Monday, October 08, 2007

This is what 50gm of sock yarn gets you

So close and yet so far.... Almost of a pair of wildy striped socks created using the variation of Amy Swenson's toe-up sock recipe.

What this tells me is that a single 50gm ball of sock yarn need not be ignored. If I use a contrast yarn for the toe and heel, I could easily get a pair out of it. Sock yarn bargain bins, here I come!

I've been using a lot of small-producer, all wool or merino-rich blends of sock yarn, and going back to a standard commercial 75% wool/25% nylon sock yarn was more of shock than I expected. I've been spoiling myself. I do worry about how well the 100% wool ones will wear, though.

I'm sure after a few washes these will soften up. Can't wait to wear them with my new black high-top sneakers.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hey Look! It's a Sock!

This is certainly an appealing feature of the toe-up sock design. Not only can you try it on as it goes

but it somehow feels closer to being done when you're near the end. Closer to being a sock.

I know why. I find that working the toe closure on a top down sock is slow -- not because of the knitting, but because I keep measuring to see when I should start. Which means trying the sock on, working a few more rounds, trying the sock on, and so forth. I'm always in a rush to start the toe.

Anyway, yes, very close to finishing up. Loving the stripe on this. I just need to decide if the k1p1 ribbing at the top should be 1 stripe tall -- just the grey and white portion -- or whether I should work the next stripe in the ribbing, too. I think I'll go one more for balance.

Next decision is whether to try to make the second one match, or start at a different point in the colour sequence.

Socks - the knitting equivalent of mashed potatoes. Can be as simple or complex as I want, lots of room for variations, but always comforting and never too challenging.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Toe Up With Gussets - Your In-Flight Entertainment

I've been pointed to a couple of toe-up with gusset patterns on Knitty: Baudelaire and Widdershins. Both of these are excellent designs, with extra levels of detail and patterning.

Me, I was on a plane at the time, without internet access. I was in the middle seat of the next-to-last row, no less. Sandwiched between two non-knitters. I got enough funny looks for knitting, but then when I took my shoe and sock off to try on my still-on-the-needles sock.... well, I think my seatmates were thinking about complaining.

What I learnt, other than that it's a mistake to take off your shoes in flight -- not because of any swelling, but that it's very challenging to lace up high-top sneakers in that small a space -- is that I didn't like the fit of the gusset-less sock.

So I did some thinking and drawing and hit upon it. Gussets are simply a section of the foot immediately below the heel worked on more stitches. That was easy. I ripped the foot back to inch before the heel, and added an increase on either side of the instep stitches every other row. I worked the shortrow heel on the original number of stitches, no problem.

The decision then was how to dispose of the stitches I'd added. In a standard-top down sock design, the number of stitches stays constant in the leg until after the heel is turned. But that's a flaw, too. The lowest part of my ankle is wider than higher up my leg. So it's not a problem to have a few extra stitches there - an upper gusset, if you will. It just doesn't need to be a long as the foot gusset. So I worked a decrease every round until they were gone.

And there it is! A double-gusset toe up sock. It fits great! Very pleased.