Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summer socks, a hot knit

ETA:  Here's another pair of socks with double knit heels.  I need someone to test-knit the pattern I've written.  Comment and leave contact info if you are interested--I won't publish the comment, so your info will remain private.
Sock knitting doesn't happen around here as much as it did earlier this year. It's a good thing, really. My sock drawers are full. Not surprisingly, considering the weather, I haven't had any requests for warm, woolly socks. The best reason for the decrease in sock production is the decrease in time spent in waiting rooms. I'm hoping that trend continues. Earlier this month, though, waiting room time was supplanted with travel time. Thanks to that, I finished two long-lingering pairs of socks. Here's another pair with leaves on the heels.

This time, I used the Cable Rib sock pattern from IK Favorite Socks.  It was also published in Interweave Knits, back in Spring 2005.  The cotton yarn suggested in the pattern would probably work well for the ribs and cables.  As usual, I substituted a hand-dyed merino, Calypso by Creatively Dyed Yarns.  I can't say enough about the colors in this hank.  They blend in a lovely fashion with no pooling, subtly enough that they don't detract from the rather simple pattern.

My only modification was to double knit the heel flap and turn, using the chart I created to put aspen leaves on the heels.  I managed to both move the leaves up higher on these and use fewer stitches for the heels, producing a better fitting and more comfortable sock.  You can read up on my first double-knit heel experiment in my two earlier posts, one on the first sock,

one on the finished pair.

My pattern for adding double-knit heels to socks is now available for purchase. See my pattern announcement or Ravelry for more information or
just click on the button to purchase.

My other compelling sock knitting was aimed at recreating the second pair of socks I ever knit.  You can see what happened to the original in the photo below.

Felted!  That's what I get for not using sock yarn and for giving them to a non-knitter.  Ah well, my first attempt didn't fit me, anyway.  My fingers are more used to sock knitting now and produce a much tighter, more even knit.  While the first pair was too big, I often wondered as I knit that these might be too small!

There was no need to worry, though.  Another pair of Socks for Veronik, from the 2007 Holiday issue of IK, in Baruffa Aerobic merino, done!  I blogged the first pair back in 2008.

Now that summer is here (with heat!), I've got three half-pairs of socks languishing, waiting for mates.  Two of them are tests of the pattern I've been working up.  Although I need to work up some enthusiasm for pattern writing, I do work on the cuff-down sample occasionally, when I encounter a waiting room.  The other one is a rendition of Tsunami from Knitted Socks East and West.  The sock looks much like the one in the book.  However, since the yarn is not as soft as merino, I find it harsh to knit.  It will sit until I begin traveling again.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Easy to knit, hard to picture

That obsession with a red shawl is now over for me. There's nothing like satisfying a craving, like having a brownie when you are really hungry for chocolate. With knitting, satisfying the craving takes a lot longer, even if one had to bake the brownies. At least the satisfaction isn't tempered with guilt about excess calories. It's all good.

Size: 64" wingspan and 30" deep
Yarn: Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted
Needles: Size 6 Addi Naturas
Pattern: Falling Water
Mods:  2 repeats of Chart A, all 32 rows.
Knitter:  Soooo happy that it fits and falls just where it should.  The weight is perfect, the yarn is luscious. In a worsted weight yarn, the extra repeat would have made the shawl too big for me.  Since this yarn is light for worsted, it knit up a bit smaller than worsted.

The only thing I can't get right is the color in these photos.  The strange shot below is nearly it.  I guess clothespining a piece of notepaper under the knitting is the only way to make my camera record a deep red.  (I mean, I really tried. I changed exposures, light balance, all sorts of settings and worked from the RAW file.  Red is harder to shoot than green!)

Never mind, it is red.  Craving satisfied!