Monday, March 15, 2010

K'done: Skew Socks

Feelin' dizzy?

Pattern: Skew, by Lana Holden
Yarn: ShibuiKnits Sock, in Earth
Needles: 2.75 mm / US 2

This was fun. I was worried the stockinette might suck the fun out of it, but it was seriously fun. I'm not sure why, because it's not as though I dislike knitting stockinette in the round, but I have it in my head that for socks it's boring.

Probably I should have tried going down a needle size in making these to fit my size 6 feet, but there were a few things stopping me. First off, I don't have those smaller size needles - I've got boatloads of 2.75 mm DPN sets, they are my go-to needles for socks. Second, I really like the fabric I get using this needle size with sock yarn. I get a decent gauge - somewhere between 8 and 9 stitches per inch, which seems right - and the fabric isn't too stiff or thick. Third? I'm stubborn.

In any event, I knit the right one first, and it came out too big. Granted, I did one more repeat of the foot rounds than the pattern called for before starting the inner ankle - don't ask me why I thought I would need to knit more than the pattern said I would need for a size 8 foot! In any event, I knit the whole right sock, tried it on, saw that it was too big, but kept it around while I knit the left one, and ended up with one less foot rounds repeat as compared to what the pattern calls for. That was much better, and I then picked out the cast-off edge of the right sock and reknit it.

These are still a bit on the big side - socks are supposed to have negative ease to their fit, and clearly these don't. They're at the no ease mark, I think, so I get loose looking crinkles when my foot bends inside them. Next time, I'm going to try stopping with the toe increases earlier - instead of knitting a 72 stitch sock on the diagonal, maybe I'll try going for a 68 stitch sock. That probably has consequences for how the ankle and heel work up though. Then again, I have this inkling that the designer is working out other sizes, so maybe those will be available for the next pair.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

K'done: Spring Forward Socks

Boing boing!

Pattern: Spring Forward, by Linda Welch
Yarn: KnitPicks Stroll Sock Yarn, in Auburn
Needles: 2.75 mm / US 2

A nice pattern, though by the end of the second sock I was glad to be moving on to something else. The subtle colour variations of the kettle dyed yarn were also nice for this pattern - no visual competition.

To make an 11-stitch repeat work for a 56-stitch sock, I ended up wanting 5 pattern repeats around with one extra stitch somewhere. To make this work, I centered the pattern motif over the instep for the foot by knitting two stitches in stockinette before beginning the pattern, which meant I would need four stockinette stitches at the end of the instep. After the short row heel, I rearranged the stitches over five needles, which was a bit cumbersome but kept all the increasing and decreasing for the pattern nicely organized. As for that one extra stitch, I slipped it into the pattern repeat at the back - for that repeat, I would do four stitches between the increases and decreases rather than three. All in all, my futzing worked out pretty well, but I must admit to being surprised at how non-stretchy the lace ended up being. I can still get the sock on my foot comfortably, but getting around the heel is closer than I'm accustomed to.

At the end of the day, I'm pretty pleased. It'll be awhile before I consider doing this pattern again though.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Knit to knit

What's this?

Well, this is a sock. Technically two.

See, what happened is I knit the right sock of a pair of Skew socks. Only, I flubbed up measuring from the toe for the length of the foot - probably started measuring from the wrong corner - and ended up with a sock that was entirely too long. By entirely, I had nearly an inch of extra room. But, I didn't rip back to try and take out that extra length once I'd started up the leg after the heel, because I wasn't sure how the sock would really fit once it was off the needles - I wanted to wait until I had bound off the cuff before kitchenering the heel closed, because an insane part of me was really worried about running out of yarn. I totally didn't, by the way, but it doesn't matter, because at the end I had a sock that wouldn't fit me.

I decided to treat the socks as a learning experience, and make some adjustments in knitting the left sock. I did only 14 repeats of the foot increase-decrease rows, and in the end got a sock that fits much better. But I still didn't have a pair.

Since I knew what needed to be done at that point, though, I unpicked my woven in end from the cuff of the right sock, and unraveled the bound off edge, and then cast on again.

I didn't want to frog the whole thing because then I'd have a big pile of crimpy yarn that would have to be re-caked, with high potential for frustrating tangles. So I'm knitting straight from the old, too-long sock to the new, better-fitting sock. It's going pretty well, and the crimpiness of the yarn isn't bothering me in the least - it doesn't seem to be affecting the fabric I'm getting.

Hopefully, I'll finish these soon - I want to wear them!