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Three pairs of finished socks

October 11, 2007 3 comments

These socks all turned out to be lessons in colorways and stitch patterns.

Sock #1
Pattern: “Denmark” from Nancy Bush’s Knitting on the Road (Cuff-down/flap-and-gusset heel)
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn “Baltic Sea”
Needles: Knitpicks Size 1 circular (Magic Loop)

It’s usually not a good idea to use self-striping or variegated yarn to knit patterns, especially cables, but that’s what I did with this pattern.

stormysea2.jpg

As you can see in this thumbnail, the low contrast in this colorway makes the cables pop – in fact, they’re clearer than with the solid dark view Bush used in her book. I wasn’t sure this would happen when I chose to knit this yarn in this pattern, but I was glad when it worked out.

The pattern itself was a lot of fun and knitted up quickly, once I realized she’d included a chart – the cuff pattern was a challenge when done with just the written instructions, but the chart made it easy. I espcially enjoyed the nupps after the cuff.

See the little knot between the leg and the cuff? 🙂 Adds a lot of style, I think.

I’m not sure if I’m going to make more socks from this book – many require resizing, and few of the patterns really appeal to me, but these were fun.

Sock 2
Pattern: Italian Chain from Charlene Schurch’s More Sensational Knitted Socks. Toe-up, Magic Cast-on, flap-and-gusset heel.
Yarn: Claudia Hand Painted “Last Night’s Wine”
Needle: Size 0 circular (Magic Loop)

I loved this colorway – dark and rich and full of the dark reds and purples I adore. And the problem with a dark colorway is that many stitch patterns do not show up. Again, this is a low-contrast one – all dark, saturated colors – but that was less of a problem here.

So, I chose a very strong lace as my stitch pattern:

It’s an open pattern. If you look at the picture, you can see two light colored dots. That’s the background showing through both layers of sock. It was simple, and very fun to do. I learned how to do a double yarn over, which is what created the big holes, and I think they’d look beauiful layered over a pair of either black or natural tights.

Here’s the full effect:

I love the subtle striping in the stockinette portion, too.

Sock 3
Pattern: Traditional (stockinette, top-down, flap-and-gusset)
Yarn: Paton’s Kroy “Winter Eclipse”
Needle: Size 2 circular (Magic Loop)

This colorway is very bright, busy and high contrast.

I actually tried knitting it in a pattern first – a slip-stitch rib. It came out, unsurprisingly, muddy and confusing, and I saw it was a mistake. When I started it again, I did it in plain stockinette, and now it has an almost pretty interference pattern.

To show what I mean by messy, here’s a close up of the eye-of-partridge heel:

I just wanted to play with eye-of-partridge, you see. I don’t know if it would have looked better with the ordinary heel stitch, though. I’m also not fond of the colorway itself, and the yarn wasn’t as pleasant to knit with as the other brands, but these socks are to be a gift for someone who said she liked the yarn when she saw me playing with it. She thought it was beautiful. Good enough for me.

In fact, it’s a lesson of sorts. I originally bought the yarn for my husband, and I was going to knit him socks both of us knew he’d dislike, and the whole thing was discouraging.

But, when Pearl said she loved the colorway, I immediately ripped them back and cast-on for her size, and they became enjoyable because I knew they were going to make someone happy.

I also experimented, in the second sock, with slipping the stitches on the purl side of the heel flap instead of the knit side, and I much prefer it. Not because I dislike purling, but because it’s easier to see where I’ve slipped in previous rows, which is very important for eye-of-partridge.

Also, these were the first plain stockinette socks I’ve ever knitted. They went very fast and I found them relaxing.

Categories: knitting