Saturday, May 31, 2008

Meilenweits for May

Whoa, where did May go? The end of the month kind of snuck on me. Luckily I had a pair of socks just waiting for the final toe so I could get them in for the May entry in the Sock-a-Month KAL.

When word came down in Sock Madness that one of the designs would use Japanese Short Rows in the heel, I thought I'd better practise them ... just in case, you know. Turns out they are fairly easy to work.

The best tutorial on the net seems to be over at nonaKnits. She uses a safety pin around the working yarn to help identify the strand you use to close up the gap. This probably works a treat if you're doing short row shoulder shaping, but when you have as many turnings as you do in a sock heel, I think it would be a bit awkward. I just used a strand of waste yarn and flipped it back and forth under the working yarn as I did the heel, and it worked out quite well.

The technique is fairly easy to work. The join is quite stretchy, much stretchier than my usual Sherman heel, but I found it was also a bit less solid.

I'm not sure that I'm ready to make a complete switch, but it's nice to have another technique under the belt.

This is the first time I've used this yarn. It's ... ok. It was fairly loosely twisted, so I had to be careful not to split the stitches. There were a few spots that were a bit on the fluffy side and one where I think one strand had broken but I didn't notice until I was past the point of worrying about it. If you're fussy about matching stripes, this probably isn't your best choice. The colour changes are very gradual, and I'm not even sure I can identify a repeat after having knit both socks.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Kaleidoscope # 1

I really have no business starting up another large project. Do you know how many things are just sitting around here half done?

Actually, I shouldn't be starting up any more small ones either. I mean, just look at all the single or half-finished socks laying around here.

I really should learn to control my compulsive impulsive carefree side and concentrate more on finishing stuff.

But sometimes you just kind of get ... captivated, you know?

Noro Silk Garden No. 255.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


You may correctly surmise from the fact that I haven't been madly posting finished Sock Madness socks that I was eliminated. Yup, I got the boot a sock and a half into round two, and here is the culprit.

The Round 2 pattern was Reversai - now available to purchase here. While I quite like the stitch pattern, the sock itself is a bit of gimmick. It's reversible, with a garter stitch short row heel, garter sole and garter toe. It was nice to try the garter heel, and I intend to play with it a bit more. As near as I can tell, it fit my high instep using half the stitches, but I'm not sure if the garter sole was a factor in that. I do know that I didn't care for the garter toe and I wouldn't wear them as knit, and even though the sock doesn't look too bad in the picture, in real life the stitch pattern was obscured by the colouration of the yarn, so they've been ripped.

I did, however, re-do them as "normal" socks. I will admit that after having already just about finished a pair, getting what was essentially sock number four finished gave me a major case of Fourth Sock Syndrome. They're done, now, though, and I'm quite happy with the result.

With a solid yarn and a flap heel and normal sole and my regular toe, I'm a happy camper. This yarn has some a bit of silk in it, which gives the fabric a nice sheen that plays well with the texture of the pattern.

I was a bit worried about the toes. With a 44-row stitch pattern, you can't be quite sure if you'll end up at a good place to put in the toes. I lucked out and it worked out perfectly.

A word about the yarn: it's Regia Silk, 55 % wool, 25 % polyamid and 20 % silk. It feels completely different from regular Regia, and it was nice to work with. I'm not sure I'd use it again, though, because both skeins were literally littered with lint, from start to finish. I initially was picking it out, but finally gave up, hoping it would wash out. It didn't, so I guess I'll be picking lint as I notice it. You can actually see a piece of it in the close-up picture, on the right toe above and just to the left of the label below.

I went back to the LYS to see if the other skeins were similar. I didn't notice any lint, but everything that was left on the shelf looked ... fuzzy. Regia has normally been a good reliable yarn, but I don't think I'll be getting any more of this particular one.

Another reason it look so long to finish these socks is that I've been more than a little distracted by this: