Brome fair socks




Every labour day weekend of my life I have spent at the Big Brome Fair, ensconced in the smallest booth on the fairgrounds, selling fudge and barley candy with my family. It’s tradition.

And every year is exactly like the last. The midway sounds the same. The cow barns smell the same. The corn on the cob tastes just as good. My toes get just as dusty/muddy as ever. Hardworking people are hawking the same old gimmicks to the same old marks. I love it all.

The fair exists in this weird atemporal place. We set up on Friday morning and disassemble on Monday evening. But in that in-between time, as I’m sitting in the booth, knitting on a sock and listening to the new magician on the small stage, I feel like I’ve never left.






(Brome photos from 2012)

  • Pattern: 68 stitch CO improvisation
  • Yarn: Self-striping Schachenmayr Regia Pairfect. Colour: 07111 Lot: 5990
  • Needles: Smallest I have. Size 0?
  • Notes: Pretty sure the instructions on the ball band are wrong? I knit these cuff down, as they said, but only got to the coloured stripes on the foot, not the leg (as pictured on the band). Oh well. I also had to end the toe a little prematurely: another colour was approaching and it would have looked really awkward to have only two or three rows of light brown on the toe.

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Tootsies en relevé

White and pink socks

Socks are the best kind of relief for knitter’s block.

I often find myself stuck with several WIPs that have reached some sort of temporary impasse. This is usually because I just can’t quite summon the energy to try on my project and make a determination on hem length, sleeve length or body length. Sometimes I just can’t decide which colour button or zipper to use. Other times, to my horror, I discover that absolutely every aspect of my project has been poorly planned and executed, beginning with, of course, the decision to pick that particular pattern!

So when hard times befall me, I do what any reasonable knitter/human should: I cast on a pair of socks.

Red tweed socks

This red tweedy pair was my first time knitting from the toe up. I really liked the way the gusset is formed: you lose a little heel space but there’s no need to pick up stitches around a flap. And who likes to pick up stitches, amirite?

I tried a “basic” bind off, a tubular bind off and a Russian bind off before settling on a sewn bind off. The first three were either too messy (tubular) or too tight. The sewn bind off seemed to be a good compromise in stretch and solidity.

  • Pattern: Variations on a 64 stitch standard sock. Cuff-down: with slip-stich heel flap. Toe-up: with simple gusset heel.
  • Yarn: Red pair = Stroll tweed in barn door heather. Colour blocked pair = various scraps leftover from other projects. White and pink pair= the white is some sort of stretchy cotton, had a German label on it perhaps? Soft and easy to work with. No idea if it will wear well or get saggy quickly?
  • Needles: size 0/2mm

Colour blocked socks

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