Archive for the “ribbed heritage sock” Category

Finally, a completed project to show! Ribbed socks for Michael, in Cascade Heritage Paints #9922. He bought the yarn for me back in November, and I broke the queue to cast on for them.

This is my new favorite sock yarn. It’s smooth, yet squooshy. It got a little splitty around the SSKs, but so does most yarn, since working that stitch takes some of the twist out. The colors were evenly distributed without any garish pooling. There was a little bit of pooling over the gusset, which is expected, and a vague hint of spiraling down the foot.

It’s a simple pattern, but I am considering writing it up for publication anyway. Like the Highwayman Armwarmers, it would be a freebie. This time around I would use a Creative Commons license, most likely Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike – in other words, you can distribute the pattern as long as I get credit; you can’t sell the pattern itself but you can sell the items you knit from it; and you can make changes and distribute them under the same license. I’m a big supporter of Creative Commons licensing; why keep something to myself if there’s no good reason to do so?

(Speaking of the Highwayman Armwarmers, one of my readers was kind enough to inform me of a typo in the pattern. It’s been corrected and a new version has been uploaded, both here and on Ravelry.)

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Knitter’s Day at Veronica’s house was great! There were about a dozen people there, a half-ton of food, and *lots* of knitting. I brought the ribbed socks and got to within a few inches of the toe decreases. It will be great to finish a project, for the first time in months. Gonna crank through the rest of the socks-in-progress and get more of that finishing going on!

And I’ve made plans to go back to my old SnB next week for their anniversary celebration. I was there at the beginning; I would love to revisit everyone for an evening and catch up again. Besides, if I don’t spend the whole night talking, I’m sure I’ll make lots of progress on whatever project I bring.

In non-knitting domesticity, Pirate-Husband and I have been using the stand mixer to make lots of bread. The more loaves we make, the better they get! The latest was an oatmeal-raisin breakfast bread. We brought a loaf to my parents’ on Sunday, and they loved it. Last night we tried a recipe that could be used as a sandwich bread for cold cuts, with half white and half whole wheat flour. It was still in the oven when I went to bed, so I didn’t get any – but Pirate-Husband emailed to tell me that it’s “a semi-wheaty sandwich bread. Slightly chewy, soft, but it holds together well. The crust is perfect, it could be store-bought.” Hooray!

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Yesterday, while at my parents’ house watching the Cowboys lose a football game, I knit on the second of Michael’s socks and drank gin & tonic with cucumber instead of lime. About those four things:

…while at my parents’ house celebrating my birthday! We were there for both lunch and dinner, and also mid-day snacks. Mom and I talked a bit about her next project; it may be a sweater for herself! Her shawl is all fixed up and now she just needs a fancy event at which to wear it. It was a lovely day, except for

…the Cowboys losing. Well, at least they got into the playoffs this year. But man, it was like they just threw away that game. I thought Minnesota would win, but I didn’t expect it to be such a blowout.

…the second of Michael’s socks is past the gusset decreases and on into the foot. I still think that Cascade Heritage is my new favorite sock yarn; maybe that’s why the sock is going so quickly! I’m bringing it with me today to knitter-friend Veronica’s house, where I expect to make a little more progress while I catch up with the women from my old SnB.

…gin & tonic with cucumber is surprisingly good. I usually like lime. Put a thin slice of cucumber, skin and all, into the drink. Let it soak in for a few minutes; it gets better the longer it sits. At the end, it will be the best piece of cucumber you’ve ever eaten!

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quicktoeups4I was wearing my stripy handknit socks to ring in the new year. My guests admired the stripes; Nancy and I discussed the possibility of trading our work. She does gorgeous calligraphy, illumination and bookbinding… and she has tiny feet, so it might not be a bad trade at all. I think she only wears a size 5. I could probably crank out a pair of socks for her in the time it would take me to knit just one for myself.

Now that I’ve cleaned up the house and showered, I’m wearing another pair of the handknits, and my toes are warm and cozy. Having a roaring fire helps with that, too.

Michael tried on the socks that I’m knitting for him, and they fit! Hooray! I admit to being really relieved. I had nearly convinced myself that they’d be too small, but now I am no longer worried and can finish them with confidence.

Here’s to a wonderful, happy, healthy, productive, 2010 for all of us! Happy New Year!

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Cascade Heritage SockThese socks are cranking right along, and I am absolutely loving the yarn. Fortunately I have another skein in a different colorway for myself! As I expected, there was a little pooling around the gusset, but for the most part the colors are distributing evenly. It is much more vivid in direct sunlight, which is a neat trick of the dye job. Indoors, the colors are quite subtle. (You can ignore the safety pin; that was just a place-marker.)

Handspun BFL SockI have been thinking of the handspun socks as the “Perfectly Imperfect Socks.” There is something incredible about knitting with yarn that I spun myself – about being able to spin yarn that’s good enough to knit with – about watching the colors come together and knowing that there will never be another pair of socks like these. They’re mine, from beginning to end, and I am wonderfully proud of them. And of myself.

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Last night I finished the gusset decreases on the first of the Cascade Heritage socks. It looks as if I’m getting nine stitches to the inch, which is slightly more than I’d expected from my first swatchattempt at knitting the cuff. I hope the socks are big enough for Michael, because they’re slightly too big for me. And I hope I don’t run out of yarn before I get to the toe. It’s going to be close.

When I picked up the gusset stitches, I picked up an extra two in each corner to eliminate the hole that so often forms there. But they were picked up into purl stitches, so I needed to figure out the purl equivalents for decreases. The opposite of K2tog is P2tog, but the opposite of SSK… is SSP, a complicated maneuver which begins in a similar way (slip two stitches knitwise, return them to the left needle) but then requires those two stitches to be purled together through the back loop. Fortunately there is only one of these stitches to be made per sock; I think I can deal with that.

Perhaps in a couple of years I’ll look back on this entry and laugh that I ever thought SSP was complicated.

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Every time I put my sock in progress into my purse, I think “I sure hope none of the stitches slide off the needles.” They almost never do… but when I took the toe of my handspun sock out of my bag, I noticed a suspiciously ramen-like section of yarn. Yep, sure enough. some of the stitches had slid free and dropped down a few rows. Phooey!

In lieu of fixing it, I worked on the Cascade Heritage sock. I’m done with the leg and about to start the heel flap, but I’ve run into math troubles. I’d thought to continue the k3, p1 ribbing down the heel, but this is a 68 stitch sock – so there are seventeen groups of four stitches – so how many of them would I use to make a symmetrical heel flap? If I want to frame the instep with purl stitches, that would mean doing the ribbed heel flap over 35 stitches rather than 34. And then what are the heel turn numbers?

The internet has the solution: apparently 70 stitch socks, with 35 stitch heel flaps, are not uncommon! I checked a few different patterns and picked the numbers which looked best to me. Here’s hoping it works out well. If it doesn’t, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve un-knit a heel flap!

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20091205snowBy 15:00 today, we had five inches of heavy, wet snow. It is so sticky that it is clinging to the sides of the trees! Unfortunately, the snow meant I had to cancel my plans to go out today. Fortunately, my house is well-stocked with food and yarn! And what better way to spend a snowed-in day than with food and yarn? To those ends, we had fried eggs and toast for breakfast, I now have bread rising in the oven, and there are socks in progress all around.

20091205snow2First off, I decided that I was going to finish the first of the Stripy Striped Socks, already. I knit the last few stripes of ribbing and then started the sewn bind-off. This is the bind-off that I always use for toe-up socks. It’s quite stretchy if you sew loosely, and makes a neat edge. About halfway through the bind-off, I ran into the same issue that other people have had with Kureyon Sock – I came to an underspun section of yarn, and it started to drift apart. At this point I may have said some unprintable words, so we’ll just skip ahead to me overtwisting the yarn, finishing the bind-off, and crossing my fingers that it won’t disintegrate when it’s washed for the first time, ’cause that would really suck.

After I’d sewn in the ends, and sworn that I will never again purchase this yarn no matter how pretty the colors may be, I went downstairs and showed the sock to Pirate-Husband. “Nice!” he exclaimed. “How does it fit?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m angry at it. I haven’t tried it on yet.”

“How could you knit a sock and not even try it on?” he asked, incredulous. So I did. And it fit perfectly. Hooray!

Tonight I am not going to cast on the second Stripy Striped Sock; instead I am going to work with Cascade Heritage, a much more polite and well-behaved example of what sock yarn really ought to be.

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Most commercial sock yarns are the same. Opal, Regia, Lang Jawoll, Lane Cervinia, Online… I’ll get about 36 stitches to four inches on US #1 needles. Without even thinking about it, I know that I should make a 64-stitch stockinette sock for myself with these yarns. I know that with Trekking XXL, I get 45 stitches to four inches on US #0 needles.

Cascade HeritageBut now here is a new yarn, Cascade Heritage. It looks to be about the same thickness as the ‘standard’ commercial sock yarn. I know I have to make these socks slightly larger, ’cause they’re not for me. But swatching? Pfft. I’ll just start the sock with 72 stitches, I say to myself. The cuff can be the swatch… and oh, man, that’s large. After twenty rounds of cuff and five rounds of sock leg, I stretched the cuff out around a tape measure, and there would be no negative ease in these socks at all. Okay, well, twenty-five rounds isn’t much to rip out and start over.

Second try, 2×2 ribbing over 68 stitches, and I realized that while the socks are a much better size, I don’t really like the way that 2×2 ribbing will flow into 3×1 ribbing on the sock leg… so I ripped it out again, only six rounds this time, and started over with a 1×1 twisted rib on the cuff. Since there will be 3×1 ribbing all the way down the leg and top of the foot, I’m not relying on the cuff to hold up the whole sock. I like the look of the twisted rib, and it will fit nicely into the body of the sock.

I really like the yarn so far. It’s very smooth on my hands, and slides nicely across the needles, and what little I’ve knitted up felt pleasantly squooshy. I can’t tell yet if the colors will pool, flash, or distribute evenly. I’m hoping for the latter, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does something funky across the gusset.

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