Sunday, October 2, 2011

Socks, heeled with a twist

I enjoyed a trip to Montreal last weekend, meeting a friend who was attending a conference there. The effort I saw put into food preparation was impressive. Even the fast-food stalls in a food court were preparing everything from fresh ingredients, sometimes in rather unusual ways. I had a piece of quiche that was bigger than my head and surprised myself by eating it all! Good food, for sure. The shopping was interesting, a bit different than the usual I see here in the states. The best thing, though, was just tramping around, talking and seeing the sights.

It is a fairly attractive city with all the usual attractions. I even found some Missoni items (the real thing, not Target). They reminded me that I need to start another Missoni Sock. Not that I've more or less cleared my sock projects away, I might be able to manage a new one. Before I left, I worked through some sock projects that had been lingering. One pair had lingered for months.

While editing on the toe-up version of my Daylong sock pattern, I knit two sock feet in one week. They helped me work out the numbers, but then, there they were. They needed legs. The legs took longer, three months, in fact. I would knit a bit, then put them aside for something more interesting. Since I was determined to knit them as long as I could, I began to think I would never finish them. Even though the Fannie's Fingering Weight I used is a delicious yarn, I was relieved when it finally ran out. About half way through the leg, I increased from 56 to 80 stitches, then continued in 2 x 2 ribbing, ending with my first pair of knee socks. Although knitting such long legs was way too boring to be fun, I might do it again if I like wearing them.

One practical project deserves another. Just today, I finished a pair of socks requested by a friend. She picked the yarn from my stash, declaring it the perfect choice since it contains all the colors she usually wears. (Excuse me--colors? These are not colors. These are shades of gray.) I had bought the yarn, King Cole Zig Zag, in Cambridge along with a plain off-white skein, planning to combine them into striped socks that would disguise any pooling. Once my friend picked the Zig Zag, I had to go with just it, pooling be damned.

Luckily, her slim ankles only needed 60 stitches--the pooling was minimal. However, once I hit the heel and beyond, pooling abounded. I'll just tell her the pooling is good, that it is what the yarn was designed to do. Since the socks have the super-comfy Princess sole of my Daylong pattern and will match all her clothes, I'm sure she will like them.

Once I finished those two pairs, I was free to cast on a sock to take to Montreal. I wanted to knit a replacement for a pair of socks I had given away. I had knit a pair in a great colorway of Paton's Kroy with contrasting heels a couple of years ago. After I gave them away, I missed them so much that I bought more Kroy to knit another pair. Of course, they had to have contrasting heels. That's when I got a little carried away.

I decided to try a double-knit heel flap. I haven't seen it anywhere else. I thought it might be a sensible way to knit a durable heel. Having completed the first one, I can say that it is not. A double-knit heel has a very loose gauge, the opposite of what one wants for heels. While I can't recommend double-knitting for heels, I can recommend it for entertainment. I was so thoroughly engrossed in the heel that my flight from Montreal to home seemed to only last a few minutes. I don't know when I'll knit the second sock. (Actually, this one isn't finished yet. That explains the dangling yarn ends, doesn't it?) Whenever I do, I know it will be entertaining. Also, it will take hours!

Ravelry project links:

Knee High Daylong Socks

Gray Daylong Socks

Original Kroy Socks

Missoni Sock

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