Tag Archives: magic loop




As soon I saw these orange and fuchsia skeins of yarn, I knew they were destined for greatness and friendship. Coordinating socks, one pair for me, and the other for my truly lovely friend Gigi. Gigi and I once had coordinating purple pants, bought at H&M when we were living in rural France, so there is a precedent for these socks. The fuchsia pair is for my friend, and the orange pair is for me.

worsted weight socks, made by Julianne

Here are Gigi’s footsies:

friendship socks, made by Julianne

And mine:

friendship socks, made by Julianne

Oh dear, they really do look tight. Perhaps I should re-knit the heel, working 3-4 rounds before starting the decreases.

These are my first worsted weight socks, which are obviously much faster than fingering weight! I used Cascade 220 superwash, one ball of each color to make both socks (and the tiniest bit left over). Cascade was easy to work with, the colors are deliciously vibrant, and affordable at $12 each, but there were about 4 snags in each skein.

Once again I used Liat Gatt’s tutorial for socks, but these socks were knit two at a time. I really loved this technique, and will be using it for all socks from now on! I remembered this tip on keeping simultaneous balls from getting tangled, which I added onto by lining the yarn opening with painter’s tape (this let the yarn slide smoothly across the zipper lip).

I tried short row heel, but after three attempts and increasing frustration I returned to the afterthought heel. My main reason for avoiding afterthought in the first place was Kitchener grafting. This stitch gets a lot of grief, and I’d struggled with it before. With a sigh, I threaded my tapestry needle and prepared for 20 minutes of annoyance. And then… I remembered all the steps without looking up a tutorial, and it turned out perfect. Kitchener and I are friends now.

worsted weight socks, made by Julianne

So it looks like afterthought heels will be my go-to, as I simply love the contrasting heels. I still need to perfect my corners, but that will be an easy adjustment. Also, I think I should have created a wider opening for the heel (I did 5/9 opening, a little less than 2/3). Next time!

The twisted ribbing is knit 1 through the back loop, purl 1, which creates a very neat ribbing. I bound off with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, because it’s easy and works great, and I really don’t care about binding off in the rib pattern.

worsted weight socks, made by Julianne

Gigi has tiny feet, so I hope these will fit! And they were only a few days late for her birthday.

worsted weight socks, made by Julianne

Any readers have any tips or preferences for heels they’d like to share?




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.




Last December I finally sat down and taught myself to knit, with one major goal in sight: to make my own socks. And it happened!

knit navy socks, made by Julianne

I started these socks in May, and finished them in August! But I only worked on them when I was waiting for something else, like at the post office, or on a road trip, or babysitting.

knit navy socks, made by Julianne

I used a vintage Bernat 50/50 wool/nylon blend, and made them up on my #2 Addi Sock Rockets (which I love, duh). I followed Liat Gatt’s tutorial for toe-up socks on magic loop, which was very easy to follow. Although the process took forever and I made a few mistakes, at no point did I actually feel discouraged.

knit navy socks, made by Julianne knit navy socks, made by Julianne

For some reason I started these out on #6 needles, and although the size was fit, there were way too many holes and gaps in the fabric. Duh, right? knit navy socks, made by Julianne

knit navy socks, made by Julianne

The m1r and m1l increases were certainly a pain in the butt, so next I’m exploring other techniques of adding stitches. I’ve enjoyed kfb before, but I’m also intrigued by this method of working yo without a hole.

knit navy socks, made by Julianne

The first time I wore these socks was to watch the man burn at Burning Man. It seemed like an appropriate place to realize such a persistent goal, and my toes were toasty! I’ve actually already finished my second pair, which I will post in a week or so.