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April 22nd, 2009

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11:12 am - Socks, and even more tank musings
Look what the knitting floon has done! Motivation to take photos of the socks I've finished recently. And since I realize I haven't blogged about anything since last June, some other socks, too!

Flaming Stained Glass Socks

Pattern: Stained Glass Socks by nathaniaapple, available from Purlescence Yarns
Yarn: 1 skein Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock-Lightweight (Shadow), 1 skein Cockscrow. Actual usage was about 2/3rds of a skein of Shadow (MC) and maybe half of the Cockscrow (CC)
Size: Women's US:10's, which for me is a 9.5" length foot.
Needles: 3.0 mm (US:2), 2.75 mm (Pattern calls for 3.25 (US:3) and 3.0 mm (US:2))

A fairly simple Fair Isle pattern, for those that might be interested in dabbling in colorwork and are comfortable with socks. Seeing the vivid contrast between the black and fiery oranges and yellows was its own motivation to working on these.

I failed my pattern reading roll--for reference, the cuff is supposed to be five bands of the corrugated ribbing, not three. Still, the mistake led to a synergistic decision that I need more ankle socks to wear during the summer, so I was not unhappy with it.

My one major recommendation would be: GAUGE SWATCH. I didn't, feeling fairly confident in my needle re-sizing off pattern, and flubbed it pretty badly. I wound up re-knitting the entire foot of the first sock because it was much, much too big initially. I probably should've used 2.75mm and 2.5mm (US:1).

Also: although knit toe down, the toe should begin far sooner than 2" from the end of the foot that is standard for cuff-down patterns. There are a lot of stitches needing to be decreased, given that it's Fair Isle, so I think 2.5 or even 3" would be a safer bet. The pattern (at the moment) doesn't specify when to start the toe.

I also shortened up the heel flap considerably from the 3.5" recommended for the large size down to my usual 2.5"--you do want to make sure you have enough space in there to be able to get your foot into the sock, but the combination of knitting a shorter cuff -and- using a needle-size too big gave me no problems with this.

Panda Silk Arrowhead Socks

Pattern: Based off Wendy Johnson's Detailed Toe-Up Sock Pattern by wendyknits, and the Arrowhead Lace pattern from Sensational Socks.
Yarn: 2 skeins Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Silk Print
Size: Women's US:10's, which for me is a 9.5" length foot.
Needles: US:0 (2.0 mm)
Gauge: 9 sts/inch

I'm not as happy with these socks as I was hoping, but I'm happy they're done. I wanted something a little more complicated to work on and went for a lace pattern that I thought would work okay with the busyness of the yarn's varigation. I think that part worked, but I don't know if I entirely like the lace pattern itself. It was, however, an easy pattern to memorize after a few repetitions.

Like the yarn, though. It's soft and thin and only a teeny bit splitty, even with the bamboo content. Plus, it has bamboo content!

Seal-Point Lucy Socks

Pattern: Based on the Lucy Socks by wendyknits, using her Fingering Weight, Toe-up Socks with Gusset Heel pattern
Yarn: 1 skein Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock-Lightweight (Lucy), all; 1 skein Rowan 4 ply Soft (Brown), partial with a lot left
Size: Women's US:10's, which for me is a 9.5" length foot.
Needles: US:0 (2.0 mm), US: 1 (2.25 mm)
Gauge: 8 sts/inch on the US:0's in the STR


Devised at a time when the STR skeins were a titch shorter than they are now, I still like the idea I came up with: knitting brown "points" onto the socks out of the Rowan, to mimic those of the Siamese coloration the yarn was originally based on, in order to coax a bit more length out of the socks from a single skein of the STR. I think it worked out rather nicely. :) These come to about mid-calf on a tall woman.

The Rowan is a bit thicker than the STR, so was knit on the US:1 to a rather firm fabric; the STR was knit on US:0's.

And I'm told that they're now the favorite socks of the person I knit them for. :)

Generic STR Silkie Socks

Pattern: Based on Wendy Johnson's Detailed Toe-Up Sock Pattern by wendyknits
Yarn: 1 skein Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock-Silkie Sock (Chapman Springs)
Size: Women's US:9's
Needles: US: 1 (2.25 mm)
Gauge: 9 sts/inch


I loved this yarn the moment I laid eyes on it. It sat in my stash, making me happy, until I came to the decision to make handknit socks for a friend of mine who complained of being cold in her office all the time.

Incredibly I got 9 sts/inch gauge using this yarn: I almost never get 9 sts/inch! So I adjusted Wendy's pattern accordingly. Simple stockinette around, short row heel, 15 rows or so of ribbing at the cuff.

And the recipient loves them.

Hobgoblin Leyburn Socks (WIP)

Pattern: Leyburn Socks by MintyFresh
Yarn: 1 skein Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock-Lightweight (Hobgoblin)
Size: Women's US:10's (9.5" long foot)
Needles: US: 1 (2.25 mm) (pattern calls for US:2's)

As made famous by the yarnharlot. I love this pattern to little pieces at the moment.

Since I hadn't seen it described anywhere, yes, it really does go amazingly fast, and I believe the reason is that it is, cunningly, at heart actually a stockinette sock, coupled with the fact that the diamonds are created by Fair Isle-like floats across the outside of the fabric--and you are slipping 60 stitches out of 72 every four rounds, meaning you're only knitting 12 stitches every four rounds. Fast!

The pattern itself is shown with photos of a dark purple yarn, which is pretty, but Internet and LYS consensus is that this pattern shows best in a highly variegated yarn, like the Hobgoblin I'm knitting it in. Then, the floats really pop in contrast to the stockinette field underneath it.

And more on the tank top saga...

I made the mistake of doing more pattern trawling yesterday, and I think I have a few more options on the tank pool, with one in particular rising to the fore.

  • Sahara ($$$, Stitch Diva) - (short-sleeved version) The pattern calls for a novelty yarn for the yoke, but I've seen plenty of examples of this on Ravelry where it seems to be done in the same yarn as the body. This one is winning to be done first, as I think I want to use the Classic Elite Four Seasons yarn (the white cotton-wool blend) for this. I think there's enough detail at the neckline to make it visually interesting despite the white-cream color.

  • Picovoli (Free, Grumperina) - A nice, simple t-shirt-like pattern, I think this would be pretty good for the variegation of the multi-hued Fiber Fiends linen. However, I'm not sure if I'm prepared to knit with this yarn, yet, especially since I think I will be awfully close on the yardage I have on hand given what the pattern calls for...and that's only if I hit gauge, which I'm not sure I can do in the linen given my memory of swatching it last year. So, time to do another gauge swatch, this time, oh, making sure to note the size of needle used along with the sts/inch, and wait for another skein of the yarn to come in from special order.

  • Silken Scabbard ($$$, Stitch Diva) - (short-sleeved version) Cables! Cables! I suspect this would probably look good in the eggplant Takhi Cotton Classic but mostly it's: cables!
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