Sunday, December 22, 2013

Year of Projects 3: Mince Pie Mayhem 01



SOCKTOPUS: Totally Vanilla • Kandahar • V Junkie • Kwalia • Farmer McGregor • Shur'tugal • 2luvcrew • Vorticity • Rumpled! • Crowley • Om Shanti • Mince Pie Mayhem • Hundred Acre Wood • De Stijl • Fiori di Zucca • Caretta Caretta • Spring Shoots

It's a picture heavy post today - sorry if it takes a while to load. First things first: last week I was just short of the toe on the second of my 2luvcrew socks. Six weeks after casting on, they're finally done. To be fair, they sat unloved for several of those weeks, so you shouldn't conclude the pattern is that labour intensive.

I'll admit that I like these socks better than I thought I would. Lace socks aren't really my thing, and a patterned toe? Well that just seems wrong to me. And then there's all that knitting through the back loops ... grrrrr. All that being said, the finished socks were worth the effort. I haven't actually worn them in shoes or boots yet. It's been cold, wet and icy for the last several days, so lace socks haven't held much appeal.

With the pink socks off the needles it was time to cast on Mince Pie Mayhem socks. I'm knitting the medium size on 2.25 mm needles. With 80 sts I'd have guessed that the size would be largish, but all these criss-crossing stitches have really condensed the fabric. If you're considering this pattern, don't go small!

The construction of this sock is very interesting. Rather than a heel flap and gusset, the heel continues in pattern while stitches are picked up between the heel and the instep to form an expansion area - a technique that originated with Cat Bordhi, I think. As written the pattern allowed for 11 sts added in each expansion area. Some Ravelers noted that the heel was too shallow, and since I generally lengthen heel flaps anyway, I decided to add another chart repeat to the heel to increase 15 sts instead. As a result, my heel is almost 3/4" deeper and the circumference around the heel and instep has been increased almost an inch and a half. It's still snug, so this was a good call.

Working a heel this way keeps you working entirely in the round except for the actual heel turn. And you don't need to pick up any stitches so there are no holes. I'm fascinated by this technique and am considering some vanilla socks using this technique. The expansion area would totally disappear into the fabric, wouldn't it?
It's also been a good pattern for practising cabling without a cable needle. The mind boggles at how long the knitting of this sock would take if you were crossing the stitches using a cable needle. Just as well it's going quickly - I need to get these done by the end of the week.

Looks like I'll have plenty of knitting time today; we're just emerging from an ice storm. Everything has a coating of ice. Gavin spent 45 minutes this morning chipping the ice off the windshield to drive home from work, but reports that the roads are brutal. Lots of trees and tree limbs are down. Much of the city has power outages. More than 250,000 households have been told that power might not be restored for 72 hours or more. I guess that'd put a stop to Christmas baking. My neighbourhood has power, so we're lucky, but I don't plan to venture far from home today.



12 comments:

Kepanie said...

I hope for continued safety for your husband! Your socks rock. Would I be able to convert a cuff down sock pattern to toe up? All of the Cookie A designs are cuff down. They're big on me. I read on a Knitting Daily eletter to go down one or two needle sizes?

Sam I Am...... said...

Love your socks and especially the mince pie mayhem. Not picking up stitches got my attention as I always have a hole it seems.
Where do you live? Ice storms are the worst! Mostly because no one can drive on ice and it always takes trees and power down so not only is it nasty outside but it gets nasty inside too. I went 8 days without power and thought I would freeze to death but I didn't. LOL! They are not fun though. So glad you have power. You're right though...great knitting weather!

aknitwithacake said...

Hope you all stay safe, the pictures are gorgeous, but you are right - only answer is to stay put. The socks are lovely, I will get round to Socktopus this next year and I will be referring to your notes!!

Frieda said...

Hope that the power stays on for you , it is the worst time of the year to be without power . The pictures bring back memories of our ice storm in 1998 . We had no power for 2 weeks , there was just too much damage to the hydro lines all over the region . According to Environment Canada there were 4 million people without electricity then from Kingston , Ottawa and greater Montreal . This time we're lucky , the temps are colder , so we're getting ice pellets this time not freezing rain . Still treacherous but at least it's not sticking to trees and hydro lines .

I love the Mince Pie Mayhem socks , gorgeous colour , perfect choice for the pattern ! Hats off to you , your sock knitting skills rock !

Wanderingcatstudio said...

We appear to be in a bubble - everything around us - north, south, east and west - is all iced up, but we just got rain - and even that has stopped now.

Love the 2luvcrew socks!

Chrisknits said...

Love the socks! Such an interesting heel. As to the ice, just gald a few weeks ago we had snow on top of all the ice we got. At least the 10 inches of snow on top kept us from sliding on the ice. Be safe.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

It astounds me that you can knit socks so quickly....I'm just amazed...I love the look of the Mince Pie ones...I have the book...

Caffeine Girl said...

First, who wouldn't want to knit a pattern called Minced Pie Mayhem?! I love the construction. It reminds me of some of the Cat Bordhi patterns, none of which I've knit yet -- but I really do want to try them!

Michelle said...

I think these socks turned out beautifully! I wouldn't normally gravitate towards a pattern with a patterned toe, either, but I like it on this sock. Nicely done.

cleancup said...

Glad you have power-- stay warm! And both of those socks look lovely... the lace ones will be perfect in a couple months when the weather is more reasonable :)

Ylva said...

Your socks are always gorgeous :) I hope you still have power and everyone is safe, ice storms sound scary!

*~* Kim *~* said...

Ice is the worst! I hope everyone is safe and that you had a Merry Christmas...
xoxoxo