Knitted Slipper Socks in hand spun Manx Loaghtan yarn

Yarn: Handspun Manx Loaghtan yarn, and pattern for gentlemans slipper socks.

Taken near Cregneash on the Isle of Man

Taken near Cregneash on the Isle of Man

Introduction

Todate, I have knitted several pairs of patterned socks and this time, I have an end goal in sight.  In August 2013, I have entered or will be entering the Royal Manx Agricultural Show, held in Patrick on the Isle of Man.  In the past, I have entered the baking classes with success, but my youngest daughter (now 18) enjoys this part of showing, and so I let her do the baking classes, and so this year, I intend to enter the knitting classes held in the Craft tent instead.

The Royal Manx Agricultural show has a class for handspun items.  I only started spinning myself in January, inspired as I had some spare time coming up, and it has been a craft I have wanted to learn properly for some time.  I am a total novice spinner, and I am not particularly good at it.  After contacting the Show organisers, they advised me, that the class I intend to enter,  the garment must be knitted by the competitor, but the yarn can be hand-spun by someone else.  I wanted to knit my garment in handspun Manx Loaghtan and I wasn’t having much luck in finding it locally.  I contacted Linda Scott from Beilidu Manx Loaghtans from her website – Linda will spin yarn personally and her yarn is so evenly spun knitting with it is a dream to turn into wearable garments.

Linda’s details:

Mrs L Scott
Beilidu
Pentrebach
Brecon
Powys
United Kingdom
LD3 8UB

http://www.beilidu.co.uk

Linda kindly spun me 300g of her splendid hand spun Manx Loaghtan from her own flock.  It arrived in excellent time, and I set to, to get the socks started.  They were to be a pair of gentlemans’ slipper socks – size 9.5 -10 (UK) or 43-44 Eu

Linda Scott's Handspun Manx Loaghtan yarn

Linda Scott’s Handspun Manx Loaghtan yarn

The Pattern:

You will need:  4mm knitting pins on an 80cm cord (circular needle).  Row counter, cable needle, bodkin and yarn of course, this pattern should work with any dk pure wool.

Abbreviations

K = Knit your stitches

P = Purl your stitches

tbl = Work your stitches through back of loop – done to help ribbing stitches stand out more.

C2B = Knit into back of 2nd stitch on left hand pin, then knit into front of 1st stitch and slip both off pin together – thus forming a twisted rib.

C2F = Knit into front of 2nd stitch on left hand pin, then knit into 1st stitch and slip both off together.

C6B = Slip next 3 stitches onto cable needle, hold at back of work, knit next 3 stitches, then bring cable needle to front and knit off the 3 stitches from cable needle.

C6F = Slip next 3 stitches onto cable needle, hold at front of work, knit next 3 stitches, then knit off the 3 stitches from cable needle.

K2 Tog = Knit two stitches together

P2 Tog = Purl 2 stitches together

M1 – Make one. This is done by picking up the loop between stitches and knitting into it, creating another stitch – used to increase, make sure you dont leave a hole, by twisting the loop.  If a hole appears, drop and try another twist there should be no hole.

Seed stitches.  K1 P1 along row, the following row, change to P1 K1 along row, continue row by row working the opposite rib, this created the ‘seed stitch’ design.

Sl = Slip stitch without working onto right handed pin

SSK = Slip one stitch without working onto the right handed pin, followed by another, then knit into both stitches, this causes the stitches to lie in a particular direction for effect.
Handknitted finished socks.

Handknitted finished socks.

Sizing your sock:
Euro size for women.   Womens foot length in mm
36                                             224-227
37                                             230-234
38                                             237-240
39                                             243-247
40                                            250-253
41                                             257-260
Euro size for men.         Mens foot length in mm
42                                            263-266
43                                            270-273
44                                            276-280
45                                            283-286
These measurements in millimeters are for the entire length of the foot from heel to toe.  When knitting your sock, the length of the sock must include the 3″ or 76mm of the toe decrease.
So my brothers sock should measure in total between 270-273mm.  I then subtract 76mm (3″) from this total.
Thus: my sock for my brothers foot size EU43 –  should measure 194 – 197mm from the heel to the point where the toe decreases start.  This gives me a rough idea on sock size when my brother isn’t available for a measuring session – ie it is a gift.  There is always some give remember, so I tend to err on the 270mm rather than the 273.

Let’s get started then:

Cast on 60 stitches using the long tail method. Divide the stitches so you have 30 on each needle, and join in the round without twisting your work.

Continue in rib, K1, Pl (where all knit stitches are knitted tbl – through back of loop) for contrast.

Rib for 10cm or 4″

On the final row, evenly increase by ribbing x 6 and M1 throughout the final row, the final stitch count is 70.  (35 on each pin)

Turn your ribbing inside out, this reverses the direction of your knitting, and to prevent a hole appearing, pick up the horizontal loop and include this together with your first K1 stitch, and continue as pattern below.  The purpose of this is to ensure your highlighted ribbing is seen from the rightside of your finished sock.

The cable patterning:

Foundation Rows 1: 

Seed stitch: x 5 stitches.

C2B (knit back of 2nd stitch on left-hand pin, knit 1st stitch and slip both off needle – creates a twisted rib).

P2, K6, P2

C2F (knit front of 2nd stitch on lefthand pin, knit 1st stitch, and slip both off needle)

P2, K6, P2

C2B (knit back of 2nd stitch on lefthand pin, knit 1st stitch and slip both off needle)

Seed stitch x 4 stitches

Repeat on next knitting pin.

Foundation Row 2 and all even rows to follow.

On all rib stitches knit/purl opposite, as you are doing seed stitch.  x 5 stitches

Knit all twisted rib stitches

On the cable foundation rows, purl all purl, knit all knit.

Knit twisted rib stitches

Seed stitch all rib.

Row 1.

Pattern row

Seed stitch x 5 stitches

C2B

P2, C6B (slip 3 stitches onto cable needle behind work, K3, then K3 off cable needle) P2.
C2F (knit front of 2nd stitch on lefthand pin, knit 1st stitch, and slip both off needle)

P2, C6F (slip 3 stitches onto cable needle infront of work, K3, then K3 off cable needle) P2

C2B (knit back of 2nd stitch on lefthand pin, knit 1st stitch and slip both off needle)

Seed stitch x 4

Row 2, and all subsequent even rows:

On all rib stitches knit/purl opposite, as you are doing seed stitch.  x 5 stitches

Knit all twisted rib stitches

On the cable foundation rows, purl all purl, knit all knit.

Knit twisted rib stitches

Seed stitch all rib.

Row 3, Row 5, Row 7 

Seed stitch x 5

C2B

Purl 2, K6, P2

C2F

Purl 2, K6, P2

C2B

Seed stitch x4

Complete one more even row, and these 8 rows will form the pattern of the sock.

Repeat until work measures: 5″ or 12cm, or about 5 pattern repeats ending on a cabled row 1. (or required sock length)

Heel of sock

Heel of sock

Heel Pin – 1st row: (RS). Sl1. (K2 tog. K6) x 4. (or to last two stitches) K2.  = 31 sts.

This is now termed the Heel Pin.  The other pin, is termed the ‘Pattern Pin’.  The Pattern Pin stitches are held on the circular pin, and not worked while the Heel Pin creates the heel and the heel turn and gusset.

Heel Pin only:

2nd row: Sl1 purl to end.

3rd row. Sl1 K1, Sl1 K1 to last stitch K1

Repeat row 2 – 3 until heel measures the same as the length of your ring finger or 2.5″ or 6.5cm ending on a 3rd row, in other words Sl1 K1 to last stitch, K1 row.

Heel Turn

Row 1.  Slip 1 P17, P2Tog P1 turn

Row 2. Slip 1 K5, SSK K1 Turn

Row 3. Slip 1 P6, P2Tog P1 Turn

Row 4. Slip 1 K7, SSK K1 Turn

Row 5. Slip 1 P8, P2Tog P1 Turn

Row 6. Slip 1 K9. SSK K1 Turn

Row 7. Slip 1 P10 P2 Tog P1 Turn

Row 8. Slip 1 K11 SSK K1 turn

Row 9. Slip 1 P12 P2Tog P1 Turn

Row 10. Slip 1 K13 SSK K1 Turn

Row 11. Slip 1 P14 P2Tog P1 Turn

Row 12. Slip 1 K15 SSK K1 turn

Row 13. Slip 1 P16 P2Tog P1 turn

Row 14. Slip 1 K16 SSK

Row 15. P2 Tog purl to end.

Row 16. SSK Knit to end.

work until you have 15 stitches on the heel needle.

GUSSET

Pick up 16 stitches along edge of sock, 34 stitches are worked along ‘pattern pin’ keeping pattern correct, another 16 up the other edge, knit across the 15 stitches that remain from the heel turn and work one complete row, this row ends back at the start of the pattern pin.

Total stitches = 81.  Split into the following: 34 on pattern pin, and 47 on heel pin.

Decreasing gusset.

Work gusset as follows:

Row 1.  Decrease row on heel pin only.

K1 SSK knit to last 3 heel stitches.  K2 tog K1

Row2. No decrease.  Knit all heel pin stitches and pattern correct on pattern pin.

Decrease with these 2 rows until there are 25 stitches remaining on the heel pin = 25 stitches.

No decreasing on the pattern pin = 34 stitches.

Decrease on pattern row only as follows

Pattern 1 stitch, SSK continue in pattern until last 3 stitches, K2 tog, Pattern 1

Heel pin.  Knit only no decreasing – keeping in stocking stitch.  Stitches in pins 25/32

Pattern one row without decreasing.

Decrease as above twice more.  Thus you finish with 25 on heel pin and 29 on the pattern pin.

Toe Shaping

Now start to decrease in earnest to shape the toe.  All stitches are now Knit only – stocking stitch.

Row 1.  K1 SSK.  Knit to last 3 stitches, K2 Tog K1.  (Pattern pin)

Repeat for Heel Pin.

Row 2.  Knit in stocking stitch on both pins, no decreasing.

Work these 2 rows until there is 9 stitches left on heel pin and pattern pin.

Go ahead with the Kitchener stitch to bind off the toe of the sock.

Kitchener stitch:

Line two pins up side by side.  Each has 9 stitches on it.

Put the bodkin needle through the first stitch of the front knitting pin (nearest to you), purlwise, pull yarn all the way through.  Do not drop off pin.

Next put sewing needle in the first stitch of the pin furthest away from you knitwise, and pull the yarn through.  Do not drop off your stitch.

1: Sewing needle into first stitch of the pin nearest you, knitwise, and pull the yarn all the way through.  Drop stitch off the knitting pin.

2: Sewing needle purlways into the next stitch on the pin nearest to you, and pull through.  Do not drop off stitch from pin.

3: Sewing needle purlways in the first stitch on the front knitting pin, and pull yarn through.  Drop stitch off the knitting pin.

4: Sewing needle in the next stitch of the front knitting pin knitwise pull though, but do not drop off the knitting pin.

Work through these 4 steps, until you have grafted all the stitches together.  Break yarn, and fasten off on inside of course.

Now go though the entire sock and sew in any loose threads.

Repeat with another sock the same!

Finished sock weight = 153g for the pair.  Bear in mind this was with handspun yarn in approx DK weight.  I didnt measure the yardage with this yarn, as it was spun by Linda and came to me in balls of approx 50g each.

Finally

To turn these into slipper socks, I purchased a pair of Regia Slipper sock leather soles to finish these off with.  Not sure if I would use these again, the quality is OK I suppose, but they were £9 a pair with postage! Im sure I can do better than this… Im thinking next time of buying a pair of cheap flip-flops, and trimming these with leather and stitching them to the sock instead… Another project, another day.

Slipper sock soles

Slipper sock soles

My first pair of slipper socks for my brother. Hope he likes them!

My first pair of slipper socks for my brother. Hope he likes them!

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