Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Edited Orange Stripes are burning

My regular readers are probably darned tired of reading about my one sock pattern, Burning Stripes. However, I figure that if I can stand to knit it again, they can stand to see it again. Truth is, I'm a little surprised to find that I still enjoyed knitting the sixth pair in this pattern--6 and one-half would be the accurate count, considering the adventure in skein-splitting last summer that produced three socks from one skein. That I did enjoy them--that's the real story here.
First off, I loved that I used yarn I liked a little to make socks I like a lot.

Knitting these was my kind of fun. Although they might look like the usual striped socks, there's more to them than you'd think. I began with a two-stranded tubular cast-on, mastering that technique and evaluating it. It is stretchier than the twisted German cast-on I've been using. It does look nice with 1x1 ribbing. I've even learned how to adapt it to 2x2 ribbing (nothing complicated there, just switching the stitches around on the needle before you work them). I'll certainly use it again for ribbed cuffs. However, I don't like the look of 1x1 twisted ribbed cuffs on a plain stockinette sock. It just doesn't flow.

I enjoyed mixing in a quieter color and editing out abrupt color changes to calm the loud stripes. I could swap to a solid color when a stripe ended, thereby maintaining that elusive sense of control that I lose when knitting self-striping yarn.

Another technique I tried was reversing the second half of the boomerang heel to put the smooth side of the stockinette against the sole of my foot. That it made the seam line stand out more was just a bonus. In spite of that, I can't feel it when I walk on it. In fact, since the bulk of the seam line yarn is on the outside and not the inside of the sock, it is even less noticeable.

I took extra pains to match the stripe pattern when starting the second sock. After the heel, I wanted to see how the stripes would look unedited--that is, without the plain orange alternating. I don't like the effect as well, even though I still removed the odd bits of pink. I'm glad I tried it, though, because it perfectly illustrates the difference between the separated stripes and non-separated ones, all in the same socks. The difference is more obvious when comparing the knit side of the foot with the leg.

I mean, I think it really makes a difference, but am aware that I might be the only one who appreciates it. On reflection, I now realize that I took a lot of extra time and trouble to make a pair of socks that look very little different than they would have if I had just knit them plain, easily and quickly. If I look at the result, a pair of rather obnoxious orange socks, I can't say it was worth it. However, when I think back to how much I enjoyed working out the issues, controlling the colors and putting my own twist on orange stripes, I realize the fun was in the knitting as much as the wearing. I really enjoy the process more when it includes a problem to solve, even if the only problem is satisfying myself.

Regardless of the effort, the matching stripes in the legs and the cute pink toes tickle me to death. I've been wearing them a lot. They're perfect.

Try these links for the two-stranded tubular cast-on:

Part I

Part II

I'll be working out the directions for reversing the second half of the heel--maybe as a pattern addendum.
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Affiknitty said...

I like this version too. I did buy some Mochi sock yarn during for your Burning Stripes pattern during my Stitches shopping expedition. I have to get some gift knitting out of the way first, but I can't wait to cast on.

Wool Winder said...

The socks you knit look great! And so what if they were more work--they were more fun for you that way. The key is to have fun.