And now, on center stage, the Knitting Pirate is pleased to present, in their debut appearance… HANDSPUN SOCKS!
410 yards of two-ply yarn, spun from 4.4 ounces of BFL from FreckleFaceFibers on Etsy, became this pair of toe-up, short-row-heel, socks for myself! I started them in the end of July, 2009, when Janis and I challenged each other not to just spin yarn, but to actually knit with it, too. We both decided on socks. I decided to go with toe-up, because I didn’t know how far the yarn would go, but I knew I wanted to get as much out of it as I could. I used Wendy’s Generic Toe-Up Sock Pattern, substituting a figure-eight toe.
One of the neat things about toe-up socks is that there’s really no need for a gauge swatch; you can just use the toe as a swatch. The yarn seemed thinner than most commercial sock yarns I’ve knit with, so I decided to use size 0 needles. I started with my usual sixteen-loop toe, knit until I thought it fit my foot, realized that it was too large, and horrified my audience by nonchalantly ripping it out and starting over. “But you’ve knit so much already!” they said. “Isn’t it frustrating to have to begin again?” I explained that I’d rather lose an hour or so of knitting, than put in the time it takes to knit the entire pair and end up with socks that don’t fit. It’s possible that my horrified audience didn’t entirely understand.
(Lesson learned: When using a toe-up toe as a swatch, work the increases only to the point where the toe fits over your first four toes. You can leave the pinky out, it’s okay. She won’t mind, because in the end the socks will fit much, much more snugly around your foot.)
The socks do fit perfectly, thank goodness. They are a little tight to get on, but once I have them in place they fit me like, well, like socks. No bagging around the ankles, no sagging around the legs, and no extra material around the foot. I hope they wear as well as they fit!