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!
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.
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
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!