May Socks

Hello Gentle Knitters, and thanks for your patience while I was unexpectedly away from the blog. I got sick last week while I was in Port Ludlow and that combined with the travel whacked the snot out of my resources, and then there was a family thing that needed me more than you did. I yanked, spent the time with my family that they needed, and now I’m back – and as much as I miss the blog while I’m gone like that, there’s never any contest between being a parent and being a blogger.  That said, let’s get back to what we all really care about.


These my friends, because the mojo of the last few months had to wear off sometime are the May socks.  See that? May socks. Note the date? That’s right. Blogging these bad boys with 5 days to go on the calendar, and really it’s even more impressive than you think because I finished them days ago while I wasn’t blogging.  These zoomed.

Pattern: Everyone Outta the Pool.  Yarn: antique Koigu KPPPM that I don’t know anything about, except that it’s been in the stash forever,  and Cherry tree hill Supersock Solids for contrast.

I love this pattern.  Love. It.  It’s fast, it’s simple, it’s fun, it has just enough cool techniques to keep you hopping, and I love what it does to a variegated yarn.  That line along the side of the foot where the patterning stops and the stripyness starts?  I am charmed by it. Charmed, I tell you. Charmed to the point that I briefly discussed it with a stranger. (They were not charmed. I always remember one second too late that non-knitters have low interest in slipped stitches and what they do to yarn variegation. Even if you explain it really well, with samples.)

These were toe-up, which isn’t my favourite, but was my choice this time because I wanted to use all the Koigu, and it was in two little skeins. I cast on with contrast, knit the toe, changed to the Koigu, did the heel in the contrast, then knit the leg until the Koigu ran out – then did the little hem at the top in the contrast again.

Speaking of the hem (and because I can’t stress to you enough how much the stranger didn’t care- but I know you will) it is so clever that it almost makes me angry.  Angry because it’s brilliant and simple and perfect and I totally should have thought of it.  It’s double knit.

When you get to the hem, you double your stitches, then work in double-knitting for a bit, then graft that top edge shut. It’s perfect. The inside and outside are both perfect stockinette created at the same time. The whole thing just organically grows up from the toe to the edge like a little sock poem for your feet. (Also, I know someone is now going to ask me about double knitting – go here. Lucy Neatby is the best person to teach you this. Look at her other DVD’s while you’re there.  They’re pretty awesome.)

Once again, thanks go to my Meg for being the sock model.  Today while we were taking these, I said "You’re such a good sock model Megan." and she said "RIGHT eh!" and then I took a few more snaps.  A minute later while admiring what I thought was the socks,  she mused – "It’s because I have such lovely feet."  I thought about that for a sec, and then said "You know what Meg?  It’s a shame about your cripplingly low self-esteem". 

145 thoughts on “May Socks

  1. I want to try these socks, but then I’m reminded gently that I still have the other half of the Sam socks to do. Seems I have a case of Second Sock Syndrome…

  2. Oh my goodness.. that’s brilliant about the double knitted hem.. brilliant! Now I may have to start another pair of toe up socks just to try it. Shame that, really. 😉

  3. Love that pattern with that varigated yarn!
    Actually, we all really care about you, too. I’m glad to hear that things are better.

  4. Thanks for all the documenting you do! Here’s hoping you keep feeling better and better, too.

  5. What a blessing you’re back!!! It really was quite a dry spell there for awhile – dry for US that is – apparently you had more than enough to occupy your good self. Glad to hear you are feeling better…
    Those really are fabulous socks. I happen to have some Koigu that is just beggin’ for a knit-up. I’m gonna go hunt that pattern down now….
    Be well.

  6. Your final line just got me! Thanks for the out-loud laugh today – my stress level just went down! yay!

  7. Sending good and healing thoughts to you and yours. I admire a woman who has her priorities in such order. Much as we missed you…

  8. Hahah, yes! I too think I have been blessed with lovely feet. 🙂 Glad to see your daughter has a healthy attitude about hers. You’d be surprised how many people complain about their feet. Or maybe I’m surrounded by weirdos.

  9. She does have lovely feet, very well proportioned to her ankles… not too wide, not too narrow. 🙂 And great socks show them off 🙂

  10. Socks ARE important. And these are fabulous. They would hide, very well, my own personal Fred Flintstone square feet.

  11. Very nice socks. So glad you’re feeling better and things are back to “normal.” And congrats on your parenting skills!

  12. Glad you are feeling better & Mom issues resolved.
    The socks are great…hmmm, I’m going to be finishing a pair of socks this weekend….perhaps these are the next pair.

  13. Oh, that is a very clever way to finish a sock! I bet it can be used for hems in other places too…. ingenious.
    Heh, I remember being very proud of one of my features as a teenager. I think you handled it better than the adult I was around at the time who told me it was because of my mother’s infidelity and my “real father’s” genes. Sheesh 🙂

  14. The hem idea is BRILLIANT!
    So brilliant that I told my coworker (who has zero interest in knitting and is a non-knitter)!
    I’ll be trying this soon!

  15. With Summer of Socks coming up, it might be time to do a little variegated dance here as well. Also, the double-knitted cuff sounds great!
    And we do so love your feet Meg!! 😀

  16. Thank goodness you are feeling better. I couldn’t take not having you AND Oprah around at the same time! Glad to hear you’re on the mend. Love those socks and the feet in ’em!

  17. Nuff said! Anything to do with family trumps most everything.
    I wish I could design knitting projects. It isn’t going to happen, but I would love to be in charge of naming projects. Such creativity!! Love the socks.

  18. Every time I read “double knitting” I break out in hives. If it were on Fact Factor, this alone would break me. Eat worms? No prob! Double knitting? Mommmmmmmyyyyyyy!
    Glad you’re back and at it again. Socks are awesome.

  19. The best thing you have ever made I bet. A beautiful daughter wilth great self esteem. (And I am sure all three of them have a healthy dose of it!). Good job Mom.

  20. Meg is an excellent sock model because she was primed for the position since birth.

  21. Wonderful socks! I too have some antique Koigu knocking about the stash — I may have to try this pattern out for myself.

  22. Nevermind! It was the page load – it loaded correctly after the post. *eyeroll*

  23. Love the socks, love your blog. You are inspiring me to try sock knitting.

  24. Lovely socks, lovely feet, great kid. You are a good mom! How many kids have good self esteem without great moms?

  25. Wow, those are cute. And those are really your colors too. I love what it did to that colorway making it look like a forest floor. I think that pattern will be on my needles soon. I have to make some man socks in a boring dark colorway but that pattern should entertain me without making the socks “too wild” for the boring boy that will get them.

  26. Oh, you just have to STOP knitting all these cool sock patterns! When I see them, I immediately add them to my Ravelry queue…which is pushing 300 projects now! (I’m a sucker for cool patterns…) Really awesome socks!! Nice job!

  27. But her feet ARE lovely. Very nice arches. You can tell even when they’re encased in socks. Nice socks too.

  28. I came across that pattern earlier today and was ambivalent about it, at best. But I love the way it turned out for your socks! Beautiful job!

  29. Excellent socks! That looks like it might be KPPM P502… I named my dog after that one. Her full name is “Koigu KPPM P502 Out Of Rockford” (she was a stray from Rockford, IL).

  30. Meg is a wonderful model. I especially love the swivel she did in the second shot, showing the heel and and instep in one shot. Lovely socks!

  31. So glad you were able to get the family stuff worked out. And that you were able to finish the May socks – with time to spare! How often does that happen?!?!
    The reason I do toe-up is to skip all that nasty grafting. I can do, and will do it as necessary, but it’s not fun. I’d probably get lazy and do a three-needle bind-off if the pattern said graft!

  32. Thansk for posting. I missed you and I was this close to starting withdrawal symptoms! Oh, and the knitting is lovely, too…

  33. I used the same hemming technique for a tote bag. The bag needed some extra support for the handles, so I needed to build a casing for the webbing strap of support. Voila! I was able to make it exactly as tall as necessary. The double-knitting and final kitchener did seem endless, but the result was beautiful. Thanks for reminding me how wonderful this little bit of architecture is.

  34. Welcome back! Lovely socks. I was wondering with all this sock knitting going on, have you made a dent in your stash? If it were me, I would probably have made a small dent, but then I usually end up buying more yarn, no matter how hard I try to control myself. It’s wool, what can I say!

  35. LoL to Meg. Sometimes people look at me funny, like I should correct my children when my oldest son says, “I’m really SUCH a good singer.” Or when I tell my youngest, “You’re so cute!” And he says, “Yes, I AM so cute.” I always thought that far more problems are caused by insecurity than by over confidence, and that by the time the world outside of my loving arms chews up my children and spits them back out, they’re probably far more likely to develop insecurity than confidence. So I’ve always aimed to make them love themselves. I just really hope it sticks with them as long as it has obviously stuck with Meg.

  36. So glad you’re feeling healthier and family matters resolved. Yes, they should always take priority. I had to make that choice last weekend too.
    Love the socks.

  37. Two things:
    1. Do you find that the double-knitted cuff is less stretchy and more prone to falling down than a ribbed cuff? I wonder this about every single fancy cuff I see, and I’ve never asked. Is the leg of the sock just knit tightly enough that the cuff doesn’t really matter? And if so, why bother with the cuff at all? My brain, it doesn’t understand.
    2. Hehe. Your daughter said “eh.” :p

  38. OMG! I love that idea of the double knit cuff. Actually, there’s no reason you couldn’t use it for a top down sock, right? I’m going to try that just as soon as I get home because I’ve been way too long without socks on the needle and time’s up.

  39. Glad you’re on the mend….
    Your priorities are spot on! Kids & family stuff comes first!
    The socks are suh-WEET!

  40. Ah yes, that crippling low self esteem issue. Some of our children have it so rough.
    Most of the non-knitters in my life let me wax poetic because they eventually benefit from my sock/yarn lovefest.
    I have yet to master the toe up. The heel baffles me.
    Feel better soon!

  41. How do you get 40 drunken Canadians out of your swimming pool?
    “Could everyone get out of the pool now, please?”

  42. Ha! I read “Everyone Outta the Pool” and thought it was the colorway, which made me laugh, as in “don’t swim in the yellow water” especially if it has brown spots/globs in it.
    Just sayin’…
    They are lovely socks!

  43. “A little sock poem for your feet…” That is one of the loveliest phrases I have ever heard. I shall use it when appropriate from now on. And yes, the socks rock!

  44. Love the socks, and the line between pattern on top and the sole is something to be contemplated often.
    Lovely feet indeed, Meg!

  45. I am so glad you are feeling better and of course family always comes first!

  46. Glad to have you back in the blog world! I have two questions about the socks. Is there some significance to calling the top part of the sock the hem, instead of the cuff? And what’s the advantage of using double-knitting there instead of just ribbing? It seems like a lot more work to me, so there must be some good reason to do it that way that I’m just not seeing.

  47. Those socks are great! Love the effect the slipped stitches has on the varigated yarn. And – btw. of course Meg has beautiful feet. Good for her to aknowledge it 🙂 I always think it is a noce thing when young ladies have a healthy self esteem. (and I really wait to see that in my girls 3,5 & 7yrs- as well when they grow up. )

  48. First, I’m glad you’re well again. Second, I am doing a pair of sock right now that also have a slip stitch pattern and you are so right about how well that works with variegated yarns. I love theses socks. Third, you’ve got me laughing yet again with how you ended your post. And I think it’s a mark of a job well done if our children have great self confidence.

  49. Does she also have elegant pointy toes?! Those toes looked pretty pointy. Glad things are looking up in your neighborhood.

  50. Dang I love teenagers.
    “Cripplingly low self-esteem”. I am MOST sure I’ll be using that on my resident teenaged big ego in short order 😉

  51. Welcome back! The socks are adorable, compelling, and clever. Meg has cute feet. And I totally agree with Kathy C. Hear, hear.

  52. I´m glad you´re fine, I have to say, I found myself coming over here looking for a post. 🙂
    Socks are beautiful, I love the contrast between the yarns and the hem is also very delicate and perfect. Yay for May socks!

  53. So glad you are back on the air. we do worry. great socks with great technique.

  54. So glad to see you posted. We have missed you here at the office – you are the highlight of our day. Knew you have been burning the candle at both ends and figured the middle went up too. The socks are terrific – another pattern for the queue. Cheer!

  55. So glad that you are back, but certainly can appreciate your priorities. The blog will absolutely still be here when you get back to us (and there’s always rereading your books to be done). I was about to ask you about the double knitting! So glad you anticipated me. The May socks are very lovely, I’m working on some out of KPPPM right now too but just my Vanilla 2×2 pattern.
    And congrats on a confident daughter! We need more women who are proud of all of their beautiful parts.

  56. Glad you’re back. And you are absolutely correct, parenting and blogging should NEVER be in competition. We’ll wait indefinitely.

  57. I figured you were either horrifically busy with SS11 (I’m waiting patiently for the call for volunteers and hoping you’ll need teachers’ aides again) or something else came up and you’ll tell us all about it. I’m glad you’re getting better and had time to whip out your May socks. They are very cool and fitting for wearing out at Tina’s.

  58. Lovely socks, on lovely feet! And I do like the idea for the hem, but the thought of all that grafting makes me a bit twitchy. I really don’t like grafting. I have two pairs of socks which are completely done…except for grafting the toes shut. They’ve been sitting that way for weeks, and will probably remain so until I run out of sock needles for starting another pair. It could be a while, but there is a day of reckoning ahead about which I am not the tiniest bit excited. Except that I’ll have something like three or four pairs of finished socks when it’s over.

  59. I’m glad you’re feeling better. The “crud” seems to be going around these days again. The socks are very loverly. One thing about the Koigu KPPPM is that it’s hand wash only. Cherry Tree Hill is a superwash. You’ll likely have to hand wash those babies.

  60. Like Cheryl (3:06pm), I too thought that “Everyone Outta the Pool” was the colourway! It gave me a good laugh.

  61. Glad you are feeling better and you had the opportunity to take care of your family. I love the color scheme of those socks! So pretty! So are Meg’s feet 🙂

  62. Meg is soo right about the beautiful feet for sock modelling – perhaps she could look at her gene pool to see where they came from? From someone (plus the rest of my family) who has laboured under lifelong poor self-esteem, she is doing well, and it will stand her in good stead.
    As a lot of the world has horrible/ugly feet she is blessed.
    Pleased to hear things are back to some sort of normal, I was beginning to get worried.
    Funny business this, that the rest of the world doesn’t ‘get’ the finer points of intriguing sock knitting. I wonder what is wrong with them?

  63. 1. Glad you’re back!
    I know we worry when we dpn’t hear from you, but I figured if you died in a flaming car wreck, we would have heard about it. Otherwise, I assume you have a personal life and will return when you’re ready.
    2. Great socks!
    3. I love watching the ravelry queue go up when you recommend a pattern. For this one, it went from a queue of 0 to 141 within 6 hours of your post. (see the graph at )

  64. …glad you put family first. I am glad you know what your priorities are. That is why I keep coming back to your blog over and over again. Yahoooo on the socks!

  65. Omigosh, I was in withdrawal, getting the shakes, beginning to stare vacantly out the window. YH was MIA? Kidnapped in Port Ludlow? TSA took the Signatures and she ended up in a padded room somewhere? But no, sickness and family crisis . . . whew, something we can relate to – and be glad all is now well. (And isn’t that hem akin to a ‘tubular bindoff?)

  66. Does your boss ever give you two weeks off in a row? No blogging, no writing, no organizing swarms of knitters, just vacating?
    You might need a nicer boss, you know.

  67. Last week I finished socks from the beautiful Zauberball — just a 3×1 rib. I had enough leftover yarn for a third sock. I call it a pair and a spare! I’ll rotate through them each time and the socks should last even longer.

  68. Love the socks! Need to get up the nerve to try some sometime. Typical teenage response huh? Funny!

  69. Now you must take your medicine. We warned you, didn’t we? That if you kept working yourself into collapse day after day, week after week, you would get sick. Now don’t do that again. Please. As you are Canadian and very polite, I expect you will comply with this truly loving request 🙂
    And as for Meg, what’s a girl to do? She does
    have beautiful feet. Would you have her be dishonest? Of course not. Ya know, there is such a thing as a “Parts Model”. They are highly paid models who do only certain parts of their bodies. One of my lovely daughters was offered work as a hand model. Alas, she was too modest and turned it down. Otherwise, she could have probably paid for a college degeee with those amazingly gorgeous hands she inherited from my mother. Rings? Gloves? Bracelets? Lotion? Anything. You go, Meg. There are agents out there beating the bushes for feet like yours!

  70. Welcome back! You were missed!
    Love the socks. Don’t care for toe-up construction myself, but worth giving a try for a double-knit cuff. Cool!

  71. So glad that you are back and all is well! I was going through serious Harlot withdrawal! ‘Like a sock poem for your feet”….hmmmmm…..this needs a haiku:
    Knit by the Harlot
    Beautiful socks celebrate
    New Spring in her step.

  72. I missed you – so glad you’re back. And Meg does have lovely feet. Its a wonderful thing to raise girls with high self esteem. So many girls don’t have it – it breaks my heart.

  73. Only because you are obsessive…
    NEXT time, as you change for the double knit hem,
    Knit 1, YO, repeat with the hem yarn.
    then you don’t get a row of 2 tone purl ridges on the inside, but start with lovely stocking knit on both sides.
    (which seems to arise out of no where!)
    It the sort of detail that once you see it, you must do it!
    You’ll need to work the first row a bit snug (pull those YO’s tight!) but is so worth the small effort.
    once you see the results, you’ll want to pick up stitches for a crosswise double knit button band the same way–and have a lovely edge to a simple sweater
    i love double knitting!–and i’ve used it top down for a hem on a sock too.. (a two toned hem)

  74. Hey, lovely feet are nice! Megan is entitled to enjoy her feet. I once had a boyfriend who informed me that my toes look like light bulbs. — Oh. Thanks.

  75. Glad you are feeling bad. Had the horrible cold myself two weeks ago. Knocks the stuffing out of one.
    I will have to find this pattern, and, yes, the hem sounds amazing. (Will possibly make me knit my first toe-uppers.)
    And good on you and Meg for having/being a daughter who can compliment her body. 😉
    Sadly, too many women only see what they think is wrong.

  76. lovely socks. glad you are back. i am an inveterate worrier and always think something tragic may have befallen you if you don’t post every 3 days minimum! glad to see the power of my “pointless worry” kept you safe! 🙂

  77. Heehee – love Amy at 2:54’s joke.
    What’s “yanked”? (In the 3rd sentence.) Too much exposure to Americans? I can only imagine how many Canadians return home from the US and exclaim, Dude, I am yanked out!
    I’m assuming it has something to do with the crud you came down with, but I use that word to describe physically pulling on an object. (ie, “that mugger yanked my purse right off my arm!” Or, more apropo, “I yanked that Wollmeise right out of her hands!”)

  78. Missed you, missed you, missed you. So glad you’re back! Just bought the sock pattern and can’t wait to give it a try.

  79. Just wanted to let you know that wheneverrrrr you want to tell me about your knitting…I’m listening! I have caught myself describing the construction of a sock to a nonknitter and the look on their face is, uhm, disinterested, to say the least. I can’t understand it.

  80. I agree with others. Family comes first. I love to read the blog but I always want you to take good care of your family and yourself first. Very clever pattern and use of yarn on the socks. You are an inspiration!

  81. Those are GLORIOUS socks! Sometimes the yarn and pattern and timing all come together to create a sock even greater than the sum of its parts. This is that sock. Yes, this is that sock. Gorgeous!

  82. Beautiful socks and beautiful Koigu. I was in Koigu heaven today at work when I got to wind 34 skeins for a customer who is doing the mitered blanket in the new koigu magazine. Every color is more gorgeous than the next. Also loving the contrasty bits on the heels and toes and cuff. Happy May!

  83. Cool socks. That is a nifty hem. (Non-knitters don’t know what they’re missing.)
    Did you have the same must-sleep-20-hours-a-day cold that I’ve had for the last 2 weeks? I thought I was almost over it, but no. Cold viruses are evil little buggers.

  84. Glad your back, missed you. Was worried, happy you are well and have weathered another family adventure.

  85. Love the socks. But honestly I care more about you and your family. Stranger that I am, during your absence, I hoped that you and your family were well and worried about your health ’cause you had those tests and appointments. Of course there is real life and I appreciate that you share time and ideas with the rest of us.

  86. It is too bad that those amazingly awesome socks cover up those beautiful feet!
    These socks are so awesome I am inspired… I haven’t made any for a while- and I happen to LIKE toe-ups 🙂

  87. It’s good to have you back. I hope you’re feeling better. The socks are lovely.

  88. Pretty socks, and yes, pretty feet.
    I was starting to wonder if you had been Raptureded. I’m glad to hear you hadn’t. Hope the fambly stuff is all settled down now. X

  89. That thunk you heard? my jaw dropping at the marvelous simplicity and overlooked obviousness of that hem! Way cool! And then there’s what that slipped stitch does for variegated yarn…..nice! And so glad you are feeling better and the family emergency is easing 🙂

  90. Slipped stitches help with yarn variation…as in pooling prevention? This is a topic I want to know more about. Please one inquiring mind wants to know. Tell more in a future post. Anyhow, I love the socks…they look very fall=like….like bits of fall leaves. I love the contrast of the solid heel.

  91. Thanks for being back. I missed your posts.
    The hem is genius. Once you know it’s just blindingly obvious. I just did my first hemmed pair (with picots on the fold, so I feel those are still justified) and has set the aside fro two days before finishing because I was strugging with sewing the hem. Online I came across the tip to do this with socks turned inside out. Once again blindingly obvious once it’s pointed out. I felt pretty dense for trying (and failing) to get the seam done without turning the sock. And (this is worrying) I even sew; turning stuff inside out to seam should not in any way be a novel concept.
    Totally get the slipped stitches by the way, they work wonders with the yarn (the name of the yarn is, ahm, peculiar).

  92. oh, that pool thing is the name of the sock pattern, not the yarn.
    Thought it was the yarn. That and the colours. It sorta addded up, not good…..

  93. Glad you’re feeling better, and, yes, family ALWAYS takes precedence.
    Love the socks. What can we look forward to for June?
    Thank you, btw, for the second Sock Summit. It’s what I need right now (well, in sixty some days, but who’s counting?).

  94. I’ve done a double knit hem technique before, only I didn’t know I was doing it. I was simply making a hat with a pattern I wanted reversible for a band around the head, which I then converted back to single after the pattern I was using was completed. Now I know I was doing something cool and unusual! Thanks, Steph!

  95. I agree that we care more about knitting than a stanger.
    But I disagree that we’re just here for the knitting. Glad your family is better. I’ve been away from my blog for awhile for the same reason. Or, more accurately, because of my time to recover because of what the family is dealing with. Slice of the same cake.
    Hope your weekend goes well and enjoy a good cup of tea. I’m going to go take my own advice.
    sending good thoughts your way…

  96. I was ill, too… hospitalized unexpectedly actually. Kept checking your blog as I was in the hospital with nothing else to do but let IV liquids drip into me. I kept wondering if you were also sick since you were off the radar for a bit. Sounds like a great idea for the hem of the sock… how does one add a double knitted hem to the top of a single knitted sock?

  97. I was alredy thinking what a lovely sock model you have.
    If by not being in the way, we can be there for you, then let the blog patiently wait. We’ll knit.

  98. First off, I am glad to hear that you are better!! Second, the socks are simply lovely I want to knit a pair myself one day. And third, I hope that you and the family are doing well 🙂

  99. Family is the most important thing. And you are entitled to a sick day now and then.

  100. I love those socks – wonder if I could make them.
    I’m not great with dp needles, but I’d surely like to try. Can you direct me to the pattern for them? Thank you!

  101. First, I confess, I “cheat” on knitting socks, I use a sock knitting machine BUT I do whip up my pants legs to show off my socks at the drop of a hat, or shoe, as it were. Anyway, I know the slightly frantic glassy eyed look that comes over a stranger’s face when I have them pinned in a corner chatting away happily and excitedly about SOCKS of all things and they want to just get away but aren’t sure how. heehee

  102. Absolutely love the colors you chose for the socks! Enhances the stitches perfectly. 🙂

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  104. I love double knitting and I don’t think it would have occurred to me to use it as a hem element. I’ll have to try it on a sweater or something (knit out of tiny yarn).

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