A Sock Success of Sorts

Hooray!!

Friday night, while watching “Meet the Robinsons” which we had downloaded from the iTunes store, I finished my basic socks. They are the first wearable pair of socks that I have completed. I am thrilled.

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I’m glad I started with the basic sock pattern for a number of reasons…

  1. It is a very basic pattern, so less room for mistake.
  2. It calls for Cascade 220 yarn which is heavy enough that this project only took my a little over a month, despite not getting to work on it very often.
  3. Antje Gillingham wrote very clear directions and included many helpful photos with this first pattern in her book. There was only one place where I was truly confused and had to muddle about a bit to figure out what to do.

I have learned a tremendous amount from making these. I really enjoyed the two socks on two circular needles method so well explained in the book “Knitting Circles Around Socks”.

My next project is also from that book. It is the Magic Stripes socks. Rather than use the Schaefer Yarn Anne, I will use the gorgeous, hand dyed yarn I posted earlier. It was a gift from Louise Schlossmacher when she visited Singapore last year for work. She dyed the yarn with Kool-Aid. Here is the photo again so you can feast your eyes…

Sock yarn from Louise view# 2

I spent the next night breaking the skein into two separate balls. I cast on numerous times. Is there some trick to figuring out just how long a tail to start with in a long-tail cast on, so that I end up with a reasonable bit when I’m done casting on? I am a master at running out or having a bunch left over when I’m done casting on.

It took me two attempts to get both socks on the needles. I knit for a while, made a few mistakes, corrected them. I’d made two or three complete rounds before I realized I was knitting a K2, P2 ribbing instead of a K1, P1 as is called for in the pattern. I spent the rest of my time unknitting but I grew too sleepy to finish. I still have half of one sock to finish unknitting before I can start again. I could have just pulled it off but I was heartily sick of casting on by this time.

I hope this pair of socks will lack the gusset ladders that plague my basic socks. A big thanks to Louise who took time out from her trip in Switzerland to suggest that I be sure to pull the first and second stitch on the new needle firmly, otherwise I’ll still have gusset ladders even if I twist the stitches as Ingrid suggested.

I did knit a bit this weekend. On Friday we met friends for lunch and then coffee. I was able to knit in the taxi and over coffee on my Grace Kelly headscarf which has come out of hibernation for a bit. I’m not skilled enough at the two sock method to travel with it yet, so this scarf will be my traveling project for a bit.

Grace Kelly Scarf

On Friday I managed to knit about 20 rows. Then yesterday, I ripped them out to fix a weird hole. It is now back to where it was before I frogged. I’m at 81 stitches, increasing one stitch for every two rows. When I hit 90, I get to start decreasing. Only complaint is that the yarn is a bit dark; difficult to work on it without good light, especially since my needles aren’t very sharp.

One of my other treats this holiday weekend was to finish reading North by Northanger or The Shades of Pemberly: A Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery. It is a mystery book written in the style of Jane Austen’s writing, with Elizabeth Darcy as the protagonist. I enjoyed it greatly and it spurred me to listen to the Pride and Prejudice as I went about my workouts and chores this weekend.

Today, as I finished the premmie hat that has been on my needles for the past two weeks, I listened to the proposal scene. Nice to giggle while I knit. I’ll spare you a photo of the latest hat since it looks like all the others. I don’t have them here to compare, but I think this hat is approximately the same size as the smallest of the other hats. I worked most of this one in taxis, where I seem to make many mistakes, so this poor hat was partially frogged numerous times. At least I’m getting really good at running a needle through my target row before I begin frogging. That saves me much time.

What’s on your needles theses days? Any Valentine’s projects still in the works? I had been hoping to start a pair of socks for my Valentine when I finished my basic socks, but they are a bit too rough for gifting so I’ll knit my Magic Stripe pair first.

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5 thoughts on “A Sock Success of Sorts

  1. i read somewhere that to gauge correctly, you should draw out yarn about three times the length of the cast on. I usually take 4 times the length though, because when I do three, i always end up not having enough either. My estimate isn’t as accurate as i wish it is still but with time, I seem to get a little better. (it also helps since I have startitis lol!)

    I’m panicking about my v-day project because i haven’t finished the second half and I still have a lot of work to do! *keeping fingers crossed*

    BTW, How do you know that you’ve wound half the ball of yarn for your socks?

  2. Hey I am back in the US just not all the way to Minnesota. Your socks look great. Remember the first few pairs are a challenge soon we need to have you start toe up.

    Louise

  3. Me? A prize? Golly! Thanks!
    I had a good time knitting them. Not often I get to do something so quick. I learned a bunch. I loved imagining the premmies wearing them. Thanks for starting the project and letting even newbies like me take part.

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