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Archive for the ‘Socks’ Category

New Sock Start

After numerous tries with the sock yarn I got from the Tour of DC Sock club in January, I may have found a pattern that works with it.  I’m finding that I’m not crazy about this yarn — it’s a little thicker than I like for socks, and the color is brighter than I really like.

Nevertheless I’ve started in again with it and am using Ann Budd’s Mock Wave Cable Socks pattern from Favorite Socks. The picture was taken with my computer’s camera — the first time I’ve tried it — so it’s not fabulous.  But here’s what it looks like so far:

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I have finally completed the Cable Rib Socks that I started in January before I went to DC.

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I hit a glitch on the first one with the cable as it went into the instep.  Turns out there’s a “design element” in the pattern that IS the glitch. I think I agree with some other knitters on Ravelry that I’m not especially fond of this “design element”.  

However, the socks are finished and ready to wear.  I knew the cable would not show up well with this yarn, but it seemed that the yarn would look its best only with a simple pattern ( I did try a lace pattern that did not look good) and I knew I would get bored just knitting a rib.  So I got some cable practice and I know the cable is there.

I do really like the Interlacements Tiny Toes yarn, but I’m finding it doesn’t work especially well with the kinds of patterns I like to knit.  Alas!

The pattern is Cable Rib Socks from, you guessed it, Favorite Socks.  The first of the patterns I’ve used from that book that I am not wild about.  I love all the others I’ve tried.  Great book — as I’ve mentioned ad nauseum before.

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Confused Cables

I was working on my Cable Rib Socks while I was in DC at the beginning of January and had decided I had made some kind of mistake because the cable didn’t seem to be working out correctly as it moved down the instep.  It didn’t match the cable on the leg.  

So I set the sock aside for a while because I wasn’t looking forward to taking it out, remembering that this is the yarn I frogged on the Pomatomus Socks.

Then I remembered that John had gotten me a bunch of extra dpns for Christmas so I decided to start the second sock, figure out where the problem was as I knitted along, and then go back and only take out what was necessary on the first sock.

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Guess what?  Same problem that I can’t figure out on the second sock.  

Soooooo.  Where else but Ravelry to try to find a solution?  ‘Turns out the cable turns out a little funky when following the pattern as written, so I’m not doing it wrong.  However, the jury is still out on whether to leave it that way or try to adjust.  Some people said they adjusted to get the cable to flow smoothly down the leg to the instep.  Some knit it the way it was written, but stated they didn’t like this little ‘design feature’.   One or two left out the cable on the instep all together.

I think I’m going to continue as written, but I’m disappointed in this design.  It’s the first that I’ve tried from Favorite Socks that I have been less than pleased with.  I guess that’s not too bad considering I’ve loved all of the others.

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I have finally gotten just a little bit tired of knitting socks.  That doesn’t mean I will stop knitting them.  I just won’t work on them as totally as I have been. I’m still working away on the Cable Ribbed Socks that I started earlier this month, but I’ve made a mistake somewhere and it will take a bit of work to go back and figure out what happened.  That’s what I get for knitting on tiny needles with dark yarn in low light.

It’s time to start on some lace and that jacket I’ve been wanting to do. 

I’ve also been wanting to do some garment sewing ever since I got my new sewing machine almost two years ago.  So when I was in DC I went to GStreet Fabrics in Rockville, MD and chose a simple top pattern and some great printed cotton fabric.  I used to make all of my clothes when I was in my twenties, I even made my wedding dress!  But once I started quiltmaking, I kind of stopped doing garment sewing.  ‘Just Halloween costumes for Larissa and a few miscellaneous things here and there.

I have become so fed up with what’s available in ready-to-wear, that I’ve decided to make some small steps toward making my own clothes again.  Of course I have much less free time, techniques and materials have changed, and I am way out of practice.

So, although I found myself looking at the lovely patterns for tailored suits and dresses in the pattern books, I held back and chose something that would be easy to sew and require little, if any, fitting — a top to wear with jeans.  It’s not a style I would normally choose for myself, but I thought that change might be fun also.

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The pattern is New Look 6677 and the top is very retro looking — like something I remember from the 60’s.  ‘Don’t know how it will look on me, but I think the techniques for making it will get me back into garment sewing quite easily. I’ve picked up another pattern for a simple dress and jacket I want to make in linen, but I’m waiting on fabric until I see how this project goes.

My other new project is to begin a band sampler while participating in the Stitch Explorer 2009 challenge on pintangle.  I bought some beautiful pale green linen at The Lazy Daisy in Raleigh (my first visit there) and also found a lovely variegated perle cotton that was on sale.  I’ll add other threads and fibers from my stash.

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The first stitch exploration is chicken scratch which is usually done on gingham.  But this is about exploration, so I’m doing it on 32-count linen.  

The fabrics are prepared, now the task will be to work in a few minutes here and there on each, along with everything else.

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Before I started knitting socks I couldn’t figure out why people would want to bother knitting socks at all.  Well, I now know the answer.  But I also wondered about those people who said all they want to knit is socks.  I thought, wouldn’t that get boring?  I mean, don’t you want the variety of knitting other things?

Thirteen pairs of socks later, I understand.  Knitting socks is just so alluring.  You get one pair done and put them on your feet, or give them to someone else who falls in love with them.  So you want to make more just for the sheer pleasure of wearing them.

But there’s the knitting thing.  Yes, I have lots of other projects I want to knit:  Shawls, sweaters, jackets, a tea cozy, not to mention all of my non-kitting projects……and what do I start as my first project of the New Year?  Another pair of socks!

I think socks have this magic about them because (1) They’re a pretty quick knit.  Even without working too much a pair can be completed in under one month, (2) There are so many fabulous sock yarns out there that you just want to try them all–and then a new one pops up!, (3)  There are equally as many wonderful socks patterns with new ones arriving everyday.  And then there’s the real reason for me (4) Knitting socks is like reading a good mystery.  It’s not too complicated, you don’t have to think too hard, and you can’t wait to turn the next page.  I can’t wait to knit the next row!  I want to see what’s going to happen with the pattern and the yarn, especially when I’m using hand dyed and hand painted yarns.  It’s just so much fun.  And a wonderful sense of accomplishment comes as soon as the first sock of the pair is completed.  

I really need that, because in my work sense of accomplishment rarely comes.

All of this is, I guess, to justify the fact that last night I started another pair of socks, even though I intended to work on something else.  In fact I stayed up later than I should have because I wanted to see how the pattern and the colors were going to develop.

This is the “reincarnation” of the Interlacements Tiny Toes yarn I started the Pomatomus Socks with in the fall.  As I mentioned yesterday, I didn’t like the way the colors were working with the pattern so I frogged the halfway completed sock and set the yarn aside.  When I was knitting the heel and foot I discovered that the colorway looked better with a simple pattern.  

Yesterday I perused my sock patterns and landed on another Favorite Socks pattern.  It’s the Cable Rib Socks pattern by Erica Alexander.  I wanted a basic rib with just a little bit of patterning.  This is a k2 p1 rib with a simple cable running down each side of the sock.  With this yarn, the cable is almost imperceptible.  But it adds a little character and probably shifts the colors a little more than a simple rib alone would do.  

Here’s the start:

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And a close up of the rib.  It looks different on the other side because of the way the colors are falling.

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Unless I can’t stop knitting this weekend, this will be a great project for me to take to DC to work on the next two weeks during class breaks in my Doctor of Ministry classes.

Gotta go do some real work 🙂 and start getting packed for my two-week intensive semester in DC.  

I have something planned for the blog while I’m in DC, so check back!

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The third pair of Christmas gift socks was made for my daughter, Larissa.

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This time I used Panda Toes which is a blend of superwash merino and bamboo rayon.  The yarn has a little more slippery texture so dropping a stitch can be a bit of a problem in terms of recovery.  But the yarn has a feel and hand that makes it worth a little extra attention while working it.  I also hear that bamboo has wicking and anti-bacterial properties that make it great for socks.

I was a little afraid Larissa wouldn’t like these socks because the pattern is very textural, and I’ve recently learned she’s not fond of a lot of texture.  But she seems to like them.  

I think they turned out really pretty.  The pattern on the leg travels down the entire heel, which was something different for me in the knitting.  

The colorway is Greens of Summer and I kept alternating between calling these “salad socks” and “mermaid” socks because the pattern down the front and back reminded me of a mermaid’s tail.  I still haven’t quite decided on a name for when I post them on Ravelry.

The pattern is, you guessed it, another from Favorite Socks.  This time it’s Anne Woodbury’s pattern for Merino Lace Socks.  With this yarn my socks look distinctively different from the more conservative looking socks in the illustration.  Very nice pattern that I’d like to make again.  

It was supposed to be made on two circular needles, but I chickened out on taking the time to figure that technique out since I was in a hurry, but now that I’ve learned how to do it with my October socks, I’ll try it next time I make this pattern.

Incidentally, the October socks are nearly finished and Larissa likes them so I’m going to part with them and give them to her.  I made them just a tiny bit smaller than I like for myself in case she didn’t like the green socks.  They fit her great, so they’ll be going out to her, probably by the end of the week.

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The second pair of Christmas gift socks was completed during October.

These socks were made for my sister, Cindy.

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The yarn is Monkey Toes again.  I bought the yarn for several pairs of socks at the Pagosa Springs Fiber Festival last spring, and chose the colors especially for each recipient.

The colorway is Amethyst and the pattern is Embossed Leaf Socks by Mona Schmidt, again in Favorite Socks.  I probably don’t need to add that I love this book.  There are still many more patterns I want to make from it.  

I didn’t plan it that way, but these socks sort of go with the Bow Tucks bag I made Cindy for her birthday.  

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