Sunday, August 19, 2007


Another finished object, hot off the needles!

Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta Sock Yarn, color 6
Pattern: Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock
Needles: 2.0mm DPNs
Gauge: 10 spi

Sockotta is a nice yarn with which to knit, even in hot and humid weather, despite its cotton content. This was my first time using Wendy's toe-up pattern, which I found to be clearly written and easy to follow. The socks fit fairly well, although it's clear that I need to play around a little bit with sizing. I think slightly fewer stitches would improve the fit (I sort of winged the stitch count, based on Wendy's gauge of 8 spi versus my 10 spi)(actually doing the math would be nice...duh). I also need to tweak the heel width and length. I ended up with these little ears which suggests that the heel is either too wide or the foot too long. I used EZ's sewn-cast off which creates a nice stretchy cuff. Unfortunately, I neglected to see her admonition of "not advisable for ribbing." Oh, well...we'll just have see how it holds up in the wearing. All in all, this pair of socks was an easy comforting knit, with the short row toe and heel providing a touch of challenge.

And speaking of short row toes and heels, there are at least two methods: the wrap method and the YO method. I've tried both and I found that the wrap method was easier for me to master. The YO method produced less than stellar results, often leaving huge gaps in the side of the heel. I highly recommend test driving both methods (using worsted-weight yarn) before attempting either on a sock. For the wrap method, here are a few tips that will improve your odds of creating a nice toe or heel:
  • Sit in a place where there are no distractions when you first attempt either method; you will need to pay close attention to the counting

  • Wrap loosely to better see the wraps when picking them up later

  • Do slip-wrap-slip-turn instead of slip-wrap-turn-slip to lessen the chance that you knit or purl the stitch you just wrapped

After you get the hang of it, it's easier than you would have ever thought. Now, go forth bravely and knit using short rows!

South Dakota, Here We Come!
In just a few short days, we head out to South Dakota and a vague sort of panic is setting in. I can't decide on a sock project. After actually reading the patterns for what I thought were the top contenders, I scratched them all because they all incorporated cables as a design element. I suspect that those patterns are best reserved for the privacy of my own home and quick access to the Internet in case I break yet another 2.0mm needle (the Brittanys are getting a little bendy and it's just a matter of time).

So what to do? I'm considering doing what any self-respecting knitter would do and probably will sort of design my own. Of course, that means I'm under considerable pressure to find a stitch pattern I like for the yarn I've chosen, of which Tofutsies is a top contender:

I'm leaning towards the pink. Opinions? Does anyone have a favorite pattern for Tofutsies yarn?

The other project, by unanimous vote, is the Clapotis shawl, by Kate Gilbert. I think one of the reasons I want to knit this is because it feels so French and if I feel French, then (using my questionable twisted logic) I'll grow a couple of inches, lose several pounds, sport high cheekbones, and have lovely thick, shiny, swingy hair. Right?

Today's activities will involve cleaning, laundry, and frantic swatching to make sure that I take the correct tools for my projects. There aren't many yarn shops where we're going to be and I think I'd be hard-pressed to convince Tom to make an emergency side trip to a yarn shop 50 to 100 miles away!

I provide full details when I return. In the meantime, have a great week and happy knitting!


Sheepish Annie said...

If you want to be French, then I say, be French!! Just don't eat any snails. That's just wrong. Do let us know if the stragegy results in those high cheekbones and svelte-ness! I'll be knitting Clapotis for the rest of my life if that is the case.

Love the socks! I've yet to tackle the toe-up version, but am definitely leaning towards the short row heel on my current pair of socks. Thanks for the thoughts on that style!

Have you considered Monkey Socks? The repeats are pretty easy to memorize and the effect is quite pretty when done.

Anonymous said...

YEAH! An FO! I love FO days. For some reason I have a mental block against toe up socks. I really need to get past that. Thanks for the tips on a short-row heel.

Anonymous said...

Cute socks. Have fun in SD. Custer is definitely worth seeing if you have time - I visited it last summer and it was really interesting.

Jen Da Purse Ho said...

Those are some beautiful socks. :) GOod job!

Have fun on your trip. :)

Anonymous said...

Love those socks! I'm with you -- I like Sockotta, though a lot of people I know absolutely hate it.

Have a great trip, and take lotsa pictures!! :D

Alison said...

Great looking socks! I really enjoyed meeting you in SD! I will post soon about the Ultra Marathon Knitting day.