Friday, September 21, 2007

More socks

I've been very busy knitting socks. Since the most recent post about socks, I've finished at least five pairs. I bought Cat Bordhi's new book, New Pathways for Knitters and the first sock I had to do was Coriolis. I knit it in a beautiful yellow-green yarn from Nature's Palette and while it dyed my fingers green, it looks beautiful and I love the way the spiral curls up the leg. For the next Coriolis I knit I will add a couple of plain rows before knitting the purl row for turning so that there isn't that little pook-out where the spiral ends.

The other sock, on my right foot, is Ambrosia by Anne Budd, published on Knitting Daily a while ago. I enjoyed knitting the cables and even got brave enough to do them without using a cable needle. I just dropped the stitches that needed moving, knit the appropriate stitches then picked the hanging stitches up with the needle and continued merrily along. I did have a problem with the socks though. The cable pulled the socks in so much that when I finished the heel I couldnt' get the socks on. After some consultation, I ripped the socks back to below the heel, and added many more stitches to make the instep bigger. It worked, although the socks are still a little tight around the instep. I need to wear them a bit to make them stretch.

I've also knit two pairs of socks using the Canadian dyeing company Hand Maiden - a delight to knit because it is so soft. I love the feel of the yarn, with it's blend of Merino, Cashmere, and nylon, and the socks are great. Both the socks are from New Pathways again - this time Upstream and Riverbed whose only difference is where the increases are - on the top for the first, and the bottom for the second. Upstream is the purple one, Riverbed the brown one. Riverbed was made for my husband and after I gave them to him to try on I told him he couldn't really wear them till after they were introduced at the next West Coast Knitters Guild meeting a couple of weeks from now. He was very dutiful and gave them back to me, even though I know he wanted to wear them. Shame on me.

Here's another pair I finished at least a month ago. I bought the yarn in Victoria, BC when I was there for the Fibre Fest. The yarn is Jitterbug. Too bad they are now a little too small for me, since I washed them. I love the colours.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Socks, Socks, Socks

I've been sock crazy for months - or as my GLBT list says, "I've gone over to the dark side". Many, many socks have been knit, and yes, I do manage to complete a pair before I knit another. The socks you see here are a pair I knit after I first saw someone knitting with Koigu. I had to have some - it was like a drug - get it to me now. I knit these socks like crazy and they are certainly wonderful. One little note - I wore them once and after taking them off noticed that there was a line of soft abrasion right over my big toe on both socks. This yarn is obviously very soft. However, they have been washed a number of times now and they are holding up just fine. And another little note - they were knit toe-up with no picking up stitches on the side of the heel flap. Yes, there is a heel flap and a short row section to make the rounded section where the heel turns upwards. I love that.

The interesting thing about these socks is that they are part of a series I have been knitting using a left foot/right foot pattern which I adapted from an explanation of top-down socks knit this way. It took lots of concentration to get the pattern adapted - somehow it felt like knitting in a mirror; every thing I wrote had to be considered backwards from the way the pattern was written. It felt quite wierd.

Here's a detail of the heel and the gusset. The gusset is knit right in and is very simple. It was taken from the sock design in for Widdershins socks, a pattern I loved. It was my first foray into toe-up socks and I found it a revelation. I have avoided socks because I didn't want to deal with that heel flap - oh have I mentioned that I hate picking up stitches already? And look - a slip one knit one heel gusset, just like in a top down sock. I'm such an innocent - I didn't even know it was possible. I have grown so much. (lol) Now I'm thinking I'm an expert, but then again - there's more to come in future blogs about that...

And look - here is my very delicate heel and foot - a mere size 10.5 inch foot. That's about average. Note the short leg above the heel - I'm not into tall socks ever since I started running and discovered short running socks. The top was cast off using the knit 2 tog thru back loop technique which gives a nice stretchy finish. One of the early socks I knit I cast off the normal way, but that was another lesson learned, since I could not get it over my ever-so delicate ankle. Thank heaven for yarn stores - I learned the technique I used here at one of my favorite yarn shops here in Vancouver - Three Bags Full, thanks to Francesca and Linda.

There are more socks waiting their turn to be blogged. I must be happy with this one for now. If I try to do too much, nothing will get done. That's my style, and I have to live with it.