Sunday, August 19, 2007

Laugh at the devil as his train rolls by


blue cable_2

The duck socks (see previous post) are swimming along pretty fast. My brain is busy with other - sadly less productive - things and I find knitting around and around on a small easily completed object just so satisfying and soothing too.

These socks in merino cashmere sock yarn from The Knittery, which is just the loveliest stuff to knit with, took a long time to come to fruition. I was determined to try a gusset heel and the first time I messed up the numbers. I didn't used a pattern, just started toe-up and tried it on my foot as I went, as they were for a friend with similar-sized feet to me. I used the heel part of the instructions from Widdershins, a pattern that is written for a larger gauge yarn. So it took one failed attempt trial run to see how the heel worked and revise the numbers. Of course I could have done a trial heel in other yarn - but I always like to dive in on the real project, cause there's a chance I'll get it right first try. Isn't there?

Anyway the first sock went into time out for a while (months). When I finally ripped out the heel and tried again it worked out fine. And it's amazing how much quicker the second sock grew! So far I am experiencing the reverse of second sock syndrome - the second one is quick and easy because all the decisions have been taken and I just have to follow my notes. But, it is still early in my sock knitting career.

Based on the size of the sock yarn stash, there IS going to be plenty of sock knitting in my future. Was it only late last year I was saying "I don't think I'm interested in knitting socks or wearing hand-knitted socks"? Heh.

13 comments:

Kuka said...

hey the socks look great!
Just quietly, I can feel the sock itch creeping up on me too...

Michelle said...

EXCELLENT socks!!

Rose Red said...

Those are some very fine socks - love the cable on the top of the sock!

Georgie said...

Gorgeous gorgeous work, especially the cables. I love that yarn. Mmmm, must get me some Knttery yarn soon...

shhhh, dont tell anyone, but I can feel the sock itch starting to build too! Im so inspired by all these lovely socks appearing everywhere.

Jejune said...

Wow, they look just wonderful - aren't they the nicest thing to wear ever? Really good photo too!

Bells said...

oh! Olivia is coming over to the sock-side! Hooray. They are just lovely. I remember seeing you fiddle about with those at SnB a month or two ago. glad to see they're looking so great.

Alwen said...

Oh, my word, I LOVE those socks! I could steal them right off your feet!

Widdershins, eh? I think I printed Widdershins out. Hmm, I've been wanting to try a full-size, toe-up, gusset sock.

Donna Lee said...

The socks look beautiful. I was admiring that pattern maybe for me. I have discovered I love wearing hand knitted socks. Now, I just have to hand knit some!

Olivia said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments. Those who want to steal the socks from me, too late, they were already gifted before I posted this!

I just want to clarify that I started these socks toe-up without a pattern. I used 2.25mm needles and increased from the toe until they were a good fit - I think it was 76sts. Then when I got to the heel I had to work out how to do a Widdershins-style heel with my 76 sts.

Widdershins uses 2mm needles and 54 sts to achieve 8 inches around the foot. (Having just measured my foot now, looks like I was shooting for about 8 1/2 inches) I said in my post that Widdershins used a larger gauge yarn but then got a shock to see that it used smaller needles. However, if my dodgy calculations are correct I worked at almost 9 sts/inch and Widdershins is written for 7sts per inch. (And no I don't normally think in inches, I just worked backwards from the pattern). So in conclusion, gauge is weird, isn't it?

Kuka said...

$12.99 for the sullivans sock yarn =)

Alex and Jude said...

Noice socks :)

I love the cable and I love the heel too, so neat!

Taphophile said...

Fabbo socks. I'm in awe of your suck it and see approach to patterns, or lack thereof. Just great!

Kate said...

I also find the second sock no drama, provided there is a pattern to keep my brain from liquefying and dribbling out my ears from sheer boredom (did I say that out loud?). I'm currently suffering a chronic case of Second Sock Syndrome, and I'm three-quarters of the way through the FIRST SOCK of a pair of plain vanilla stocking stitch jobs. After that, I have two pairs of deadly dull man-socks to knit (belated Father's day gifts). Do you mind if I steal inspiration from you for one pair? Otherwise I might die from sheer ennui. The upside of uninteresting socks is, I suppose, that I get to use words like "ennui"!

Incidentally, Cookie A's Baudelaire pattern on Knitty also has the same toe-up gusset heel, in three different sizes.