Back in 2008 I whipped out a design for Knit/Purl’s inaugural sock club—and I do mean I whipped it out, because those socks were imagined and knit in the space of a week. Luckily, it was one of those Athena designs that springs out fully formed without a lick of fiddling or frogging.

I knew I’d be working with a variegated yarn, a specially commissioned colorway from Koigu. Variegateds can be so very alluring on the skein, and if you handle them right they can be a lot of fun to knit and wear, too. But I’m someone who gets a little twitchy when the colors start to pool and my ankles look like barber poles. So I’ll do whatever it takes to break up that kind of patterning. In my personal experience of knitting socks with variegated yarns, I can dodge pooling on 2.25 mm needles and on 2.75 mm needles, but 2.5 mm’s are a sure ticket to big spirals of color. I really prefer to knit socks on 2.25’s (that’s US #0) for durability, but when I was planning this sock club project I knew I didn’t have time for a really fine gauge. So US #2’s it was. Also good for busting up colors that want to be cliquish: garter stitch and slipped stitches. So I quickly sketched a motif of slipped-stitch serpentines over a fabric of garter rib. (Actually, I can’t even remember if I took time to sketch it. I may have just cast on and sailed as close to the wind as possible on this occasion.) And it worked. I named that little sock andamento, Italian for ‘flowing’ or ‘coursing,’ a term used to describe the visual flow of elements within a mosaic. And five years later, the rights to it are back in my hands and I can re-release it into the wild under my own label.

AndamentoMSTurner (small)

This new sample is knit in Malabrigo Sock “Turner,” which is honestly too fine a yarn for this pattern in terms of longevity. M. Sock wants a tighter gauge, in my opinion. I couldn’t resist these subtly shifting olive and spring greens with splashes of iris purples. But I recommend a heartier yarn, something plump, with bottom—more of a sportweight, really—if you want a sturdy sock at 7 stitches to the inch.

AndamentoMSTurner (2 of 6)

We grabbed some photos at the Marquam Nature Park south of town in between rain showers. Here’s a detail of the toe:

AndamentoMSTurner (1 of 6)

And of the slightly lacy cuff (who says a sock needs ribbing at the top?):

AndamentoMSTurner (4 of 6)

I’m astonished to tell you I used a mere 225 yards of wool in these. There’s so much of the skein left over I’ve decided I need to try to knit a very wee vest for a cousin’s any-minute-now baby out of the remnants. I’ll let you know if it works out. In the mean time, Andamento is now available for purchase in my Ravelry store; you can grab a copy via the button in the sidebar. Happy sock knitting!

AndamentoMSTurner (5 of 6)


This little sock pattern is so easy and so fast that I was sure I’d have a completed pair to photograph and a pattern to release by the end of the month. Seriously, I’d look down and another inch of fabric would have flown off the needles. It’s so easy that I barely needed to look at the chart. It’s so fast that I accidentally knit an extra half a repetition of a 37-row chart without realizing it. Whoops! Lesson learned… or not. La la la, it’s so easy that I barely need to look at the chart! Crikey, I blew right past the start of the toe motif. Rrrrrip. But still, this chart is super obvious and I totally know what I’m doing. And it’s so inconvenient to look at a chart when you’re trying to watch Sherlock. Dadgummit, messed up the toe shaping. Rrrip. Gah! It happened again! Is there something wrong with this pattern? There is! There must be! Oh, no, there isn’t—I just failed to knit that plain row clearly indicated at the top of a chart I made all by myself. Failed on every one of three attempts.

Andamento_progress (1 of 1)

You see above a completed sock. I won in the end. But let us take from my misadventures this useful lesson: victory sometimes belongs to the modest who don’t assume they’re cleverer than the sock. It really is a fast and easy pattern. But it is not, apparently, foolproof. The sock will have the last laugh if you don’t respect it and knit with sense.


Back in the spring I started a short-sleeved Pomander for my boy in the 18-month size. He passed that milestone on the solstice and lo, it fits him perfectly.

JollysPomander (1 of 1)

JollysPomander2 (1 of 1)

(How much am I going to miss that cute round tum in a few years when he’s all limbs and muscle?) As I predicted, the yarn—Knitted Wit Cashy Wool, seriously luscious—is almost impossible to photograph, but I couldn’t resist this deepest blue for my fair fellow and I find I quite like the subdued look of the yoke on my little man. I used every last inch of this 400-yard skein, even calculating my yardage per round on the sleeves so I could measure out exactly how much to allot to each one; the resulting elbow length is just perfect for wearing over another shirt and handily keeps him from wiping his mouth on the handknits, too. The ability to make this a one-skein pattern in any size was one of my chief reasons for constructing the sleeves as I did, with a provisional cast-on to complete the yoke before picking up and knitting the sleeves downward. And I’m happy to report it worked.

Busy Jolly. He can sing. He can tiptoe. He whistles when he blows on his hot oatmeal. He can stick the landing on a few ending consonants so his words no longer have sixteen possible meanings. He understands everything. He can say no no no and run away cackling when it’s time to pick up toys or go to bed. He managed a sentence: “Baby…eat…roro!” (Roro are frozen blueberries.) He can flop and wail theatrically when he doesn’t get what he wants. He can make a joke by declaring that peas are yellow or brown. He gives the world’s sweetest kisses and will take it upon himself to go find something that will comfort his sister when she’s hurt.

Jolly18months (1 of 1)(Yes, he’s got the scars to prove he’s a man of action.)

And oh, how he’s growing. I’d better get cracking on a new round of sweaters for 2014. The next kids’ design in the WGK hopper is a unisex cardigan, so I’m thinking there will be one apiece for the littles.

But first I’ve got a side project to tackle — the reissue of a sock design called Andamento that’s reverted to me. I confess it wasn’t on my radar at all, but a Raveler went hunting for the pattern and couldn’t get it from the original publisher, so she contacted me about it last week. I find the design still pleases me after five years, so it’s no burden to visit the local shop for a skein of Malabrigo Sock and cast on a new sample. Okay, I made two visits. The first day I grabbed a skein of Marte, one of my favorite Malabrigo colors, but when I got a few inches in I had to admit to myself that it probably wasn’t bright enough to photograph well. So I went back for a skein of Turner. It’s looking promising, and I’m glad to be sending this design back into the world. Golly, I haven’t knit a sock in far too long. Let’s see if I have the stamina for four in a row. My mother was eyeing the Marte, and I noted a pair of socks I know I knit at the same time as the original Andamento sample — half a decade ago — carefully air drying inside out in her laundry and looking quite lovingly cared for… my duty is clear.

Tomorrow I get to tell you about an exciting project that isn’t made of yarn. It’s been under my hat for a month and I can’t wait to see what you think!