The Perfect Christmas Eve Cast-On: The Bronte Socks Pattern

Bronte Socks: a knitting pattern designed by me, Clare Mountain in Blacker Yarns' Mohair Blends 4ply

Desperate to finally knit something for yourself this month? For those of you who are knee-deep in gift knitting, there is no better light at the end of the tunnel that the "Christmas Eve cast-on".

I first heard about the concept from my lovely friend and coach, Hanna Lisa, who told me that, after a month (or more) of knitting for other people, lots of knitters sit down on Christmas Eve to cast-on something special for themselves.

The concept is very appealing to me. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, self-care is so necessary at a time of year that can be rather exhausting!

So with that in mind, I designed the Bronte socks.

Bronte Socks: a graphic, textural sock knitting pattern

These socks will make the most wonderful Christmas Eve cast-on. They're simple enough to knit whilst surrounded by company, yet interesting enough to knit up quickly over the holidays! Success.

Bronte is a toe-up sock pattern with a rounded toe. The width of the sock is specified, but you can tailor the length of the foot and ankle to fit your own feet perfectly. They feature a German short row heel that is incredibly easy to knit with a very neat finish.

Because I was working with Blacker Yarns' Mohair Blends 4ply, yet wanted to work with a textured stitch, I needed to design a stitch graphic enough to pop from within the fuzzy halo of the yarn.

I came up with this gorgeous combination of slipped stitches and knit/purl stitches in a zig-zag formation that worked beautifully with my fuzzy yarn. My test knitters all used rounded, smooth sock yarns that made this stitch pop even more!

My Bronte socks would make the perfect Christmas Eve cast-on. The stitch is easy to remember and quick to knit!

I worked with Blacker Yarns' Mohair Blends 4ply, which is a no-nylon sock yarn.

No-Nylon, Non-Superwash Sock Yarn

Whilst I have knitted with superwash sock yarns that contain nylon before (and will probably continue to do so, on occasion) I am becoming more and more interested in the idea of working with sock yarns that are 100% plastic free.

This is for several reasons. First of all, it is much better for the environment. Secondly, natural fibres are amazing! They each have their own incredible properties; I have no doubt that the right blend can be just as strong and durable as sock yarn blended with nylon. Finally, I just love to try out new yarns! No-nylon sock yarns intrigue me.

When I heard about Blacker Yarns' Mohair Blends 4ply, I instantly decided to give it a go. Mohair is an extremely strong fibre, which sounds like a perfect match for socks. I have loved every yarn that I have worked with from Blacker, so I had high hopes for how this yarn would perform.

Upon first impressions, it was much more rustic than all of the other sock yarns I had used before. It was also much hairier because of the high mohair content. Knitting with it was a pleasure - I wondered whether the mohair might be a little annoying to work with, but I had no problems, even after frogging a couple of times!

I used a graphic slipped stitch design to create the zig-zag pattern.

Bronte are knitted toe-up to allow you to try them on as you go, so that you can achieve the perfect fit.

Wearing the finished socks is a pleasure. I can be sensitive to mohair, so the tops of my feet felt prickly for a few minutes when I first wore them, but having worn them countless times, I no longer feel anything but cosy.

Instead, my feet are SO warm (much warmer than regular sock yarn). We've had problems with our central heating for the last two weeks and they have been an absolute lifesaver for my permanently cold feet! The fuzzy texture is really lovely. I love how they look poking out the top of my ankle boots - very wintery!

Looking for your Christmas Eve Cast-On?

The digital knitting pattern for Bronte is now available to purchase and download right now from my website and Ravelry - just in time for a Christmas Eve cast-on!

If you like Bronte but don't want to purchase the pattern, please favourite and queue it on Ravelry - this helps other people to find it, helping small designers like me to get exposure, and ultimately, get paid for the work we do.


Purchase through Ravelry and get 20% off until midnight (GMT) on Monday 18th December 2017 using the discount code: BRONTE20. Enjoy!

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