Amanda vs Hand Knit Socks

Spring has finally arrived in Canberra! Our cherry tree is blooming, the dogs are happy to go for walks without coats and the thermals have been mostly retired. Whilst I am looking forward to all the awesome that the change of seasons entail (my Tessuti sundress in September just needs photos) I am feeling sad to say goodbye to the MVP of my winter wardrobe – they may be tiny but they are mighty! Please say a rousing hello (and goodbye) to my super snug winter socks…

These rather snazzy yet simple socks are the basic short row pattern from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D Johnson. I came across this book in a post about sock knitting by Heather at the start of last year and have to concur it is a winner. The techniques are clearly outlined at the start and then are put together in different combos to make three basic patterns (and then more complex options as the book continues). The ones above are the most basic of the patterns with short row toes and heels and were a super fun knit. I mean, how could they not be with that party yarn?

The hyper colour speckled goodness before you is Holi Festival in the Tosh Sock yarn by Madelinetosh. I have never used Madelinetosh yarn before and I have to say it is super lovely to knit with. It felt great in my hands and it didn’t split even when I ripped out sections where the tension went whacky. After wearing these bad boys for a couple of months now I can say it also wears really well. Happy colours AND long lasting? It’s a winner!

I’m going to real talk my sock knitting experience here: it was so much easier than I thought and this lady wishes she had got on the wagon much earlier. If you can knit and purl then you are ready to rock! Also, it makes for a super portable project and the yarn options are ridiculously fabulous. Set up wise I went with magic loop and knit the left sock on an Addi lace needle and the right sock on an Addi sock rocket (mostly because I wanted to compare needle types). This lady came out firmly on the sock rocket side of the needle battle. Those bad boys are worth the extra dollar as the yarn glides off the needles crazy fast. Though they are super slippery which proved challenging at times for old butter fingers here…

The actual knitting process was cool because I knit the two socks in chunks at the same time but on two separate needles. This meant that I would have a bash at the left toe first and then have a go at the right, and then worked my way up both socks chunk at a time. This resulted in lefty sock being a little bit more “rougishly handsome” than model perfect righty sock and I dig seeing the evidence of my mad skills™ developing. I mean can you say no to lefty? I didn’t think so!

What I liked about this pattern:

  • That it was an easy knit. For some reason I thought it would be crazy hard and I wouldn’t be able to do it. Mwah ha ha! With an instruction book and youtube this lady can concur anything! Except for macarons. Those suckers just never work for me 🙁
  • I’ve got nothing else to add here – it was super basic and easy. Huzzah!

What I would change for next time:

  • Nothing! These were the perfect introduction to toe up socks.
  • Actually, I told a fib. I would like to try Judy’s magic cast on.
  • Oh, and also a gusseted heel. So I guess those are a few changes. Or is that just a totally different sock? Hmm… It’s too late now those bullet points are done!

The Deets 

Pattern: Short row toe and heel basic socks by Wendy D Johnson in Socks from the Toe Up

Yarn: Madeline Tosh Tosh Sock in Holi Festival (I can’t recall which online Australian yarn store I sourced this from – oops!)

Needles: 2.5mm Addi sock rockets and also 2.5mm Addi lace needles both on an 80cm loop  – I would go down a size next time as my tension loosed up as I knit more.

Notions: sock blockers (Large)

Size: Large

Alterations: made one sock with a 2K/2P rib. It’s a total design feature and not because I was re-watching Stranger Things and got distracted >.>

I seriously love my hand knit socks and have worn them so much this winter! This lady may be bitten with the sock bug and is already ankle deep in knitting a new pair (see what I did there?) It would appear my lame puns transcend both sewing and knitting. Mwah ha ha!







  1. Roguishly handsome indeed-deffo bad boy potential there. I bet the little bugger goes roving [see what I did there?] before long.
    I have no patience for knitting, other than occasional baby bootees. Well done missus!

  2. Loved the animated pics at the bottom of your post!! They made me laugh so much. You’ve just given me the kick I needed to sit down and knit socks!!! Love your ones and that yarn is sensational!! xB

    • Do eeeet! I can’t believe how much I enjoyed knitting socks 😀 I’m currently half way through the Hermione’s everyday socks and they are super lovely! I bet I finish them when it hits 40 degrees though O_o

  3. Omg, you’re amazing. I’ve seen it knitted socks on Instagram, but this post is motivating me to give it a go. I’m going to Europe in November, and warm socks would be great! I might Even be so kind to knit my sisters some too as I’m traveling with them. Thank you! I agree with the commenter above, cute animation!

    • It was seriously fun and so much easier than I thought 😀 I have a friend knitting up socks in worsted weight yarn at the moment which is going super fast – I’m thinking about giving that a go too! You can do it – give into the socks 🙂

  4. Hooray for handknit socks! This pair is adorable, and I love this colorway (haven’t managed to get my hands on it though, sorry to say!) for socks. I’m glad you’re enjoying making them–between having warm feet and all the amazing yarn choices out there, it’s so easy to get hooked! JMCO will be like actual magic if it clicks for you. I knit mine 2-at-a-time, toe up, on one set of circular needles, and that cast-on is unbeatable for me. 😉 Here’s to many more pairs of socks at Chez B&P!

  5. Your socks are rocking! I have that book too, and absolutely agree with it’s awesomeness. I haven’t tried the short row heels though, I always just go with the normal ones. Maybe next time…

  6. Sock-tastic stuff. You sure came up the winner in this contest. Past Anna has knitted baby booties about a decade ago so surely it’s time to have a go as socks for me!

    • Hand knit socks are such a delightful treat! You deserve them! (plus, knowing your awesome sense of style they would be super cool and colourful!!!)

  7. Ugh, so fabulous. Your gauge is SO awesome. (by gauge I presume I am meaning that all your knits and purls are all so homogenously formed and neat. I’m not really with the knitting lingo). I’ll admit to being veeerrrrryyyy suspicious when you say these are easy though. I can knit and purl, but I think my limited patience for knitting would let me down, as much as I am desperately inspired to try this for myself! They look SO cosy!

    • Mwah ha ha! My blocking has given the illusion of good gauge/tension. My evil plans come to fruition again 😉 I can so see you as queen of some luxe hand knit cashmere socks, Mel!

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