designs & making-of & tutorials

Tabbies and Care of your Tabbies

I know I’m a couple of posts behind about my designs. To catch up with my delay, I’m going to talk first about my Tabbies pattern that I recently re-knitted, about their making-of and after.

Tabbies socks were born of an urge of having socks wearable with the thongs I wear in warmer months. But wearing thongs with socks sounds a fashion faux pas to you?

Traditional Japanese footwear worn with kimonos, traditional clothes, are usually thonged. Traditional socks, tabi, naturally have a big toe separation. Some of you may have already seen tabis socks worn by Demon Slayer’s characters 😁 ? In short, wearing tabi socks with thongs is not shocking to us, it’s even cool because it can be looked as a return to tradition (but not sandales with socks please).

I first knitted short tabi with Malabrigo Sock. It’s a kind of experiment of how to knit short ankle socks – or below-ankle socks -, invisible when you wear them with sneakers, because short socks going above ankles are a fashion faux pas to me!
So the short tabi I called later No-show version are almost invisible with sneakers 🙂

With thongs, you can see that the beginning of the instep is discovered. There are many short rows out there to obtain this result.

Tabbies No-show version in Malabrigo Sock, Ochre

No-show tabi are short and that was my intention but I felt cold when the weather got cooler.
So I decided to knit longer tabi, always with Malabrigo Sock, but in stripes. And it’s while knitting those striped tabi that I got this silly title Tabbies 😁.

With these stripes and vivid colors, I wanted to bring a modern twist to traditional tabi which are usually just (boring) white or black.

Tabbies Longer version in Malabrigo Sock, Terra Cotta (orange) & Tiziano Red

I wear them unmatched here to show two types of color combination, but you can of course make them in the same color layout!

The pattern was published in May 2020, and I got many testers. I thank you again!
And you can buy it here 🙂

And then, even after it got cool and damp (in the Northern West of France), and even cold and damp, I kept wearing my longer Tabbies with my thongs, because I found handknit wool socks nice and warm, and pleasant to wear, thanks to wool’s anti-moisture and anti-odour quality, and I walk better with my thongs than with slippers that become out of shape in no time.

But my Tabbies didn’t love my daily wear and suffered.
I warn you, there is a series of worn socks, sensitive people, be careful!

The sole side that bears all my weight suffers a lot and the stitches got mashed and a bit felted.

Large pilling appeared inside the socks, because of friction.

If you find pills, do not pull them to get rid of, but carefully cut them with scissors. The root of pill is attached to your knit fabric, so pulling it will damage it!

And I also got holes!

There are two options to fix socks’ holes, but when they are still small, I recommend Duplicate stitch. You can do this as a preventive treatment, before holes form and when thread becomes thin, to reinforce the fabric.
With Duplicate stitch, you recreate knit stitches with knitting yarn and tapestry needle. Insert your needle from behind through the center of a stitch, then pass it behind both legs of the stitch one row above, then re-insert your needle in the starting stitch but from the front this time. And I recommend you work horizontally, going to the stitch next to it in the same row, to follow the structure of stitches. This will reinforce your fabric better than working vertically. And the result is almost invisible 😉

When the hole is too important, you need to do darning (bottom right). As in woven fabric, you will stretch horizontal threads across the hole, then weave into the horizontal threads vertically, passing over one thread then under next one.

In conclusion, you can wear your Tabbies for long if you give them the care they deserve!

I however knitted new Tabbies with merino/nylon blend sock yarn as I repair them very often.

Tabbies longer than Longer version, in Hedgehog Fibres Sock, color Daydream

I have to admit that I’m not fond of the touch of nylon blend sock yarn, but I’ll give you a report on Tabbies in sock yarn in good time 🙂

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