Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Two Toe Tuesday: Black and Blue Edition


I started a new pair of socks on Sunday, and I feel like I don't have a lot to show for all the work that I've done so far.

A couple of hours before I left for my friend L____'s famous annual Oscar party, I realized that I was running out of projects that I could carry around and just knit for a couple of hours. The Leyburn socks are on the verge of being ripped out and re-heeled, the Red Hot Chili socks require chart reading, and the long-anticipated Summer Sky Socks are within and inch or so of needing a beautiful tubular bind-off. What a great time to start a new pair of plain, self-striping socks! In this case, I decided to use the Gothsocks yarn that I picked up at Madrona, figuring that goth can be glam, so it's Oscar-appropriate. That, and I don't think I have any sparkley sock yarn in my stash at the moment. Anyway, the Gothsocks yarn feels really good to knit with, and I love the black-black stripes alternating with the variagated blue stripes.

It took me awhile to find the yarn, then I spent some time searching for my handouts from Lucy Neatby's class so I could knit a garter stitch toe, then I gave up and put in her "Sock Techniques 2" DVD. Then about halfway into the toe, I realized that self striping yarn would very likely look strange in a garter stitch toe that starts at the widest point of the toe, then narrows to the tip, and then expands. So then I ripped it all out, put the yarn and needles in my bag, and left for the party.

I really don't blame the wine, but I came home unhappy about the toe that I'd knit (shown above, on the bottom). The striping looks great, but this is a toe with problems. Problem number one: too wide. I thought that I needed about 72 stitches, but that was clearly too wide, so I ripped back and tried 64, which still felt to wide. Problem #2: I picked up those black stitches in un-bright light after a couple of glasses of wine, I did something that pull a stitch or two out of whack. Maybe I twisted it, or maybe I picked it up on the wrong row, but it bothers me. I do like the fabric of the yarn at this gauge (8 st to the inch, I measured it today), which is great because I wouldn't want to go down a needle size to 00s.

Today, I tried option B, seen on the top of the photo. It's the Lucy Neatby garter stitch toe in plain black sock yarn. I like this toe a lot (even if it might be slightly lopsided). There aren't any holes, I didn't have to pick up any wraps, and it's as cushy as all get out. I think that this is a much better option, and I should have plenty of the plain black yarn (Louet Gems fingering) for heels, toes, and cuffs.

The next challenge: making sure that I finish up the socks that are past the point of easy-knitting!

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