Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jaywalkers on the Roof

Two of my favourite patterns--zig zag and
argyle--in duct tape. A gift from my sister!
It's official...I'm still on my zig zag craze. I finished up these socks a few weeks ago and am still loving them.

It look a while to get pictures, however, because it has been far too hot to have them on even for a short photo shoot!!

Now what to write about these socks? They took some time to whip into shape. As you may recall, I had to rip out the first start because they were too large. I went down a needle size (to 2mm/0s) and then broken one of my wooden Harmony dpns while executing one of the double decreases in the pattern. That gave me the excuse to buy my first Addi Turbo dpns and I love them!
Then I got to the heel and it really gave me fits. I think I ripped it out twice--the first time all the way back to halfway on the foot because I realized I had to do the gusset different. I increased more stitches earlier and made the length of the foot a lot shorter. (It was a little hard to gauge the length because the zig zag pattern makes the fabric buckle up on itself.)
Once I got that figured out, the actual heel wasn't long enough so after a regular short row heel, I added more short rows and basically did a quarter of a short row heel on top of it. That gave some additional length in the heel and made the sock cover it better. It, however, also caused some odd bump shapes on the back of the heel as the peak of the additional short rows lined up with the point of the zig zags. You can see it a little bit on the picture above (where there's kind of a "wrinkle" on the back of the heel.)
I'm sure it's related to all the heel shaping somehow (I haven't considered exactly how), but the only complaint I have about the fit so far is that it is rather tight over the top, where my foot meets my leg. It's better when my toe is pointed and worse when my foot is bent at a normal angle, so I don't know if that means there's too much fabric there or if I just don't have enough stitches around at that point.
Immediately after the heel, I switched to the next larger needles and then proceeded up the leg, changing to larger needles one more time and adding some stitches to the zig zag pattern to accommodate my calf. It feels like that part is going to fit great. I finished with a lot of 1x1 ribbing on the middle sized needles to hold it all up.
You may recall that I started these socks with just the green/orange colour-changing yarn but discovered I wanted more contrast for the zig zag pattern to show. I added the grey/red/brown striping yarn, and it worked out pretty well. I have a few issues with the striping yarn itself (like the fact that they dyed only enough of a colour for one row sometimes between much wider stripes--see the red above) but I like how it contrasted with the main colour. A few times the grey of the one would match up with a green of the other and blend too much, but for the most part I got some good interesting stripes.
Besides the heat, this post was delayed because I was hoping to have some real sock blockers to help these socks look their best. Up to now I haven't really blocked any of my socks because I figured wearing them would put them into shape.
I like to fold the socks so you can see how the toe and
heel are really the same shape (top sock). It also kind of
reminds me of a boat.
But these socks really need them (and they would help for taking pictures--I wouldn't always have to model them). As I said, the zig zag pattern really buckles on itself and I'm hoping the socks blockers will stretch them to size so they'll fit better. The foot part on the smaller needles is like steel, the fabric is so dense and sturdy. Good for wearability, but they take some time to put on! I have some blockers on order at the LYS so I am working on it, but they haven't come in yet and I decided I couldn't wait any longer to post this.

I actually ran out of yarn on the second sock. I thought I had a good plan: I had two skeins of the green/orange (MC-main colour) and one skein of the grey/brown/red (CC-contrast colour). So obviously, I could use up one ball of the MC per sock and half of the CC.

I used the MC for the toes and heels and set up the stripe pattern with 8 rows of MC and 4 rows of CC. I figured that would make sure that I used more of the first. Then to even out the toes and heels a bit, I used only the CC on the ribbing.
So on the first sock, I knit the leg til I almost ran out of the MC, and then did ribbing until I had used up just less than half of the CC. That should have left me with enough for the second sock to match, right?
Project Stats
Started
: 3 Apr '12
Finished: 16 Jun '12
Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina
Materials: Patons Kroy Socks FX (Clover Colours, 2 skeins) and Ragg Shades (Grey Brown Marl, 1 skein), $ + $6.49
Well, apparently it wasn't. I ran out of the MC one row early, which means my two skeins didn't have the same yardage! I made up for that by doing the row in the CC. That's not a big deal since I was about the change to that colour for the ribbing anyway.

Then I ran out of the CC six rows short. This tells me that my skein perhaps didn't weigh what it said it weighed. Not much I could do about that! (Although I did splice on the long end I had from where I joined the CC on the first sock!) So my one sock is six rows shorter than the first sock. If I were a real stickler, I could shorten the first sock by six rows, but I'm not going to.

And I guess all this is to say that even though I call this the "Jaywalker" pattern, I only took from the pattern how she did the zig zag design and made the rest up as I went along. First off, I changed them to toe-up and then used my favourite toe (Sherman), my favourite heel (Sherman)--though heavily modified in this case, adapted the design up the leg to adjust for fit, and topped it with lots of 1x1 rib on top. (I think she used very little 2x2 rib, but that will never hold up a sock!)

Now I've packed them away for winter because these are going to be some warm socks!

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