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Friday, 20 October 2017

Candy Cane Socks - and a new heel flap!

Normally, I don't like to think about *whispers* Christmas until Hallowe'en has been and gone.  I'm not a Bah Humbug kind of person at all, and I might have been buying the odd present here and there when I've seen the perfect something for someone, but that doesn't really count.  I just don't want to see decorations and cards in the shops just yet, and I am very glad that every advert on the TV doesn't have jingly music in the background, although I know it is coming!

However, I did make an exception for the lovely squishy parcel that came in the post for me from West Yorkshire Spinners ... top secret Christmas yarn!  


It was so top secret that I didn't even know what it was called, but my first thoughts were that it looked just like candy canes - ha!  That's how you know that the talented Sarah who puts the colours together at WYS has got it right!  The colours on either side of the ball of Candy Cane are Chocolate Lime and Cayenne Pepper, both of which go extremely well with those festive colours.  

I started knitting.  Oh, this was more catnip yarn!  I couldn't stop whizzing around and around the stitches, watching those stripes appear out of the ball of yarn. 


I could also hear Will Ferrell being over-excited in my head with every stitch.  "Elf" is one of our favourite Christmas films and still makes us hoot with laughter, even though we've watched it far too many times.  Yes, it might only be October, but I found myself feeling unseasonably festive.  I even thought about putting the DVD on, but managed to restrain myself.  It is only October!

Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf, source unknown (Google search)

The deadline for these socks to get the pattern and the yarn out to the local yarn shops was quite short, so there were definitely sparks flying off my needles.  It was worth it though - if you've been on social media this week you'll have seen the excitement over this new yarn and I know there are going to be lots of festive socks being cast on this weekend!  Here's what they looked like when I had finished them ...


and then the professional photography started ...  


It's funny, but when I see socks that I have knitted professionally photographed, they don't look like the socks that I've carried around with me, knitted in the car, whilst I'm cooking dinner, at every spare moment, and instead they have a life of their own as supermodel socks.  I like it.  I know it sounds daft, but I do get very attached to each pair of socks that I am making and I feel like a parent waving one of my offspring off to go and make their way into the world!

This is what the Candy Cane socks are doing now.

Source: West Yorkshire Spinners

They are gracing their very own pattern which comes free with every ball of Candy Cane yarn.  They've done very well for themselves! :)

The pattern is for a plain sock but I have done something different with the heels.  Feeling slightly bereft as I posted the socks off to their new life, I cast on a pair for me with the leftovers and the contrast yarn which has actually turned out to be a handy thing to do so that I can show you what's different.  (If you want to try these for yourself but aren't sure about adding new colours in to your socks, have a look at my Contrast Socks tutorial)


The thing that I like about a regular heel stitch heel is that it's cushioned and comfy, but it's not always very stretchy so some people find that it's not the best heel for them for that reason, especially if they have wide feet.  I've been wondering for a while how I could fix that and I think I have found an answer.

I've been experimenting with different stitches and I have come up with one that I've not seen so far in any of my stitch dictionaries or in any of the other sock patterns that I have (and believe me, I have more than a few!) so until I know any different, I have called it Ribbed Heel Stitch to differentiate it from regular heel stitch.  It looks very similar on the right side of the heel flap, although you might notice that the knit stitches look more defined.


On the wrong side, you can see that it doesn't look purled as for regular heel stitch, but instead there are more knit stitches and it looks just like a ribbed cuff.  


The result is that the heel flap is stretchier than a regular heel flap, but because  slipped stitches are still used, the heel flap is still cushioned and comfy.   I'm hoping that this will be a better option for people who find a regular heel flap just a bit tight on their feet.


It doesn't feel any different on your feet to a regular heel flap, although it doesn't look quite the same as the ribs stretch wider.  I think it's an interesting change, and I'll definitely be using this type of heel flap again.

If you want a copy of the Candy Cane Socks pattern with the new heel flap for yourself, you can get a free one with every purchase of a ball of Candy Cane yarn.  Your local yarn shop might be stocking it, or you can get it online and in person from Magnolia Tree Crafts - there's even 10% off with the code Winwick Mum during October (and yes, they do post overseas!).


I love both the pairs of socks I've knitted, the ones that are all in the Candy Cane yarn and the ones with the contrasts.  Bringing out striped yarns which tone so well with their solid colours is one of the things that WYS do best, and the possibilities for colour options are enormous.  


If you're wondering how many pairs of socks you can get out of the yarn, I got one pair of size 5 socks from the Candy Cane ball, and for my contrast pair I didn't quite get to the toes with the Candy Cane and had to work an extra Chocolate Lime stripe before my Cayenne Pepper toes.  There was a bit of juggling to get my stripes to match and some judicious scissor work and this is all I had left of the ball.


I would easily have got two pairs of contrast socks out of the yarn even with just one colour of the contrast rather than two, so there are lots of choices for these socks and the fact that the yarn goes such a long way makes it really good value.  I like good value!

I might not be decking the halls just yet (although I do try to make every season one in which to be jolly), but I think my feet might be getting into the festive mood just a little bit earlier this year!

In case you're wondering, that's not a hole you can see at the gusset join, it's where the white stitch has stretched while knitting and will disappear when the socks are washed.  No, these socks have not been washed, they went straight off the needles and onto my feet! :)


28 comments:

  1. Please WInwick Mum where will we find your NEW HEEL PATTERN?

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    1. It's the heel flap that's used in the Candy Cane Socks pattern xx

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  2. Fab socks and can't wait get my hands on this yarn. Just phoned my LYS...but not in stock yet......😕

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    1. Ripping Yarns had a delivery this morning - they have an online shop ;o)

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  3. so Christine is the pattern similar to the free one posted on your blog on the sidebar?

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    1. Yes, it's very similar to the Sockalong sock (that's the 4ply one on the blog) but has the different heel flap xx

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  4. Very Jolly. I like how you've used the contrasting colours to use up the stripey yarn. Cx

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  5. wonderful socks & i think my DD1 would probably love them it's a shame our xmas is so darned hot! not really sock wearing season ...
    me, i wear socks all year round ...
    like the heel too
    thanx for sharing

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  6. Love them - and I have mine on order from City Knits - hoping the parcel will arrive today! Our local garden centre started putting up their Christmas goodies in September (they are famous for the biggest and some say best Christmas shop in the SE of England) - but having spent many years in America I am firmly of the belief that no Christmas stuff should be displayed until after Thanksgiving!! But that obviously does not apply to Christmas knitting - I started that in August as I have a longish list of people to knit for!!
    The candy cane wool is lovely and your socks are gorgeous!!

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  7. Just Love these Christine and I will be ordering mine very soon a Congratulations on another wonderful pair of socks and a great idea doing a stretchier heel flap 👍🏽🤗🤗🤗💐x

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  8. love this yarn. I prefer to knit toe up socks. do you think this heel could be adapted for toe up socks.

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    1. I don't see why not if you can use a regular heel stitch for a toe up sock :) xx

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  9. I've just ordered the Candy Cane yarn via your blog at Magnolia Tree Crafts plus discount. I'm so looking forward to knitting these socks. They are gorgeous! 😍

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  10. Oh my gosh!!! That yarn!! Those socks!! What gorgeous temptations!!!! I must learn to knit faster and use up more of the stash... I don’t have a problem with the regular heel flap but that new one looks interesting & I have now remembered what it was I had wanted to ask you so next time I fire up the laptop I will email you! Have a lovely weekend,
    Helen x

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  11. I am just casting on my cuff in chocolate lime:) for my candy cane socks The different heel looks good,I may try that this time.Love your socks,that fire looks inviting too.

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  12. Such jolly, Christmassy feet! I too don't like the Shops full of Christmas things this early, but have been making presents for friends and relatives for a few weeks. That doesn't seem quite as bad! Xx

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  14. Ordered my candy cane yarn, so excited! Could I just ask what size needles are used in the pattern? Can I use a sock circular?

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    1. I used a 30cm short circular needle in 2.5mm. You're going to love this yarn! :) xx

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  15. Those socks are gorgeous, we especially like the last pair shown with the red toes and green heels. So cute. We're from Canada and bought a lot of WYS wool at Yarndale this year as we can't get it here. I'm very keen on making this new heel flap as you said there is no purling involved. My experience with regular heel flaps is they tend to be too loose/big with all the purling. We'll be ordering this yarn for sure! - Ruth & Joanna

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you had a great time at Yarndale, it's quite an experience, isn't it?! There is still purling involved in creating the new heel flap as you have to purl to create the ribs, but the back of the heel flap doesn't look purled as it does with regular heel stitch. I'll be interested to see what you think when you've tried it out! xx

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  16. Please correct my spelling mistake for the word discount before publishing the comment. Thanks.

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    1. I can't amend comments after people have posted them so I've just approved this one so that there's no spelling mistake - thanks for taking the time to write to me, I hope you really enjoy knitting your socks! xx

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  17. What a treat this pair of socks are. Nice cosy autumnal fire to snuggle down and knit at the side of.

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    1. They're just perfect for snuggling by the fire! xx

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  18. I live in California in the USA and haven't been able to find this yarn. Do y know of any shops in the US which did order the yarn? Thanks so much! I love these socks.

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    1. Hi Mary, it's worth having a look at the stockists page on the WYS website (www.wyspinners.com) as I know that they do export their yarn. Alternatively, Lucy at Magnolia Tree Yarns posts abroad and there's still 10% off if you use the code "Winwick Mum" until the end of October :) xx

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  19. Just received my parcel from Magnolia Tree. Very pleased with quick service and pretty complimentary stitch marker at discount price. I have so many projects for this Xmas these will be first on the list for 2018!

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