Episode 27: Toe Up or Cuff Down Socks and a Review of WTF Knits

Hello and welcome to all new and returning listeners, especially those who came over from A Playful Day. Welcome to the show! It’s a yarn, comedy and sock knitting palooza this episode, as we review WTF Knits and welcome Clare and Kate for the Sock Surgery.


The pantomime opened last weekend and we have another three shows to come this weekend. If you’re not familiar with pantomime, you can find out an explanation here. It’s a bit of a British thing.

For the catsuit pervs:

Catsuit pervs

And a pantomime wink. This is essential. As is the ironic thigh slap. It’s a Thing.

Pantomime Wink

For those of you who love the pattern pick, I did a special guest segment for Green Triangle Girl of A Playful Day in Episode 71. If you want some Santa themed fun and are partial to fun fur trimmed knickers, get on over there. As always you can find the patterns in my queue on Ravelry.

A big thanks to all of you who have sent me links this past couple of weeks to Baby Louis. He is indeed crocheted and not knitted as I had said. My life is complete.

Well, it was, until I received my wonderful swap parcel from PokedaGoblin and now my life is truly complete.

Best Toilet Roll Cover Ever

The Golden Skein

The inspiration photo was courtesy of Linyihan via Flickr, used with kind permission.

The yarns are here (attempts to stop dribbling)

All 3 yarns from Quarter 4 of The Golden Skein's Power of 3 Yarn Club

All 3 yarns from Quarter 4 of The Golden Skein’s Power of 3 Yarn Club

Knitsch Yarns of New Zealand, dyed by Tash Barneveld, onto their Merino Sock base, which is 100% New Zealand Merino coming in at 334m per 100g. Her colour way is called “Gunpowder, Treason, Plot.”

Knitsch Yarns Merino Sock in "Gunpowder, Treason, Plot"

Knitsch Yarns Merino Sock in “Gunpowder, Treason, Plot”

BaT’at Hand Dyed Yarns, dyed by Sherry over in Yorkshire. Ilkley Moor BaT’at is a song. The yarn is dyed onto her Doe sock base, 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon and 400m per 100g. The colour way is called “Hullabaloo.”

BaT'at Hand Dyed Yarns Doe Sock in "Hullabaloo"

BaT’at Hand Dyed Yarns Doe Sock in “Hullabaloo”

Finally we have the delicious jewel tones of Eden Cottage Yarns‘ Titus base, hand dyed in Yorkshire by Victoria, who you will have heard being interviewed at Unwind during episode 21. Titus is 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Silk at 400m to 100g. This colour way is called “Night-time Cityscape.”

Eden Cottage Yarns Titus in "Night-time Cityscape"

Eden Cottage Yarns Titus in “Night-time Cityscape”

Go over and check them out and see if there is anything that takes your fancy. If you do want one of our skeins, there are a couple left and you can get them here at The Golden Skein.

Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

We’re running a KAL to celebrate our first year in The Golden Skein. We’ve teamed up with Clare Devine – who does indeed design patterns for things that are not socks, but not often! – and commissioned a pattern which was our gift to our subscribers. Everyone can join in though and the pattern is available for general sale now on Ravelry. All you will need is 400m of fingering weight yarn and you can choose whether or not you wish to bead the lace edging. It’s a really versatile pattern that will cope with most dye techniques and is a great way to use your Golden Skeins, no matter where they come from. Every day should be a Golden Skein day. The pattern is called “Kunye” which means “one” in Zulu, and is a crescent shaped shawl with a beaded lace border.

The Kunye Shawl, Designed by Clare Devine for TGSONEKAL and modelled by the fabulour Jess of Ginger Twist Studio.  Image Copyright Clare Devine, All Rights Reserved.

The Kunye Shawl, Designed by Clare Devine for TGSONEKAL and modelled by the fabulour Jess of Ginger Twist Studio.
Image Copyright Clare Devine, All Rights Reserved.

I am going to be using Five Moons Diana in the colour way “Fools’ Gold.” This is a 50% Merino, 50% Silk blend and it needs to be freed! My beads will be Miyuki Triangle 5/0.

Miyuki Triangle 5/0 in colour 1107.

Miyuki Triangle 5/0 in colour 1107.

Full details can be found over at The Golden Skein on Ravelry. Cast on is 20th December 2014 and we will give out prizes on 1 Mar 2014, so plenty of time to come and join us after you have finished your Christmas knitting.

WTF Knits by Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet Review

Book Review: WTF Knits by Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet

Published by Bantam Press, RRP £7.99. Available at Amazon.

“A hilarious collection of the weirdest knitting you’ll ever see! Forget scarves and bobble hats. Here are some woollen wonders that will really blow your mind…

For the last four years, Gabrielle Grillo has been scouring the web for the most bizarre knitted items she can find. In this hysterically funny book, she has collected the very best of her finds. from a knitted Christmas turkey cosy to woolly vomit, they have to be seen to be believed.

After you’ve read WTF Knits and stitched your sides back together, you might just be inspired to dust off your needles, dig out your balls of wool and knit something downright odd yourself.”

What do I think?

It’s a great little book for a stocking filler. Lots of pictures with funny captions mean it is sure to be a hit at knit night and can be enjoyed by knitters and crocheters and non fibre folk alike. Also a fun Secret Santa gift. If you want the actual patterns for these hilarious items, you aren’t going to find them here, unfortunately, and that’s my criticism of the book. It has the image credits but not links to the pattern.

If you like comedy patterns, give @Knitwearwankers a follow.

Thanks to Tessa Henderson at Transworld Publishers for sending this book for review.

If you would like to win a copy of WTF Knits, leave a comment below to be entered into a random draw. Competition closes on 7th January.

Sock Anatomy_baby socks_sock blockers

Sock Surgery

This week it is all about direction. Not One Direction, mind. Should you go for cuff down or toe up? There are benefits and drawbacks to each method, as you would expect, and again it is all about personal preference.

Cuff down is a great place to start as you cast on and knit a tube, so no fiddling about to do initially and it gives you chance to get into the swing of knitting in the round with your chosen implements. Toe up gives the advantage of being able to try on as you go – although you can try cuff down as you go in fairness – but toe up socks allow you to use the maximum amount of your yarn with ease.

Different sock heels are useful for different kinds of feet, although the same types of heels tend to be used with either toe up or sock down.

Clare sings the praises of the German Twisted Cast On as a good option for cuff down socks.

9inch circular, 15cm DPN and fixed circular comparison

9inch circular, 15cm DPN and fixed circular comparison

Feedback on the Needles

We also chatted through our feedback we received regarding what sort of needles to use for sock knitting. Thanks to everyone who took the time to contact us with their opinion, it is much appreciated!

Libby over at Truly Myrtle did a great blog post about her experience of using 9″ circular needles, which is well worth a read.

Lots of people were giving love to magic loop for socks, and probably an equal amount for DPNs.

Which do you prefer? Cast your vote!

Clare mentioned the Addi Colibri needles, which you can find over at Tangled Yarn.

We have been sent a set of asymmetric 9″ circulars by Rachel of Tangled Yarn to try. Look out for this review in a future episode when we have had chance to try them properly!


That’s all for this week. Don’t forget, there are still giveaways open from Episode 25 and Episode 26 that you can enter until 22 December 2014. Don’t miss out!

Please feel free to contact me with any feedback, I love to hear from listeners. If you have any questions for the Sock Surgery, don’t be shy!

Thanks for listening. In episode 28 we will have a review of a fabulous new knitting collection that has just been released.

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