Hats and Socks

It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the needles. One of my projects has been making the Farm Beanie hat for M. A ahead of our upcoming trip to Iceland.

It’s a nice pattern and easy to memorise which meant it was great for train knitting. It was also relatively quick to make, which was a good job as I ended up making it twice!

I made the largest size at first, but it was sooo big and baggy that one gust of wind would have whipped it clean off the head!

Farm beanie v1

You can see from the crown here how loose it was, and the ribbed section was just not pulling in at all. So frogged it I did and made the smaller size.

Farm Beanie v2

It’s a little bit better but it’s still really loose. I think it’s down to the yarn… I used a DK weight as the pattern suggested but it’s just too soft and doesn’t hold the shape, and it became even more saggy after blocking. It would be great for something that required a drape and it’s super soft, but for a ‘manly and robust’ hat it’s just not cutting the mustard. I’ve still got time to make another one in a different yarn as I do like the pattern….3rd time lucky maybe?

And hot off the heels (if you’ll excuse the pun!) of my first pair of socks, came another.

I was browsing through Instagram at exactly the right time as Countessablaze was updating her shop, and this yarn stopped me in my tracks. Firstly I was grabbed by the colours but when I saw the name ‘Urbex’ it just had to fall in my basket… If you are a returning reader you might have seen my previous post on my current obsession with urban explorers and abandoned buildings, so it was fate right?

Countess Ablaze - Urbex

Following the same pattern for aran weight socks as the previous pair I was quick to cast on – and cast off these little lovelies…

Urbex socks.JPG

I love them 🙂

Being new to sock knitting I am not overly familiar with the kitchener stitch required to close the toe and I was constantly having to refer to the internet for guidance. That is until I found the most handy little thing ever, a kitchener stitch key ring! How useful is this? It’s from the Rosie’s Moments Etsy store.

Kitchener stitch

I have also cast on the gorgeous Norrland Hat by Sara Burch. It’s an absolutely beautiful pattern and I am really enjoying making it, although as it’s stranded knitting it’s quite slow progress for me. I cast on last weekend and I just couldn’t put it down, it’s so addictive just waiting to see what the next row will add to the pattern…here is a candlelight shot taken at 2am…

Norrland Hat Progress

And here is a more recent shot. I’m on the decreases now so it should be off the needles by tomorrow 🙂

Norrland Hat

I have also cast on the Helix socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes using the two at a time toe up method. It took me a few attempts to get the cast on, it’s the Judy’s Magic Cast on and it looks ok, however I am not overly happy with the increases. The book suggests using half hitch increases but for some reason I just can’t seem to get the hang of these…

Toe up socks

Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for the best increases to use for toe up socks? If so I would love to hear them…

Happy knitting! x


25 thoughts on “Hats and Socks”

  1. I was going to recommend toe up when you wrote about the Kitchener stitch, but I see you found them. 🙂 The increase I use for toe up socks is one I don’t know the name of, but can tell you how to do it. When you come to the place for the increase, increase by picking up the stitch from a row below the one you are working on. It won’t create a hole as picking up the bar can, or a lump like knitting two in the same stitch can do. For right leaning, pick up one below the stitch you just worked, for left leaning, pick up one below the next stitch to be worked. Does that make sense?

      1. good luck! I will try to find my sock book and see if I can get a name for you so that you can get more clear instructions… 🙂

  2. And Oops! Forgot to say how much I love that norrland hat – it is lovely! the socks look toasty and warm as well, and I love how the stripes line up!

  3. Love all your projects- hope the 3rd time will be lucky on your man hat
    OK I need your honest unbiased opinion …I have NEVER knitted socks but I’d really like to have a whirl at them – on a scale of 1-10 how difficult did you find them ?? after reading your post I realised I do know how to do the Kitchener stitch & I even understand the half hitch increase…has the time come for me to cast on socks ????

    1. Thank you 🙂 Oh yes I definitely think you should give socks a go! Both pairs I have made so far have been in aran weight yarn which have made the whole learning process far less daunting. The pattern I used was for cuff down socks and they knit up quite quickly, and it was a great way to get to grips with the structure. I only have a paper copy of the pattern I used, but I’ll contact the company I bought the kit from and ask them if it is available online as I can highly recommend it.

      1. You might just have given me the push to give socks a whirl, if the pattern you recommend is available on line I’d love to know

  4. Lots of lovely projects. Love the socks in the Countess Ablaze and the Norrland hat is gorgeous, Shame you’ve had to frog the other hat again. You must be getting a wee bit sick of it :-(.

  5. I am determined to knit a pair of socks before I die and the two together toe up ones have piqued my interest ………….. though your urbex ones look delicious too. Can I tell you how much I LOVE that Norrland hat? Probably only by saying I love it so much I would be prepared to have a go at doing some stranded knitting myself!! And that skill hasn’t made it to my want to do list even!! You guys are going to be so togged up and warm for your trip – please take photos of hats in situ and have the most wonderful time!! xoxo

    1. Thanks Pauline 🙂 The pattern for the urbex socks is a great one to start with, I’ll let you know if I can find a copy online. I can’t wait to finish the Norrland hat, typically the weather here is very mild at the moment so it’s a good job we are going somewhere cold so I can show it off! Thanks for your lovely wishes, I can’t wait now and don’t worry, there will be LOTS of photos! 🙂 xx

  6. Both your hats are such beauties! As for socks, firstly well done for trying new methods! Sock knitting rules! 🙂
    I prefer knitting my socks using the toe-up method. Judy’s magic cast on gives a smoother seam than the Kitchener’s. Also you can’t run out of yarn with your toes uncovered! You just make your socks sorter. For the increases, I knit front and back the same stitch. No holes this way 😉

    1. Thank you! Sock knitting is a whole new knitting world for me, but I’m learning lots and of course enjoying the end results 🙂 I like the kfb increase method and it’s the one I use in most other projects. I wanted to try something different for socks but I may well revert back to it if I can’t find another one I like as much!

  7. Ooooh, I love that Urbex colourway! It knitted up beautifully too… I bet you can’t wait to take all these gorgeous woollies for a test drive! Good luck with take 3 on the beanie, I’m sure it will be third time lucky 😃

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