New Pattern Release: Canobie Cable Socks

Introducing my latest pattern: Canobie Cable Socks!


PatternCanobie Cable Socks

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $2.99 at Knit Picks / $3.50 on Ravelry

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Springtime


Design/Skills Needed: The sinuous twisted-stitch cables that undulate around the leg and instep of these socks evoke the roller coasters at my favorite family amusement park: Canobie Lake Park. They are top-down socks with a traditional heel-flap and gusset. The cable pattern is unbroken around the leg and continues seamlessly into a ribbed heel and twines over the instep to the toe.

Because of the complex cables, this sock is not easily re-sized by changing the stitch count. Rather, the knitter is advised to go up or down a needle size to achieve a different leg circumference.

The cable pattern is charted, but full written directions are also provided for the knitter who prefers to knit from words. The pattern is technique-neutral — I hold no religious preference regarding DPNs, two circs, Magic Loop, tiny circs, etc. when I write patterns.


Many thanks to my friend’s little girl, Sara, who modeled the socks for me.  I have extra-large, square-toed feet (thank you, Dutch ancestors) — not exactly the prettiest things to be shoving into socks for show. She had the perfect shoes to go with them, and as soon as the sample socks are back from Knit Picks, they will go home with Sara.


Inspiration: An age and an eon ago, I spotted a cool sweater while standing in line at Canobie Lake Park.  I took a surreptitious photo of the woman’s sweater … I hope she didn’t think I was stalking her.  But the cables were neat! 🙂 They reminded me of the roller coasters.   I swatched and swatched and eventually tamed the pattern to the much-smaller canvas of socks.

2257 cool cabled sweater spotted at Canobie

Here is my first draft:

2349 Canobie sock (front view)2347 Canobie sock (side view)


I think the final version is more refined and lively! 🙂



Cast-on Monday (oops, Tuesday): Howl Cowl, Very Orange Hoodie, and swatches

Between camping out on two consecutive weekends for dog agility trials and an October snowstorm with concomitant power outages, I missed a whole week of posts!  I’ll do my best to catch up this week.

Since last we chatted, I have cast on for two new projects:

My “Howl Cowl” is for Halloween … which, thanks to the aforementioned power outages has not happened yet, so I have another week to finish and still be “on time.”  I’m using KP Stroll Tonal in “Foilage” and Gloss Fingering in “Black.” Absolutely LOVE the pattern and how the cowl is coming out.  I even love the bobbles!

IMG_3012(rev 1)

Eli’s Blue Hoodie has been outgrown and then some — not too surprising, considering I made it in 2007. Eli desires an orange replacement, “just the same but bigger.” His wish is my knitted command — I scored some lovely soft bulky-weight Duchess in Very Orange, for a brand-new Very Orange Hoodie.

IMG_3013(rev 1)


I also cast on for two different swatches, for items I will submit to Classic Elite for consideration for their Winter 2012 booklets.  I have high hopes for my colorwork capelet in Fresco and my lacy/reversible scarf/stole in Wool Bamboo, but I can’t tell you much more than that (or share photos) just yet.



Fantasy Queue: Knitty First Fall 2011

A few weeks ago, I was anxiously awaiting the new patterns from Knitty’s First Fall 2011.  Then they came out.  If I sound a little underwhelmed …. well, I am.  I hate to admit it, but this really isn’t my favorite issue of Knitty.  Which is to say, instead of wanting to make nearly ALL of them, only about half call me with their siren song.  I’m used to unremitting “ohhs” and “ahhs” when I page through a new issue of Knitty — this one has a few “hmms” and “uh, what?”  That said, there are many more patterns that I could ever reasonably make, so for this post I answer this question: If I had unlimited time and money, what would I knit, and with what yarn?

Chasing Snakes

Often I’m drawn to complex sock patterns with a whole lot going on. Recently, I learned the folly of my ways … and then up pops this little number. Bold cabling in a non-traditional irregular sinuous pattern zig-zags down the leg, while the rest of the sock takes a background role. If I were being very, very good I would use some of my stashed yarn for new socks … but in my fantasy queue I spring for some Stroll Tonal in “Canopy.”

Double Heelix

Love the unique and interesting spiral heel-first approach on these socks! The pair featured in knitty are striking, but I REALLY love the “flavor 3” variation — especially since it uses Socks That Rock Lightweight in “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.” This is the March 2011 sock club colorway, that I’ve already used to make socks and an ipod nano cozy.  I would definitely have to do a Flavor 3 pair for myself — maybe use my sock club coupon to pick up some STR in “Fire on the Mountain” with “Korppi” for the dark background color.


FO Friday: Red Seas

2546 Red Seas Shawl

I brought yarn and needles for a number of new projects on my family vacation over the Fourth of July.  I promised myself that I could cast on ONE new project for every TWO that I finished.  Well, I finished socks and a cowl, so I rummaged through my knitting bag (and box, and 2nd bag) and brought out a skein of Stroll Tonal in “Gypsy,” along with the pattern I’d matched it with … at the same time, elsewhere in knitting-land, the Beginner Lace Knitters group on Ravelry chose a tempting pattern for their July Knit-A-Long. I looked at the yarn and needles I had in hand, and realized they were perfect for my very own Rough Seas. Out the window with my original plan! I cast on with glee, and given the results … I’m not a bit sorry. (Shawl is smaller than it appears here, modeled by my almost-9 son.)

2547 Red Seas Shawl

Project: Red Seas

Pattern: Rough Seas

Designer: Preita Salyer

Available: FREE! on Ravelry

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal

Although I’m in love with my finished shawl — I even wore it while I waited in line for 3 hours for a signing of the new “Game of Thrones” book! outside, in July! — I have to say, with all respect, the pattern as it is currently available is almost unusable.  It is rife with errors, omissions, and confusing instructions.  Were it not for great notes on existing projects on Ravelry, it would have been nearly impossible to follow. Even with those notes, I still had trouble sorting out which parts of the pattern were right and which were wrong.  The lace charts included in the pattern were non-standard and had errors and conflicting design (right vs. left half of shawl). I ended up making fresh charts in excel to show how I decided to do the pattern … I made enough changes that you could argue that my shawl isn’t really a “rough seas” at all.

2551 Red Seas (greenery)

Corrections I used for my shawl:

  • Inserted a WS row between Rows 7 & 8
  • Repeated Rows 1 thru 10, eleven times total — 231 sts altogether, 113 on each “side” (not including 2 edge sts and center spine st).
  • I saw no reason to use the increase rows as written, since I already had the right # of sts.

Lace charts:

  • I used the ssk/k2tog orientation from the “right side of shawl” chart (they are reversed on the “left side” chart).
  • I opted for a s2kp rather than a sk2p, because I like the more centered look with a vertical line.
  • I extended the lace pattern into the corners to avoid a big chunk of un-patterned stockinette.
  • I added an increasing section on the edge (to use the edging YOs).
  • I used my corrected/altered “right side” chart for both sides, thus avoiding the problems with the “left side” chart, including the pattern repeat box being one stitch too large, and also the missing column of ssk’s near the center increases.
  • I decided to do three (rather than two) repeats of the edging to better balance the shawl (and use up more of my skein).
  • I finished with one additional repeat of row #1 to “finish” the points on the pattern.
  • I used a decorative crochet finish rather than just binding off, for prettiness and to avert curling on the FO.

Crochet edge:

  • In the “points” I (DC, ch5, DC) in the stitch below the point.
  • Between points, I (DC, ch3), with the DC going through TWO stitches…
  • … except for the THREE sts at the point of the lozenges, where I (DC, ch3) with the DC going through THREE sts (so it would be centered.

I’ve made my version of the rough seas charts available on Google docs.

2552 Red Seas (point)

I thought this shawl is a great example of how much blocking can change a knitted object.  Here you see the unblocked shawl: you can barely see the eyelet rows in the body, and the lace and crochet edging looks lumpy and curled. You can see that it is about six boards across the wingspan.

2531 red seas (unblocked)

Here is a photo of the shawl while being blocked: you can see that I’ve straightened the top edge, and pulled out the points severely. I kept the triangle shape rather than morphing it into a more curved shape.

2534 rough seas (blocking)

Here is the fully blocked and dried shawl — nearly 10 boards across! The yarn (superwash sock yarn) has held the blocking better than it has any right to. The points especially have stayed crisp and dramatic.  Yay!

2549 Red Seas