Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Two Toe Tuesday: House Socks in the Nick of Time

Hearth & Home Socks

It's been over two months since I last finished a pair of socks. This wouldn't seem so surprising if I hadn't started three pair during that time, which means that I had FIVE pair of socks on the needles at once. I will list them, as proof: House Socks, Poppies, Mr. Stripey, Stripey Sock, School Bus Socks. Let us not speak of pair #6, the Pink Footies, which haven't seen action since November 2006 and should really be ripped out because I don't like the way they look and I don't want to knit socks on DPNs ever again.

It's quite a relief to be finished with this pair, and not just because I wasn't sure I'd ever finish another sock. The pattern comes from Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters book, it is the Hearth & Home Eyelet Anklets in the Ridgeway Sock Architecture.

What I don't like about the pattern: I don't love the eyelet/ribbing trim at the top of the sock, and I found the pattern very frustrating--not because it was difficult or counterintuitive, but because I had to shuffle through a stack of photocopies every time I needed to move from one section to another. This drives me totally bananas, because inevitably I end up missing a page and then I have to dig out the book and figure out what's next.

Also, in order to ensure a proper fit, a gauge swatch is pretty important, and I prefer not to swatch for socks. The swatch determines the "magic numbers" that determine the number of stitches you start with, so if you start the toe without doing a swatch, weird adjustments may be necessary. The solution is to use the same yarn repeatedly, or to have a better understanding of the architectures so that I can fudge without referring to my Calculus textbook (especially since I threw it away 15 years ago).

What I do like about the pattern: The sock looks weird off the foot, but it fits really, really well and I think it looks good. The socks are for me to wear around the house, and I like the little bit of pattern on the top and the cushy heel. Despite all of my complaining, I do like to learn new techniques, and the concept behind Cat's sock architectures is fascinating.

What I like about the yarn: This is the first time I've used Melody by Jojoland, and I really like this yarn. I love the long color repeats, and how the two strands blended together in the socks. I think it would be interesting to use strands of two different colorways. I had no issues with splitting, and only minor problems with tangling that were entirely my fault.

I haven't washed & blocked the socks, because we still don't have heat--it looks like we need a new furnace, not just a new part for the 16 year old furnace. This would have been very good information to get on day 1 of the furnace outage, instead of day 6. Anyway, I'll wash & block later--for now, I need to put those puppies on!

Last night I cast on another Unoriginal Hat, again in Leticia, but in the Rook-y colorway:


I love the color of this yarn, too, and it seems a little less thick/thin than the last skein. Maybe the winding twisted the yarn? I may have used more tension when winding the first skein, although this one looked fluffier to begin with. In any case, I'm looking forward to another quick knit--in between working on all of those socks.


angelarae said...

I've used the melody, too, and liked it. My color is not as pretty as yours. Your socks look really nice:)


Veronique said...

So, is the sock shaping different from other socks? I remember a pattern by EZ or Meg Swansen with an arch... Is it something like that? I love the color you chose for the hat!

tiennie said...

Nicely done!