Monday 18 March 2019

4 Sock Patterns by Helen Kurtz

Images courtesy Helen Kurtz and Stylecraft Yarns

Today's post features sock designs by Helen Kurtz who has the popular knitting blog called Josie Kitten. I know Helen through the Blogstars group and over time I've see the number of her lovely knitted sock designs grow, so I thought I'd share some here. 

Helen has used "Head Over Heels" sock yarn by StylecraftThis yarn was specially developed to be durable enough for socks, but also light enough for knitters and crocheter's who like to make shawls. There are three versions of this yarn, each with at least 6 different colour ways. They are:

Composition: 75% super wash wool, 25% nylon
Ball weight: 100g
Length: 437yds/400m
Needle size: 2.25mm
Wash care: machine wash at 30 degrees

Helen's sock designs are free to download. 
Links to the downloads are at the end of each pattern description.

1. Tiptoe Sock Pattern

Image courtesy Stylecraft Yarns

These socks were designed for the ‘Head over Heels All Stars’ sock yarn. Rows of pretty tulips, a colourful reminder of the bulb fields of The Netherlands, make this a dainty design, suitable for both self-striping and gradient sock yarns.
The simple floral motif is an easy introduction to lace knitting, making these a great choice for the next step on from some plain vanilla socks.
Image courtesy Stylecraft Yarns

2. Miss Parminter sock pattern
Image courtesy Stylecraft Yarns

These socks were designed for the Boho Head over Heels range. The ribbing gives a comfortable fit while the lace adds a delicate touch to the pattern. 

They are named after Miss Parminter, the first recorded woman climber, who in 1799 was climbing in the Alps. The pattern works well with self striping yarns and gradient yarns. It is easy to memorise so would make a good sock to knit once you’ve tried a couple of plain pairs. The pattern is available in three sizes - small, medium and large adult - and a 100g ball of sock yarn will easily knit any of these sizes.

3. Foot Hold Socks

Image courtesy Helen Kurtz

This pattern was released to coincide with the launch of two  colours in Stylecraft Yarn’s Head over Heels sock yarn in March 2017 - Etna and Sugar Loaf. The yarns in this range are all named after mountains and inspiration for the pattern from the ridges that climbers use to get a foothold when climbing. These ridges gently ripple their way down the leg and foot, giving an interesting texture to the socks. 

The pattern works well with striping yarns, but would look equally good in a solid or semi-solid yarn. The pattern is easy to memorise so it’s perfect for both new sock knitters and those wanting to knit something other than a plain sock. 

Available in three sizes - small, medium and large adult.

Download Foot Hold free pattern leaflet.

4. First Tracks Socks

Image courtesy Helen Kurtz

So you’ve knitted a pair of plain vanilla socks and want to try something a little more spicy? First Tracks is the perfect introduction to patterned socks. The easy to memorise pattern adds a little interest to a plain sock. Like making the first tracks on newly fallen snow, 'First Tracks' will ease you into the world of patterned socks as you make your own tracks down the rows of knitting! Released in September 2016, this pattern would also look great in any self-striping sock yarn. 

The pattern has lots of negative ease so it’s a great pattern for gift knitting too! The ribbed pattern works well as an everyday sock for both men and women.

Download First Tracks free pattern leaflet.

More details about Helen's sock designs can be found on her Ravelry designers page.

Find Helen on the web here:

Instagram @josiekitten

Thursday 14 March 2019

Pool Shawl Pattern

The shawl pattern I designed specially for Head Over Heels All Stars yarn is now available from Stylecraft website free (link at the end of the post). You can read about this yarn and how it was inspired in an earlier post I wrote here.

Here are some details about the yarn:
75% super wash wool
25% nylon
100g ball weight
needle size 2.25mm
machine washable at 30 degrees

Inspired by colours in the "Swimming Pool" painting, this is how the 'Pool' yarn looks close up. The wool blend is durable for socks but light enough for making knitted or crochet shawls.

Click on the link below to download the free pattern.

Monday 11 March 2019

Woodland Walk Notebook

At the weekend I attended the Stylecraft Blogstars seasonal meet up at Slaithwaite in West Yorkshire. It was lovely to catch up with the group, share updates and participate in various activities.

The Saturday afternoon craft session was lead by designer Juliet Bernard and featured hand stitched notebooks. We'd all been invited to make a cover in advance of the weekend.

Inspiration for my book cover began earlier this year. In January, I went on a lovely winter, woodland walk through the Beinne Eighe National Nature Reserve in Scotland. The reserve is a special place for wildlife, scenery and geology. 

Even on that cold, damp, January day among the pine trees, heathers, mosses and lichen, inspiration for a knitting project was found.

I had in mind to use up small amounts of Batik DK yarn. The yarn has a wide range of colours in semi solid shades. 

Colours chosen from Batik DK were:

mint, silver, pistachio, gold, raspberry, coral and krypton.

Bands of colour knit in moss stitch...

The notebook is size A5 (A4 sheets folded in half). The cover was knit from the bottom edge up. For the cover I used size 4mm knitting needles, casting on 71 stitches. Calculating enough stitches, I hoped, to allow for an overlap around the vertical edges of the notebook. Beginning in shade silver, knitting 2 rows, changing to shade krypton, working moss stitch (*k1, p1, repeat from * to end). Completing four panels of mixed colour representing the various mosses and plants, with the band of neutral grey in stocking stitch representing a pathway through the woodland.

The "Notes" lettering was created with short lengths of single crochet chain using a 3.5mm hook. The pieces of crochet chain were then slip stitched onto the knitting.

The edges of the knitted cover were folded over at each end to create pockets for the cover to slip into. 

Finally, a wooden button and crochet loop were added to keep the notes closed and safe.

An enjoyable project, using spare yarn, which will remind me of a lovely winter woodland walk.