow – it is beautiful! Will have to try that one πŸ˜€

  4. shesewsswell September 1, 2015 at 10:05 am #

    Nice socks! Check out the surfing pig Kaia on youtube. Also has a fB page!!! πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      Yaaaay piggy videos :DDDD

  5. Kristina September 1, 2015 at 10:24 am #

    Wooo socks! I made my first pair earlier this year and love them. I like yarn that is mostly wool with a bit of nylon for strength, though Knit Picks also makes one that is a wool/cashmere/nylon blend that is so comfy for socks. It’s too bad that wool-sock weather doesn’t happen much here in Florida. Another commenter suggested Knitting Without Tears and I whole-heartedly second that suggestion.

    Also, I really enjoy making socks two-at-a-time with one long circular needle using magic loop. I love finishing both socks at the same time to avoid second sock syndrome, and the magic loop is easier for me than DPNs to throw in a purse to transport without dropping stitches.

    And my vote is for the cinderblock pig pictures. =)

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      Mmm wool/cashmere/nylon sounds heavenly for socks! I’ll have to check that one out for sure.

      I want to try Magic Loop and two-at-a-time for future socks, definitely. With the current pair I’m knitting, I switched to Magic Loop once I got to the leg (they are toe-up), but I think I need a pattern written for Magic Loop in order to do that with the toe and heel flap and all that. I agree with you about ML being easier to transport; however, I did buy some of those little needle endcaps for my DPNs and they work pretty well! Sometimes they stab out of the bag, but, at least my knitting is still intact hahahaha

      • Kristina September 1, 2015 at 5:12 pm #

        Haha, yes. Who cares about the bag so long as the knitting is ok?I’ve seen some pretty cute DPN work-in-progress holders on Etsy that are kind of like a tiny square quilt with a side length just broader than the length of your DPNs, and it folds in half and closes with snaps, so it contains the DPNs and the socks (or whatever you’re working on) hangs out the side. I said “DPN” so many times in that sentence. They look pretty simple to make, but since I don’t use DPNs very much anymore, I haven’t tried to make them yet.

  6. Joan September 1, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Kevin adds ambiance to the photos. And what kind of grip do you have on the needles???? Snapping and bending. Talk about a death grip.

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2015 at 10:43 am #

      Yeeeah, that sounds worse than it really is! πŸ™‚ The bamboo needles mostly snapped during transport or just general handling (not in the middle of knitting a stitch). And my metal needles are bent from me trying to shove my foot in the sock while it’s still on the needles πŸ™‚ hahahaha! Not terribly bent – they’re still mostly straight, but if you really look at them, you can see where they slightly curve πŸ™‚

  7. mertxelasierra September 1, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    Beautiful socks! Is it a natural yarn? Can you tell us the composition of it? I’ve been told knitted socks tend to get holes, is it true? I completely love the colour. For me, I am so obsessed with sewing that never find the time for knitting (shame on me!)… and regarding the picture setting… I have a joke: they say in a couple there is one who is right, and the other one is the husband… hahaha, sorry Landon!

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

      Cascade 220 yarns are primarily 100% Peruvian wool, so it’s a natural fiber πŸ™‚ I don’t know about the tendency to get holes in knitted socks since I haven’t owned/worn a pair long enough to have that happen – but I wouldn’t be surprised if they do, since they do tend to get worn more (and anyway, you can darn the holes!). As far as finding time for knitting – that’s where the portability comes into play. It’s easy to drag it places that you can’t bring a sewing machine, even if it’s just in front of the TV! πŸ™‚

      • Beth September 1, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

        One of the major things that causes socks to get all holey is that they’re knit with too-big needles. So, your choice of knitting with size 0’s should mean that you’ll have your sockies (sans holes) around for a good long time. Nice work (and adorable Kevin P)! One of my favorite sock patterns on Ravelry is Charade by Sandra Park (or, as she says, “heroin, peppermint-flavored heroin” — remember the movie? LOVE!)

  8. Natalie September 1, 2015 at 11:52 am #

    I don’t know what made me smile more – the sock modelling or the little pig! I’ve always wanted a pet pig…had 2 in the family when we were growing up – one was an indoor pig too! Kevin is a sweetheart ❀ I love the socks too!

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      Morgan has always wanted a pet pig, too, which is why she finally got Kevin when she moved out here! I was a little apprehensive at first, but Kevin is pretty cool πŸ™‚ Pigs are super smart and she has quite the little attitude haha!

  9. Leticia September 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    Great socks! Can’t believe they’re only your second pair–you’ve nailed it!

    The pics with Kevin and the greenery show off the red socks best, I think.

    I always keep two pairs going. One ribbed, another with crazy construction or details, so that I have TV knitting and something more challenging. Addi Turbo Rocket circular needles are worth the money. Another idea is to try an over-plied yarn like madelinetosh–you get really strong but soft socks that can go right in the wash! I’m a sock knitting addict.

    • LLADYBIRD September 1, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      I think my go-to is going to be socks on the needles for traveling/tv, and a sweater for the more challenging project. I don’t normally like to have 2 things going on at once, but it would be nice to have a couple to choose from based on complexity.

  10. Colleen September 1, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    I love the cinderblock pics for a couple reasons: it’s an unusual prop, there’s a pig in the background (hi, Kevin!), and the green of the trees in the way background are a really nice contrast to your red socks. I’m probably biased, too, since there were so many cinderblock pics and only one deck pic πŸ˜‰ Just found your blog the other day and I want to READ IT ALL ❀

    • LLADYBIRD September 2, 2015 at 7:16 am #

      Didn’t even think about the color contrast of the green trees, but you’re right! They do offset the red very nicely πŸ™‚

      And as someone who shamelessly reads all the way to the beginning of blogs that I just discovered, I say go for it! It’s kind of like binge-watching an entire tv series at all once. Really cool to see how things evolve and progress over time πŸ™‚ (but the beginning of my blog is preeeetty subpar, just warning you!:) )

  11. susanrotter September 1, 2015 at 1:39 pm #

    Nice work!
    I’m an avid sock knitter and always have a pair on the go – it really is amazing how much I accomplish in spare 5 minutes here and there.
    I follow patterns on occasion but nowadays I tend to make them up using my favourite components parts (toe up, gusset and heel flap) adding a bit of fun stitch pattern or ribbing as the spirit takes me. I never write down what I’ve done so the second one requires careful inspection of the first to ensure a matching set.
    There are loads of indy dyers who do skeins of 100g (fingering) that will give you enough for two adult socks and leftovers! Have fun with it!

    • LLADYBIRD September 2, 2015 at 7:18 am #

      Eventually, I’d like to knit socks the way you do – pick and choose what component to include to make my perfect pair! I’m still trying to figure out what methods I like best, but that part is pretty fun too πŸ™‚

      Oh, and for my current WIP, I did buy some beautiful indy dyed yarn to make those up with! I wanted to wait on my first couple of pairs so I could be sure that I wouldn’t mess up the lovely yarn, but man, this stuff is NICE. I love Cascade, but it just can’t compare!

  12. helen September 1, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Looking good!
    I started knitting socks 2 years ago and I don’t think I’ve worn RTW socks since. I still need to work on the fit as some are slightly too long in the foot or a bit baggy at the ankle and different yarns give different results. But in general I love wearing them!

    • LLADYBIRD September 2, 2015 at 7:20 am #

      I don’t think I could give up my RTW socks – at least not in the summer, since I wear those little no-show footie things (I know you can knit those, but I need the silicone heel backing so they stay on my foot!). But you never know, things could change! Wearing only hand-knit socks sounds like a really awesome and practical way to pamper your feet!

  13. Bethy September 1, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

    This is a bit like rock/paper/scissors: deck beats cinder block but pig beats deck. Nothing beats pig though, so that’s where the analogy fails…

    • LLADYBIRD September 2, 2015 at 7:21 am #

      Pig wins every time!! πŸ˜€

  14. Sarah September 1, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

    Have you ever seen the Pixar movie “Up”? There’s a line in there–

    “Kevin is a GIRL?!”

    Kept running through my head while looking at your pretty piggy pictures. Check it out. Funny movie.

    I always have socks on the needles. It was a bad day today when I ended up at the doctor with my kid and had no travel knitting. Having also experienced a loved one throwing hand-knit socks in the washer and dryer, I suggest using my favorite sock yarn some time: Patons Kroy. It is completely washable and dryable and has some decent colorways. Plus it is cheap and you can find it at Joann’s.

    • LLADYBIRD September 2, 2015 at 7:24 am #

      I haven’t, but now I’m going to have to watch it just for that quote! Too funny! That exact sentence has been my personal punchline for like 2 weeks now.

      Bummer that you didn’t have your knitting with you when you were at the dr today! I really hope your kid is ok! 😦 And I’ll have to check out that Patons Kroy yarn, because I totally live in fear of the dryer these days πŸ™‚

      • Ryan September 2, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

        Be prepared to cry if you’re watching UP for the first time. I think the first 20 minutes were a tear tearjerker – after that it’s mostly all fun though.

  15. Kit September 1, 2015 at 5:56 pm #

    WOW!!! You slay me with this project! Thank you for posting! …and I love your baby!

  16. Melissa September 1, 2015 at 8:20 pm #

    Adorable socks!! And adorable Kevin!!!

  17. Addie Marie September 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

    I salute your ability to make two of anything! They look really great, and will be adorable with little booties this fall! (If fall ever comes to your neck of the woods!) I always make half projects… so many single socks and single mittens, abandoned in the pursuit of newness. Maybe someday I will learn the kind of persistence socks take! Or maybe I will just learn the technique where you knit them both at the same time?

    All in all, another awesome project — and Kevin is the best! What a ham! πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 2, 2015 at 7:39 am #

      Oh yes, fall is the BEST season here! I know everyone says that, but it’s especially nice in Tennessee because the temperature and humidity finally break, and we get really beautiful colors in the foliage. Loooove Tennessee in the fall! β™₯

      I actually don’t mind knitting the second sock – I see it as an opportunity to improve from the first one! Maybe that will change once I’m a more seasoned sock knitter, but as a beginner, I like the challenge πŸ™‚

  18. Elisabeth September 2, 2015 at 3:11 am #

    I like the cinderblock!
    And the socks.

  19. Emily Ribbons September 2, 2015 at 5:03 am #

    Thanks, I have been looking for a beginners sock pattern! The sheer amount on Ravelry fried my brain, I think I’ll give this one a try πŸ™‚ Also, any picture with a Kevin has to win

    • LLADYBIRD September 2, 2015 at 7:41 am #

      Yeeeah, I felt the same way when trying to prowl through Ravelry for a good beginner sock pattern! There are SO MANY. A little bit overwhelming! I like this one because it’s simple (but not boring), the directions are good, it makes up a cute lil’ sock, and the pattern itself is free πŸ™‚

  20. Shelly September 2, 2015 at 6:18 am #

    Kevin! Hahaha! A pet pig – what fun! Great socks too! I’ve been wanting to try knitting socks but haven’t got round to it yet. Are they fiddly being so small around?

    • LLADYBIRD September 2, 2015 at 7:43 am #

      I always think starting off socks is pretty fiddly – cuff-down is not as hard as toe-up, since you have more stitches to contend with, but those first couple of rounds can be a little tedious (I also find that starting off ANYTHING in the round can be tedious for the first couple of rounds, so take that as you will!). But once you get into a groove, no, I didn’t find it fiddly at all! The small size is actually really nice because each round is a lot faster to knit than if you were making, say, a sweater πŸ™‚

  21. Mary Lewis, YarnTangler September 2, 2015 at 8:52 am #

    Your pig is called Kevin, like Kevin Bacon right? That’s just too funny x

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 6:55 am #

      Haha total coincidence on the Kevin Bacon part πŸ™‚ We chose Kevin Pancho because it just sounds good (it doesn’t have a meaning behind it or anything). But, yeah, funny! πŸ™‚

  22. Chris September 2, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    I don’t knit but had to comment to say that the pig pictures win! That – and I like the nature/green in the background better than the deck shots. Sorry Landon

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 6:56 am #

      I like all the nature, too. Every photo is better with a little green in it (and maybe a bonus pig hahaha)!

  23. Becky Thompson September 2, 2015 at 4:56 pm #

    Livestock! Now we’re talking my language! I can’t/don’t knit (arthritis and all) but I’m a cattle rancher myself. Really. We have 60 acres with 8 head. And last calving season I had to get a mama in the chute to get her engorged teets working after watching her newborn calf not-nurse for the hour I waited. I hog tied the calf who bellered like a stuck pig (sorry Kev), squoze some teets, and shot a stream of colostrum at baby who all of a sudden stopped struggling and got with the school lunch program. I wore a superhero cape around the rest of the day! YaHoo! LOL These days losing a calf for Fail-to-Thrive is about a $1,000 loss. Now to your pig. She’s adorable! Love her! However, don’t go feeding her too much. Once she reaches maximum weight for the apartment, put her on a strict diet or she won’t remain little. Don’t succumb to her pretty eyes and sweet nuzzles for scraps either. Many a pot belly has been given up because the owner fed them too much and they got too big. And getting a pig to lose weight is like asking hubs to stop drinking beer. Fat chance! When pigs are forced to lose weight it stresses them and their little hearts can explode. Seriously. They’ll just drop on you one day like a “sack-o-taters” and that’s that. Best to keep Kev’s weight in-check from the get go. Unlike me, but this isn’t about me. HA Oh, and nice socks. πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 7:00 am #

      Whoa, that is awesome! I wish I knew more about raising livestock. Or gardening. Or, well, anything like that! I’m learning though πŸ™‚ And, dude, when we first got Kevin and she was super tiny, we had to pick her up to get her inside the house (she couldn’t manage the stairs, too small!) and she HATED that. The squealing was actually pretty comical… just thinking about it now still makes me laugh haha.

      As far as piggy weight – we are watching what we feed her, but we’re not on any weight restrictions with regards to where we live (we’re on 5 acres in the country/woods, in a big house. She has a room in the garage now because she’s still small, but once she gets bigger she will get a home outside in a fenced area). However, I did not realize that pigs can get a heart attack from the stress of a diet!! Definitely something to keep in mind!

  24. Ines September 2, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

    I just wanted to say you’re socks are great but…. Im afraid Kevin stole the show. πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 7:00 am #

      Damn pig! Well, I can’t say I’m surprised… she’s pretty cute πŸ˜‰

  25. patternandbranch September 3, 2015 at 5:35 am #

    Kevin cracked me up. I was not expecting her. Whoever has Kevin at their favorite photo spot wins the argument. I guess that’s you. Landon should have put her on the deck and then you could have tied. Too late now!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2015 at 7:02 am #

      Haha yeah, pigs are an unusual addition to most sewing blog photos! Kevin wins again!!

  26. Anonymous September 9, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    Kate Atherley’s sock patterns are always wonderful. She is the sock queen! I actually learned to knit socks from her (before I knew what a reputation she had), and it was a great experience.

    • Rachel September 9, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

      Sorry, that wasn’t meant to be anonymous! Computer freaked out on me.

  27. gingermakes September 9, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    Kevin!!!!! Awesome! Your socks are super cute! Lately I’ve been keeping a sock in my purse for my commute and the Never Ending Sweater of Death occupies my TV time. It’s kinda surprising how quickly socks knit up in little bits here and there! Oh! And a superwash yarn will pill less- they process the wool in a way that removes the scales so it doesn’t snag on itself as much.

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