Rye Socks Revealed

My first pair of socks is officially knitted, finished, blocked and photographed. Many thanks to Maggs for nudging me into starting this journey, and to the wifey for helping with modeled photos!

The rundown

Pattern: Rye by Tin Can Knits

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Superwash Worsted.

Size made: Cuff is Adult L and foot is Adult S. Length is custom to fit yours truly.

Needles: US3 for ribbing, US4 for everything else

Techniques used: Tillybuddy’s very stretchy cast on, Kitchener stitch

Modifications: Very few. On the second sock, I picked up one extra stitch in each corner of the gusset then decreased it on the first row. Since I used a smaller foot size than cuff size, I just continued decreasing after the gusset until I had the right size. I had to adjust the “beginning of round” marker when starting the foot as a result, but it wasn’t anything major.

Ravelled: Here.

The pretty

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Copyright Callandra S. Cook

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Copyright Callandra S. Cook

FullSizeRender 61 FullSizeRender 59 They fit really well and are comfortable. I am very happy with my first socks! The pattern was great for a first timer. Everything was explained very thoroughly and the worsted weight yarn made for a quick project.

If I knit this pattern again, I would do the modifications listed above. I would also choose a different yarn as this one knitted up rather stiff at such a tight gauge (it softened somewhat with blocking, though). I would use dpns for the whole project instead of magic loop, since I’m just better at keeping even tension with dpns.

I’m Not Holding Out on You

Well, maybe I am, just a bit. What I will say is that I have knitted a bona fide pair of socks. Yep, I did that. The only steps remaining are to block them and then find someone not attached to my feet to take pictures of them being modeled! In the meantime, here’s a little tease:  

While I’m waiting for the yarn to finish my Drachenfels, I’m going to catch up on everyone else’s blogs (I’m behind) and knit a little on my Clapotis. 

More pics and discussion coming soon!

Flawsome Sock!

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go to a workshop on internalized misogyny (don’t be scared off–this really is about knitting and it has a happy ending). One of the exercises we did was designed to help people of the female persuasion recognize some of the unconscious misogynistic thoughts that are very, very common. I was shocked at how my typical self-talk measured up when I started paying attention to it. I would generalize that many, if not most, women habitually, internally, unintentionally demean themselves in a myriad of tiny ways. When I started thinking about how to blog about my newly completed sock, I found myself automatically including tiny apologies for the things I did wrong or don’t like about it.

Then I remembered that, for realz, I made a freaking sock. And that is awesome, period. So I am borrowing a term from the wonderful and slightly crazy Tyra Banks and dubbing it “flawsome”. Get it? Flawed + awesome = flawsome. It’s awesome, not in spite of its flaws, but because of them. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the phrase “flawsome sock” just makes me think of “awesome sauce”.

So….yeah. I made a sock! And it’s just what it’s supposed to be. It fits, it’s comfy, it’s a cool color and making it helped me up my knitting skills. I won’t bore you with details of any of its less than perfect features because they really don’t matter (and to be honest, I pretty much covered all of them in a previous post).

IMG_3893I even wove in the ends and everything. How’s that for awesome? Check! And just to make sure that I don’t succumb to SSS*, I’ve already cast on and made it halfway down the cuff:

IMG_3892I used (one size smaller) dpns for the ribbing and otherwise will use magic loop for the rest. Hopefully my gauge is the same! It’s just much nicer knitting on my Addi sock rockets than the aforementioned awful dpns I used for half the last sock.

In the meantime, I have more fun stuff on the horizon. I should get my extra skein of Koigu KPM on Saturday so then I can work on getting my Drachenfels finished. I needed something a little easier on my hands than the socks, so a couple of days ago I cast on for my first Clapotis. Those of you who’ve paid attention to the online knitting community for a while will know that I’m over ten years late on riding that trend, but I would argue it’s become timeless at this point! Plus, it really seemed like the best pattern for the project. I’m making a wrap for my mother in law out of this Plymouth DK Merino Superwash:

IMG_3250_mediumI’m hoping I’ll be able to make it a little wider than the pattern calls for, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t have the best pic yet of my progress but this should give you an idea:

IMG_3889 IMG_3894Other mods I’m making are to follow the advice of (literally) thousands of knitters ahead of me and to RS purl/WS knit the stitches to be dropped instead of using stitch markers to mark them. Also, while the pattern calls to knit the stitch right before and the stitch right after through the back loops, I’m also doing the purl equivalent on the WS. This is supposed to shore those stitches up even more so that when the stitch column between them is dropped, the edges are secure. The setup was a little confusing but once you get going, the pattern is very easy (and very easy to memorize). I hope she will like it!

I got some really exciting news this morning. Carol of Carol E. Herman Designs and knit = joy has released her Passport Mitts pattern early! Check it out! She’s planning to host a KAL starting October 1:

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Copyright Carol E. Herman Designs. Used by permission.

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Copyright Carol E. Herman Designs. Used by permission.

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Copyright Carol E. Herman Designs. Used by permission.

When my mom was visiting, she asked for a pair of fingerless mitts. We looked through some patterns and she really liked this one, so I’m planning to make her a pair. I have had the best yarn picked out for it forever: Classic Elite Yarns Inca Alpaca in navy blue. I got it from the Goodwill windfall so I think that will be great karma for a gift for her. I’ve got to hurry up and get some other projects done so I can start these soon!

Happy knitting!

*Second sock syndrome: the often insurmountable inertia a knitter must overcome when faced with making an object identical to the one just completed.

Let’s Talk About Socks, Baby!

I have most of a sock!

IMG_3881I turned the heel and did the gussety bits yesterday and it was a lot easier than I’d expected. I really only screwed up a couple of times and nothing was so bad it couldn’t be fixed or tolerated. The main thing I did was to pick up stitches along the wrong edge of the heel flap and then couldn’t figure out why I was basically knitting on the inside of the sock instead of the outside, but I figured it out pretty quickly. If you think of the cuff and leg of a sock as a tube because, well, it is, and then imagine a squared off tab extending from the back bottom edge, that’s where I was. Holding the sock cuff edge down with the heel tab closest to me, I should have picked up stitches along the left edge, knitted (around) across the front of the ankle, then picked up stitches along the right edge of the tab, then knitted around the back of the heel. If you think about the heel flap as being at 6 o’clock then I should have started at about 7 and knit clockwise around. Instead, I started at about 5 and tried to go the other way. Didn’t work! But was very easy to pull out and get going the right way instead. The problem? I didn’t read the pattern thoroughly enough and missed the last row on the heel flap. Trust the pattern, kids! Unless it’s wrong and then listen to your gut. But otherwise, sometimes you just have to have trust in the pattern and re-read it until it gels.

How do you tell the difference? The short answer is I don’t know. But with the advent of ravelry, at least you can browse through other people’s projects and, if no one mentions crazy weird issues, chances are you’re misreading something.

Here’s the right side of the heel and gusset:

IMG_3882 IMG_3883And the left side:

IMG_3884 FullSizeRender 48The right side worked pretty well, but I learned a couple of things on the left side. I didn’t pick up the stitches cleanly so there’s a couple stray plies of yarn out of place for some of them. Now that I know to be careful of that, I can do it better next time around. The other thing I’m not completely happy with is the first couple of stitches I picked up on this side. They are sort of at the top of the upside down V formed by the heel flap. They’re right at the top of the last pic. They made large holes that I couldn’t find a way to prevent. I knitted them through the back loops on the first round, but they still gap a good bit. I will have to do a little research on how to do that better so there’s not so much of a hole.

And here’s the bottom of the heel:

IMG_3888So far, I’ve followed the pattern without making any modifications. From here, the pattern calls for knitting until the foot is 1″ shorter than the desired length. At this point I’m going to do two or three more decrease rounds so the foot circumference fits a little better. Otherwise, I don’t foresee changing anything. I’m an old pro at Kitchener stitch at this point, so it should be smooth sailing now!

Oh, yeah…I got really irritated at the dpns again. Before when that happened I would just put the sock down and knit on my Drachenfels for a bit. However, I’ve now used up all the grey yarn I have and can’t do any more until I get my new order in. So, I just put it on a long circular instead and sort of half learned, half intuited how to do magic loop. It’s really pretty easy and works well. The only thing I’m not a fan of is learning how to adjust the tension when switching off from one needle to the next. You can see on the garter panel here where I started using magic loop instead of dpns:

IMG_3886Haven’t figured out a fix for that, yet. I’ve tried keeping the first stitch of the new section tight, the last stitch of the old section, the second stitch of the new section…nothing so far. Any suggestions? Otherwise I might have to cast on a new project while I’m waiting for my new dpns. Or, (gasp), do some finishing on my UFFOs!