Chunky Sock Pattern

When it comes to knitting, socks are my new ‘addiction’! And what better to wear in this chilly weather than handmade woolly socks…

A while ago I picked up a 200g ball of James C Brett Marble Chunky yarn in dark pink…

JCB Marble Chunky detail

 …it’s flecked with a rainbow of colours which change gradually as you knit with it – gorgeous

For Christmas I had knitted my daughter a floppy beret & matching wrist warmers which she absolutely loved – what to make with the 100g I had left? Socks of course…

Chunky Socks finished

This is such an easy pattern & chunky yarn knits up so quickly – this pattern will fit boys & girls, age 10+ to adult…

 You will need:
  • 100g chunky yarn
  • 6mm double-pointed needles
  • stitch marker
  • stitch holder
  • tapestry needle for sewing up
Abbreviations:
  • st / sts – stitch / stitches
  • rnd / rnds – round / rounds
  • k – knit
  • p – purl
  • rep – repeat
  • rem – remaining
  • sl – slip
  • w & t – wrap & turn
  • tog – together
  • pm – place marker
  • tog – together
  • ssk – sl 2 sts then k tog
Stitches:
  • 2 x 2 rib – (k2, p2) rep
  • wrap & turn – bring yarn to front between needles, sl next st onto right needle purlwise, take yarn back between needles, sl st from right needle to left, turn work

Ready? Sitting comfortably? Cup of coffee to hand?

Chunky Sock Knitting

Cuff & leg:
  • cast on 32 sts & distribute evenly across 3 needles
  • work 6 rnds 2 x 2 rib
  • k 15 or 20 rnds depending how long you want the leg
Heel:
  • put 16 sts on stitch holder
  • working across rem 16 sts:
    • row 1 – (sl1, k1) to end
    • row 2 – sl1, p to end
  • rep these 2 rows 5 times – 12 rows
  • next row – k10, w & t
  • next row – p4, w & t
  • next row – k4, k wrap st tog with wrap, w & t
  • next row – p5, p wrap st tog with wrap, w & t
  • last 2 rows set pattern – rep until all sts worked
Gusset:
  • k across heel flap, pick up & k 8 sts along edge heel flap, k 16 sts from st holder, pick up & k 8 sts along other edge heel flap, distributing sts across 3 needles – 48 sts
  • k22, k2 tog, pm for start of round
  • rnd 1 – k16, ssk, k to end
  • rnd 2 – k to last 2 sts, k2tog
  • rep until 32 sts on needles
Foot & toe:
  • k until foot is 2 inches short of full length from heel to toe
  • rnd 1 – ssk, k12, k2tog, ssk, k12, k2tog
  • rnd 2 & 3 – k
  • rnd 4 – ssk, k10, k2tog, ssk, k10, k2tog
  • rnd 5 – k
  • rnd 6 – ssk, k8, k2tog, ssk, k8, k2tog
  • rnd 7 – k
  • rnd 8 – ssk, k6, k2tog, ssk, k6, k2tog
  • rnd 9 – ssk, k4, k2tog, ssk, k4, k2tog
  • cut yarn leaving 50cm loose
  • arrange sts across 2 needles, with front sts on one needle, back sts on other needle
  • graft together using Kitchener Stitch

Knit another!

I hope you enjoy wearing these cosy socks – my daughter certainly does!

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The Best Broccoli Soup

Soooo cold & grey here again – the sun seems to pop out occasionally but soon gets hidden behind a blanket of thick grey cloud – time for more yummy soup to warm us up…

…the best broccoli soup is made from roughly 1/3rd flowers & the rest stalk! The flowers are great as a side vegetable but do not have the substance to make a hearty soup – do not be afraid to use the stalk – it really is super tasty & contains loads of nutritious stuff – a great way of using food that you would normally waste…

…I made my soup in my slow cooker but it also works well in a saucepan

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 50g oil or butter (or a mix of both)
  • 100g sliced onion, leek & celery (it doesn’t matter if you don’t have all of these ‘white’ vegetables – any combination will do)
  • 200g chopped broccoli flowers & stalk
  • 50g plain or gluten free flour
  • 800ml water
  • vegetable stock cube – I prefer the Kallo range of organic stock cubes – they add just the right amount of seasoning, have great flavour & are gluten free
  • 200ml milk

Method

  • Melt butter & oil
  • Add the all the vegetables
  • Cook gently – without colouring – for 10 minutes
  • Stir in the flour
  • Add the water & stock cube
  • Bring to the boil & simmer for 20 minutes or leave in slow cooker
  • Add the milk & blend until smooth
  • Reheat gently with some freshly ground black pepper – perfect!

Broccoli Soup

…we had ours with some cheesey garlic bread today – yummy!

After lunch all I really wanted to do was curl up in my warm, cosy cottage & get on with some neglected sewing projects but Alfie needed a walk & the littlies had been inside long enough! So off we set, across the fields in a circular walk taking in a nearby village…

Sign

…we passed a lovely, old rotting tree stump which is obviously now the entrance to somebody’s home – maybe Mr & Mrs Fox or a family of rabbits…

Tree Stump

…passing through the sheep fields I was reminded of when my Littliest E was very young – as we kept chickens he thought that all animals had feathers, not fur – so when out walking through a field one day, he exclaimed, look Mum, I’ve found some ‘sheep feathers’ & we’ve called them that ever since!

Sheep Feathers

I often think that our Border Collie is mad & this just proves it…

Alfie

…it’s an icy cold day & he still insists on going into the brook to ‘rescue’ the stones!

Gayton Church

… once we reached our neighbouring village it was back towards home past the church – a strange building of two halves – it has a brick tower & walls to the rear, & a frontage built of stone

A lovely walk, but I’m glad to be cosy & warm back at home – my little display of Spring sunshine greeting us as we came into the kitchen…

Yellow Tulips

Knitting Socks

Knitting socks is a favourite with the Knit & Natter group I attend – we meet on a weekly basis at a wonderful haberdashery & gift shop

Miss Millicent

…it always amazes me that such a diverse group of people can meet together & enjoy each others company for a sociable couple of hours each week – we’re never short of conversation (or chocolate biscuits)!

There are those who knit & those that like to crochet – such an amazing range of items are produced: blankets, jumpers, bags, hats, scarves, socks, slippers, flowers, table mats, hedgehogs (yes, rather cute knitted hedgehogs) – you name it & I think we’ve made it between us!!

Tonight saw quite a few socks being knitted – there are some absolutely gorgeous yarns available for this…

…once tried, sock knitting is definitely addictive – yet another excuse to purchase more beautiful yarn!

We have numerous discussions about which is the best technique to sew up the toe – the 3-needle cast-off or the dreaded & complicated graft known as Kitchener Stitch!! Having previously used the easier 3-needle cast-off I decided to give grafting a go – I researched a few different sets of instructions on the internet – Ravelry is extremely helpful – finally I decided on these instructions which made the most sense…

SET UP – Hold both needles side by side horizontally in front of you with tapestry needle threaded on to yarn:

  • Bring tapestry needle through first stitch on front needle purlwise – leave on needle
  • Bring tapestry needle through first stitch on back needle knitwise – leave on needle

BEGIN:

  • Bring needle through first front stitch knitwise – slip off needle
  • Bring needle through first front stitch purlwise – leave on needle
  • Bring needle through first back stitch purlwise – slip off needle
  • Bring needle through first back stitch knitwise – leave on needle

Mantra – KNIT KNIT SLIP PURL PURL SLIP

…worked first time & there I had it, a perfect seamless graft – so chuffed with myself!

Never knitted socks? Give it a go, you too may become addicted!!

Spiced Parsnip & Leek Soup

Today dawned bright & sunny – such a contrast to yesterday! Still chilly though, so soup for lunch to warm us up…

I like to make my soup in my slow cooker so that it just sits there until I need it but this recipe also works well in a saucepan

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 50g oil or butter (or a mix of both)
  • 100g sliced leeks
  • 200g chopped parsnip
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder – optional
  • 50g plain or gluten free flour
  • 800ml water
  • vegetable stock cube – I prefer the Kallo range of organic stock cubes – they add just the right amount of seasoning, have great flavour & are gluten free
  • 200ml milk

Method

  • Melt butter & oil
  • Add the leeks & parsnip
  • Cook gently – without colouring – for 10 minutes
  • Stir in the spices & flour
  • Add the water & stock cube
  • Bring to the boil & simmer for 20 minutes or leave in slow cooker
  • Add the milk & blend until smooth
  • Reheat gently with some freshly ground black pepper – perfect!Soup

As the sun was still shining we opted for another family walk this afternoon – this time from our village, up alongside the railway line – we all love waving at the trains hoping the driver will give us a toot & a wave!! No luck today but the bright moon kept watch over us…

Moon

… & home for more hot chocolate!!

Happy New Year!

The turn of the calendar saw a grey & drizzly day here in Staffordshire – that didn’t stop us going for a walk after lunch…

Public Footpath

We’d spotted a loop of geo-caches not too far from home – so off we went to find them…

Muddy Wellies

…a little bit muddy down the lane & across the fields after the snow melted last night!!

Found the first two geo-caches but number three behind the old railway eluded us…

…numbers four & five found – “hurray” – that’s 60 in total now!

Saw a lovely old gnarly tree on the way home – without its leaves it makes a great pattern silhouetted against the grey sky…

Gnarly Tree

…then back home for hot chocolate & an evening snuggled up with some chunky sock knitting!

Chunky Sock Knitting