Sunday, April 8, 2018

Year of Projects 7: Week 41

In progress:
Rrribb-it! Socks - 0% complete, using Lizzie-Anne Yarns Sock Set in "Blue Jeans" 

Not yet started:
Alfrick Socks - using Sandnes Garn Sisu in grey and white 
Twisted Flower Socks - using Hikoo CoBaSi yarn in Egyptian Blue 
Feny Socks - using Lang Jawoll Superwash in turquoise and chocolate 
Double Heelix Socks - using stash yarn TBD 
Somewhere Socks - using various shades of blue scraps 
Glass Slippers Socks - using stash yarn TBD 

Completed: Petty Harbour Socks • Vanilla is the New Black Socks • There & Back Again Socks • Crosshaven Socks • Somewhere Socks • Tuxie Love • Brigit Socks • Crenate Socks • Mad Mix Socks • Ringwood Socks • Hearty Man Plaid Socks • Mojo Socks •Yaacov Socks • Leyburn Socks • Gschnitztal Socks • Merripog Socks

Not surprisingly my second Merripog Sock is done. Having obstinately decided that I should not and would not cast on anything else until they were done, I knit monogamously on that second sock until it was done. Long ago when I had many fewer sets of sock needles I had no choice but to finish one project before starting another. Maybe I should go through my needle inventory and clean house?

They are lovely socks now that they are finished. There is something very satisfying about a simple, smooth and unfussy pair of socks knit at tight gauge with smooth lightweight fingering yarn. Before starting the ribbing of the cuff I increased from 72 sts to 80 sts to avoid having the ribbing pulled snug where my calves widen. They're straight off the needles in the photos, so I expect the colourwork will flatten a bit after a wash. Fingers crossed!

When I started the socks I wasn't sure that there was enough contrast between the two yarn colours, but I'm happy with them now that they're done. I imagine the patterning on the leg would be helped if I had knit white or cream rather than grey but grey was the yarn I had, so decision made. Is it just me, or is there a dearth of solid or mostly solid sock yarns these days?! 

With those socks off the needles I turned my attention to the MKAL socks. I had remained on the sidelines through clue 4 to await clue 5. But with the release of the final clue on Friday I thought I'd better knit at least some of it to see how it went and then make decisions.

With this knitalong each section is provided as two options - with Option 1 being generally colourwork and Option 2 being generally cables and lace. You can combine the options however you like to make your own unique socks.

For my first sock I knit Option 1 (colourwork) for each of the 5 clues. 

Clue 1 (toe) was a garter stitch toe which was cast on with a provisional cast on (Judy's Magic Cast On), worked as a square of garter stitch, then folded up into a toe with short row shaping. This was my first experience of Judy's Magic Cast On. It's okay, but I found it very fiddly on DPNs. As for the garter stitch toe, I found it very shallow; it doesn't fit my long pointy toes at all. As a final nail in the coffin, I find it quite unattractive.

Clue 2 (foot) was a simple colourwork pattern which could be worked in two or three colours. I always struggle with my colour choices so I picked up a good tip here... photograph your choices in B&W to see if there's enough contrast for the combination to work. My grey yarn choice is too close to the main colour purple, so it doesn't really pop. All that being said, I didn't love the colourwork pattern so I switched to a vanilla foot after finishing one repeat.

In Clue 3 (heel) gusset increases on the foot opposite a zig-zag slipped stitch pattern on the instep, lead to a garter stitch heel worked in german short rows. I didn't like anything about this and again found it all quite unattractive. I find the garter stitch heel looks lumpy and distracting. There are puffy areas through the gusset area, perhaps because of the uneven fabric from the instep opposite. And the idea of adding bulk to my instep with a smocked stitch pattern just bewilders me. Ugh!

Clue 4 (leg) sees the leg knitted in a slipstitch rib pattern. I'm ambivalent on this. I found the slipstitch rib pattern quite interesting and attractive. Some good ideas might be developed from that for a sock pattern to work with wildly variegated yarn. On the other hand, as written it binds and makes it hard to get the sock over the heel. It certainly wouldn't work for a leg much longer than an ankle sock because there's not much stretch. 

Clue 5 (cuff) is a "Fusilli Cuff", which is really more of a knitted on ruffle than a traditional cuff. The border is worked back and forth across 4 sts, and is "turned" every six rows to create a twist or turn in the border. I'm pretty sure I've done a cuff like this before, or something similar. It's involved and uses a ton of yarn - well, you do work 30 sts for every 4 sts cast off! And the result is fussy and ruffly which might be cute on an ankle sock but not really my cup of tea. I think I'd like it better as a blanket or washcloth border.

Taken altogether you have a weird-looking ill-fitting sock, as far as I'm concerned. Presumably the design is intended to incorporate a variety of new and interesting experiences for the knitter rather than producing a practical sock. If you have short toes and like an ankle sock, you could make this work for you I suppose, but pretty much none of this sock worked for me. I guess I'm set in my ways. Sock one has already been frogged.

By next week I'll finish the second "Cables and Lace" option to see what I think of that. I'm not really holding out much hope: there are bobbles on the leg and a picot cuff. 


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

Love how thoroughly you describe the process. Yeah, that toe is ugly! Since I'm addicted to self-stripe, haven't really looked at other types of sock yarn lately....but I have been getting a lot of solid minis for contrast colors....

Becki said...

Your Merripog Socks are just beautiful. I know I'm sounding like a broken record by now, but truly... all your sock creations are just lovely. Even your pictures which shows things you don't care for are awesome to me. :^)

Caffeine Girl said...

While the sock looks cool, I prefer socks that I can actually wear! But you have much more sock patience than I do.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

That mystery sock just seems like too much going on in one sock for me

Merripog is lovely though!

Anonymous said...

Your color work sock is beautiful and I think the gentle mix of colors is very nice. As for the mystery sock don't like what you have so far. I say cut your losses and knit something else. No point in knitting a sock that you don't like and that doesn't fit well.

As for solids ---- Cascade Heritage and Wildfoote come in solids, but you're right, they are few and far between.

Marsha said...

Merripog turned out fabulous.

Not thrilled with that toe, either. I do like the colors you chose for the MKAL though. Someday I will brave colorwork. Not today though LOL.

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

I was posting a comment this morning when the internet went down and it just now came back at 4 p.m.! Anyway, as I was saying....I really like the colors you chose for your contrast. Your other sock looks like a whole lot of trouble! And what's us with that toe? I agree with Marsha....cut your losses. There are so many beautiful well-written patterns out there. No sense wasting your yarn or your time on something you're not going to love or wear. Have a great week!

Stefanie said...

How fun to do a Mystery Sock KAL. I like how you labeled each picture. The colorwork ones are great. I like how the colorwork is simple enough for a beginner.

Stefanie said...

Thank you for sharing how you knit your FLK heel. I will try it out one of these days. Thank you for the sock love. That was one project I was motivated to finish b/c of the colors. I can't wait to get my hands on another HP inspired colorway.

Kat @ felinity knits said...

Ooh dear, that MKAL definitely wasn't up your street. I find this post really fascinating though - thank you for posting your thoughts alongside the photos. I'm in awe of the speed of your sock knitting!

Breathing Life said...

So cool how many things you have tried and learned on those socks so even though they are frogged it seems like a success to me. I have never seen or tried a garter stitch toe. I use JMCO often for my toe up socks, but you are right the beginning is very fiddly.