Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Socktober Progress

Have you been enjoying Socktober? We've certainly had some cold and wet enough weather to warrant warm socks. I, for one, have been enjoying my hand knits. (Especially those Mini Mochi Circle Socks I recently finished. Best. Socks. Ever.)

The current pair I'm working on had a pretty rough start. They were too big with the recommended number of stitches and needles. So I foolishly changed two variables at once and went down a needle size and decreased the number of stitches. This turned out to be too small so I made some increases after the short row toe. The right number on the smaller needles turned out to be what the pattern call for!

There were a few other small mishaps that affected how the sock looked. I told myself that I was going to just live with it because it in no way affected how the socks would work. But before I finished the first repeat of the pattern, I realized I couldn't live with it. So I ripped them out and had a much better second start.

One detail I really liked about this pattern was the purl row between the toe and the patterned part of the foot.
When I actually read the pattern, I realized this wasn't a purl row, but in fact was the cast off. The pattern calls for the socks to be knit from the cuff down. The short-row toe is knit from the bottom, around the end of the foot, and back to the top of the sock. The two parts (toe and foot) are then seamed together with a 3-needle bind off. This is what forms the ridge that I thought was a purl row.

I decided to mimic the design element with a purl row across the top of the sock after the toe, even though it was not necessary since I was knitting the sock toe-up.

Once the sock was off to a good start, it has been good knitting ever since. I made up some increases for a gusset and a larger short row heel. The leg of the sock is 72 stitches. (I started with 64.) I'm learning that I need a larger leg than foot. (Most patterns are written with the same number of stitches around the foot as around the leg. This just doesn't seem to work for my body.)

Once the heel is done, the cables are added at the back of the sock. To incorporate the increase stitches, I added two additional purl stitches between the mock cables. That reminds me, I decided to go with mirrored cables on each sock. (I mentioned I was debating between this option and mirror imaging one sock to the other.)
I have a ways to go on the leg yet. After the first two chart repeats, I changed to one size larger needle. I expect I may do that one more time yet. (If needed, I may add more purl stitches as well.)

So there you have it. Now that all the details are worked out, I just need to finish this one and then make a second just like it. The wool has been nice to work with (a little splitty but I can live with that) and the colours are perfect for fall knitting. There was a knot already so the colour change was interrupted and abrupt, but I'm not going to let that bother me. (I'm not!)

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