Tuesday, October 30, 2007

More Socks

For all my protestations about not really liking knitting socks, I have been most taken by the Rainbow Socks. My first pair, in pink, for me, have hardly been off my feet since they came off the needles. I have embarked on a second pair, for 'im indoors.

This time I decided that it would be perfectly possible to knit the socks toe-up, which I much prefer, since it means you can knit and knit until there is no yarn left (or until you get fed up with it, whichever is the sooner.) I decided on short row toes, it seemed most in keeping with the rest of the sock (and also means there is no grafting to be done. When you are done, you are done.) I looked to the ever reliable Knitty and found the equally reliable Wendy Johnson, who has created a tutorial specially for people like me, who like to read about all the possible ways of doing a thing; about the pitfalls of doing a thing; about how other people have done the thing; about how not to do the thing; before actually doing the thing. Short row toe was accomplished in, well, short order.

Short row heel, ditto:

'Im indoors has the highest instep of anyone I have ever known and in the past short row heels just wouldn't work. He couldn't get them "round the bend". This time, I decided that I am in charge of my knitting and the business of using half the total number of stitches for the heel would not do. I therefore used 42 stitches, out of a total 72 and it worked a treat.

I've had to modify the pattern somewhat. The original calls for 60 stitches (which is what I used for mine) and the short row sections work out perfectly. Someone on Ravelry said the pattern was a 10 stitch repeat, so I thought I'd be OK with 70 stitches for this larger sock. Well, it's not a 10 stitch repeat. It's actually a repeat of 8 stitches plus 4 - so 60 works, 68 would work and 74 would work. However, 74 stitches really would make the sock too baggy (technical term), so 72 it is and a slight fudge on the points of the diamonds.

I don't think you can see the fudge:

I've been trying to knit from my stash this year. I haven't sworn off buying yarn but I have tried to be "careful". In my rummagings behind the sofa the other day, I came upon some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

There are four balls of a sort of aubergine colour and four of a pale pink. I've obviously started various things but nothing has worked out. I have no idea why I bought this yarn in the first place - it's far too fat (tt) for me but it's soft and squidgy (tt) and it wants to be something. But what?

Three balls (plus about four yards) of the aubergine has turned into Evelyn Clark's Flower Basket Shawl. I know that the original yarn is a lace weight (Misti International Laceweight Baby Alpaca) but the yarn is used double and the gauge is 16sts and 24 rows to 10cm in stocking stitch. The gauge given on the ball band for the Cashmerino Aran is 18sts and 24 rows, which is about right. I rattled it off in no time - started on Sunday, finished today, Tuesday. She is unblocked at present and looks fearfully small but I think she will grow in the blocking.

Here's a close-up of one of the baskets:

and here's the whole thing, looking slightly sorry for herself but just you wait. The Ugly Duckling will turn into a Swan - I just know it.

I'm still no further forward on which shawl to knit next - I need something to get my teeth into (but not something that is biting off more than I can chew). One of Dorothy Siemens' patterns? Something by Hazel Carter? maybe Alcazar? If I can't find anything I want to knit at Blackberry Ridge, I think it's time to hang up my needles.


Ruth said...

What a sock! I've got to make this one.

allisonmariecat said...

Gorgeous sock! I envy your ability to tweak sock patterns at will. The short row toe and heel look wonderful.
Flower basket looks great, and such a lovely color.