Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Category: socks

FO: 3×1 Garter Rib Socks and Sock Stash Guilt

Thank you for your wonderful comments on my vest! I also appreciate the wise knitters who pointed out that Beaverslide should not sit in a closet and that I should rip the raglan. I know you’re right. After all, if our positions were reversed, that’s exactly what I’d be telling you to do. In fact, I think I told Liz K just last week that she should rip rather than settle for a too-long sweater with a perfect tubular cast on. If spring were not just around the corner, I would be ripping away. Instead, I will let my sweater alone until next fall when I could really use 900 yards of Beaverslide.

In the meantime, I can show off another pair of dull socks. These might be my favorite every day socks yet, if hopelessly dull to knit.

Koigu KPM 3x1 Garter Rib Socks

Yarn: Koigu KPM in 2343

Pattern: 3×1 Garter Rib with Calf Shaping

Needles: US 1 1/2 and 0

Koigu KPM 3x1 Garter Rib Socks

This was the first time I’ve ever used Koigu (much to my amazement) and I definitely think it is worth every penny, even if the yardage is CRAP. Fortunately, Julieknits at Ravelry had half a skein of this color that she generously sent me because, as I may have mentioned before, Koigu’s yardage is crap. I actually finished these with less than 12 inches of yarn. I used Julie’s yarn to reinforce the heels. I’m stunned that I almost ran out. I have tiny feet and these legs do not strike me as particularly long. What’s a girl with even average sized feet to do? That would be an expensive pair of 3-skeined socks!

Koigu KPM 3x1 Garter Rib Socks

I experimented with some calf shaping by dropping down to a size 0 needle for the lower part of the leg. The rest of the sock was knit on size 1.5 needles.

You can tell that I’ve been doing a lot of studying lately because I’m just cranking out easy socks. Here is the first of another pair of 3×1 garter rib socks in Shibui Knits Sock, although this time I used decreases for the calf shaping. Glenna has also been testing out methods to get the perfect, slouch-free sock. You should check out the cool knee socks she just finished. I used to think that I couldn’t last through knitting knee socks but I suspect with the right yarn, it would be possible.

Shibui Knits 3x1 Garter Rib Socks in Bark

After I knit the first pair, I really wanted to go buy more Koigu. It makes such a nice sock in spite of the yardage. Nevertheless, I simply cannot bring myself to buy more because of the sock yarn I have in stash. I tried adding it up in my head and I came up with enough yarn for 9 pairs. That seemed like a lot until I tracked it all down. Try 21 pairs. And some of it is really, really nice too! I decided that it would be an appropriate exercise in self-discipline to knit what I have, if only to punish myself for buying icky yarn (hi, Knit Picks Essential) just because it was cheap. So here you have my 21 potential pairs, although I cheated a bit and included the Froehlich I just used up because it was so old and I was so proud of myself for getting rid of it. I hope chip away at this until at least all of the Knit Picks is gone so that I can buy nice yarn guilt-free. In the meantime, I will be living vicariously through Megan and her twelve lovely single socks.

*ahem* Revised sock stash. Let's be completely honest now: that's 21 pairs of socks...

FO: Striped Stashbuster Socks

While I finished knitting the Ivy League Vest last weekend, it still has a million ends to weave in. I hope to finish it up this weekend so you’ll see pictures next week of the blocked version. In the meantime, remember how I was bemoaning the lack of easy, mindless, on-the-go projects? The real reason I never have fast, easy projects around is that since said projects are fast and easy, they fly off the needles!

Leftover Socks

Pattern: 64-stitch stockinette sock with K2P2 rib

Yarn: Froehlich Special Blauband (sadly discontinued several years ago)

Needles: US 1 1/2

Leftover Socks

I’ve had two skeins of this sock yarn stewing in stash for a few years! I decided that I really shouldn’t dig into my nice sock yarn stash for a plain stockinette project so I paired these two together, for better or worse. I’m quite satisfied with the result! Initially, I followed Meg Swansen’s “jogless join” method (tutorial from sockknitters.com here) to keep the join clean. You can see the unimpressive results below.


It’s not bad but I felt sure I could do better by carrying the unused yarn up the seam the way one might in a color work project.


For my taste, that’s much better! There’s a bit of a jog but at least no bulky seam of loose stitches from the k2togs. I couldn’t find a good tutorial for carrying the yarn up the seam – does anyone out there have one? If not, I’ll post one sometime soon.

WIP Review

Do you ever have trouble finding an on-the-go project? A purse project? A mindless project? I struggle with this. As far as I’m concerned, all projects start out as purse projects but then get too big, too complicated or too fiddly. While I would love to devote myself only to big, complicated projects, life intervenes. It seems that I’m rarely just knitting. I’m watching Beatrix, reading, studying, waiting at an office or sitting in the car and knitting. As a result, I have too many WIPs that have been cast aside because they require too much attention.

Let me show you a few. First up, the second Drunken Bee sock. The first was so beautifully knit by Stella, who must think I’m such an idiot for not yet having finished a second sock. I have knit and reknit this one too many times. It’s a good thing I’ll only be knitting one! My mistake was to assume I could knit this on the go. Halfway down the leg, I still haven’t memorized the chart. I cannot wait to turn the heel, if only for the reward of stockinette sole stitches! In spite of everything, it really is beautiful, isn’t it? It’s just the perfect pattern/yarn combination. That’s really what drives me to finish it!


Next up, a cabled cardigan for Beatrix. I’m making this up as I go. I’ve finished the front and back but before I cast on for the sleeves, I have to track the kid down to measure her arms. It would appear that I forgot to do this when I planned the body. That means I also have to do some math to make sure the sleeve cap fits. Partly because I don’t want to knit the sleeves and partly because I think it looks adorable without them, I wish I had made this a vest instead of a cardigan. I will definitely be making a baby vest in the near future. Besides, everyone knows toddlers hate sleeves, right?


Speaking of baby knitting, I feel I ought to include some photos of a couple of unblogged projects: diaper soakers. *yawn* I know this doesn’t interest most of you – wool soakers certainly do not interest me but sadly, they are the most frequently used hand knit items in my house. Skip to the end for pretty fair isle pictures!


Yarn: more of that awful Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted
Pattern: Ottobre Design’s wool soaker pattern, size large


Yarn: Classic Elite Skye Tweed
Pattern: Picky Pants, longies version with short rows

And now, the WIP that cannot pretend to be a purse project: my Ivy League Vest.

Ivy League Vest

I started the ribbing on US 2s like the pattern suggests but it was way, way, way too small. I wish I’d swatched the ribbing and not just the chart. I sought Glenna’s advice because she’s nearly done with her ILV. She said rip. I ripped. I started over on US 4s for the ribbing.

Ivy League Vest

Pattern: from Interweave Knits Holiday 2007 by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Harrisville New England Shetland in Sandalwood, Oatmeal, White, Wedgwood, and Midnight Blue.

I replaced Woodsmoke (teal) and Loden (dark green) with the light and dark blues. While I like the overall effect of the suggested colors, I dislike teal so much that I knew I would hate knitting the vest. I also cut out Pearl (gray) and decided to use extra Oatmeal to fill in for Pearl because I’m cheap and I didn’t think having one less color would much matter.

Knitting Daily did an interesting piece on how to fit this vest. It’s worth checking out if you’re interested in the project.

Ivy League Vest

I’m not entirely thrilled with how my waist decreases look with the purled faux seam stitch on either side but I think it will be alright.

Ivy League Vest

Hand Knits in Action

Thank you for all of the sweet comments about my DROPS cardigan! In spite of a few quibbles with it, I am quite pleased with the outcome! And the yarn! Oh, the yarn. You all need some Queensland Kathmandu DK Tweed. Did I mention that it’s the same as Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed? I suspected as much but a trip to my LYS confirmed it: the Jo Sharp yarn color numbers are exactly the same as the Queensland color numbers. Coincidence? I doubt it.

I thought I’d distract you this morning with some hand knits in action:


This Bea Ellis hat and Lamb’s Pride scarf I made Aaron are the only things I’ve knit him that see reliable wear. To be fair, they’re the only things I’ve knit him that are very nice. You should see this sweater I made him pre-blog – it’s positively hideous. In any case, his gloves aren’t very warm and I thought I would make him a pair of thrummed mittens for nighttime dog walking. He’s long maintained that mittens are far inferior to gloves in terms of dexterity but then again, dog walking requires little of that. And certainly, there will be very little range of motion in these babies. I got the idea from Jenna and then Pam had to go and cast on for some and, well, here you go.

Thrummed Mittens

In a rash of vacation startitis, I also cast on a few more projects. At least the rest of you can blame holiday knitting. I swore off that this year so I have no excuse. Below, a top-down raglan in Beaverslide wool and the second Drunken Bee to match the sock Stella so ably knit for me. I keep casting on for more because none of these are (yet) purse projects. The sweater was ideal until it grew too big to fit in the purse. The sock was great for the ribbing but I haven’t yet memorized the pattern and so I can’t knit and do anything else. The mitten pattern is easy to memorize and nice and portable but the thrums are decidedly not easily transportable.

Top-Down Raglan

The Second Sock Challenge

I’m not even going to add these to my Ravelry project list until they’re done because I don’t really want to see my WIP list go up. What denial, eh?

FO: Evening Stockings for a Young Lady


Pattern: Evening Stockings for a Young Lady from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush

Yarn: The Knittery’s Merino Cashmere Sock in “Geranium”

Modifications: I ripped off Kristy’s modifications to make these regular socks instead of knee socks. I also only used rows 1-4 of the 5-row pattern. Kristy’s socks inspired me to cast on a pair. This pattern didn’t jump out at me when I leafed through the book; however, the pretty versions of this out there in blogland are quite compelling.


The pattern called for 20 chain stitches on the heel flap which struck me as a bit excessive. I usually use 16 and now I wish I’d followed the advice of the sage Ms. Bush. I probably won’t wear these socks with shoes that will rub against that lace at the heel. No matter, that still leaves plenty of shoe possibilities!


Way back in September, I cast on for this bolero by DROPS Design. It was a surprisingly fast knit, although the ribbing took as long as the rest of the garment. It has been nearly done for about six weeks. What remains? Some surgery.


Full report next week! For now, you’ll have to live with a meme. I’ve been tagged by Glenna and Jenna