My Self-Striping Situation

Disclaimer: I purchased this yarn with my own money. None of these yarns were given to me for the purposes of review. All opinions in this article are mine and I have not received any form of payment or compensation. The links in this article are not affiliate links, I don’t benefit in any way if you click them.

Self-striping and self-patterning yarns are my weakness. It’s difficult for me to resist a lovely stripe. A cuff-down, plain sock in self-striping yarn is my ultimate comfort knit.

Here are a few of my favourite self-striping yarns:

Patons Kroy

Patons Kroy is my favourite workhorse yarn. I have socks that I knit with Kroy that are 5 years old. This yarn lasts, people. They have a good selection of colours, the yarn is affordable and widely available at retailers including Michaels, as well as online.

photo credit: Patons Kroy and yarnspirations.com

photo credit: Patons Kroy and yarnspirations.com

photo credit: www.Knitpicks.com

photo credit: www.Knitpicks.com

Knit Picks Felici

Knit Picks Felici is a beautiful, soft, and affordable option for self-striping yarns. This is also a work horse yarn. I have socks made with Felici that are 4 years old. The colour options are trendy and gorgeous, but often with limited availability. In the past few years, Felici has been offered on a limited basis where colours are retired, sometimes offered in a limited amount, and for a while i seem to recall it disappeared all together. It’s a good idea to follow Knit Picks on social media if you like to collect Felici, because they always post when there is a sale, new colour way, or other Felici-related offering.

Biscotte Bis-Sock

Biscotte Bis-Sock is one of the softest sock yarns I have ever had the pleasure to squish. Seriously. It’s soooo soft. I don’t know what kind of fibre-magic or yarn-trickery they use to make it so soft, but it’s awesome. They have so many colours to choose from that it takes a really long time to narrow down the options. If you have a favourite sports team, they probably have a yarn for it. They also have a good selection of food-inspired and fandom-inspired colourways. This is a luxury yarn, so it’s less affordable, and it’s available exclusively from them (as far as I know, please correct me if I’m wrong). They’re also bilingual, so if French is your preferred language, the offer all communication and patterns in both French and English.

photo credit: www.biscotteyarns.com

photo credit: www.biscotteyarns.com

Turtle Purl Yarns

photo credit: Turtle Purl yarns

photo credit: Turtle Purl yarns

Turtle Purl is my first love in self-striped yarns. I have an on-going love affair with this yarn. In fact, 2 colours are on their way to me as I write this. The yarn is gorgeous, the colours fun and often inspired by pop-culture. I have a lot of pairs of socks knit with this yarn. I also really like the min-skein option: for a few dollars extra, the dyer includes a mini-skein of complimentary yarn for the cuffs and toes of your sock. This yarn comes pre-divided into 2 identical skeins so your socks will be identical twins without you having to re-wind the yarn for the 2nd sock, or figure out where you need to start the 2nd sock so that it will match the first one. This is a really valuable feature that I really appreciate. This is a luxury yarn, and is available directly from the dyer, as well as some yarn stores.


Do you have a favourite self-striping or self-patterning yarn that you think should be on the list? Let us know about it in the comments.

Say Hello To Circumvent!

Circumvent has been released into the world…

Circumvent is an experiment in sock construction that challenges the idea that socks have to be either cuff-down or toe-up. This pattern is designed to complement self-striping, self-patterning, or heavily variegated yarn, though it’s just as interesting in a solid or tonal.

The heel is worked first, and is round with evenly distributed increases. This heel is most comfortable for feet with narrow ankles and insteps.

Because our bodies are all so beautifully different from each other, and we have so many wonderfully diverse foot anatomies, there is an alternate heel option that may accommodate a wider instep and ankle. Have fun trying them both to see which one works for your foot.

After the heel, the leg is worked as it would be for a toe-up sock, then the foot and toe are worked as they would be for a cuff-down sock.

This is an advanced-intermediate pattern. Knowledge of sock and foot anatomies as well as the ability to read stitches is required.

You can download Circumvent with a 20% discount until Wednesday July 31st, 2019 (no coupon code required, the discount will be applied automagically at checkout).


Let’s Have A Pattern Sale!

In honour of my upcoming 7th anniversary as a knitwear designer, I'm having monthly anniversary sales. Right now, 6 of the patterns that are celebrating anniversaries this month are 20% off until Wednesday July 31st, 2019 (no coupon code required). You can find the bundle of July Anniversary Sale Patterns on Ravelry by clicking here, or on my website by clicking here.

Name This Pattern & Win This Pattern!

This pattern will be released on July 25th and needs a good name! Currently it's affectionately referred to as 'July 25th' which is a sad name for a sock pattern.

Suggest a name, and if I choose it, I will give you this pattern and one other pattern of your choice from my back catalogue.

To enter, leave your suggestion(s) in the comments on either the Instagram post, Facebook post, or #SockStar Facebook group post. The winner will be announced on all three platforms on Friday July 19th, 2019 and again in my Newsletter on July 25th, 2019.

Happy Knitting!

A Few Of My Favourite Things: July Edition

Disclaimer: I haven’t purchased the sweater pattern or embroidery-hoop jewelry mentioned in this post, so I can’t give an opinion on whether I feel the pattern is well-written or attest to the quality of the jewelry. If you have this pattern, or this jewelry, let us know what you think in the comments. The straws were purchased by me with my own money. None of these products were given to me for the purposes of review. All opinions in this article are mine and I have not received any form of payment or compensation. The links in this article are not affiliate links, I don’t benefit in any way if you click them.

Sometimes on my travels throughout the world wide web I come across something so cool that I stop scrolling and stare for a few minutes.  The most recent thing that stopped me in my online tracks is this sweater, Ocean Waves by Hilde Sørum:


Ocean Waves photo credit: Hilde Sørum

Ocean Waves photo credit: Hilde Sørum

Is this gorgeous, or what? It’s in my queue. It’s available in English and Norwegian, so if Norwegian patterns are easier for you to read, you’re in luck!

A couple of weeks ago I came across a new-to-me-maker who makes awesome knitting jewelry with mini embroidery hoops! 


photo credit: MikiElliottDesigns

photo credit: MikiElliottDesigns

How cute are these?  MikiElliottDesigns makes them and I think they would be an amazing gift for knitters. It’s taking all my willpower not to order all the mini embroidery hoops on Amazon and spend my days using leftover sock yarn to make these. They can be brooches, earrings, necklaces, bookmarks, keychains...the possibilities are endless.  

Lastly, my family jumped on the no-more-plastic-straws bandwagon last year and earlier this year we finally found our new favourite metal straws

photo credit: amazon.ca

photo credit: amazon.ca

They’re inexpensive, they come both straight and bent, and they include washing brushes. We’ve been using them for about 6 months. I’ve only lost 1 so far (that’s really good for me). So, if you’re still looking for straw-alternatives, highly recommend them.

Have you tried any of these products? I’d love to know what you think!

Say Hello To Ex Animo!

Ex Animo has been released into the world!

Ex Animo (pronounced: X-on-ee-moh) is Latin for ‘from the heart’. These socks are intended to be a knitted hug for your feet, a woolly expression of love and support. The all-over ribbing is designed to accommodate every part of your foot, and the arch shaping provides a little bit of extra structure and support through the instep.

Ex Animo is worked from the cuff down and features a non-euclidian heel that doesn’t required any gusset stitches to be picked up, arch shaping immediately after the heel turn, and a rounded toe. The entire sock is worked in 2x2 ribbing, including the toe which is grafted closed.

Instructions are included for 5 circumferences and the foot length is customizable. The shaping instructions are both written and charted, and the instructions are needle neutral so you can use your preferred needle style and method for working in the round.

You can download Ex Animo with a 20% discount until Monday July 1st, 2019 (no coupon required)!

Neko Bamboo Flex Needles Review

Disclaimer: This product was given to me for the purpose of reviewing them. I did not pay for the product. All opinions in this article are mine and I have not received any form of payment or compensation other than the needles. The links in this article are not affiliate links, I don’t benefit in any way if you click them.

neko bamboo needle review.jpg

Recently, I was gifted a set of Neko Bamboo Flex Needles from Neko. I’ve previously tried their Neko curved DPNs, so I’m going to start by saying that the Bamboo Flex Needles are a completely different knitting experience than the curved DPNs, so whether your opinion of the plastic curved DPNs is good or bad, I recommend trying the Bamboo Flex Needles before forming an opinion.  

How Do They Work?

Bamboo Flex DPNs are a set of 3 needles with bamboo tips and a flexible plastic cable between the tips, quite similar to the Addi Flexi-Flips. These needles are designed specifically for working small circumference in the round (think: socks, mitts, baby hats, baby sleeves). The stitches are divided between 2 needles and the third needle is used for knitting. These needles aim to combine the benefits of working with DPNs: short needles and no long cables, with the benefits of working with magic loop: only 2 needles with stitches, less frequent and less fiddly needle changes.  

The bamboo flex needles and the package they arrived in

The bamboo flex needles and the package they arrived in

I used these needles to work a sock with unique heel construction and after using them for 8-10 hours, here’s what I learned:

What I Like

  • The bamboo feels lovely! I don’t know why, but for the past 2 years or so, I’ve gravitated to metal needles and I’d forgotten how warm bamboo needles are and how gentle they are on the hands.  

  • According to their website, the bamboo and plastic used in these needles is eco-friendly and the plastic is fully recyclable.

  • The cables are colour coded so you know what size they are. I love this feature and hope it becomes an industry standard. If your needles become intermingled (it happens to all of us), you won’t have to use a needle gauge to put the sets back together.  

  • These are great cable needles when you’re in a pinch. I had another project with cables on the go while I was testing these needles and I found myself reaching for the bamboo flex needle more than once when I was working cables and it did a great job. (I’ve since learned that Neko actually makes cable needles).  

  • They’re very portable and the curved shape and sticky cable means that stitches won’t fall off the needles when you’re not using them and while they’re in transit.  

  • The joins are super-smooth. The joins are so smooth that it’s difficult to distinguish a seam where they are attached. No snagging stitches. Not once.

What Could Be Improved

  • Like their plastic curved DPNs, the bamboo flex needles are not available in quarter sizes. This is a problem for me because I usually use 2.25 mm (US 1) needles when I knit socks. I reliably get a gauge of 8 stitches per round in stockinette. I wasn’t able to get gauge with the 2.5 mm (US 1.5) needles they sent me. To compensate, I went down a circumference size on the sock I was making, but this is a deal breaker for me because I’m set in my ways and like a reliable gauge.

  • The tips could be sharper. I wouldn’t use these tips for lace or cabling without a needle.

  • The cable is ‘sticky’ which is great if you are a knitter who tends to drop stitches, but it means frequently stopping to help move the stitches along the cable toward the tip of the needle. I found this frustrating, as it interrupted my flow, slowing me down.

  • If you lose a needle, the remaining 2 needles aren’t particularly useful anymore (except they make great cable needles). This method of working in the round requires 3 needles. Unless you have multiple sets and can sub a spare needle in when necessary.  

In Summary

Compared to Neko’s plastic curved DPNs, I really prefer the bamboo flex needles. The quality of the needles is great, the bamboo feels therapeutic and the joins are smooth. To add them to my regular needle rotation, I’d need a wider range of available sizes, a less ‘sticky’ cable and sharper tips.

Have you tried the new bamboo flex needles by Neko? What do you think?


These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things...

Disclaimer: The sweater pattern, yarn, and toothbrushes were purchased by me with my own money. None of these products were given to me for the purposes of review.  All opinions in this article are mine and I have not received any form of payment or compensation.  The links in this article are not affiliate links, I don’t benefit in any way if you click them.  

I thought I’d share some of the knitterly things that have been making me happy lately!

Right now I ‘m in love with this sweater by Kate Oates.

Antilogy photo credit: Kate Oates

Antilogy photo credit: Kate Oates

Antilogy is really well-written, and it’s graded for lots of sizes. I think this will be a great wardrobe addition for those in-between days when it’s too chilly to dress for warm weather, but too warm to dress for chilly weather. It will be gorgeous over a tank top with jeans or capris.

I’m making mine in this fabulous yellow yarn by LakeKnitYarns. Which brings me to my next favourite thing…

photo credit: me

photo credit: me

I am loving this yellow yarn from my friend, Christa at Lake Knit Yarns. She dyed the yellow for my by special request. I’m on a mission to add a few colours to my wardrobe that I don’t usually wear, and yellow is one of those colours. This worsted weight yarn is dyed on her Shorleine Worsted base. This is an eco-processed yarn. It’s non-felting, but the process to make it non-felting is new and is less harmful to the environment than the traditional method of creating superwash yarn.

Also, it’s really nice to feel the instant gratification that comes from knitting with worsted weight yarn. I knit so many socks in fingering weight yarn, that I forget how quickly thicker yarns (especially with the lace pattern in Antiogy) knit up.

I also have a small sock crush on Emma Kerian’s new sock pattern, Not Your Average Cat Lady Socks. They’re absolutely adorable, and if you love cats and colourwork you should check them out. I haven’t seen the pattern, so I can’t tell you much about it, but the finished product is adorable! This colourwork pattern would make a great mitts and hat combo, too!

Not Your Average Cat Lady Socks photo credit: Emma Kerian

Not Your Average Cat Lady Socks photo credit: Emma Kerian

Lastly, while not kntting related, my family and i are loving our bamboo toothbrushes. We picked these up on Amazon and have just opened our 3rd box. Bamboo is kinder to the environment than plastic and won’t end up in our oceans. These toothbrushes also use less packaging, and are (surprisingly) less expensive than the plastic toothbrushes we were using. We are currently using these ones (the numbers are great for making sure we don’t mix them up) and we’ve also used these ones, and we’ve loved them both.

photo credit: amazon.ca

photo credit: amazon.ca

Have you used any of the favourite things I mentioned? I’d love to hear your opinion if you have.

New Pattern Alert!

Rain-Streaked Windows has been released into the world…

This stitch pattern combined with the colour of this yarn reminds me of the long, diagonal streaks created by raindrops landing on the side windows of a car in motion.

Rain-Streaked Windows is worked cuff down and features a dip stitch pattern that is mirrored on the other sock. If you’ve never worked dip stitches before, the pattern includes a link to a video of me demonstrating the technique.

Rain-Streaked Windows features heel flap and gusset construction, with the stitch pattern continuing on the heel flap of the sock. The dip stitches continue on the top of the foot, and the sock ends with a rounded toe that is grafted closed.

This pattern has been tech edited and test knit. Instructions are included for 5 circumferences, and foot length is customizable. Instructions for the stitch pattern are both written and charted and are needle-neutral so you can use your preferred needle style and method of knitting in the round.

You can download Rain-Streaked Windows with a 20% discount until Monday May 27th, 2019. You can find the pattern here.  


In Other News…

The covers for my book, Footnotes have been revealed! I'm so excited to release this book into the world!  

You can find a lookbook with photos of all the socks in the book here.  If you'd like to sign up to be notified when the ebook and paperback are available for pre-order and release, you can sign up here. 

I'm in the final stages of checking proofs from various printers, making last minutes edits, and figuring out the logistics of getting wholesale orders to the LYSs around the world who want to stock them. 

Producing 1 pattern is a much different process than producing a book of 11 patterns. One thing I've learned is that shipping proof copies from anywhere outside Canada to anywhere inside Canada is a longer-than-expected process. For this reason, I've moved the release date from June 1st to June 13th.  I really want to ensure the best quality possible before it's released.   

New Pattern Release! Shortie Edition

Tailgate has been released into the world…

Tailgate is an experiment in sock construction. These shortie-socks are worked from the cuff down and feature unique heel and gusset construction designed to highlight self-striping yarn.

This unique construction results in very roomy gussets that may not accommodate all feet (if you have a high instep, you might love these socks). Instructions are included to modify the gussets to fit your feet.

This pattern includes optional arch shaping and a star-toe. The pattern has been tech edited and test knit. Instructions are included for 5 circumferences, and foot length is customizable. The instructions are written only and are needle-neutral so you can use your preferred needle style and method of working small circumference in the round.

You can download Tailgate with a 20% discount (no coupon code required) until Monday May 13th, 2019. You can find the pattern here.

Are You A Patternfish User?

Sadly, Patternfish has announced that they’ll be closing down at the end of May. If you have patterns in your Patternfish library, you should download them onto your computer or cloud storage service before the end of June. After that, they’ll be gone for good. If Patternfish was your preferred platform for purchasing patterns, you can still find hundreds of thousands of patterns (including mine!) on Ravelry and Loveknitting. I’m also in the process of making my patterns available in the Kindle store on Amazon, and I’ll let you know when that’s set up and ready to go!

Happy Knitting!

A Mother's Day Sale With A Bonus

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and in celebration of women who nurture (people, animals, or something else), Mitochondrial is 20% off until Sunday May 12th, 2019 (no coupon code required) with bonus, printable sock wrappers.

These sock wrappers aren’t just for socks, they’re great for wrapping any small knitted gift. Mitochondrial is worked cuff down and features a double helix DNA strand cable on the front of the leg and top of the foot of the sock. The ribbed cuff disappears in a ‘V’ shape on the back of the leg just before the heel flap. Instructions are included for 4 circumferences and foot length is customizable. The stitch pattern is both written and charted. The instructions are needle-neutral to accommodate your preferred needle style and method of working in the round.

New Pattern Alert: Chrysalis Edition

Chrysalis has been released into the world…

I love this stitch pattern because it's reminiscent of small cocoons, and cocoons are symbols of change, growth, rebirth, and springtime!  Hence the pattern name, Chrysalis.

This pattern is delicate, pretty, texturally interesting, and like most of my favourite stitch patterns, it's easier than it looks. 

It’s really just several rows of stockinette stitch with an occasional row of knitting trickery thrown in to keep it interesting. The pattern includes links to video tutorials demonstrating the pattern stitch, and the cast-on method used in the pattern.

Instructions are included for 5 circumferences and foot length is customizable.  The stitch pattern is both written and charted (and also has a link to a video tutorial), and the pattern is needle-neutral to accommodate your preferred style for working small circumference in the round. 

You can download Chrysalis with a 20% discount until Monday April 15th, 2019, no coupon code required. The discount will be automagically applied at checkout. You can find Chrysalis here. 

Spring has arrived, and Easter is just around the corner, so to celebrate Speckled Eggs is 20% off until Monday April 22, 2019 (no coupon code required) and I’ve added 3 spring/Easter-themed printable sock wrappers to the pattern. You don’t have to use them for socks, they’re also great for wrapping washcloths, mitts, slippers, and other small knitted gifts. You can find the pattern here.

New Pattern Alert: Hat & Cowl Set!

Instant Gratification Cowl & Hat have been released into the world…

Previously available exclusively in the book "Knits In A Day", Instant Gratification Cowl is now available for download together with Instant Gratification Hat. This is a quick, gratifying knit that makes a great last minute gift or a well-deserved indulgence for yourself. This thick, squishy fabric feels so soft and warm against the skin.

The cowl and hat each use 1 skein of bulky weight yarn. A simple two row repeat makes this a great beginner project, an ideal last minute knit or a quick stash buster for more experienced knitters. This is a very quick knit, the sample took me about an hour to make on 10mm (US 6) needles.  Since making the sample in 2016, I've made several of these as teacher gifts, holiday gifts, for myself and even to keep the dogs' ears warm on very cold days.

You can download Instant Gratification Cowl & Hat with a 50% discount until Monday March 4th, 2019, when you purchase any other pattern from my Ravelry store. Simply put both patterns in your cart and the discount will be applied automatically at checkout. You can find Instant Gratification Cowl & Hat here.