Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More Socks: Grey and Stripes, Big and Small

I never did show you the grey socks that prompted me to dye the yarn for my next pair.
A nice basic pair.

I added sock yarn for the toes:
and heel:
It was too tight a gauge to work the sock yarn with the main yarn for the whole sock. (I may have to invest in a larger pair of nice cable needles, but I probably won't...)

I started the 1x1 rib a little early so it ended up a nice good length. I like the 1x1 rib as a good cuff to hold up the sock.
If you look closely you can see that I did little 1x1 cables when I changed from the 2x2 rib to 1x1 to keep the knit stitches knit and purl stitches purl. I don't like the abrupt change that happens if you just knit the stitches as they present themselves. It's a very small thing that I don't always worry about, but it's nice when I can change it to my liking. As I was doing the second sock, I realized I could even mirror image the cables so they lean left on one sock and right on the other! Will anyone else notice? No. But I enjoyed doing it that way.

I finished the striped socks more recently. They came out a little bigger than I intended. I don't worry about that too much because I figure a lot of people stick to the smaller (easier) sizes. When giving to Wool-Aid, I figure there's a person in need in every size.
Troy tried them on and he said they were the best fitting socks I've made him. I told him he could keep them if he gave a cash donation to Wool-Aid! (He declined.)

Of course I started at the toes:
I liked the stripes on the shorter rows of the toe. As I got to the longer rounds of the foot, the stripes thinned out and weren't as effective.
I tried a new type of heel; really, a hybrid. I started increasing for a gusset a little sooner than normal, but increased every third row instead of every other row. This way the gusset could be longer but wouldn't get any taller. Then I did a short row heel on the original number of sole stitches.

When the short row heel was done, I continued knitting up the back of the heel, decreasing the gusset stitches as I went. (One stitch at the end of each row.) This created a heel flap and makes that part of the sock taller. If you have a flat foot, this probably wouldn't interest you, but I think it would make my socks fit better. Once again, I like the stripes on the shorter rows of the heel and heel flap.

Once I started knitting the leg, the stripes became mushy again:
I did a 2x2 ribbing on the leg. You have probably realized it's my go-to ribbing for generic socks. Since I had decreased all the gusset stitches (unlike the grey sock above) the leg was a little narrower than most of my socks. When I got to the 1x1 cuff at the top, I increased the number of stitches to make sure it wouldn't bind. (Nothing worse than the top of the sock digging into your leg. Doesn't help the sock stay up either.)
I increased after every fourth stitch, but I'm thinking it could have been half that many.

Although the self-striping dye job didn't come out quite how I wanted, it was still fun (and educational) to try. And a heck of a lot more fun knitting than plain grey!

After those were done, though, I couldn't resist pulling out my Lorna's Laces leftovers from these slippers.
I knew I didn't want to go too big again (especially as I didn't have unlimited yarn) so I only cast on 16 stitches for the toe (giving me 32 total). Well, they look like they will fit a large toddler. Once again, Wool-Aid can use all sizes so I'm ok on that front, but it feels like a bit of an over-reaction!

Because I just have various leftovers, I went with a contrasting toe and heel with stripes on the foot and leg.
Working with both ends of two balls to do these two-at-a-time is not as easy as it sounds!! The yarn gets hopelessly twisted and a little bit tangled. By the time I got to the heel, I had to cut both yarns. I thought I would get away with just cutting one, but the red was knotted and twisted in such a way that I just had to cut it too. Breaks my heart.

But once the blue heel was done, I attached all four yarn ends again and striped up the leg. I figured if I could put up with it on the foot, I can do the leg. I really want to do them two at a time so that if I were to run out of a colour, it would happen at the same place on both socks.
Now that these are done, I'll try a larger pair and then I may just work with one colour until it's done and then add the next colour. (Two ends instead of four--much more manageable.) But they really want you to watch the colour changes so they look good and not like you threw together all your scraps. (I'm sure they got some sweaters with one different coloured sleeve or something like that before they made that guideline explicit.)

The Lorna's Laces is nice cushy, soft yarn and I'm really enjoying working with it. Next time more stitches though. These tiny projects sort of freak me out.


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