Friday, July 17, 2009

An End is Also a Beginning

The Purple Plasma Socks are complete — the ends have even been woven in, notes updated on these and the Country Socks, photos taken of both FOs! and I've cast on for a new sock. I know. you're socked . . . . er . . . SHOCKED!!

Country Socks for Sweetie ~ socks # 65 & 66
yarn: Zitron Trekking Pro Natura in near black colorway (looks more like a heathered gray
pattern: Nancy Bush's Country Socks from her book Knitting Vintage Socks

needles: 5 2.5mm Suzanne's rosewood dpns
heel: heel flap heel
toe: grafted toe with 24 stitches, 12 on each needle
amount of yarn used: 1 skein and 14 gr from a second one
misc: weight: 3.7 oz / 107 gr | the socks cost $21.35 based on the weight of the socks and the cost of the yarn

cuff: 22 rounds
leg: 80 rounds
heel flap: 32 rows
heel turn: sock #1 ~ 21 rows ~ ending with 25 heel stitches
sock #2 ~ 19 rows ~ ending with 24 heel stitches

gusset stitches: sock #1 ~ picked up 18 & 19 stitches
sock #2 ~ picked up 19 & 20 stitches
foot: sock #1 ~ 78 rounds
sock #2 ~ 79 rounds
toe: sock #1 ~ 32 rounds
sock #2 ~ 31 rounds

The yarn has little stitch definition so it's really difficult to see in a photo the little detail between the columns of knit stitches. You CAN see it in real life so it was worth the extra hassle. Although this yarn has no mohair it does have a bit of that mohair halo. The light makes it look like the socks are two different colors, but they are not. I have enough yarn left, almost an entire skein to someday make me a p
air of matching socks. This was my main travel knitting for a couple of months.

cast on for sock #1 on 1/8/09
finished sock #1 on 4/18/09
cast on for sock #2 on 4/18/09
finished sock #2 on 6/17/09

While I was knitting this sock I was also working on the Purple Plasma Socks. Once I finished the first Purple Plasma Sock at the end of March, I had the Country Socks as my only travel knitting.

Purple Plasma Socks for me ~ socks # 67 & 68
yarn: 1 hank of light weight Socks That Rock ~ Romancing the Stone colorway
pattern: my own, p1, k2
needles: 5 Suzanne's ebony dpns for leg, foot and toe | 2mm bamboo for the short row heel
heel: garter stitch short row heel
toe: decreased down to 8 stitches then ran yarn though remaining stitches twice

amount of yarn left: 8 gr ~ 10 yards
misc: weight: 4.0 oz / 114 gr | the socks cost $17.01 based on the cos
t of the yarn and the weight of the socks. I bought this yarn back in Feb '06.

leg: 80 rounds
row heel: knit 42 stitches onto smaller dpns
sock #1: 67 rows down to 10 stitches and back up
sock #2: 66 rows down to 10 stitches and back up
foot: 55 rounds in pattern
toe: 28 rounds

As you can see the socks are fraternal twins. No idea why the striping
changed other than the tension of my knitting. I like the leg striping better on the sock on the left and the foot striping better on the other sock. Go figure. A long time ago, Jared at b r o o k l y n t w e e d noted that wound yarn, especially hand painted yarn will often give you a peek at what the colors will look like knit up. I think he's dead on.

cast on for sock #1 on 7/11/08
finished sock #1 on 3/31/09
cast on for sock #2 on 6/17/09
finished sock #2 on 7/15/09

The first sock was a bit of a trial. Initially, I was going to do a 20 round cuff in p1, k2 then move to a k5, p2 leg. When I was about ten rounds into the leg I decided I didn't like the pooling (no photos, sorry) so I ripped back to the cuff and did the whole sock in p1, k2 ribbing. Another change I'd made was that I cast on 72 stitches instead of the 80 or 85 I'd been doing for my wool socks. Somewhere I'd latched on to the idea that my calf was larger than it really was. Consequently, a few of my older wool socks are a little large. About round 50 (of 80) I got the bright idea to do some calf decreases to make it fit even better. At this point, this sock was only being knit on sporadically, at stop lights over several months. The Four of a Kind Socks were my main travel knitting so you can maybe see where I kinda forgot what the heck I was doing.

So I did the calf decreases, knit the short row heel and 30 rounds of the in-pattern foot before I tried it on. Coupled with the reduced amount of cast on stitches, the nine calf stitch decreases (even though I put them back in the first round of the foot stitches) it was impossible to get the sock over and onto my heel. So, I ripped out all that back to round 50 of the leg. 30 rounds on the leg, 30 rounds on the foot and 50 rows short rows — down to ten then back up to 42 stitches all gone.

And then when I was doing the round toe (that's what Nancy Bush calls it), I dropped a stitch in one of the k2tog's and had to go back when I was weaving in the ends on the first sock and fix that. Whew! The second sock was a breeze and was completed in less than a month. I have approximately TEN yards, 8 grams of yarn left. Not bad at all for a pair of socks with such a troubled beginning.

I was astounded when I updated my notes on these two socks that so far, I've knit 34 pair of socks since that first sock (now long gone) back in May 2004. Well, I suppose if you take into consideration all the frogging of and re-knitting of socks I've done over the years, it's probably about ten more! This does include the pair I knit for my CIL that didn't fit at all. I STILL haven't frogged them. When I need the yarn, I will.

And the next sock. I went to get my hair trimmed this morning and took The Monkees Sock along as my stoplight knitting sock. Not a good stoplight knitting sock. I'd spent some time with The Monkees Sock, re-acquainting myself with this pattern a few days ago. That way when I did pick it up in the car I wouldn't have to spend half the time figuring out where I am and what to do next. I was able to reconnect with the yarn and pattern in just a few repeats—stitch repeats, not rows. That's either a very simple pattern or a hallmark of a very well written, more complex one. As this is a Cookie A pattern, I think it's the latter. In just those few stitch repeats I am again blown away by the amazing things that come from that woman's needles. That wasn't the problem. It just requires more attention than I'm willing to give it at a stoplight. It takes too much time to get back into the pattern each time. So this is my passenger knitting travel sock

I'd already decided on the yarn and had even pulled it from the sock yarn stash. I decided to go with the Schachenmayr Nomotta Crazy Cotton. I love these colors and they'll make a great summer sock. In fact that's the working name of these socks. Summertime Cotton Socks. Now I can't get this song out of my head.

I couldn't get the middle out of the skein so I wound it. I needed to re-wind that little bit of STR yarn I had left anyway so I wound one of the skeins up. It's going to be a great looking sock! I've already cast on and have two rounds done. As this is cotton, a mercerized cotton, it'll shrink a bit so I'm knitting them a bit larger like I did with the Madder Rib socks. They've shrunk to fit after being knit a bit large. These will be knit with 2mm bamboo dpns and will be a great stoplight knitting sock.

The cuff pattern is the old standard, k2, p2. Cotton doesn't have any bounce back like wool or some wool blends so I need a cuff that will keep the socks up. The "planned" leg is p1, k4, p1, k2. We'll see what the pooling looks like both in the cuff and when I get to the leg and go from there. Won't be first time I've ripped a sock out because I didn't like the pooling. (sigh)

blogging to: sounds through all the open windows (a low of 51°F tonight and tomorrow night)

reading: Other Worlds by Barbara Michaels
Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America by Ann Coulter
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Parting Shot: "We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." ~ Winston Churchill

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