So, like I said I have had a bit of an obsession with sock yarn lately and have amassed quite a stash. It was relief to see lots of comments on the previous post from fellow yarn stashers - thanks for all the tips on concealing yarn and justifying stash size to unappreciative partners! Thanks too for all the kind remarks about the misty blanket.
I like that I can knit row upon row of these without glancing down, just kind of feeling the rhythm of knit two, purl one, knit two ... perfect knitting activity for the end of the day when I need something undemanding and kind to my fumbly, tired fingers. And using handpainted sock yarn makes these interesting, because you never can tell by looking at the skein quite how it will look when knitted up.
I am making several pairs of these as Christmas gifts and some for myself because I like warm hands in winter. I make them as straightforward tubes but because they are knitted flat and seamed at the end it is easy to leave a gap for your thumb if you prefer them that way.
If you want to make a pair, here's how:
Using 2.75mm needles and a nice handpainted sock yarn, cast on 53 stitches
(I used a cable cast on because it stretches well)
(if you want to knit them in the round only cast on 51 stitches, don't work the last 2 stitches from each row and just repeat row 1 for each round)
Row 1: (K2, P1) 17 times, K2
Row 2: (P2, K1) 17 times, P2
repeat these two rows until you have the length you require (I settled on just over 6 inches / 16cms)
then cast off loosely in pattern (I went up to 3mm needles for the cast off row).
Close the seam using mattress stitch by alternating between picking up the bar between the first and second stitch and then the one between the last two stitches (there's a good mattress stitch tutorial here). Like I said you can leave a gap for your thumb in the seam if you prefer.
After seaming add a crochet border to the top:
Using a contrasting yarn and 2.75mm hook, slip stitch into the top of the seam
Round 1: chain 2, then single crochet into each of the cast off stitches until you are back to your start point, slip stitch into the 2nd chain stitch to finish that round
Round 2: chain 3, then double crochet into each of the stitches from the row below, until you are back to your start point, slip stitch into the 3rd chain stitch to finish that round
Round 3: chain 2, then single crochet into each of the stitches from the row below, until you are back to your start point, slip stitch into the 2nd chain stitch to finish that round. Cut work from the yarn and sew in ends along the side seam.
Wear or give.
I also made a pair in worsted yarn (the green ones with the light blue trim) and these were knitted on 3.25mm needles and I cast on 44 stitches. I also made them longer (around 8 inches) to go under three-quarter sleeved jumpers.
Knitting things to keep you warm sounds like a good thing to be doing right now - it's due to get frosty by the end of the week and the long range weather forecast sounds rather grim with some forecasters saying we're in for the worst winter in a hundred years. That sounds very ominous and I do hope they've got it wrong - keep warm where you are x