Alpaca Direct Blog

When the frost is on the pumpkin, it might be Socktober!

Shorter days. Cooler nights. Nothing is as comforting as hand knit socks! Here in Northern Idaho we're enjoying cool nights and warm days and as the leaves turn to red and gold, it's time to knit socks! It's Socktober!!! Sock knitting is a varied as knitters. Toe up, Top down. DPN. Magic Loop. Fabulous lace patterns knit from fine merino, self patterning sock yarns for simple fun, chunky weight slipper socks that warm your toes and your heart. We all have a favorite technique or two, so our staff is sharing with you some of our favorite patterns, yarns and techniques.

Kaika free pattern[/caption] I chose one of Michelle Hunter's patterns, as she makes patterns that are fun and easy to follow. Kaika is the Japanese word for "bloom" and it uses a beautiful and easy to memorize Japanese inspired stitch pattern. I used this pattern to make a toasty pair of light weight leg warmers that will keep me nice and warm during the cold winter months here in North Idaho. I used a picot cast on and a picot bind off to dress up my leg warmers. This gorgeous yarn is Madelinetosh Twist Light in "Optic" .Now that I have finished this pattern, I will search for another sock pattern or leg warmer pattern as we have lot's of new fingering yarns that I am eagerly waiting to try!

Kelley is the owner of Alpaca Direct and loves to knit her socks toe-up, two at a time on a magic loop!

I just finished my first pair of socks in ten years.  Until recently, the thought of working with fingering weight yarn would turn my stomach.  Oh, I made a number of pairs with worsted weight yarn, but somehow, in my book, they didn’t seem to count.  They were workhorses-not the sprightly ponies of spots and blotches of randomly strewn color, crafted out of the finest gossamer threads.

Anyway, soon after beginning my new internship with Kelley, Kjirstine, Jennifer, and Maria at Alpaca Direct, I was affected by a strange affliction….Zauberball Crazy!  While stocking a shelf with marvelous, mind-bending orbs of color and texture, I was overcome by a desire to knit on size 1 needles!  Even more fantastically, to simultaneously create a PAIR of socks (not one, but two at a time!) on 1 ridiculously long circular needle!  In my library (books I absorb, without ever reading), was a copy of "2-at-a-time socks”, by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.  While everyone at work had moved on to knitting a pair of socks, two at a time, from the TOES up, I was completely entranced, bewitched and beguiled!  The easy to understand and painless to follow step by step directions caught my attention and inspired me beyond belief!  Within two short weeks, after a family wedding and during a family reunion, the “Earth” color way of Zauberball Crazy became the “Twilight” socks of Morgan-Oakes.
I am hooked.  One more thing to add to the never-ending and ever-expanding list of things I mustn’t live without! Susan
Susan has recently joined our team at Alpaca Direct. She is bringing new life to our Hayden, Idaho yarn shop and has unending creativity and an eye for design.
I love to knit socks! The first class I took, after I learned to knit, was a sock class. I love to knit them the old fashioned way, top down, on double pointed needles. It's soothing to my soul. I love the portability of sock knitting (I have kids at home, we're always on the go). There is one pattern I have knit several times and I think that may be linked to my addiction to fantastic hand painted sock yarns! The pattern is found in "One-Skein Wonders" and is called "Hand Paint Highlights". It is a great, simple pattern that really brings out the beauty of a hand painted yarn. This pair is a yarn from a local independent dyer, but I've used it many times with many hand painted yarns. So jump in, buy the one gorgeous skein from a hand dyer and make some great, one of a kind socks!!
Kjirstine works in warehouse, shipping orders, receiving new stock and assisting with buying new yarns!
Becky, one of our Fiber Friends regulars, made this beautiful pair of socks and won first place at the North Idaho fair![/caption] Maria's favorite socks right now are the fabulous lace pair that Becky knitted, entered in the fair, won first place, and then gifted them to Maria! A gift of hand made socks says volumes about the giver, but a receiver who truly appreciates them, and knows the value of the time and love invested in them, is a treasure as well! 
Maria is one our skilled on-staff teachers as well as the facilitator of our twice weekly Fiber Friends gatherings. She likes to knit socks from the toe up!![/caption]
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