March 19, 2006

FO: India Socks


Another pair from the pile of socks-in-progress is done. And this one meets two goals. I took notes on sock one so I could reproduce it on sock two. And, I've finished another 2005 MDSW yarn purchase.

matching stripes courtesy of
my handy dandy notebook
increases and the tubular bind off


Yarn Regia Jubilee -- India Colorway
Needles 2 Addi Turbo 2.25mm (US #1)
Pattern Basic 60 stitch toe-up with a figure 8 toe and a short row heel. I did calf increases so I could make them longer without cutting off my circulation. To fit my leg, I increased 2 sts every 4 rows a total of 8 times (to bring the stitch total to 76 sts).
Gauge 8.5 stitches per inch

The tubular bind-off was fun but took some practice. The second step (when you're going through stitch 3 purlwise, while stitch 2 is still on the needle) needed to be looser than I originally thought. I had trouble making it loose without being loopy until I started stretching the ribbing after performing each step. I just did a quick stretch and it really seemed to make everything look nice and smooth -- and stretchy.

I love these socks so much that I've already worn them twice in just a few days. I washed and dried them inside out and they did just fine in the laundry. Their first wash definitely softened them up a bit too.

March 19, 2006 in socks! | Permalink | Comments (21)

January 15, 2006

FO: Rainy Day Socks

proof that yes, my calves really are *that* big

A scant 14 months from the cast on date and these are done!

Rainyday2   Rainyday3

Pattern Rainy Day Socks from The Sock Calendar by Catherine Wingate and Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer (from HeartStrings)
Yarn Trekking XXL in color 78
Modifications The pattern is top-down with an afterthought heel (they call it a peasant heel). I did mine toe-up with a wrapped short row heel and EZ's sewn cast off.

Pattern and Yarn Thoughts

I picked this pattern because I wanted to find something other than a basic stockinette sock for the Trekking. I didn't want something so patterned though that it would interfere with the pretty, subtle colors of the yarn itself.

The slip stitch pattern did the trick. After knitting a repeat it was easily memorized, and it gives the sock just enough texture to keep it interesting to knit as well as look it (now that they're done!).

The book has some great patterns in it. Amazon's view includes the back page which shows closeups of all 12 socks. At 14 bucks this book is a deal.

There's also a follow up book--The Sock Journal--that includes 12 more socks. I don't have this one yet but you can check out the back page for closeups of the patterns as well.

I did find the yarn to be somewhat splitty while knitting them, and although I could knit them without looking, I'd have to do a quick survey each row and note if any stitches had become split.

I've already washed and blocked them and I noticed no substantial change in texture or gauge; the water remained clear even on the first wash. This yarn isn't the softest sock yarn out there, but it's not scratchy or uncomfortable either, and I expect the nylon content to make a good long-wearing sock.

In case you're counting, I'm now down to 5 socks-in-progress. Not a bad way to usher in my first FO of 2006.

January 15, 2006 in socks! | Permalink | Comments (28)

January 10, 2006

Afterthoughts on the Garter Stitch Heel

Someone (which blogger had this idea in the first place?) started going back and giving thoughts on projects after she'd worn them and used them for a while. It's an awesome idea and I have several in mind.

Since I'm wearing my Jaywalkers today (summary post is here) it seemed fitting that I talk about them.

In general I still love them. The yarn (Tess Super Sock) machine washes and dries perfectly. I do turn them inside out (no different than how I wash most T shirts and washable sweaters) so the RS doesn't get too beaten up during laundering.

The big change I made to the pattern was using a garter stitch heel. I still think the heel is great. It's cushy and form-fitting.


As long as I'm wearing mules. When I have shoes with a back the heel stretches and poofs out of the top.

After walking around for a couple minutes things seem to settle in place and relax and the heel looks normal, so it's definitely something I can live with. I think this problem is caused by the fact that I made this heel deeper than I usually do. This combined with the stretchiness of garter stitch makes for a growing heel.

Next time I'm going to try making the foot a couple rows shorter -- probably about a half inch. I am still very happy with the shape of the deeper heel so I don't want to make it shorter.

To sum it up -- I like the heel, it just needs a little tweaking so it's perfect.

January 10, 2006 in socks! | Permalink | Comments (10)

January 08, 2006

Sock Sunday


I always start out strong with my yearly goals. Maybe I should make goals each month instead?

So...I have some good progress to show! Last Sunday I had less than a half a foot of the India sock done...and today it's finished!

So now I'm onto sock #2 of the Trekking. I cast on for sock 1 over a year ago, so rather than just a quick cast on I had to figure out how many stitches to start with, what kind of increases I used, and how frequently I increased. They're almost identical, but they look the same on my feet so I'm fine with it.

For now I'm sticking with socks and only socks for January, but it's early so don't be surprised when I stray.

As for the Koigu contest, there are a few strong contenders and I need to make a final decision. I'll announce a winner over the next few days.

January 8, 2006 in socks! | Permalink | Comments (6)

January 05, 2006

Koigu Contest

Interesting comments to yesterday's post! Some of my favs:

  • Christy and Katy had similar points in suggesting if we go shopping and can't find anything else that we'll buy sock yarn so we don't come home empty handed. This one hit home. I am positive that I do this (although I never noticed it until she said something).
  • Johanna suggests I forget about knitting all the yarn and just roll in it. I like her style!
  • Kris made me laugh when she said she plans to catalog her sock yarn before her next order arrives

And this one is the one that made me really think...

  • Amy suggests I use the Koigu for something else.

I have considered that, but dismissed it because all the colors I listed are doubles. I bought 2 hanks just for socks. It doesn't mean I _have_ to make them into socks, but it seems like the best fit.

It got me thinking "What else could I do with all these double hanks of Koigu?". The 2 hanks total 350 yards, so I have 350 yards of each of the colors you see here.


So -- the contest...

What is your best suggestion for how to use this yarn? Use one ball, or many. Mix and match as you like. I will say that my inclination is to not split up the 2 hanks of the same color, but I'm open. My favorite suggestion wins...what else? A couple hanks of Koigu -- maybe from the stash, maybe new. I haven't decided yet.

So give me your best idea. I'll leave the contest running until Saturday.

January 5, 2006 in Contests, socks! | Permalink | Comments (46)

January 03, 2006

20ish? base 16

I catalogued all my sock yarn. 20 wasn't even close. I have yarn for a solid 31 pairs. This does not include yarn that's not necessarily for socks (e.g. Schaffer Anne). I'm tempted to declare January a War on Socks, but that'll surely jinx me.

  1. Artyarns Supermerino Pink and Peach (110)
  2. Artyarns Supermerino 4 Turquoise and Green (123)
  3. Dale Baby Ull Pink with green and dark pink (?)
  4. Elann Sock It To Me Colori Pink with turquoise and purple (29)
  5. Fortissima Colori Socka Color Denim print (9099)
  6. Fortissima Socka Cream (1048)
  7. Hand Jive Cream dotted with pink (Odd Duck #7)
  8. KnitPicks Essential Burgundy (23698)
  9. KnitPicks Essential Dusk (23693)
  10. KnitPicks Essential Pumpkin (23699)
  11. Koigu Gold and Green (P301)
  12. Koigu Navy with bits of orange and mossy green (?)
  13. Koigu Pink with lavender and green (P219)
  14. Koigu Pink, Red, Orange and Purple (P807)
  15. Koigu Purple and Fuschia (?)
  16. Louet Gems Marine Blue (?)
  17. Louet Gems Opal Pink (?)
  18. Mountain Colors Bearfoot Dark Navy with subtle purples (Thunderhead)
  19. Opal Dark Blue and White (Farbe 5 Partie 16)
  20. Plymouth Sockotta Black with rainbow (20)
  21. Plymouth Sockotta White with gray (18)
  22. Regia 4ply Color Navy with light blue and brown (5171)
  23. Regia 4ply Color Reds (5571)
  24. Regia 4Ply Colors Light blue and tan (?)
  25. Regia Crazy Color Bright pink and black stripes (5402)
  26. Regia Jubilee Pink (India)
  27. Skacel Trampoline Red with green and yellow (233)
  28. Sock It To Me Colori Turquoise and Blue with pink and green (33)
  29. Spirit Trail Superwash Merino Teal and brown with some pink – 18-20 spi (48-04-04-01)
  30. Steinbach Wolle Strapaz Multi Purples with green and gold (114)
  31. Trekking XXL Purples with bits of pink (78)

* indicates SIP

January 3, 2006 in socks! | Permalink | Comments (22)

January 02, 2006

Socks Socks Socks

If I'm going to be serious about my goals I need to examine my sock knitting.

Exhibit A


These are my current SIPs (socks in progress). They're all lovely, and any of them would make a welcome addition to my sock drawer. Problem is, I'm no more than halfway done with any of 'em.

From the upper left going clockwise we've got

  • Regia Jubilee in India. Love love love this self-patterning yarn!
  • A twisted stitch sock of my own design. Still in the very early design stages, and actually...too wide and not enough patterning. More on that in another post.
  • Roositud socks
  • A Trekking sock in a slip stitch pattern.
  • An almost complete knee high. Kellee even sent me a huge spool of clear elastic to do the top portion so I'm out of excuses!
  • Red Skacel Trampoline sock. This is my first sock with elastic built into the sock (instead of lycra it's something they call "polyester elite"). It's so form fitting and should be really comfy to wear.

So there you have it. Six pairs of socks -- most of them are 50% complete. How am I going to avoid this in the future?

First off, I'm going to give 2 socks on 2 circs a try. Now that I've tried 2 sleeves at once, I'm very interested in trying 2 socks. I think this might do the trick because what I've noticed is that I motor through sock 1 because I can't wait to see what it looks like. If I have 2 on the needles, it stands to reason that I should motor on through the two (right?).

Well, we'll see.

BTW, I'm considering making it a rule that I need to knit up all previous MDSW sock yarn before this year's MDSW. I have knit some of it so I only have yarn left for 3 pairs, one of them being the Regia India above. I know I'll be adding to the sock stash at MDSW so maybe a little self-imposed stash cleansing is in order.

January 2, 2006 in socks! | Permalink | Comments (15)

November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving Socks

gusset   just hangin' out   heel


Pattern Jaywalker. 84 stitch sock at 9 spi (pattern recommended just under 8 spi but I liked the yarn better at 9).
Yarn Tess Super Socks in an unknown coloway (if I had to guess I'd say Confetti). Is it just me or does Tess not mark the hanks with the colorway?
Yardage I used 80 grams which translates to approximately 360 yards.
Needles 2-2.5mm/US 1 Addi Turbos


I made several small mods to the pattern.

  • I used a tubular cast-on and did a 1x1 rib instead of a 2x2 rib at the top.
  • I used 2 circs instead of DPNs. The pattern adjusted to the circs just fine, but you did need to think about where to split between the 2 circs. Because of the way the pattern increases and decreases you need to split the circs right where 2 increases occur. In order to do this and still have the pattern look right you also need to do the first increase at the end of needle 2 (so the increases are right next to each other). I don't know if I'm explaining this well, but leave a comment if this doesn't make sense. It's not critical that you split the needles this way, but if you don't you'll have to reshuffle stitches every 7 or 8 rows.
  • Garter stitch short row heel. I didn't follow any pattern for this so I'm not sure I did this correctly. I wrapped all but 9 sts for the 84 stitch sock. When going to pickup the wraps I had to pickup the WS wraps differently. This surprised me at first since it's garter st. On the WS rows I lifted the wraps off of the stitch that it wrapped. So from right to left my left-hand needle had 2 wraps and then the stitch itself. Then I did a sssk (knitted all 3 together). This formed the best-looking RS. If anyone knows of a better way to pickup wraps on the WS of garter stitch please let me know!
  • Once I finished the heel I needed to decrease a bit. So I added in a 3-stitch gusset. The first 3 rows after I finished the heel included the double decreases at the sides. After that I did a SSK or K2tog just like the pattern says.

Thoughts on the yarn

This yarn is a dream to knit with! I can't believe I've had Tess sock yarn in my stash for a year! It is very stretchy and with 20% nylon I expect it will hold up well. There was a considerable difference in softness once I washed them. I washed the first sock as soon as I was done and you could really tell which one had been washed. The yarn did lose some magenta color when washing but I only knew that because of the color of the water. The yarn itself remained vivid.

November 25, 2005 in socks! | Permalink | Comments (14)

November 16, 2005

A New Heel


I turned the heel last night. The change I made is pretty obvious, right?

I used a garter stitch short rowed heel. Christy showed me her mermaid sock over the weekend and I knew I had to try it. Thanks for the inspiration, Christy!

I also made a change to the way I normally do short row heels. I've been using Wendy's proportions for heels. That is, I've been leaving one fourth of the sock stitches at the heel as unworked stitches that I didn't wrap.

Well, last night I also got my copy of Folk Socks and noticed that Nancy suggested doing an afterthought heel until there was one inch of stitches left. Structurally the afterthought and short row heels are very similar so I thought I'd give it a try. This heel fits me much better!

added later One-fourth of the stitches is 21, and one inch of stitches is 9. So, this modification has made for a much deeper heel

I was a bit concerned that the garter ridges would be uncomfortable but at such a small gauge that doesn't seem to be a problem. I won't know for sure until I wear them, and at this rate I may be done before Thanksgiving!

November 16, 2005 in socks! | Permalink | Comments (10)

November 14, 2005

Tess, finally


I've had this Tess yarn wound up for 3 months now! At first I thought I'd make gauntlets, but that didn't take. Then I tried a few stitch patterns to use as a scarf but the colors were too bright and crayon-like for me to think I'd actually wear it as a scarf.

In the end I went back to my go-to project -- socks.

Do I really need to tell you the pattern?

In true grumperina form, I have made a couple changes. I prefered the way the yarn knitted up at 9 spi. I know it's really tiny but I just don't like loosey goosey knitted socks. They look bad and they wear worse. So, I cast on for the larger sock size and actually got a sock that matches the smaller size -- perfect.

The other change I made was to use a tubular cast on and a 1x1 rib. Why? The 1x1 tubular cast on is *so* much quicker. At 9 spi I figured I earned at least one short cut.

I do have one other change in mind. Christy you probably know what it is since I told you I liked your sock that used it this weekend.

The rest of you will have to wait a few days. I'm such a tease, aren't I?

November 14, 2005 in socks! | Permalink | Comments (10)