All rights reserved. © Tiina Arponen, MUITA IHANIA, 2016.
One morning before Christmas I felt I’d fancy a new pair of woolen socks, even though I really didn’t need one. I was sitting on the edge of my bed and there were two big bundles of higher, muitaihaniaish socks that I had made during the past few winters (1 & 2) and it was +10 degrees outside. So while hanging around and browsing Facebook I spotted a status update by a friend of mine about a woolen sock advent calendar. She praised them and included a picture as well, how lovely! This friend of mine hadn’t knitted at all in decades, or at least after her teenage years. She started again last year and has since knitted like 50 pairs!
I’m so proud of her, since I’ve probably been more of the knitter of the two of us, for sure actually, but she’s probably already past me when it comes to the number of woolen socks we’ve made! Hey there lovely Minna! So, where was I… yeah, I figured out I want to make socks in a similar way, finishing a bit after bit, each one of them a surprise, and (hopefully) accompanied by many other knitters at the same time. So that’s where I got the idea from… I wish a warm welcome to every knitter, it’s time to start knitting the Muita Ihania Woolen Socks for the winter! And to make things even more luxury, this woolen sock thing is international: it comes in English as well! Yay! For two weeks from now on, I will post a new piece of instructions every day for the next step. So you can take it day by day or save it for a full session. One sock at a time, or both.
There are no precise rules, just follow your intuition. I’ll share the pattern and of course, most importantly haha, the very own hashtag #muitaihaniavillasukat. So dig into your baskets of yarn and needles (at this point you can leave this page open, the instructions will stay where they are). So here we go, welcome aboard!
What you need is yarn in different colours and in thickness suitable for a 4mm double pointed needle. Then you need a pair of 4mm double pointed needles. The instructions are for a pair suitable for a woman, but feel free to make less or more stitches for children or men. However, make sure the patterns are counted to match exactly the number of stitches you make. You choose the colours of the yarn, but in the instructions I’m using the colours I used for my own socks. Make 48 stitches with mint green and divide them among two needles. Begin with a twisted rib: *K1 from the back of the stitch and P1 regularly, repeat *-*. Knit the rib for eight rounds. We’ll take it from there and continue soon, bye then!
I just love how many of you knitters came along! Just a few more things before we get properly going. So, the socks have 48 loops according to these instructions, and the motif is eight loops wide. Hence, it’s good to check if my tension fits yours by knitting a swatch, then changing the number of loops if needed. This also depends on the thickness of your yarn, of course. I knitted my socks with several different yarns, around 3,5 – 4,5 mm. So I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
Tension: width 10 cm = 19 loops, height 10 cm = 22 rows.
I also added some drawings and paintings of motif. Then I realised, too late, that the pictures were upside down, since the pattern is shown the way you would wear the socks, not the way you would knit it, from top to bottom. So the more technical pictures at the end of the post are the “official” ones. Fortunately, you can also see the direction of the pattern from my sock. And who knows if one of you finds the artistic picture more helpful, so let’s just keep everything visible. So bye then from justatinybitgoofyknittergirl, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
After the twisted rib, take some white and dark green yarn. The pattern is the good old gingerbread bump thing that I’ve used many times before. This stage lasts for nine rows: start with two plain ones, then the pattern rows, then two plain ones again. Don’t cut the yarn. See you tomorrow!
Ps. There will be some two-coloured knitting, so remember to keep the float stitches on the wrong side loose enough. Spreat the loops to the right width before changing the colour!
Today, take some light purple yarn together with the white one, and knit some nice circles there according to the instructions.
Today, you’re going to need some beige (yes, beige! my all time least favourite colour, beige!) (or maybe it’s closer to desert sand or peach brownish) and black yarn. First, knit two plain rows, then the pattern, and again two plain rows after the pattern. Don’t cut the yarn, come again tomorrow!
And who would have thought, the good old gingerbread bumps again today. With mint green. Two plain rows after the pattern, as always.
Ok, so today we are not taking the easy way out: this time we’re doing some proper two-coloured knitting. Hope the pictures of the motif are clear enough! Have fun!
Today we are going to knit an easy row of little rounds. The pattern is easy, white rounds on a beige background. As usual, knit two plain rows before and after the pattern. Cut the yarns, take a purple yarn, and knit the rib rows for the ankle while you’re at it. Begin with one plain row and continue with six rows the same way you started the sock: right loop through the back and the purl regularly. And tadaa, all done for today, yes!
It’s time to knit the heel and grab a dark green yarn. I have a knitted a short row heel for this motif according to these (only in Finnish) instructions, but you can knit the heel by any instructions you like. I found a very nice video (also in Finnish only), which gives clear instructions for a short row heel. So even if you have never knitted a heel, I’m sure you’ll be fine with it. I really wanted to make a video of my own or some other super tutorial for knitting the heel, but honestly, I just didn’t have the time. Luckily others have made some!
Once you’ve knitted the heel part, knit three plain rows with green yarn and continue with the lovely gingerbread bump pattern. Note! The number of loops is the same at this stage as in the leg of the sock. The patterns have been adjusted for 48 loops. If you like, you can make decreases, but then the number of loops in the patterns doesn’t match the same way so you should be aware of that. Back again tomorrow, cheerio!
Now we’re going to make rectangles with two different colours. First, knit two plain rows with beige, then a purple rectangle, and after three rows, continue with mint green. You can see the motif better in the picture. If you follow these instructions, the sock will be about size 38, but if your foot is smaller, you can leave out some rows already, just knit one row before the two-coloured knitting and then one after.
Guess what, it’s time for the last patterns of two-coloured knitting before shaping the toe. I knitted the pattern with mint green on white background. I like to keep the colours light in this part of the sock, the only problem is that you can’t see the pattern too well. If you want to make it stand out more, use more contrast between the yarns. However, you should see the pattern clearly enough from the chart. You can knit only one plain row before the two-coloured knitting pattern in this part as well, if you want to make the sock smaller than size 38. We’ll continue tomorrow with the toe, you’re almost there.
I hope you’ve enjoyed knitting the sock and that the outcome is to your liking. So all we have to do today is shape the toe. Here’s how I did it: at the end of the first double pointed needle I knitted two together by passing slip stitch over. At the end of the second double pointed needle I knitted two together knitwise. Then passed slip stitch over at the end of the third needle and knitted two together knitwise at the beginning of the fourth needle. When there were eight loops left altogether, I cut the yarn and passed it through the remaining loops. Of course you can shape the toe how you like, there are many choices.
By the way, you can still adjust the size of the sock at this point: if your foot is larger than size 38 and you’ve been knitting by the instructions, add a few rows before the toe. See you tomorrow for my favourite stage: finishing and admiring!
Finishing has got to be my favourite stage. This is where you get the chance to slowly start admiring the result, knowing that soon you will have brand new, smooth socks made with love in your feet. I rarely pay attention to the loose ends of yarn inside the sock during knitting. They are free to sail along until the sock is ready. This is why there might be some loose loops visible in the pictures of yet unfinished socks, I just haven’t done anything to them yet. Not until we get to this stage. Turn the socks inside out and bind off the ends of the yarn so that they cannot be seen (I do this by zigzagging for about 10 cm, attaching loose yarns to the sock) and tighten the loose loops at the same time. Then turn the socks back the right way. The next stage you can also make the way you like, here’s how I did it. Wet the socks properly, soaking wet. Gently squeeze off the excess water, wrap a towel around them and press. After this, place the socks on a kitchen towel or a gauze, shape them and leave them dry in an airy spot. Tadaa! When the socks are dry, all the work is done, all you have to do is look at them with a smile on your face and put them in your feet.
While binding off the ends of the yarn I was wondering, why I prefer my socks a bit loose, knitted with thick needles. I ended up thinking about my grandma Olga, who taught me how to knit at the beginning of the 90s. She knitted regular socks with one or two stripes, sitting on her rocking chair. I admired her. The first socks I knitted at school were made of yarn, they were long, coloured knitting and I wore them a lot. I had a long skirt, and in the winter I wore the woolen socks underneath it inside out, so that I could turn the right side on my combat boots. So there they were, twinkling under the long skirt. How 90s! For some reason, those socks ended up to my other grandma, Betty. I can’t remember how she got them, maybe she just asked for them since she had rheumatism and needed socks that were easy to wear. She had them for many years, until one day I got them back. I still have them somewhere in the drawers, and there’s not a single hole on them after all these years. So, a couple of sock stories there. This reminds me, that stories about my socks can also be found from Mummokirja by Henna-Kaisa Sivonen. Recommended!
Then, the most important part. Thank you very much for joining me in knitting the woolen socks! This was an amazing thing, and I still can’t quite believe how many people rose to the challenge. There were over 700 pictures under the #muitaihaniatalvisukat hashtag when I checked this morning, many of them finished already. There were many colour combinations as well, from gaudy colourful ones to simple two-coloured, from light colours to grey shades. The instructions had been modified to fit different sizes of feet, many different yarns had been used, some left over yarns taken into good use, new ones bought… Someone wrote, that they wonder if the shops have run out of yarn because of this. The socks had been made with such enthusiasm, that many other pairs of socks, mittens, woolly hats and even a baby cardigan were made with the same pattern. At the end of the day, before going to bed, I always checked, read and liked the pictures under the hashtag and even shed a couple of tears for the joy of this project inspiring so many knitters. Some people made their first socks since secondary school, some had their first ever experience of two-coloured knitting, for some this was therapy for the dark January and one new mother said it was a pity to leave the project half done because she had to deliver the baby! I want to thank everyone commenting on the blog and the ones who spotted my mistakes in the instructions and the charts. What can I say, thank you, you are amazing!
Ps. You know what, let’s take a little break from all the knitting, let our shoulders rest, because there’s more to come! Stay tuned!