first socks of 2010

I finally got a chance to try Lorna’s Laces sock yarn, in a lovely buttery yellow, for the making of a sock. Part of my problem in doing this has been that most places have the multicolored sock yarn, and I am mainly interested in the semisolid colors; that colorway appeals to me more. But I finally found some and made some very nice socks. I found the shepherd sock yarn to be a perfect yarn for my socks, and I will definitely be returning to it. I liked the feel of it.

I started it in January while visiting my friend in Nashville, and finished them by mid-February. This was pretty fast for me, but I worked on them a lot at church during class and the sermon. Fortunately I don’t seem to disturb anyone while I’m doing this; I’m just becoming known for it. I myself pay attention better when I have something in my hands so that I am less fidgety.

I made them toe-up, with the magic cast-on and short-row toe. The cuff was simple double rib, but the biggest change I made was making sure to do a long cuff than I had been doing. They were six-inch long cuffs, which is just right for a folded cuff on my leg. Sadly, this means that I will be buying extra sock yarn on a regular basis, since I would not have had enough in my skein. Of course, I used very little over one skein, but I like the length, and that just means I will have to find a way to use up leftover sock yarn. Either socks with blended yarn or a leftovers blanket, or something. I’ll come up with something, I’m sure.

I did this one so fast that I immediately started another pair and I’m moving right along on it. I may even set myself a goal of six pairs of socks this year (I played with the thought of twelve, but let’s be realistic). Anything over that number would be a plus. As much as I like my socks, that would be a good thing.

Here’s the socks while they were in progress.Socks in progress

I’ve never suffered from…

Knock on wood, because the ending is: second sock syndrome.

I don’t know why it is, but whenever I’ve done a pair of socks, I’ve always started on #2 as soon as #1 was done. The worst that has ever happened is that I’ve stalled on a pair of socks and done another pair in the meantime. But that had nothing to do with SSS, but rather with sizing issues — they were gift socks.

I think that part of the reason is that I like the meditative unthinking part of the socks, namely the ribbed cuff and the simple stockinette foot for out-and-about knitting that can be fairly mindless. I’ve yet to settle on a truly favorite heel and toe, although I think I do have some preferences at this point. But those are the parts that still require concentration from me, and which I therefore do in moments when I can at least partially concentrate on them. Actually, my biggest memory stretch from sock #1 to #2 is making sure I do the same thing from heel #1 to heel #2. I always try to write it down, especially when it’s a new form that I am trying out. On this last pair, I actually had both of them going at the same time to make sure that I did them the same.

Favorites so far for toe-up: definitely Judy’s magic cast on for the toe and the short-row heel. However, I’m still willing to consider alternate for the heel — I liked the gusset heel that Wendyknits had in one of her free patterns.

Favorites so far for top-down: star toe, but NO decisions made for the best heel.

Still having problems with little holes in the heel corners, but considering ideas for that. This last pair did pretty good.

Here’s hoping I never suffer from SSS. Fingers firmly crossed.

Repeated increases

I’ve been working on some socks, and I have realized that I like the Judy’s magic cast on when I’m starting from the toe-up. But I have a problem with the increases.

I like to increase at the sides, which means just inside the edge of the first and last stitches. But when I try an increase like Make one, I end up with holes I don’t like. When I tried the LLinc and RLinc that Cat Bordhi uses, it does NOT work well, at least on one side of it. I end up with one really stretched loop on the LLinc side. I tried to add the increases in the center of the front and back instead of at the sides, working from Cat’s statement that it doesn’t really matter where the increases are, but it looked rather peculiar.

I wonder what would happen if I moved the increases back and forth between two stitches, like the next to last stitch and the one right before it? I like the LRinc and LLinc increases due to their almost invisibility. And while I have used the Kf&b for increases — it’s fairly invisible — it’s hard to feel that it is even on both sides of the sock.

I’m frustrated by this.