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

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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.


A huge thank you to everyone who has been in touch since the last episode. Please note that the info@shinybees email is not working; if you want to contact me, use shinybeesinfo@gmail.com instead please.

Enablers’ Corner is now a permanent segment in the podcast, after much encouragement by all you lovely listeners. Expect this to bee a weekly occurrence to enable you in all aspects of your knitty and crafty life.

Edinburgh Yarn festival is a week closer. After chatting about special projects in the past episode, I was alerted to the presence of a special projects thread in the EYF Ravelry group, if you’d like to check it out.

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Enablers’ Corner

Enabling this episode is again inspired by the wonderful folk over at Stash Heap Challenge on Ravelry. When faced with the realisation that I am a knitting 80%er, I went in search of the knowledge from them, and knowledge they did provide. There were some fantastic tips on how to audit your wips to decide what fate needs to befall them. Clue: If it’s feather or fun fur yarn and you aren’t going to finish it – bin it! Also suggested was the use of a spreadsheet system for prioritising your wips according to separate distinct criteria, which was another favourite of mine to avoid confirmation bias.

Tips for reinvigorating the project once it has stalled include working on it for only ten minutes a day, until such a point that you make enough progress to be motivated by it again. Also, taking the oldest project with you when you go away, so that is all you have to work on. Finally, swatching and planning for the next project was suggested as a way to encourage you through that last 20% whilst giving you all the excitement of a new cast on.

Huge thanks to all the Stash Heap Ravellers who offered advice and information on this topic. Following their guidance, I’ve already managed to wip down one project and almost another. I’m feeling in control!

Octarine Sock Yarn by The Knitting Goddess and Octarine Socks by Rachel Coopey ready to go!

Octarine Sock Yarn by The Knitting Goddess and Octarine Socks by Rachel Coopey ready to go!

The Sock Surgery with Clare Devine and Kate Read: Casting On

Enough about death. Let’s talk about socks.

The Surgery returns and this week it’s all about different methods to cast on for knitting socks. Kate has previously tried the Knitted cast on and for socks, the Long-Tail cast on.

Clare recommends the German Twisted cast on as a great go-to for casting on for all kinds of socks. The perfect balance of structure and stretch, it’s a variation on the Long-Tail.

Clare also mentions using Alternate Cable cast on. Check out Woolly Wormhead’s excellent collection of PDF tutorials here.

Sock Surgery Agony Aunt

A new listeners’ questions section, which you can submit questions for in the Ravelry thread. This week the question from ‘lisagd’ on Ravelry focussed on adjusting the pattern to accommodate a narrow heel.

My question is about adjusting the width of a heel. My heels are narrow compared to the front of my foot, so the heel always end up feeling too loose. I normally do a heel flap, so if Clare can tell me where to make changes and how to figure out how many stitches to adjust, that would be really helpful.

Clare recommended the use of a half-hankerchief heel. Cookie A’s ‘Sock Innovation’ also contains a full list of stitch count tables to assist with figuring out exactly how many to change.


That’s all for this week. Join us in casting on for the first sock of this year, the cuff down heel flap construction. Lots of patterns to choose from.

As always, feedback and comments are always appreciated. Feel free to contact me at shinybeesinfo@gmail.com. If you particularly enjoyed the episode, please consider leaving an iTunes review to help others find the podcast too. Enjoy!

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