Sunday, January 9, 2011

Stockinette Sock Four-Ways (2010 FOs #15-18)

It's very common now to find a 'three-way' dish on a menu at a nice restaurant.  No, it's not some dirty act performed by the ingredient du jour; rather it's three ways of cooking the same ingredient presented on the same plate.  So last year I had salmon three ways - poached, smoked and as a carpaccio.  In the second half of last year, I could not stop knitting simple stockinette socks.  But to keep it interesting, I constructed them all in different ways.

Firstly, Sam's Christmas sock.  It's his standard 72-stitch top-down flap-and-gusset sock,  knitted in Wendy Happy - a bamboo nylon yarn.

I hated every single minute of knitting these socks.  The yarn was slippery and splitty, and I think I spent more time untangling the ball of yarn than I did knitting on the sock.  It also kept tangling and I had to break the yarn many times to fix an intractable knot, meaning I had to weave in a bazillion slippery end.

To add insult to injury, as soon as Sam started wearing them they stretched out of shape - now they're too loose and his heel slips.  Worst sock yarn and pair of socks ever.  This sock was an epic fail!

Second, socks for Sister #1.  64-stitch top-down flap-and-gusset heel socks knit in Zauberball.  I called them the Graduating Green Socks because of how the long colour repeats of the Zauberball work to create a graduated green effect.

t was a pleasure to knit this sock.  I divided the Zauberball into two equal halves using my digital scale, and then just started knitting a two-row repeat, letting the changing colours of the yarn do all the work.  I continued the striping down the heel flap, and I am super proud of how well it the stripes worked out.

When finished, the socks were beautiful and soft - like the perfect woollen cover for your tooties.  However, the happiness only lasted for a short while.  I soaked the socks in a tub of water that contained a little bit of wool wash, and disaster struck.  I have never seen so much bleeding in my life!  I soaked the socks for eight days, changing the water 4-8 times a day, and the dye is still leaching out.  The colour faded and the sock shrunk, like the soaking felted the sock slightly even though it was not agitated at all.  I suspect I may have got a faulty ball of wool - it was like the dye hadn't been set properly.  I may email the company that made the wool just to let them know.  I'm still undecided whether or not to gift the socks.  They're still functional, just not as pretty and a little bit small.

The third sock was made using Needle Food Merino Blend.  As always, it was wonderful.  It was wonderful to knit with, it washed and blocked like a dream and the finished sock is soft yet still feels sturdy enough to last as a sock.

This sock was knitted toe-up with a gusset-and-short-row heel and using Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off.  I tried to use the Widdershins pattern but I couldn't figure out how to convert the stitch count to 64 stitches, so I instead used the heel from my Firestarters.  Of course, the Firestarters have cables which are built into the heel turn which I didn't have on these socks, so I ended up with a funny little pointy heel:

It still fits wells and looks lovely, so this project is an epic success.  Thank God!

Sock #4 was a 64-stitch toe up sock with a short-row heel in the ever reliable Filatura di Crosa Maxime Print, and was incredibly crappily photographed 15 minutes before being gifted to the happy recipient.

It just wouldn't feel like a FO post without a picture of Lucy, who has not been coping with the heat well.  Poor little thing!


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