Pattern Review: Into the Woods Socks by Melody Hoffmann (Mandarine’s)

The simple tree stitches that Melody Hoffmann uses in her Into the Woods collection are truly charming. For my first foray into recreating these tiny trees, I chose to knit her Into the Woods sock pattern in Drops Fabel. The result was a lovely pair of toasty socks which I can also wash in the machine! Welcome to my Into the Woods Socks review.

My blocked Into the Woods Socks!

Pattern Summary:

The Into the Woods Socks are a comfy and simply constructed pair that are knit top-down from the ribbed cuff. After the ribbing, the tree stitches start and are worked down the calf (there is also an option to knit these in a contrasting colour to make the pattern pop). Stitches are then separated for the creation of the heel flap with garter edging. Next, the heel is turned and shaped with short rows before picking up stitches to rejoin in the round and continue the tree pattern. Finally, the toe is shaped with decreases and finished with the Kitchener stitch. There are several options included in the pattern to customise for a snug fit.

Yarn Choice

The pattern uses hand-dyed Mondim La Bien Aimee x Rosa Pomar yarn, which is gorgeous but way out of my price range. I settled for testing out Drops’ sock offering. As it is specifically designed for knitting socks, Fabel is a blend of 75% wool and 25% polyamide. The nylon/polyamide content is common in sock yarns as it is supposed to make them more durable. I have yet to form a strong opinion in the whole superwash/non-superwash sock debate, but selected this yarn because I wanted the ease of making these machine washable. Fabel also comes in an impressive range of colours (including solids and prints.) For more info about Drops yarns, have a look at my Roman Beanie in Drops Air.

Despite feeling quite rough during the knit, Fabel really does bloom when washed. I found that the blocked socks were considerably softer than I imagined. For more details on how they blocked you can check out my DIY sock blocker post with a video of the final product.

The one noticeable downside with Fabel is that it can be prone to breaking and splitting if I’m careless with the placement of my needles. However, these minor imperfections tend to disappear when the sock is blocked.

Before and after blocking my Into the Woods Socks.

How it knit up:

My pair of Into the Woods Socks was a simple yet highly attractive project. I fumbled a little when trying to learn the technique for creating the trees, which resulted in a couple of frogged attempts. However, once I had that mastered it was easy to make good progress. I found the instructions very clear for the most part but noticed that I frequently had to flip between pages to see the ‘Foot Stitch Pattern’ instructions as they are listed at the end.

I really can’t overstate how much I enjoy the look of the tree stitch pattern. It is a truly classic design that I think can be enjoyed in a multitude of colours. I’m really looking forward to creating the scarf or sweater with the same stitches!

Pattern specifics and sizing:

These socks come in two sizes (15.7cm/18cm unstretched) but include several tips and options to improve the overall fit. Although it should be noted that these two size options are probably sufficient to fit the average adult female.

The Into the Woods Socks are available in English on Ravelry.

Things I love about this pattern:

  • The tree stitch is just so lovely! No matter how many hours I spend looking at sock designs on Instagram or Ravelry, I always come back to this pattern.
  • The basic construction of the sock is simple and easy to follow. This is especially important because the tree stitch pattern has a slight learning curve.
  • Despite coming in only two sizes, the pattern includes several customisable options so that you can achieve the perfect fit for your foot. I really hope that more designers do this in the future!

Things I would change:

  • When I initially set out to create these socks I intended to knit them in two colours, but I found that the result of my stranded colourwork trees was a bunchy mess. This is likely down to my inexperience knitting colourwork socks, so I look forward to creating another pair in two colours in the future.
  • Occasionally, the fact that the foot stitch pattern was listed at the back confused me when transitioning between the different parts of the knit.

Needles, Yarn & Details:

Yarn: Drops Fabel in the colour Beige. Available from Wool Warehouse in the UK.

Needles: 2.5mm (US 1.5) circular needles and matching DPNs, if not using magic loop. I enjoy metal needles when knitting finer yarns, such as these KnitPro Nova Cubics.

Gauge: 9 x 13 per 2.5cm

Size: 2 (I recommend you follow the tips included to personalise the fit)

You can find this pattern on Ravelry.

As always, you can find my full project page on Ravelry by clicking here. Let me know if you’re knitting any socks this spring. Have you made another item from the Into the Woods collection?

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