Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Better late than never ... (and one for the Yarn Along)

Well these were a request for Christmas, a pair of hand knitted socks using some of my handspun yarn for Alex. Joining in again this week with the Yarn Along hosted by Ginny at Small Things.

The wool for these socks started from here ...

Dorset Horn Ewe and lambs
such beautiful little lambs!
 then it was sorted  here ...

washed, dried and carded ...


Following that, there were enjoyable hours spent here spinning the carded wool into singles and plying two singles together. A final wash to set the twist and a little help with winding the yarn into balls.

Imogen enjoys helping wind the yarn into balls

The knitting began, and wanting to try something different I followed a method of knitting both socks at the same time on one long circular needle. I like this method - it means the socks grow at the same rate, will definitely be the same length and avoids the Second Sock Syndrome!

Knitting 2 socks at the same time 
(shoe boxes are great for holding two balls of yarn!) 

They grew and grew, and then as usual I got distracted with other knitting and other crafts (oops), but got back to them ... although they weren't going to make it under the tree for Christmas.

 checking the foot length

But hey, better late than never, here they are fresh off the needles today, need a quick finishing wash but already well loved house socks.

Finished socks, perfect fit

Truly local socks too - Dorset Horn (Dorset being just down the road from us in Hampshire) fleece from sheep on the farm less than 4 miles away, skirted, washed, spun, plied, washed, knitted  at home and ready to wear. I have to knit myself some now as they are so cosy, and my daughter Imogen would like a pair too.

The book to share with this post is this one - 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, which inspired the method of knitting the 2 socks at the same time, great instructions to help you along the way - it is quite self explanatory once you get going though so this is going to be my method of knitting socks for the future. Still also reading the Pratchett book from last week, amongst other books I dip in and out of.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is working on. Now what to start next as I also finished the hat/scarf with pockets for Imogen which she loves - although it's so mild at the moment there is no need for it yet, but it's time will come. I will have to take a picture of her wearing it to show the fit and the pockets better than this picture does.

Finished hat/scarf with pockets - might be needed soon!

Off to cast on some more of the handspun for Imogen's socks - she's picked out the wool she wants me to use so here we go ... 


  1. Wow, so cool to see the yarn from sheep, to fleece, to being spun right through to finished object!

  2. The most popular socks that I have knitted have been made from homespun wool. Cosy and more spring in them. Your socks look lovely and warm.

  3. Oh I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing your process with us. Last night Richard read Pelle's New Suit and A New Coat for Anna to Kye and it is so similar to this. I have always wanted to knit 2 socks at once, makes much more sense to me. Thank you for the book link.
    Take care

  4. What a wonderful feeling that must be to knit with wool you have spun yourself and one day I hope to experience it. The yarn and socks look super.

  5. Wow, I love that your yarn is so truly local!! I keep eying up the sheep in the field outside my window...hmmm...if I just nipped over the fence with my scissors lol!! Great socks...looking forward to seeing a sock family photo Dawn :) xx

  6. An article I was reading the other day was saying how yarn for socks has to be really even to avoid uneven wearing, which has put me off trying to spin my own sock yarn,even though Stuart would really like some alpaca socks. Do you know if this is an issue or not?

    Love the idea of knitting two at the same time, it looks really complicated, is it?

  7. Thank you all x

    lol at Devonmama - I can see you now ;-)

    Claire - I don't know enough about it, but because these are house socks I think they'll be okay - the yarn I used on these was not evenly spun (spun a while ago) but the socks are fine for house-socks, worsted weight too rather than sock yarn weight. Maybe daily wearing socks under shoes it would be more of an issue (?).

    2 at a time is easy once you've got them cast on and get started - definitely recommend it! Circulars too are so much easier than dpns (shudder!).

  8. They look fab! Can't quite see how the knitting 2 at a time works, bnut not going to worry too much. I vowed never to knit socks again after eventually finishing my first pair!

  9. Wow! I've seen each of these steps in isolation, but I've never known someone who took it all the way from sheep to sock before. And doing two socks at a time! I'm new to knitting, so I didn't even know that was possible. How AWESOME! Finally, a way to defeat second-sock blues, AND have them be as uniform as possible!
    The Beauty of Eclecticism

  10. How wonderful to have socks made from your own spun yarn. Home made in every sense of the word. I've never used circular needles, I enjoy knitting using dpn's, though it would be handy knitting two socks at a time. Eleanor has been asking for a scarf with pockets, I haven't seen a hat incorporated too.


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