Saturday, June 18, 2016

K'done: I Remembered It Again socks

Second stage of the 2016 Tour de Sock: complete!

Pattern: I Remembered It Again, by Heidi Nick
Yarn: Invictus Yarns Master of My Feet, in Powerful
Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1

Tour rank: #151

Well. I did better this time, but once again work interfered with sock racing. Once again, I knew it was coming, but it's still a bit disheartening to experience it. Stage 3 is also going to be disrupted by work - the pattern is going to drop crazy early in the morning, and I have to proctor a final exam that morning too, which will be followed by marking the exams.

Hey look! Green socks!

A photo posted by Jen (@pikaknit) on

I bought this yarn in anticipation of the Tour last year, thinking it would be good to stretch out of my usual colour box, and socks are a great way to do that. I'm not sure green or blue is great up near my face, but on my feet? No problem. I wound up the yarn as a possibility for one or two of the stages last year, but ended up not using it, so it went back into a Ziploc bag and into the yarn cabinet, waiting for its time.

Clearly, its time had come.

This pattern is super, super cabled. The charts are excellently clear, and even colour-coded for additional visual cues to help you avoid working the wrong cable at the wrong time, but despite the fact that the pattern repeats itself a few times throughout the sock, I was unable to memorize it, and therefore was a chart slave throughout the knitting. There are just too many different sorts of cables scattered throughout the repeat. (To be fair, the full motif is repeated three times per sock.) When I saw all the cables, including some 4-stitch cables, I decided to err on the side of caution and cast on the largest size in the pattern - 71 stitches around. I'm glad I did - I knit socks at a smaller gauge than patterns specify, somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10 stitches to an inch, and cables knock the lateral stretch out of knitted fabric, so the resulting socks really seem to fit pretty well, with me being able to slip them on and off without worrying about exceeding the limits of the yarn's tensile strength.

Also, the patterning on the back is not like the patterning on the front:

A photo posted by Jen (@pikaknit) on

It's not super easy to see in that shot - and by the way, twisting around to take pictures of the backs of your own feet is not exactly simple - but there's a sort of argyle diamond pattern rendered in texture with purl stitches. They continue along the heel instead of the usual slipped stitch heel flap. Since I've never had a pair of socks wear out on the heel flap, I am not at all concerned about the thinner fabric on that part of the sock. This pattern has you continue to work in the round for the gussets and heel flap, which was my preferred sock construction technique once upon a time, before I learned how to pick up stitches without making myself crazy along the way and in a way that I actually liked the look of. Doing the gussets and heel flap together runs into the same situation that toe-up socks do, where it feels like the gussets just take forEVER because the rounds are getting progressively longer, so progress seems to get slower with each set of two rounds (increase round + plain round).

That being said, the sock still felt pretty quick. I'll probably be knitting another pair - Sister has been eyeing them appreciatively.

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