I finally finished the Diamonds in the Fluff socks. The yarn is lovely, the pattern is great and yet, it took me more than a month to finish them … not sure why.
Ah, well – the yarn was from Zen Yarn Garden, one of the Art Walk Sock colourways. The idea is so lovely, I really wished I could afford to buy this for the year. As it is, I’ll have to be satisfied with snapping up the odd left-over skein.
The goal was to pick a pattern which would showcase the yarn, and I think this one does that perfectly:
And because I was so please with myself, I treated myself to a rare indulgence in the house: a grilled cheese sandwich. With ham. And a drop of chili sauce. It was delish.
Sock knitting and I have a bit of a checkered history.
Despite the fact that I always loved wearing hand knit socks, I never really liked to make them. Back in the day, when I learned to knit, more years ago than is appropriate to reveal publicly, there was only one method. You started at the cuff, did a heel flap and then grafted the toes together.
My heels were always more or less complete failures – having small instead of gaping holes along the pickup sides of the flap counted as a major success. My grafting sucked, and the toe ends were always more or less puckered, with a few holes added for good measure.
In short, my socks were mostly unwearable, which of course totally defeated the purpose of making them, especially since it was such a painful and frustrating process – the two circular method wasn’t around, either.
Fast forward 20 an undisclosed number of years, and there are more methods to make socks than I have fingers on my hand. Both hands, actually.
So I started to make toe ups socks, with short-row heels, and I was in sock heaven. Easy-peasy, a pair made in a couple of days. Brilliant.
Then a friend on G+ vented her frustration about heel flaps, and the great community came up with a lot of great advice, and I felt inspired to try a toe-up sock with heel flaps.
Enter Wendy D. Johnson and her book , “Socks from the toe up” – there’s a link on the right hand side, if you’d like to check it out. I chose to make the “Mock Cable Socks”, but modified the pattern a bit, and swapped the cables for Eyelet Mock Cable Rib.
About 7 months ago, the first version of these were my second pair of toe-up, short-row heel socks.
The other pair is gray and black, which gives it a classier appearance. These are just fun, made out of some mysterious russian (I believe) sock yarn and some left-over Regia hand-dye effect.
Looking at these socks closely, I wonder if a gusset heel wouldn’t work better here … ah, who am I trying to kid? I know it would, but I haven’t yet found a method that does not drive me nuts. Does anybody have a link to a great toe-up gusset heel? I’d love to see it!
And we are not speaking about the clearly visible proof that counting to two sometimes is too much for me …
That being said, I wrote up the pattern, it just needs a few minor adjustments, and then I hope to find some willing <del>guinea pigs</del> test knitters who help me find any flaws. Once that’s done, I’ll make it available for download.
That (points up) was the plan: my first color work socks. In green and blue, with a lovely gruesome pirate motive.
So I cast on, knit happily along, shortly pondered to swap my usual short-row heel with the Sweet Tomato heel by Cat Bordhi, decided to just carry on, finally hit the color work rows.
That’s where things got interesting. Firstly, I decided that I wanted a different yarn, so I swapped the blue for my hand dyed The Poison. Which was a bit of a mistake, as it’s slightly thicker than the green base yarn I was using.
Ah, well, not the end of the world.
I fought my way through the pirates pattern, with some trepidation … old, long forgotten memories of crumpled color work kept popping up in my mind. I did, however, finish the chart.
Only to find out that the pirates looked alright, just had zero stretch. Now, that is a bad thing in a sock. They would not go over my heel (yes, I tried. No, I did not take photos.)
So … I frogged the pattern, decided I need a bit more practice, and finished the sock with a simplified pattern:
Apologies for the abysmal photo … it’s winter. This was the sliver of daylight I could catch today before I left for work. I’ll try again, one of these days …
Then I kinda forgot about it – I had the shawlette to deal with, his Majesty’s Blanket, a so far undocumented easy sweater, my granny squares and the minor inconvenience called regular life, including a full time job :D.
Today, I stumbled upon the Susanna IC KAL, and spontaneously signed up. While browsing Susanna’s other patterns, I found this: the meandering vines shawl. I squinted my eyes, peered a little bit closer, and lo and behold, that’s the lace panel I’ve been using for my socks!
A mystery solved! Great start into the weekend. Have a lovely one!