Saturday, January 3, 2009

of socks and sock yarn

I am taking advantage of a rare Saturday off to organize my 2008 finished objects for a 2008 finished object post. That will take a few days, so in the interim, I thought I'd show off the very last finished object of the past year. TA DA! Its Piney, the sock.

I surprised myself by finishing these on December 23rd, just in time to wash and block and give away on Christmas Eve. They fit my husband's short, wide feet perfectly, and he likes them. Incredible. He wore them last week.

My husband tends to over wear his socks. When I finally got to wash them a second time (by hand), I noticed a little pilling around the heel and a bit up the leg. The yarn is Knit Picks Essential Sock Yarn, made for socks of course, of 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon. This yarn is the perfect fingering weight, not too thick, not too thin, and very soft. Time will tell how well these socks hold up, but I didn't like seeing that pilling. All soft yarn tends to pill, which is OK if it doesn't affect wear.

Stats on Piney are 1.75 balls of Knit Picks Essential Sock Yarn, color Pine, for a sock 9 inches wide and 9.5 inches long with a 7.5 inch leg including a 1.5 inch 2 x 2 ribbed cuff. The leg and instep are knit in garter rib (from Charlene Schurch), and the foot bottom is stockinette with a classic short row heel. The sock was knit on 2.25 mm wooden sock needles at a gauge of 8 stitches to the inch (in stockinette). Each sock took 72 stitches around.

These are the socks that I had to frog and re-knit because I mistakenly made them too narrow. In a comment on that post, Amy (weezerscaddy) asked for the sailor's rib repeats. Here it is with a scanned close up of the pattern from Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks:
It is a five stitch repeat with 4 rounds

Rnd 1 - *p1, k2, p1, k1 through the back loop, rep from *

Rnd 2 - *p1, k2, p1, k1, rep from *

Rnd 3 - *p4, k1 through the back loop, rep from *

Rnd 4 - *p4, k1, rep from *

Schurch adds the last stitch in the repeat one time as the first stitch in the round to even out the number of stitches on the instep.

Even though this stitch seems simple enough, I had a hard time remembering the repeats. It came out nice-looking, but not nice enough to be worth the trouble, so I changed to a simpler pattern when I re-knit them.

In other sock knitting news, I started a new pair of men's socks, this time for a big foot, in another Knit Picks sock yarn, Risata. This is an unusual yarn, a little heavier than I like fingering to be, made of 42% cotton, 39% wool, 13% polyamide, and 6% elite elastic, so it's stretchy in the skein (but not so much in the sock). I am using the color Ash, a medium/dark grey. Here is a progress photo. The stitch pattern is Swedish Block.

Do I like it? Not sure yet. I know I like the color. Finally, I know that I love my orange Schurch socks, the second pair I knit and the first time I tried a short row heel. The yarn is Dream in Color Gaia which I think is now sold as Smooshy. It has already been washed repeatedly, mostly by hand, and when I compare it to Knit Pick Essentials I see how well it has worn. But, I'll be damned if the color hasn't faded. I guess the fading is kind of subtle, because I had a hard time showing it in a photo, but it IS there:
This photo shows it best. The reality of the difference is seen in the strands of yarn laying across the surface of the sock.


Wool Enough said...

I've been tempted by that Swedish Block pattern, but haven't taken the plunge yet. I really like the pattern with your grey yarn -- just enough texture to show off the yarn, but no so much that it would be overwhelmed.

Golden Years Gal said...

Nice socks. We should share some patterns sometime.
Do you knit sweaters and hand knit coats?
Contact me,

Anne said...

Are those big foot socks for David? They look like David.

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