Many Sock Sizes

We’re so happy to offer our famous Matching Socks Sets in multiple sizes now! We always thought most women’s sock patterns used a whole 100g skein of yarn (about 400 yards), but as more people began knitting the socks sets, we noticed that often a color was missing from the finished project. Of course, using a toe-up sock pattern helps with that because you can just bind off whenever you’re done, but still, people seemed to be getting awfully tall socks.

Some of us have un-dainty feet, and a whole sock set was definitely needed to make a nice mid-calf sock. But some of us have normal-sized women’s feet, and some can even wear kids’ shoe sizes. So we put our heads together and came up with a solution. We now offer all of our Gradient and Gradient Stripes Matching Sock sets in three sizes.

Small socks set – approximately 200 yds/set. Perfect for wristwarmers, children’s socks/mittens or women’s anklets. This set of Hunter Hammersen’s A Lady is Known wristers were made with a small sock set.

 

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Medium socks set – approximately 300 yds/set. For women’s mid-calf socks sizes 5-10, women’s mittens, Men’s size 6-8 or kids’ knee socks. The Medium is now our go-to sock size for women. If you’re a Size 7 like Tashi, you’ll get perfect mid-calf socks from these two matching cakes. All of the colors are dyed so that the gradient is perfectly proportioned and you own’t miss any colors!

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Because the Medium sets are less expensive than the Large, that basically means we’ve lowered our prices on women’s socks!

Below you can see the difference between the two. These were knit with the same size foot, approximately a women’s size seven. Use the Medium for a perfect women’s mid-calf sock fit. If you’re a women’s size 10 or larger, the Large is the right choice for you. If you want a taller sock and you have smaller feet, use the Large for knee highs.

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Large socks set – approximately 400 yds/set. Women’s size 11-13, Men’s size 9-11, men’s mittens or women’s knee socks.This is me (a women’s Size 10) wearing the Large sock set. There’s still plenty of length there even with a longer foot. Note that the socks in the photo above have a folded-over hem, so are actually an inch or so taller than shown if you knit them with a ribbed cuff, like in the photo below.

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You can now choose the Small, Medium or Large sizes for every one of our Dyed-to-Order colors! Just find the color you’d like and choose the sock sets from the Size of Item drop-down menu. Here’s the As You Wish Medium sock set, for example.

We know it can seem counter-intuitive to look for socks in the listings for regular Panoramic Gradients, so we created special Collections on the webpage with the Gradient Matching Socks Sets (long stripes) and Gradient Stripes Sock sets (short stripes).  Both of those kinds of sock sets are dyed to match down to the stitch and are dyed in continuous gradients, so you just cast one and knit, no need to change balls or weave in pesky ends.

You lovely knitters asked us for more sizes, and you got it!!!!!

Happy knitting,

Jaala

 

 

Go, Sports Knitting!

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It’s football season again, and some of us at Knitcircus are super excited! Mainly Shari; Shari is in charge of every step of keeping track of and shipping out orders. Shari works really hard and doesn’t ask for much, so when she talked, I listened! So, for Shari, Cindy and all of you wonderful football, fans, we have new Team Colors Gradient Stripes!

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We’re in Madison, WIsconsin, home of the UW-Madison Badgers, so every weekend around now the whole town starts sporting red and white. We were so excited to get these colors out, that we didn’t have time to knit up socks! Shari whipped up the mini-scarves on a knitting machine.

Shari and I had a Sock-Off to try to see who could knit more in one evening. She won!

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Here’s the start of my Badger Tracks socks!

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And Shari’s Lambeau Leap!

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Here it is modeled by Shop Dog Sasha….

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So if you’re a Packer Backer, check out Lambeau Leap! All of our Team Colors (two-color sock sets) will be expedited and dyed within the next two weeks if you want to get them in hand for your gameday knitting!

Take care and have a wonderful weekend,

Jaala

New Stripes, New Shop, New KAL

Wow, Knitters,

I’ve got so much that’s new and exciting to share with you! it’s hard to know where to start.

New Shop

First, and very big news to us: we have our own Knitcircus Yarns web store now! You can purchase 100g Gradients, 150g Gradients, Matching Socks Sets and Gradient Stripes Socks right from our site now. Whooo! Big props to Webmistress Cindy for her hard work getting it all prepared for you.

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New Stripes

The new Gradient Stripes socks are flying off of our virtual shelves, and I’m dyeing them up as quickly as I can so that you can start playing with them! We sent many, many packages out the door in the last two days, so if you live nearby, you may have your sock sets in hand soon! More are heading out today because we really want you to be able to knit with them.

New Knitalong

We can’t wait to see what you’re knitting, so we’ve started a KAL in the Knitcircus Group to bring everyone together to share and enjoy progress on their Gradient Stripes socks. We’ll have weekly prizes and surprises, and Webmistress Cindy is putting together a list of good sock patterns to use. Just post progress pics in the progress thread to be eligible to win! Note: if you would like to work the KAL with original Matching Socks Sets gradients, of course you can!

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Webmistress Cindy has already knitted most of her first sock! She knits fast. She’s using a prototype for the Sand Castle colorway that has a little less contrast in the blue section than the for-sale colorway will.

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Susie Anderson’s finished sock so intrigued me that I wanted to try the Tropical Sunset colorway for myself.

Gradient Stripes Giveaway!

Speaking of Susan B Anderson, she’s doing a fun giveaway on her blog right now, in fact, two giveaways for the new Gradient Stripes Socks! She talks about the yarns and shows her finished sock on her video podcast, and has a really creative idea for the giveaways. It’s so fun that she’s doing videocasts now, because Susie’s personality just shines and she’s one of the dearest people I know. I’m so lucky to live near her, but now knitters in far-flung places get to be charmed by her, too!

Bye, Bye, Baseball

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In kid news, Lil Buddy’s fall baseball season wrapped up; unfortunately, he hurt his hand right before the last day of play, but still had a blast with his fall tournament team. What a talented and fun bunch of kids.The World Series starts next week, so that will be the last hurrah. I can’t wait to make the traditional homemade caramel corn….

It warms the cockles of my heart that he still wears my handknits in public; above he’s sporting two-years-ago’s Gryffindor hat. 🙂 Belle has a new hat, a variation on the Valentina I made for her last year, but I haven’t gotten to snap a pic yet.

Happy Friday Pet Pics

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Of course, I couldn’t have a blog post without including some cute pet pics! Sasha and Squeak are good friends and enjoy napping together when they’ve worn themselves out chasing and play-fighting.

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Buppa purchased an early holiday present for Lil Buddy; new ski boots! And Squeak got the box.

Announcing: Gradient Stripes Sock Yarns!

Hi, Knitters,

Have I got some big news to share with you! We’ve been working on this for weeks and weeks and finally get to tell you about our brand-new Gradient Stripes Sock Yarns!

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Mulberry Street Gradient Stripe; photo by Elizabeth Morrison

Sock knitters have told us that they really enjoy our long-striping Matching Socks gradients, but they wished for something that would move along a little faster, so we listened. We’ve developed a unique dyeing process to bring you the enjoyment of long-striping gradients paired with short, fun-to-knit stripes. Sock knitters asked for a gradient sock with shorter stripes, and we’ve delivered!

Our office manager, Chris, identified a new approach to dyeing and with many different experiments, I figured out how to make it work. The main color of the sock will slowly change as you knit, from almost completely one color to almost completely another.

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Come What May Gradient Stripe; photo: Elizabeth Morrison

We’re really excited about this, and are pretty sure we’re the only ones offering a sock that both stripes every few rows and changes color over the life of the project. The yarn does it all for you; no having to change yarns or weave in ends or slipping stitches at the beginning of the round.

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photo: Elizabeth Morrison

Of course, so many ideas started hopping around in my head like little chicks as soon as we got the technique in place, because the new medium allows me to present highly contrasting colors and play with just a few shades as well as subtle shifts between many colors as in our usual Matching Socks Sets.

Just like our original Matching Socks sets, all of the Gradient Stripe Sock Sets come as two separate 50-gram cakes, already wound and ready to use. Just like their counterparts, every single stitch and stripe will be mirrored exactly in both socks. We’re offering them in our two most popular fingering yarn bases, Opulence (Merino/nylon/cashmere, 420 yards in the set) and Greatest of Ease, (Merino/nylon, 400 yards in the set).

Now, to introduce the colors!

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Andromeda Gradient Stripe; photo: Elizabeth Morrison

The Andromeda Gradient Stripe sock above translates the popular Andromeda colorway from the Corrina shawl into a gradient stripe. The smaller stripes slowly and subtly shift from sapphire blue to lake blue and end with a teal green. As we ramp up the Gradient Socks over the next few weeks, we’ll offer interpretations of all of our regular repeatable colorways.

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Candy Cane Gradient Stripe; photo: Elizabeth Morrison

The Candy Cane stripe was one of the first ones I tried. Last year around holiday time, I really wanted to make a candy-striped sock, but didn’t succeed; now my peppermint-sock dreams came true!

It doesn’t have to be Christmas-related; the color works very well as a team color, too; of course, in Madison, Wisconsin, the UW colors are red and white. So this one also looks very much like Go, Bucky to me. As more colors roll out, we’ll showcase lots of different team colors so you can make socks to cheer on your favorite school or pro ball team.

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The Great Pumpkin Gradient Stripe; photo: Elizabeth Morrison

The Great Pumpkin was lots of fun to dye, with such deep, contrasting colors. There’s just enough time to work these up before Halloween, and they make great team colors all year round (the Sow’s Ear’s town, Verona, sports orange and black).

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Hummingbird Gradient Stripe; photo: Elizabeth Morrison

Hummingbird is a fun one, and perfectly autumn-toned. The stripes work their way from moss green to steel blue to a deep plum.

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Mr. Tumnus Gradient Stripe; photo: Elizabeth Morrison

If you prefer subtlety or want to knit for a fashion-shy man, Mr. Tumnus will do the job perfectly; the stripes keep your knitting flying along, but the finished product looks nicely understated.

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Just and Loyal Gradient Stripe; photo: Elizabeth Morrison

Our next color isn’t understated at all! Just and Loyal is the first in our line of Harry Potter Hogwarts-house-inspired socks. We can’t wait until the others are ready for you!

Just and Loyal also works great to put  zip in your day if you simply like bumblebees or the fun of a high-contrast stripe.

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Mulberry Street Gradient Stripe; photo: Elizabeth Morrison

Our headliner and a very pleasing colorway to knit: Mulberry Street. Mulberry Street features a pink-red changing to Cabernet and then a gorgeous, saturated blue. Inspired by one of my favorite books as a kid; we had a mulberry tree in our yard growing up, and I always thought that Dr. Suess must have known about that. Knitting these stripes will definitely remind you of the magical possibilities all around if you  “keep your eyelids up, and see what you can see.”

Knitalong

We can’t wait to see what you knit with the Gradient Stripes, so we’re hosting a Gradient Stripes Knitalong in the Knitcircus Ravelry group. The KAL thread is open now, and you can start as soon as you receive Gradient Stripes to knit with! I’ll be dyeing them as fast as I can to get you started. 🙂 We’ll be talking about different toe-up and cuff-down patterns that work well with striping yarns. And, of course, there will be weekly prizes and surprises.

I’m so excited to finally get to share our new yarn line with you, and hope you’ll enjoy knitting with Gradient Stripes as much as I enjoy creating them!

Have a lovely weekend,

Jaala

Kirsten Kapur Collaboration

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photo: Kirsten Kapur for Through the Loops

What an exciting day! The wonderful Kirsten Kapur, of Through the Loops, collaborated with us so we can offer a special kit for her  new Puschkinia sock pattern. She ingeniously used the gradient to create a higher-contrast colorwork edging, then the colors slowly change and the contrast gets softer as the sock progresses.

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photo: Kirsten Kapur for Through the Loops

The kit is like the socks, bringing two different things together to form a harmonious whole. The whole in this case is the pattern, yarn, special treat and free shipping! So, to create the kit, you first go to the Through the Loops Ravelry Store and purchase Puschkinia, at the end of which is a coupon code for free shipping in the Knitcircus store. Then you purchase the Puschkinia kit, choosing any of the three colors Kirsten handpicked for her kit options. Choose from Pigeon, the soft blue Kirsten used, Emerald City or Fashion Week. Kirsten worked with the Thrilling yarn base, with Merino Superwash and silk, and you can choose that one or the Corriedale Sock, Greatest of Ease or USA-made Triumphant, since all have comparable yardage.

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Emerald City

 

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Pigeon
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Fashion Week

We were lucky enough to have Kirsten design socks with our yarns before; the gorgeous twist-stitch Reynard socks using the Bears Love Honey colorway. She’s so talented, it’s an honor to get to work with her, and I know you guys will love the pattern if you try it. Right now, Kirsten’s offering a Mystery KAL which looks like a blast! She just gave out the clue yesterday, so it’s the perfect time to join if you’re looking for a shawl to work up this summer.

Thanks so much to Kirsten for partnering with us, and have a great day, knitters!

Jaala

Using Gradients: Socks

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Stripy Socks

Making stripes in socks can be a challenge, unless you’re very familiar with the jogless jog technique, so clever knitters and yarnmakers have come up with lots of ways to create stripes using the yarn itself! Different yarns are made to give different striping effects, from just a few stitches of each color to long-striping yarns with just a few color changes.  We’ll focus on long-striping yarns in gradients today.

Gradients

The short answer for gradients and socks is: yes! A long-striping gradient (with say, 4-7 color changes over the whole sock) will show off any pattern just fine.  The length of the color blocks within the gradient should make it possible to see lace, cable or other patterning without visually breaking it up too much. Any repetitive stitch pattern  responds well to gradients.

Some favorite sock patterns to try:

Hermione’s Everyday Socks, by Erica Lueders

Monkey, by Cookie A.

Jeck and Zora, by Regina Satta, available as free Ravelry downloads

Nutkin, by Beth LaPensee,  from Knitzi.com

Spring Forward, by Linda Welch, from Knitty, Summer 2008

BFF sock, by Cookie A., from Knit.Sock.Love

Cuff-Down Socks

Because gradients themselves are so much fun to work, you may want to just stick with a basic, vanilla sock recipe to watch the colors unfold.

Sock recipes:

How I Make My Socks, by Susan B Anderson (on her blog)

Sock recipe: A Good Plain Sock, by Stephanie Pearl McPhee, from Knitting Rules

Basic Sock Pattern, by Ann Budd, in The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns

Choose Colors to Highlight Your Pattern

As with any yarn, the more subtle the stitch pattern, the better it will respond to a light color. Part of the reason textured Aran sweaters looks so great is their traditional cream color! So, if your heart desires a subtle knit-purl textured diamond pattern, you would be well-advised to choose a pale-blue-to-gray gradient over a maroon-to-black gradient.

Loving Lace

Very deep browns, blacks or navy are a hard sell for any textured pattern, but a graphic lace pattern will make any color look great.

Patterns to try:

Hedera, by Cookie A., from Knit.Sock.Love

Cadence Socks, by verybusymonkey, available as a free Ravelry download

Embossed Leaves, by Mona Schmidt, from Favorite Socks

The Secret Fan, by Adrienne Fong, from Bellybuttonknits Designs

Blackrose Socks, by Suzi Anvin, from Knitty, Winter 2008

Duckies, by Samantha Hayes, from Aquaknits site

Toe-Up Socks

Many of you are more familiar with cuff-down sock construction, but toe-up socks allow you to knit until all of your yarn is gone, which helps gradients tremendously.  If you’ve never tried toe-up socks before, I urge you to give it a go! You can try them on as you work, no grafting is needed, and you’ll get to enjoy every stitch of your gradient.

Patterns to try:

Gusset Heel Basic Socks, by Wendy D. Johnson, Socks from the Toe Up

Diagonal Lace Socks, by Wendy D. Johnson, Socks from the Toe Up

Serpentine Socks, by Wendy D. Johnson, from Socks from the Toe Up

Skew, by Dana Holden, Knitty, Winter 2009

Mojo, by Donyale Grant, Some Knitting Required site

Socks on a Plane, by Laura Linneman, from La La’s Knits

Crimple, by Michelle Hunter, from Knit Purl Hunter

Firestarter, by Yarnissima, from Yarnissima site

Afterthought Heel

If you do a sock pattern with an Afterthought Heel, your heels will be the same color as the toes of your sock, so you’ll have a gradient with contrasting heel.

Patterns to try:

Afterthought Heel Socks, by Laura Linneman, available as a free Ravelry download from La La’s Knits

Sweetheart Socks, by Nikol Lohr, Knitty Winter 2011

Frick-N-Frack, by Jenny Lee, from Jenny Lee Knits

Watching the colors change makes knitting with gradients go really fast. Have fun!

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What Would Madame DeFarge Knit Book Review and Giveaway

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 Heather Ordover knows her literature; the teacher and host of Craftlit Podcast has been helping knitters “Stick a Book in [Their] Ear[s]” for 274 episodes!

With her at the helm, this collection brings together designers inspired by literary figures from doomed lover Isolde to brave heroine Little Red Riding Hood to form-shifting Dr. Jekyll. The tone of What Would Madame DeFarge Knit blends a deep love of  the classics with a modern, irreverent spirit. While some designs, like Jane’s Ubiquitous Shawl, play it pretty straight with a historically-influenced lace pattern, others, like Frankenhood, offer a tongue-in-cheek project complete with light-up neck bolts.

With 21 accessory and garment patterns from socks to wraps to reversible cowls, there’s plenty to satisfy almost any knitter. My favorite is Chrissy Gardiner’s Wilhelmina Shawlette, a captivating triangular lace confection inspired by the heroine of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Heather and her contributors don’t confine themselves to knitting, tossing in a crochet pattern or two, a number of recipes, such as for spicy pumpkin soup, and related craft projects, like cutouts for a full shadow-puppet reenactment of Peter Pan’s Mermaid Lagoon, inspired by Victorian family amusements.

The book purposefully remains black-and-white, with woodcut illustrations; it works well to look up the patterns on Ravelry as you go to see the projects in their colorful glory. If you’ve ever been moved by words in a book, had a crush on a literary character or spent time mentally decorating Pemberley, this volume will speak to you.

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Cooperative Press, we have an electronic version of the book to give away!

TO ENTER
Please leave a blog comment about any of the following;

Your favorite project from the book

Which book might inspire you to design a pattern (not necessarily one that’s in this collection)

Another Cooperative Press title you’d like to check out as well as this one

How much you love Craftlit podcast (I know I do!)

The Random Number Generator will pick a pattern Monday morning, March 4th.

And Heather’s inspiration doesn’t stop with one book; watch for the companion volume, What (Else) Would Madame DeFarge Knit to hit shelves next month!

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Have a great weekend,

Jaala