Wednesday, July 9, 2014

K'done: Dazzle Them from Behind Socks

Apologies for the radio silence on these. Things have been a bit hectic. But look! Another pair of complete socks!

Pattern: Dazzle Them from Behind, by Meagheen Ryan
Yarn: Invictus Yarns Master of My Feet, in Desire
Needles: 2.25 mm / US 1
Bling: 128 8/0 Delica beads, in Garnet

Rank: #98

There is a questionable hairstyle that is sometimes described as business at the front, party at the back. These socks are a much better use for that phrase. From the front, you have demure, modest ribbed socks, with the tiniest bit of beadwork at the cuff and a cute picot trim.

From the back, however, all kinds of fancy things are going on. You've got some lace. Some cabling. Plus beading. Rock 'n roll.

This concept really appealed to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed knitting these. I just wish I had had the time to dedicate to them to get a better finishing rank on them - when I saw the pattern and how much of the sock was essentially plain ribbing, I was hopeful that I would meet my personal goal of better than 60th place on these. Life had other plans for me, however.

Ah, well. I still got a sweet pair of socks, and I finished before the stage deadline, so woot!

There were a few surprises in this pattern. I learned a new cast on - the picot edging is not like other picot edgings I've done, with a folded hem, and I like this one quite a bit, it's nice and stretchy. I learned that not all Delicas are made the same way - last year I successfully used a 1.3 mm crochet hook to add Delica beads to my Tour socks, so this year I pulled that same hook out to use again, and found it was a tad too big for some of the beads, and entirely too big for most. After fighting to add the first few beads, I dug out a smaller hook - 0.75 mm - and beading proceeded much more smoothly from that point on. (Boy was I ever glad I bought that smaller hook on a whim. Luck really does favour the prepared!) Truthfully, the smaller hook is probably a bit too fine for sock yarn - lots of separation of plies as I did the beading. No major headaches, though.

The pattern also had me work a longer heel flap than I usually do - I needed to pick up 19 gusset stitches on each side! (I usually do 16.) As is apparent in that last photo up there, this is probably more heel flap than I need. That could also be due to the pairing of the long heel flap with a riverbed gusset, with the decreases placed close together on the underside of the heel. I suspect my foot does better with gusset decreases placed further apart from each other - the heels on these are big, and I think the decrease placement encourages the fabric to fold where the decreases meet, which enhances the pouchiness of the heel.

Also, the pattern ate more yarn than I'm accustomed to, which really surprised me considering how much of these socks is plain ribbing (as opposed to, say, cables). I haven't weighed my remnants, but the little cakelets left behind are visibly smaller than what I usually have.

Still, I'll definitely do more of these, with different heel stylings. The ribbing on the foot does sort of get a bit tedious, but the end product is so worth it.

And who can't get behind the colour of this yarn? I need much more Invictus for future socks.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

TdS 2014: stage 4, days 1 & 2


I've been out of the house and unable to knit for long stretches (i.e., hours at a time) since this leg began in the wee hours (5 AM local time!) two days ago. Day 1 saw me do this:

I had a bit of a technical issue when I grabbed the crochet hook I used for last year's socks - my 1.3 mm hook - because although these beads are Delicas, ordered when I ordered the ones I used last year, their holes are smaller. I guess I got a weird batch? Luckily, I did pick up a smaller hook - 0.75 mm - at some point in the past year, so after fighting unnecessarily with the first few beads, I switched, and the beading became much smoother.

Day 2 saw this:

Not much beyond day 1, because I only really got some time in the morning, and it wasn't super effective time - I kept stopping to do something or check something.

Today I really really want to finish the first sock and start in on the second. Plenty of folks are already done, and if I'm going to meet my goal of top 60, then I really need to bust a move. Maybe life will cooperate better today?