Spring Socks

Well, it seems I’ve fallen in to a non-blogging rut again.  I would like to be posting at least once a week, but I find it so hard to do posts about WIPs.  I like to show off FOs, it feels like an accomplishment, like a giant strike through on my to-do list.  Posting about WIPs feels like a reminder of the fact that there are things unfinished, that my life is actually cluttered and (sometimes) overwhelmingly unmanageable.  I feel like if I only show the FOs, it will at least give the impression that I have everything together all the time.  That’s why I didn’t post until I could show you these:

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These socks were started so that I would have something to knit at the Sock Hour at my LYS.  Since they’re kind enough to host the knitting event, I try to work on projects from yarn from their store or at least projects in yarn they carry (it’s not hard, I have a lot of yarn from them, they have awesome selection.)  I started them back in May, and if you’re in Portland, you know what our May was like this year–grey, rainy, cold, not at all like what May should be like.  When I was trying to decide what yarn to cast on with, this green practically jumped into my hand.  It was such an appealing color against the ugly weather that was showing no sign of letting up.

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The yarn is from a local indie dyer StitchJones.  This yarn is her Titanium Sock yarn.  I think it will live up to it’s name.  It’s very tightly spun and feels like it will be very durable.  The color is called “Tempest in a Dyepot” and it varies from a light bright spring green to a deep olive-forest green.  I was unbelievably pleased that the color didn’t pool in any obvious or terrible way.  Perfect variegation is extremely rare, but this is a wonderful example of how awesome hand-painted yarns can end up looking.

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Ryan is an excellent sock photographer don’t you think?  I told him taking good sock pictures is just one of the many reasons I love him.  His patience for my knitting photo shoots is incredibly endearing.

The pattern is from the book Knitting Socks With Hand Painted Yarns which I’ve owned for a long time but never got around to making anything from until now.   The premise of the book is patterns that make hand painted yarns stand out without overpowering the stitches and obscuring all the hard knitting work. I think these socks speak for the effectiveness of the book.  The pattern I used is called Zigzag Anklets.

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The socks are actually most just a plain stockinette sock.  The construction is interesting.  They are knit top-down.  First you cast on and knit the simple zig-zag lace pattern and some 1×1 ribbing.  Then you turn the sock inside out and continue in stockinette for the rest of the way.  This means that the zig-zag lace is right-side-out when it folded down.  I love the retro bobby-sock look of these, though I doubt you’d find any bobby-socks in acid green (until now.)

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There are only a few things I would change about this pattern.  First, it tells you to knit the body of the sock on US 2 needles.  I did, and I got the right gauge, but they are a bit loose for me–not loose fitting, I mean the gauge feels loose.  I think I would cast on a few more stitches and knit them on US 1s instead.  I tend to like a tight gauge for my socks though, I think some of my socks can stand on their own.  I feel like it makes them more long-wearing, not sure if that’s really true.  I’ve only had one pair of socks wear through, and they were knit on US 1.5s so who knows…  The other thing is strangely picky but since I’m griping about 1/4 millimeter differences in needle size, it seems fitting.  The decreases on the gusset go “the wrong way.”  I like a k2tog on the right and an SSK on the left.  This pattern reverses them.  I followed the pattern as written, “just to see” and I don’t like it.  It’s not as graceful.  It does make the gusset line less noticeable though, so maybe that’s what the designer was going for.

I’ve already cast on my next pair of socks (they are a doozy) and maybe I will even show them to you before they are finished.