Episode 35: Cast Offs For Socks

Sock Surgery Square

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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!

2 comments on “Episode 35: Cast Offs For Socks

  1. Andrea (pgknittingnurse) says:

    Randomly, if you turn your sock the other way and do Jeny’s bindoff from the inside you still get the stretch but way less of the frilly look.

    1. Shinybees says:

      Oooh thanks! Great top tip 🙂

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