Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A World of Color

I keep hinting that I have FO's to show you. The wait is over my imaginary friends!

I've also confessed to a weakness for sock yarn. As I've said before, I have enough sock yarn to make over 200 pairs of socks. Two hundred.

98% of that sock yarn consists of beautiful, sometimes actually stunning, hand painted sock yarn. I'm a sucker for the hand paints!

So, with all that bounty of color and beauty to choose from, what color did I pick to make my first ever pair of socks?

That's right, folks. Plain vanilla white. sigh.

Dave never wants me to knit anything for him. Then he sees the handmade socks Donna made for Daren (the couple we hang out with) and turns to me and says, "Why don't you ever make me a pair of socks??" Are you kiddin' me?? I've been wanting to knit something for him forEVER.

About a year ago, I talked him into finally picking a sweater that I can make just for him. It's a simple affair which makes it slogalong dull to knit and is still in the works. I made a pact with myself that when watching Husker football with him (his favorite team), I could only work on that sweater.

Dave is not color adventurous. Not. At. All. And he only wears white, cuffless, ankle socks. So I got some Berroco Comfort Sock in white and using a generic toe-up, magic loop sock pattern, I got started. I did ribbing for the top of the foot to give it some hug and used a short row heel. Halfway up the toes, I had him stick out a foot so I could see how many more increases I'd need and I tell him, "By the way, these are socks for you." He looks at them and says, "How come I don't get fancy ones like Daren?" I almost stabbed him with a needle. In the eye.

I plug along and finish them anyway - both of them. One at a time. Finished somewhere back in July! Discovering things along the way...

Do you see how tiny the stitches are?
Turns out, on the label, Berroco Comfort Sock calls for a needle size of 3.25mm, not the 2.75mm I randomly pulled from my needle case. These socks are 80 tiny, itty, bitty, stitches around. Eighty! And Dave wears a size 11 shoe! The next picture gives you a better look at the tiny stitches.

It also turns out that I have no idea how to end a toe-up sock properly. First bind-off was super tight and he couldn't get them on without breaking the BO. Second bind-off was super loose and useless. Third bind-off, I bought some Cascade Fixation (which is a very stretchy yarn) and bound off again and that seemed to make it better. (Hence the color change on the cuff.) Even so, you can see that it is still too loose and he can only wear them around the house because putting them in shoes drags the cuff under his heel within minutes.

One of the classes I took at Sock Summit was a one hour wonder about stretchy toe-up bind-offs with Chrissy Gardiner. Great class! Now if I can just find the handout before I finish my next pair of toe-up socks. sigh.

I've got another pair, toe up that I'm working on for him (the DNA looking one from the book Eclectic Sole), a pair of toe-up in Colinette that I'm designing as I go, a pair of Nutkins that are giving me fits (the perfectly well-behaved skein is in time out after a second frogging), and a couple others on needles that are cuff-down. All these (including the cuff downers) are two-at-a-time magic loop.

Still deciding which I like better, Ruth!


ccr in MA said...

Well, the white may not be exciting, and there may be room for technical improvement, but still, they look great!

Fiber Floozie said...

Go here and end all of your cast off issues. http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall09/FEATjssbo.php
This is a awesome cast off for toe up socks.

k said...

I think the change in white is pretty awesome. They look very elegant and so not like a plain white sock.