Socks, Old And New

And they’re done. Finally. The two color socks that have taken forever to finish are in the finished pile.

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Project Notes:

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces, in Rainbow and Bold Red.
Pattern: Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch. It’s one of the Four-Stitch Reticulated Patterns, using a solid color combined with a multicolored yarn.
Started: Way back in January. These went on hold while I did a simple stocking stitch pair during Wintergrass, then have languished a bit, as I got bored with them.
Finished: June 25th, 2006
Needles: Lantern Moon ebony, size 1. I used a pair of size 0 bamboos for the ribbing.
For: Me

What I learned: Lots of things. Two color knitting is denser than one color (duh). If I did these again, I’d do a gauge swatch and try bigger needles and fewer stitches. These practically will stand up by themselves. I also learned that it does make a difference which color goes in which hand. I held the red (background color) in my right hand, and the multi in the left. This seemed to make the background color pop a bit more. When I did it the other way, the red stood out more. I also got to practice two-handed knitting, with one color in each hand.

I also learned that two color socks take more yarn. I used about three quarters of the skein of the Rainbow, and about one and a third skeins of the solid color. Because I hadn’t planned on this, the dye lot of the Bold Red is different in the two skeins. I used the different dye lot in the two color part of the second sock, where it’s camoflauged by the busy nature of the pattern, and saved the tail end of the first dye lot to match the toes, where it would show more. You can tell the difference, but not so much when they’re on your feet. I’m not sure I’d do these again  but it was fun to practice the two color thing.

Now that those are done, I immediately started on a new pair of socks. I have been jonesing to start a pair from Socks That Rock, as I have a bunch in the stash. This is the Rainforest Jasper color, which was the first skein sent out in the Rockin’ Sock Club. I’m not doing the pattern that came with the yarn, as I’m not in the mood to follow directions. I’m doing what’s developing into Lorette’s Famous Sock Pattern, which will be unveiled as this thing goes along. This is being fine tuned by taking bits and pieces of many sock patterns that I’ve seen and tried.

First step; Cast on. For this sock, I’m doing a picot hem, just because I love those little spikes on the top. They remind me of the points on a queenly crown. (My family will be well aware that this motif fits.) The cast on is a long tail cast on, because it will be turned under and won’t be seen. When I’m doing a plain ribbed-topped sock, I use the German Twisted Cast On, described here.

Here it is in the process of being hemmed.

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How-to: cast on 64 stitches on size 2 mm needles, divide between four needles, knit seven rounds. Next round: YO, knit 2 together all the way around. Switch to 2.25mm needles. Knit seven more rounds. On the next round, fold up the hem along the yo-k2tog row, and knit each live stitch together with its corresponding cast on stitch. This is fidgety, and takes a little time to make sure the rows line up, but makes a nice hem. You’ll need to weave in the end of the yarn from the cast on edge before you hem it up. Use a stitch marker to mark where the round starts, if you care about that sort of thing.

Note that this is still a little experimental. I tend to just wade in with sock yarn instead of doing gauge swatches, so the stitch count may get revised if it looks too big even for Bigfoot (me). If you are going to follow along, you need to figure out how many stitches you need for your own foot. The official way to do this is to knit a gauge swatch, then measure your foot around the ball of your foot. Multiply the two numbers. So if you get 8 stitches per inch, and your foot measures 8 inches, you cast on 64 stitches. Or something like that. I prefer the trial and error method, as I hate doing gauge swatches with sock weight yarn.

Also note that my needles coordinate with the yarn. These are my Pony Pearls, some of my favorite sock knitting needles.

So far my verdict on the STR yarn: Wow. The colors are intense, and the yarn very nicely spun. I can see why everybody loves this stuff. I’m using the lightweight variety, and it feels just a bit heavier than the Lorna’s Laces or Opal.

And just because I know you guys count on me to point out stuff that you need to buy, here’s something more:

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My very own Emergency Sock Knitting Kit, made by Cassie.

What’s inside, you might ask?

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Extra needles, a ruler, a tiny crochet hook, scissors, darning needle pinned to the fabric, and a stitch marker pinned to the fabric.Of course, you are responsible for loading up your own kit. It doesn’t come with all that loot.

And what’s on the card, you might ask?

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My instructions for kitchener grafting, for the toes. Because I can never remember how to do it.

Comments

Socks, Old And New — 27 Comments

  1. I love the emergency sock knitting set, very cute. And I love the new socks. A long time ago I took a class on steeking from Lucy Neatby. She showed us a pair of mittens that were from the same pattern using black and white yarn. In one mitten the knitter held the black in the right hand, on the second mitten she held the black in the left hand. The difference was amazing, even though they were the exact same mitten, they looked completely different.

  2. The socks look fantastic. And I have simple feather-and-fan socks half made that are of older vintage than those, I’m quite sure. So I don’t know why you characterize it as “way back in January” when you started them! And I bet you might like the denser fabric in the long run. They’ll last longer.

  3. Doncha just love that book! I bought it awhile ago and I just can’t get enough of it.At least the socks LOOK great, despite being such a pain/boar to knit. When will you post new pics of Langsjul?I await them with baited breath!

  4. I’ve got my sock kit loaded in much the same way. Isn’t it going to be handy?
    Your socks turned out beautifuly and were worth all the work you put into them. Wear them well!

  5. They are so pretty and they look like they were a lot of work! You’ll have some toasty toes wearing them.
    That is an awesome sock kit! Everything you need in a little roll.

  6. Those socks ARE sensational! Sensational Knitted Socks is a very fitting name. And the emergency sock knitting kit would have come in handy for me this week. I’ll have to look into getting me one of those! =)

  7. I can understand all the down sides of the two-color knitting, but boy those socks are beauts. If they’re too heavy to wear, just hang ’em on the wall. You’ll blow all your visitors away!

  8. The two color socks are beautiful! They’ll come in handy when the temps dip this winter and it’s cold and wet (hard to imagine now, huh?). and I love the sock knitting kit. I gotta make me one of those. So handy just to grab and go. I’m working on my first picot hem socks and I love the look. Just hope they stay up!

  9. Oh I do so wish I was brave enough to knit a pair of socks! They look so amazing and I always, but always have cold feet.

  10. Gorgeous socks! Good for the winter when you will want warm feet. Nice to have independent minded socks in the winter! I will be in the Seattle area from August 22 until August 28. Hope to see you then!! Meanwhile, I’m off to Barcelona for a month!!

  11. Beautiful socks! Hopefully worth the slogging work.
    I love the idea of the emergency sock kit… just what every sockknitter needs.

  12. I love the two color sockies—worth it, don’t you think? And you learned something, always a bonus!
    I just finished my trekking socks, and want to cast on another pair. The pattern I had picked out seems altogether too fiddly, I’m on the hunt for something not too hard but not mind-numbingly boring for the pilgrimage to your part of the world.

  13. Hey, Lorette — Thanks for the comment after my breast reconstructions. I feel great and it’s good to be back blogging and reading others’ blogs too. The socks are stupendous! I have nothing to show now but have started back with the knitting and any time now will have a picture to share…

  14. Fantastic socks! Love the comments on what you learned and that little knitting kit is awesome..thanks for a peek at your notes..some how I’m nosey in that regard and I want to see peoples scribbles pertaining their project! Nice yarn talk!

  15. How funny! I’m sure you can spout off normals for blood gases, lytes, CBCs, ect in your sleep but you can’t remember how to kitchener! Your brain just must be too full 🙂
    I’ve loved those red socks since their inception, I’m so glad to see them finished! The are simply glorious, Lorette!