Posted in knitting

Cast-on Monday: Search and Swatch

So my objective for this week is to prepare to knit socks – at least 4 pair! Just to make things interesting, I have set up a few criteria for these projects.

  1. They will use as much of my stash yarn as possible. You can see in the photo above that I have a fair selection which includes DK as well as fingering weight. Having gathered my yarns together in this bowl certainly helps me begin to think about color pairing of partial balls.
  2. I will choose patterns new to me so that I will have variety and new skills to learn.
  3. The new patterns will be available on-line from free pattern sources.

So far, I’m doing pretty good! I had no trouble finding patterns that I like without spending a dime. Some of these are written for DK weight. Here are my choices of patterns so far and the swatches I worked up for them.


Making use of a very graphical but easy stranded design, this pattern is knit at 24 stitches per 4 inches. These socks look fun, sturdy and very warm. The yarn I swatched here is Knitpicks Hawthorne Bare in a dk weight and Berroco Vintage dk. Full disclosure regarding the pattern: I downloaded it a few years ago and now can no longer find it on the ‘Net. I did see similar designs offered on the Novita website.


This pattern by Ema Marinescu is available through She says the design was born “from my finally embracing variegated yarn.” To achieve this effect, the yarn chosen should have short color changes. This skein of Wisco Sock in colorway Caterpillar by Ewetopia certainly qualifies. With a tight gauge (34 st per 4 inches) and slipped stitch pattern, the resulting socks can’t help but be warm and sturdy.


I have already made this Universal Yarn sock pattern once for my granddaughter. This time around, I will change it up by replacing the Lemon Drops chart with the Bunny Got Back chart, which is a sock pattern also offered by Universal Yarn. The designer is Amy Gunderson. The main color is an unidentified skein of cream wool in my stash. I’m pretty sure it is a superwash wool from Knitpicks. The variegated yarn is also Knitpicks and the solid dark is Berroco Heritage sock weight.


I’m pretty excited to try this pattern. Designed by Amy Christoffers for Berroco, Fairlee is designed for their Vintage dk yarn. She calls them slipper socks, so they will be great for scooting around the house during winter. But I think they will also work well inside boots during the worst winter weather. I’m showing a swatch of Berroco Vintage dk, but I will need to purchase more of this yarn to make these socks. My stash is a bit lacking in this weight.

Okay, so I’m keen to get started. If any of these patterns interest you, you may want to click through the following links:

Novita website:


Bunny Got Back:

Lemon Drop Socks:



One of six children, I was raised by a busy mom, who instilled in me a love of fabric. Though I learned to sew and knit at a young age, it was the arrival of my first grandchild that pushed me into action. A long-time knitter, I am now ready to explore all things fiber.

9 thoughts on “Cast-on Monday: Search and Swatch

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