March 16, 2005


all done!

These socks were such a pleasure to knit up! It's the first time I've knit a sock with cotton in it.


Regia Cotton Surf. They come in big 100g balls and I have about 7 grams leftover. The yarn has about 40% wool in it which gives it a nice resiliency and stretch, but the cotton makes it lighter weight and less warm -- perfect for in between season wearings.

Matching the Stripes

After posting earlier in the week about those great matching stripes, many of you asked if I had any hints on how to do it. Here's what I did:

When I started sock 1, I purposely cast on starting at the very beginning of an orange color change. At this point I didn't know what the stripe repeats looked like, so I just pulled the yarn out until the first color change.

I knit up sock 1 without any concern over how the stripes were laying out. But, After several inches it was clear that the yarn had a 9-stripe repeat. Every 9 stripes started over with the same color and width sequence. It's important to note that not all sock yarns are so predictable. Here's a pic of the socks side-by-side. Can you see the 9-stripe repeat?

Then when it was time to knit sock 2 I pulled the yarn out of the ball until I reached an orange spot. I knew I needed a longer orange chunk followed by a shorter orange chunk. I found the start of an orange stripe and then kept pulling out until I found the next one. Once I found the longer stripe followed by the shorter stripe I knew where to start. I then started the sock exactly the same way I started sock 1.

Honestly, I didn't expect the socks would match up as well as they did! The Cotton Surf is VERY consistent and that made all the difference. Consistent gauge helps too, but if the yarn didn't repeat so well it wouldn't have mattered.

Washing the Sock

You may have noticed in last week's pic that there was a ridge along the center of the sock. This was where the 2 circs met. I had never had that happen on wool socks before and I wasn't sure if it would relax. But it did! If you look at the top pic it's completely gone.

Picot Edge Hem

I did end up pulling out the first hem. I went with Marnie's suggestion of Kitchnering it. There's a great illustration in Montse Stanley's book on how to Kitchner a hem in place. It's similar to kitchnering garter stitch. I was S-L-O-W but it worked -- took about 1.5 hours per sock! And it's as stretchy as the rest of the sock.


Just a regular old toe-up with short row heel. I used a figure 8 toe with no slip knot so I could go back and pull it tighter once I had knit a few inches. I made the sock 10% smaller in width than my sock pal's foot, and I reduced the leg by 8 stitches about an inch above the heel because it seemed too wide for sock legs. I did a basic YO K2tog picot edge, followed with 4 or 5 rows of stockinette, and then the Kitchner hem.

March 16, 2005 in sockapalooza, socks! | Permalink | Comments (20)

March 12, 2005

Perfect Match

matchy goodness
ooooh -- identical twins!!!

March 12, 2005 in sockapalooza, socks! | Permalink | Comments (14)

March 02, 2005

Halfway There

1 down!

The first one is done -- finally! I tell ya, knitting for a knitter is about as challenging as it gets. Every step of the way I've stopped and asked myself "Does this look OK?".

I played with gauge and swapped down a needle size. I did the toe 3 times before settling on one I liked. Then I started on the foot and decided it needed an extra increase round. I mucked around with stitch patterns and ribbings on the foot and the leg. And when all is said and done I stuck with plain stockinette. Why? I think the stripes do it all. I tried a chevron design but it just wasn't doing it for me. Maybe if the stripes were uniform. Or thinner.

I did finish off the top with a little picot edge. Just your basic YO K2tog, and then I did another 5 rounds of stockinette before binding off. Actually, binding off isn't the right word. I never bound off the stitches. I just sewed one live stitch to the purl bump of the matching row 5 rows down.

Once done sewing I stretched the top and I could feel the sewn row. So I gently worked more of the yarn through that row and it feels better now. But it looks a little fluted. A Regia booklet I have suggests pulling through a length of 1/4" elastic through the hem. What do you think? Any other suggestions?

The Yarn

I still love working with the Regia Cotton Surf. It has a healthy amount of wool in it (around 40% I believe) but enough cotton to make it feel lightweight. The ballband suggests 7.5 spi but I increased it up to 8 and I like it better. Those of you who read my blog often know by now that I tend to knit socks tighter than the specified gauge. It gives a more substantial and solid feeling to the sock and increases durability as well.

The one slight negative I'd say about this yarn is that the plies do not stick together as closely as I like. I suspect this is because it's only 40% wool. When doing decreases I had to pay attention or I'd lose a ply here and there. It's very manageable though and hasn't swayed my appreciation of the yarn. I bought this ball last year at MWSW and I will be on the lookout for any other colorways I like this year.


Last week I posted about how I split the jumbo ball into 2 balls (one for each sock). I read somewhere that a good rule of thumb is to make the leg as long as the foot. I knit until I hit that point and then continued a bit until I found a good stopping point in the stripes. I wanted the picot edge to be fairly solid. I weighed the sock when done and it weighed 46 grams. 2 grams leftover, which looks to be enough for another inch or two. So I'd say the yardage on this yarn is generous and should do well even if you did use a stitch pattern that ate up the yarn.

March 2, 2005 in sockapalooza, socks! | Permalink | Comments (20)

February 22, 2005

Sockapalooza is on its Way!

Christy hit the nail on the head when she said that I'm a ponderer. I've gone through 2 yarns and 5 patterns in order to settle on my sockapalooza sock.

I decided to go with Regia Cotton Surf in a bright stripe of yellow, orange, and dark pink.

Cotton Surf comes in big 100 g skeins (enough for a pair). I like the idea of only needing one skein, but I always feel cheated because I never know quite how much to use. After reading Sara's great post last week about a scale being your third most important yarn tool I decided to finally buy myself a postal scale. What fun! I weighed the ball (98 grams*), and wound off 48 grams (slightly less than half) onto my winder.

Socksscale  Sockswound

I've started the sock with the half I wound, knowing that even if my weights are off slightly I should definitely have a little less on the wound half than the half left in the skein.

Here's my progress as of last night.


I had a few false starts with this sock. I started with US 3's and had to go down to US 2's to get a good fabric. Now that I"m on the 2's I love the way the yarn feels! I picked the cotton since warm weather is on its way and I thought my pal would be able to use them more often in the cotton. The Cotton Surf is a superwash so they're easy care.

* Curious why the skein only weighed 98 grams instead of 100? Yarn weights can vary depending on atmospheric conditions. Yarn retains water, so if it's dry out (like now in the middle of winter with the heat blasting) the yarn will probably weigh a little less than say, August when it's 80% humid. To account for this you'll sometimes see "under standard conditions" listed on the ball band.

ps - If you haven't already done so, go see Vicki's amazing St. Brigid. It's gorgeous!

February 22, 2005 in sockapalooza, socks! | Permalink | Comments (16)