Inside every oyster, there's a purl...

Monday, October 09, 2006

More about Sox

So my package from Lisa Souza arrived, and I have to say, I'm a little disappointed with the garnet color. I was expecting something a little richer, more cranberry, and this is a little dull. But the Berry Poppins is beautiful. I debated returning it, but going to the post office is one of my least favorite errands ever! So I wound it up and started the Conwy socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road. Since I'm a mostly self-taught sock knitter, I haven't yet attempted a "real" sock pattern yet, and I've been wanting to try this one after reading how well they fit due to the calf shaping. It was a little rocky in the beginning, but so far, so good. The picture didn't quite capture the color. It's not as red as it appears -- more maroon, really.

In other sock news, I needed a little baby gift for a friend I was going to visit last week, and I decided a little pair of baby socks using some leftovers would do the trick. I used the Lorna's Laces Amethyst Stripe, and of course, forgot to take a picture. But I did another pair one night using the leftover Cherry Tree Hill, and they are very cute. I cast on 32 stitches on US1s, then did my basic 2x2 rib (in hopes that would help them stay on better -- I can't tell you how many baby socks we lost on Riverside Drive!). They are about a newborn size, so I guess I'll save them for the next baby gift.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About (my) Sox But Were Afraid to Ask

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

After about 15 years of pretty non-stop knitting, I finally succumbed to the lure of the sock only about six months ago. It was about the same time I discovered the whole (addictive) online world of knitters and knitting blogs. Until then, frankly, knitting socks had never even occurred to me. No knitters I knew made them, and my LYS, despite their extensive selection, didn't even carry any sock yarn. But every blog I read waxed poetic about knitting socks. Still, I didn't get it. I mean, how hard was it to buy socks that fit? To be honest, I only ever wear black nylon thin thin thin trouser socks anyway (except for one thick pair I save for snow boots!) But I was going on vacation, I needed a small, portable project that would last the week, and I was afraid that my beloved (and expensive) Addi's would get confiscated on the plane.

So I went to a new LYS in my neighborhood, one that had a very different selection of yarns, and turned myself over to them. One skein of Cherry Tree Hill, in a fuschia/purple/turquoise colorway, size US3 dpns and a store pattern later, and I was on my way.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
That Cherry Tree Hill was my first pair. I just followed the pattern, written for 4 dpns, got somewhat confused around the heel, but figured it out. Since this was just this last spring, I haven't worn them yet!

What would you have done differently?
Knitted on the size 3s, they are a little loose. It took a couple more pairs to figure out that moving from 4 to 5 dpns would (mostly) correct my ladder problems. Still having ladder trouble on the SSK decrease...when I went back to the LYS for help fixing that, the woman said, "That's just the beauty of handknit socks, they all come out like that!" Since it drives me crazy, and I know there are many more finicky and experienced sock knitters out there, any suggestions or help would be much appreciated!

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Second pair: Regia that I got on sale for my hubby. Little scratchy, even after washing.
Third: Lorna's Laces in mineshaft for my Dad. Much better! Really lovely colorway, and so so soft. He hasn't worn them yet either.
Fourth: Koigu. I was desperate and leaving for vacation. Beautiful, but handwashing is SO not going to work for me. I think I'll throw them in the wash and hope for the best.
Fifth: More Lorna's in amethyst stripe. Love the yarn. Stripes? Not so much. I'm more of a variegated girl.
On deck: Lisa Souza sock! yarn in garnet, raved about by the very entertaining Lime & Violet
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
Pretty stuck on 5 dpns for now. Don't have size 2 circs and the dpns are really portable, easy to do just one needles worth. I throw it in a little bag, and into my purse for the kids' gymnastics, playground, the car, whenever I have a few spare minutes. Rarely do I work on socks at home.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Flap. Haven't been very adventurous. All mine so far have been your basic 2x2 ribbed leg. Next pair, I'm going to attempt an actual pattern (gasp!): the ubiquitous Jaywalkers or Conwys.

How many pairs have you made?