Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Can So Knit Socks

So, having started out Sock Hop month vowing to finish numerous socks-in-progress, I then defied myself by barely touching a sock until the final week. And then, for some reason known only to my apparently neurotic psyche, I became obsessed with socks and began knitting as if possessed.

I made progress on several of my already in progress socks - a few inches on the Sunshine Yarns Daffodil sock, a dab on the STR Purple Rain, a bit on the beaded bed sock - nothing worth photographing but enough to encourage me in the belief that these are projects that may be completed within my lifetime.

I also finished a few things. I knit everything Magic Loop style on U.S. size 1 needles. I have done socks on double points and actually really like the technique but Magic Loop is faster for me and easier on my hands.

The yarn is Yarntini's Cherry Cordial superwash. I have several skeins of Yarntini yarn and love all of them. Jessie custom dyed the brown for the heels and toes. Contrasting heels and toes are one of my sock knitting quirks. I just love the look. The pattern is the Chevron Sock from Sensational Socks by Charlene Schurch, one of my favorite sock books. I really like the way the pattern works with self striping yarns but I find that this pattern, like the only other chevron type pattern I've done, is not real stretchy. They fit fine once they're on but they do require an extra tug going over the heel. I make a serious effort to match stripes on socks. Unmatched stripes tend to give me the feeling that one leg is shorter than the other.

These are the Child's French Socks from Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush, another highly recommended sock knitting book. The yarn is Lorna's Laces' Douglas Fir, a nice blue-y green-y color. This pattern looks complex but it's really straightforward and not difficult at all. Like with most patterned knitting, it helps enormously if you can read your knitting. That makes it easy to see what row you've just done without having to keep records that you will then lose - not that I have ever done that or anything. There are some great details in this pattern that may not show up in the photos. The ribbing is designed to flow gracefully into the patterned leg of the sock and the heel flaps also continue the patterning. They're subtle touches that really make the design special.

I don't think I made any changes to the pattern except to screw up in some mysterious fashion on the second sock, resulting in four lost stitches on one side of the scallop pattern. I have no idea where these four stitches went. They disappeared somewhere after the gusset shaping and by the time I noticed they'd vanished, I was halfway down the foot. After three or four seconds of serious analysis, I decided I could live with a lopsided pattern.

If you look carefully, you'll notice that these socks don't actually match. The difference is subtle, I know but I'm sure you'll be able to pick it out. The sock on the right is not really a Sock Hop success story. I finished this a couple of months ago and forgot to include it in my initial grand plans for sock knitting glory. The pattern is Ribs on the Side from Fiber Trends and the yarns are Lorna's Lace's in Carol Green and Mountain Colors Bearfoot in some purple color whose name escapes me.

I knit this sock in a two day frenzy because I was dying to see how it all came together. The cuff is knit sideways in some sort of garter stitch rib kind of pattern, then you graft the whole thing together in a tube, pick up stitches along the bottom and knit the foot. It's one of those projects that sounds complex and mysterious but makes perfect sense when you're knitting it. It's actually a fast sock to knit and is very comfortable. The leg does seem to be a bit loose and I'm wondering if it's going to be too loose but I won't know that until I finish its mate and can actually wear them.

The sock on the left was just a smidge of ribbing at the beginning of the month. The main yarn is Lorna's Lace's Sassy Stripe. The heel is from Regia and the toe is an Opal Uni. I orginally planned to use just the yellow, then I decided to use just the turquoise and I finally settled on using both. Now that the sock is done, I think I might have liked it a bit better if the heel and toe were both yellow but I'm not unhappy with this.

I figure I knit the equivalent of four socks this last month. I finished three socks that were barely started and made progress on three or four other projects. It's certainly not going to set any records but I'm pleased. It's great to have two new pairs of completed socks and I'm hoping to keep the sock knitting on a roll so I can get some of the others finished up.


Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Wow, Dallas! You did some amazing things with socks. I love your brilliant colors and personally think you made the right decision in using both the yellow and the turquoise on the Lorna's Lace sock. Not only that but I thought you meant to have totally different socks as one pair. They look fabulous together. (Yes, I did notice the subtle difference. LOL)

9:50 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

Such colorful, fun socks! Awesome level of production. You must have very happy feet.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Dallas, I am beyond wowed!

10:15 PM  
Blogger Sharon Hurlbut said...

Wow! Beautiful socks, and boy have you been busy. I really love the contrasting heels and toes - I think I may have to try that soon. Lorna's Laces is so soft, I feel like I'm knitting with butter when I use it. Your color choices are great!

2:19 AM  
Blogger kshotz said...

Yeah!! *big grin!* The socks are oh so gorgeous!!!


10:59 AM  
Blogger Dallas Schulze said...

Thank you all for the kind words on the socks. I had so much fun knitting them. Getting to share them here is just the perfect way to polish off Sock Hop month.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Old Knitter said...

Your socks are wonderful and fun to look at....but, if you liked magic loop, you will LOVE using 2 circulars. It's so fast!!!

6:46 PM  

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