Author: Shinybees

I'm a multi-crafter from the North West of England, living in South Africa.

Episode 35: Cast Offs For Socks

Sock Surgery Square

Listen here


Thanks for all the feedback following Kate Davies’ interview in Episode 34. Kate has some great Yokes tote bags in her shop at the moment. Consider yourselves enabled!

'Face Over The Forth' by Chris Combe, via Flickr.

‘Face Over The Forth’ by Chris Combe, via Flickr.

Enablers’ Corner

The Golden Skein have teamed up with Edinburgh Yarn Festival to create a special, one-off yarn club inspired by Edinburgh. Dubbed the ‘Linne Foirthe Club’, it will follow the standard format of the Power of 3 club from The Golden Skein. Three different hand dyers have been commissioned to create an exclusive colour way each, using the inspiration photo above as their starting point. This club is a great way to get a taste of the festival and the Scottish yarn scene if you are missing out this year, or equally it would be a wonderful souvenir, and you can narrow down your festival purchases to weights other than 4ply. This is my plan!

There are a very limited number remaining. You can claim your spot here.

The Sock Surgery

This week it’s all about casting off your socks as we end the first month of the Sock Surgery. Clare and Kate are back to discuss the different options available to you to when finishing your top-down socks.

Clare is initially completely confused by the concept of a side door. A side door is not a back door. A back door is on the back of the house. The side door is on the side of the house. Usually reserved for posh northerners who don’t live in a terraced row. There are no wiki links to explain this curious northern practice.

First up on the actual subject of socks is Kitchener stitch. Kate complained of getting little extra ‘ears’ of yarn at the start and end. Clare usually eliminates hers by pulling it through when weaving in the ends. Paula of Knitting Pipeline podcast talks about another method here.

Clare has done a great pdf download on Kitchener stitch which you can find here.

Everyone loves a video tutorial and here’s one from perennial favourite, The Knit Witch.

Joy of The Knitting Goddess published this great blog tutorial about how to do Kitchener stitch without a darning needle. Clever!

The other method to cast off your socks is to decrease to a point and cinch the end closed, like a hat. Essentially, this involves threading the yarn through the remaining stitches and pulling it tight.

When it comes to toe-up socks, the following cast-offs are briefly discussed. Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. This can turn out a little bit frilly looking, but it is definitely stretchy. Clare loves Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Sewn Bind Off, as it is easier to control the tension and removes the frill, whilst maintaining the stretch.

Agony Aunt

Our question this week comes from PokedAGoblin:

My question is about two at a time socks with magic loop.

I’ve made two pairs of two at a time socks now, and both times, when I have got to the heel, I have had to take them off the magic loop needle(s) and put them on dpns, to do the heels and then put them back on to the magic loop needle. I couldn’t figure out how to do the heels on magic loop. Both patterns happened to use a heel flap construction.

Clare recommends the following resources:

How to do heel flaps two at a time.

Great all round two at a time for toe up socks.

She also advocates just taking them off the magic loop and using another method if that is faster e.g. DPNs.

Tarsi Grande

Kate reflects on her first month of Sock Surgery

Kate’s been knitting Tarsi Grande by Clare Devine (shown above) in BaT’at Hand Dyed Yarns “Hullabaloo”, specially dyed for The Golden Skein in the Winter 2014 club.

It’s produced a really interesting effect in terms of the fact the texture is a little lost in the heavy variegation, however, the fact the sock is textured has played with the patterning of the yarn.

The Tarsi Grande sock uses a French Toe.


That’s all for this week. Come and join in the February chat in the new Sock Surgery chat thread on 19th February for the toe up sock fun.

Thanks for listening!

Episode 34: Making it as a Knitwear Designer – An Interview With Kate Davies

Kate Davies Yokes


This week we welcome writer and designer Kate Davies onto the show for her first ever podcast interview. Based in Scotland, just off the West Highland Way, Kate is a prolific designer, responsible for a number of indie design classics. She has also written for a number of publications as well as authoring two books of her own: Colours of Shetland (2012) and Yokes (2014).

Listen here


Episode 33: How to Fix Your Socks When They Go Wrong and a Review of 23cm Asymmetric Mini Circulars for Socks

Kinki Amibari Asymmetric Circular Needles. Image Copyright Tangled Yarn.

Kinki Amibari Asymmetric Circular Needles. Image Copyright Tangled Yarn.

It’s very socktacular this week with the return of the Sock Surgery. The show kicks off with a review of the 9.5″ (9″) / 23cm asymmetric circular needles from Kinki Amibari, kindly given for review by Rachel at Clare will also be reviewing these on her blog in the near future. My verdict: quite good fun for knitting socks, very disco handbag friendly. If you want to be in with a chance to win a set of these, head over to the Ravelry group to enter!


#FreeYourSkeins2015 Friday Pattern of the Week: ‘Artesian’ by Romi Hill

'Artesian' by Romi Hill. Image Copyright Romi Hill.

‘Artesian’ by Romi Hill. Image Copyright Romi Hill.

Perfect combination of form and structure

This week’s pattern of the week from #FreeYourSkeins2015 is ‘Artesian’ by Romi Hill. It’s easy to see why: flowing lace panels which stretch over the edge of the shawl, coupled with crisp stitch definition and the perfect balance between pretty and architectural in the detail.

It’s a versatile pattern that could cope with an array of semi solid yarns in a variety of bases. I do have many suitable yarns in the stash that would do this pattern justice.

'Ocean Deep' in Nurturing Fibres Supertwist Sock.

‘Ocean Deep’ in Nurturing Fibres Supertwist Sock.

I eventually opted for the Ocean Deep colour way from Nurturing Fibres, which was part of the Elements Club (vintage unremembered! Circa 2012/3 I would imagine). It’s a long repeat gradient dyed yarn, which I think could add an element of depth and interest to the piece, without overpowering the lace panels. The Supertwist sock is 100% high twist South African merino, which holds these saturated colours well, and is a little heavier that your average high twist base, which should allow it to drape nicely under its own weight.

What would you knit with this yarn?

Episode 32: Edinburgh Yarn Festival Scoop and How to be Enabled


I’m going. Are you?

It’s shaping up to be a big one, and the details are starting to be revealed more readily now. Listen on for some exclusive news and a giveaway of a pair of weekend tickets. Let the enabling begin!

Listen here


#FreeYourSkeins2015 Friday Week 3 Pattern of the Week: Atlantic Current Socks by Melissa Sibley

'Atlantic Current Socks' by Melissa Sibley. Image Copyright Melissa Sibley.

‘Atlantic Current Socks’ by Melissa Sibley. Image Copyright Melissa Sibley.

Free the variegated skeins!

It’s the third Free Your Skeins Friday and this week it’s all about socks, probably due in no small part to having cast on two pairs of socks this week: one for the Sock Surgery and one to review a set of teeny tiny Kinki Amibari needles for the podcast. This week’s choice of the ‘Atlantic Current Socks’ by Melissa Sibley is an homage to all the variegated yarn in my stash.


Episode 31: The Sock Surgery Casts On and How to WIP Down Your Projects

150110_Sock Surgery_banner

The big day has finally arrived and it’s all about casting on our first pair of socks of the Year of Socks. I’m looking forward to having lots of lovely socks to revisit this time next year. New to sock knitting? Come in, there’ll be lots of hints and tips for you. Seasoned veteran? Clare will be choosing some slightly more piquant patterns for you to peruse. Everyone is welcome and it’s avery relaxed, join in and out as you like kind of knitty fun.

Want to hear the chat this week? Listen here.