Thursday Sock-Along: Sock Experiment

I managed to wait until Thursday this time! Here’s the scoop on my Sock Experiment. To recap, this is my second pair of socks. I’m making them cuff-down using Susan B. Anderson’s pattern How I Make My Socks with a few modifications. I’m using size US1 dpns and Knit Picks Simple Stripes. I’m getting 8-9 sts/in.*

My overall goal with this project is to start narrowing down what style socks fit me best. I’d like to end up with both a functional pair of socks and more information about what direction to head in next. I think I will end up achieving both of those things.

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Look! It’s foot-shaped!

For starters, I wanted a sock that would stretch comfortably over my calf without being too large through the heel and foot. To that end, I used Fisherman’s Rib for the ribbing. I cast on using Tillybuddy’s very stretchy cast on. Then, I worked two rounds in standard single rib**. Next, I alternated these two rounds: *k1b, p1* around and *k1, p1b* around until I had 30 rounds of Fisherman’s rib (32 rounds total). The “b” refers to “below” and means to knit or purl into the stitch below the one on the needle. It was a little tricky to get used to at first, but once I figured it out it’s really pretty easy. It is a bit more time consuming than regular rib, however, and it takes two rounds to equal one row of actual knitting. The resulting rib is airy, squishy, and extremely stretchy. I then switched to stockinette for the rest of the sock. I turned the heel and worked the gussets as directed in the pattern with one small modification: I picked up one extra stitch on each bottom corner of the heel flap. On the first round, I knitted each together with its neighbor. I did this to help minimize holes, and I think it worked reasonably well.

So. Did it work? Is the top of the sock stretchy enough to fit well but still resilient enough to stay up? Well, yes and no. It’s honestly probably a little too stretchy. I like that it doesn’t cut off my circulation, but it doesn’t rebound all that well. On my next pair, I’m planning to toy around with starting off with Fisherman’s rib, then switching to standard single rib, then switching to stockinette (or whatever pattern stitch I’m using). I’m not sure how that will look, but I think it might help the top of the sock fit a little better.

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Taking pictures of one’s own foot is trickier than you’d think.

Next! Does the sock fit well through the ankle and instep? Again…yes and no. It fits, but it’s definitely on the tight side. Part of that may be due to my gauge, which tightened as I went. Part of that may be due to the fact that I chose to go with the pattern’s recommended 64 sts, even though my feet and ankles are larger than average. I knew this beforehand but decided I’d go with it and see what happened. Since this is my first pair of socks in fingering weight yarn, I just wanted to see where the standard 64 sts got me. For my next pair, I think 68 might work better. I will wear the finished pair a bit before deciding as I want to see if they stretch out after a while.

To finish up, I knit the foot to 2″ shorter than my foot, as directed in the pattern. I did the standard toe decreases and Kitchener stitch graft. How’s the fit, you ask? Well, a little snug. I think next time, if I do the same toe, I might go to 1.75″ shorter and see how that works.

While I’m on the subject of toes, does anyone else think about making right and left socks? Maybe with a slightly looser/stretchier toe it won’t make a difference. As it is now, my big toe feels a little squished! On a future pair of socks I think I might play around with that idea a bit.

I’ve managed to stave off SSS*** as I’ve started the second and gotten most of the way through the ribbing. On the first one, the rest of the sock flew by as soon as I switched to stockinette. Hopefully by the next Thursday Sock-Along, I’ll be ready to start pair #3!

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Proof that there is, indeed, a second sock!

As always, please step on over to my fellow socketeers and see what they’re up to! Paula of Spin a Yarn blogs here and Hannah of unsophisticated + jejune blogs here. Happy knitting!

*It started off as 8 but by the time I got to the foot on the first one, my knitting had tightened up some.

**I learned when I made my Color Dipped Hat that that specific cast on needs two rows of rib on top of it before the Fisherman’s Rib will work correctly. Don’t ask me details–I didn’t study it that closely! I just started to knit into the stitch below the one on the needle after having just done one round of regular rib first, and it didn’t work.

***Second Sock Syndrome: The period following the completion of the first sock during which the knitter convinces herself that the second sock isn’t really needed/will knit itself/will somehow take a fraction of the time, and so delays casting on.


Today is Not Thursday

So I won’t speak to you about socks. I won’t tell you that I am tempting fate and Second Sock Syndrome by not casting on #2 right away. I won’t tell you about the fit, and how my alterations worked out. I won’t let you know what socky plans are percolating in my head for The Next Pair. Nope. Not gonna do it.

Let’s see, what else have I been up to? Well, I’m nearly done a test knit hat, I reblocked a dress for a one year old friend, and I made some progress on my Miller’s Daughter shawl. With any luck, I’ll have two FO Spotlight posts up soon and I’ll start work on one of my other overdue test knits.

That should be plenty of stuff to dissuade me from talking about socks on not-a-Thursday, right?



Happy knitting!

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:


Copyright Carol E. Herman Designs. Used by permission.


Copyright Carol E. Herman Designs. Used by permission.


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.