24 March 2014 by

Hand-made socks were a major motivator in learning to knit, and I really love making them (which is a relief; I was afraid that it might be too tedious). It’s a simple and compact project that I can carry everywhere I go.IMG_8260

Although my first pair of socks took about 3 months to complete, this second pair was finished in 4 weeks. And they are much longer! I did a basic calculation, and estimate that each sock contains about 12,000 stitches. Sock knitters, does that number seem correct? It makes me dizzy.

I used 47″ #3 Addi Turbo Lace needles, and followed Liat Gatt’s pattern for toe-up socks on magic loop. The self-striping yarn was donated to and from the Boys & Girls Club (I used to volunteer as a sewing teacher, and still pop in when I have the chance. The coordinator of the sewing program is an amazing lady. Thank you to Donna for supporting my growth as a maker, and for fostering that love of craft in so many children.).

self-striping socks, made by Julianne

As a designer, I usually want control over colors and stripes. This was my first time working with self-striping, and I am definitely a convert. It was exciting to see the colors and stripes emerge, and the pattern helped me track my progress as well as hide any flaws.

I have several balls of donated self-striping to get through, and then I can’t wait to select new yarns for myself! I keep window-shopping (or more accurately, browser-tab shopping), but I think I will refrain from online shopping and instead pick up future pairs of socks on trips. The idea of seeking out a local yarn shop, in foreign localities, and creating my own souvenir is so… romantic! This is not a word I use regularly.


I love the contrast cuff, and will integrate contrast toes and heels in future socks. This aquamarine yarn is a bamboo-nylon blend. It’s definitely thicker than the fingering-weight, and so I did the ribbing on #1 needles. I was concerned about the weight discrepancy, but I think it totally works for the cuff.

I live in LA, but luckily I have icy feet, so handmade wool socks will actually get worn this winter. But future sock yarns may be more of the bamboo persuasion.


  1. KristiEllKay

    I love them! I’ve always been really unsure about how self-striping yarn would turn out. I used some variegated yarn in the past and it ended up looking like a crappy camo or something for me. =/

    Was the pattern/guide you used for a self-striping yarn, or did it just happen to turn out all awesome like that on its own?

    • Julianne Post author

      The self-striping was designed for socks, so it just turned out like this with no input from me. Since the circumference of the sock is so small, the stripes actually get to form in wide bands, as opposed to being stretched out over a longer row length. I believe this is a Fair Isle-style self-striping, but I don’t know the brand because the yarn didn’t have its wrapper when it came into my life.

  2. Ms. McCall

    I don’t make socks, but if I did, those are the exact socks I would want. You could add a little faux suede on the bottom of your next pair and make them super comfy slippers 🙂

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