Sunday, April 15, 2018

Year of Projects 7: Week 42

In progress:
Rrribb-it! Socks - 55% 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 leftovers from Feny Socks
Somewhere Socks - using various shades of blue scraps 
Glass Slippers Socks - using stash yarn TBD 

I was entirely caught off guard by how much I am loving these Rrribb-it! Socks. 

The yarn - Blue Jeans Sock Set by Lizzie-Anne Yarns -  was an impulse buy. It was kind of speckled and quite pastel and very much not my usual thing. Seems like speckled yarn is everywhere these days, and so are patterns with contrasting heels and toes, so I decided to take a ride on the band wagon.  

The yarn base is absolutely wonderful for socks. It's smooth and lightweight with excellent yardage and lots of twist. As well, it's got a lovely lanolin-rich feel to it. 

And look how nicely that heel and toe mini-skein coordinates with the main colour thanks to spots of the lilac-purple scattered throughout! It's really charming. I also like how there's lots going on with the yarn, but not so much as to overwhelm the pattern. 

The pattern is quite simple - just a mash-up of ribbed patterns - but there's just enough going on to keep it interesting. And with all that ribbing a good fit is about guaranteed. In consideration of the generous yardage of the main colour skein, I decided to add an extra pattern motif to lengthen the leg of the sock. After binding off I was relieved to find that I still had 57 grams left of my original 104 gram skein, so there should be enough to work a matching second sock. After a bit of thought, and a bit of time perusing other completed projects from this pattern, I've decided to knit an almost matching sock... I'm just going to shift the order of the ribbed motifs to make it similar. Barring anything unforeseen, I should have the second sock completed by the end of the week.

Our friend's baby was born at the beginning of April and the happy couple were kind enough to send me this lovely picture of Kailea rocking the little cardigan that I knit for her. The cardigan was gifted to her parents at a baby shower in November. The pattern is In Threes, which is a very nice easy knit for a baby gift. 

I had knit the pattern before for another set of expectant parents but at that time I knit a larger size thinking the baby would get more wear out of it. I'm a terrible judge of baby sizes - they all look impossibly small to me, and there are no babies around here to try things on - so that first cardigan was much too large. It ended up at more of a toddler size than a baby size, so she's finally getting some use of it now. To be fair, she's a wee little thing so she'd be swimming in anything age appropriate.

In light of that I decided to knit the newborn size on a smaller set of needles. I checked all the online charts about baby neck circumferences and baby chest circumference and concluded that the neck of the newborn size might be too narrow. So I started at a larger size for a wider neck, then cut back the increases through the yoke to end up at the newborn size by the armpits. Based on the photo, I think that worked out pretty well. Kailea is about a week old in the photo, and I'd guess that there's enough room for her to get several weeks wear. Hopefully the warm weather will have arrived by then, but there's no guarantee if you consider today's wintery hail and ice storm!

Towards the beginning of the week I finished the second of my MKAL socks - the Cable and Lace option. I'm not a fan of a spiral toe, but it's not horrible and it fits okay. The german short row heel with the added gusset increases and decreases is fabulous. The cable and lace patterns across the top of the foot, the instep and the leg are very attractive; I especially like how one pattern transitions into the next. So although I liked this sock more than the other one, I still didn't like it enough to knit a second sock so it's been frogged as well. 

I am not a fan of the garter stitch cuff and picot cast off - it's more decorative than functional. It flares out from the top of the leg making this sock look like a jester's slipper. 

The patterning at the back of the leg starts very abruptly with some very unfortunate misalignments to the heel and foot. 

Bobbles on a sock? Why?!?! I can't even imagine wearing these socks in shoes with those bobbles positioned at top of the heel at the back!

The 7 stitch cables are very lumpy and the sock is very inflexible. The sock pretty much stands up by itself. And all cabling makes the pattern very yarn hungry, so knit as an ankle sock with one leg repeat the sock had already eaten up 50 grams. If you wanted a longer sock - and I always want a longer sock - you'd need an extra skein and a plan about how to fit the increasing width of your calf in pattern.

To me this sock feels more like a decorative slipper than a practical sock. I might try again starting with a turkish cast on and a wedge toe, preserving the central cable motif over the foot instep and leg, but replacing the outer patterns and lacy areas with some combination of seed stitch and ribbing, and working with a thinner yarn and/or a larger needle for a more relaxed fabric. I'd want at least three repeat on the leg, and I'd finish it with a ribbed cuff. Oh, and no bobbles. Maybe I'll put that on next year's project list?


Anonymous said...

How sweet is that little baby! She looks adorable in the sweater you made.

AND . . . I love those ribbed socks. So pretty!

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

Aww...the baby....I still haven't given the elephant sweater to its owner, hopefully it'll still fit....

The sock does look more like a slipper...very warm..but yeah bobbles????

Caffeine Girl said...

That little sweater is so cute -- and so in the baby.
I like the ribbed socks, but I'm not so taken with the pair with bobbles. They are quite pretty, but seem completely unwearable! I think your adjustments are a good approach.

Becki said...

Oooh... how wonderful that your friends sent you a picture of their baby in the sweater you knit her. How sweet! The sweater is beautiful. Looking at the purple socks through your eyes, and given your description, they do seem a bit odd. But without your description, I'm kind of awed by them. I can imagine, though, that while they may look like something of a work of art, they aren't terribly practical (or wearable). That said, I sure do enjoy seeing what new socks you create - all the fun patterns and pretty yarns. Here's hoping your remake of this pattern works much better.

Leftycrafter said...

I like the color combo on the rib it socks. The pattern has just enough interest to it too.

The baby sweater is so sweet. I agree about how hard it is to judge sizes on baby items. You did excellent though.

I agree with the frogging of the purple sock. It looks so uncomfortable for shoes. If it was in a worsted weight it would make a great house sock.

Stefanie said...

Great job on the cardigan. I like that light, wheat color. She'll get plenty of use out of it. Babies grow so fast. The first sock looks good. I like the stone-washed, denim colored yarn.

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

Your 'rib-bit' socks are great and it isn't easy to find a patterned yarn that will also not hide the sock pattern....good job! Very pretty! That baby is so precious and so is the sweater you made for her. It is so sweet! I have no babies in my family but I was thinking I would love to make baby items....for Etsy? What am I thinking...I can't even get my house clean or my lawn mowed! LOL!
The last socks are very pretty but not very practical....yes, house slippers for sure. Have a great week and just to make you feel is 32 degrees fahrenheit here this morning....that's freezing! But the grass and weeds still grow!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

The yarn in RRRibit is gorgeous. It reminds me I need to dye some yarn this month!

I hear you on trying to size baby stuff! Most of the time it's a guessing game for me.

The mystery sock just looks really bulky to me... It's got some neat motifs in it, but too many for one sock, I think.

Lucy Bowen said...

The cardi is gorgeous and I love your sock set. I do like a contrast toe! As to the mystery kal, the sock looks splendid but I agree I can't see how practical it would be.

Breathing Life said...

I love that pattern for the baby cardigan. It is already in my queue and now I have finished my tee I have enough left over yarn to make it. Thanks for the reminder.
Great socks too!

Sandy said...

Been ages since I've found my way to your blog, but happily you were right there in my feed this am. I've not made socks, but wouldn't think anything with much of a texture would be comfortable. Mind you, I'm saying that right now with a broken foot and wearing one of boots so anything with a bump......hurts. The baby is so cute and the sweater adorable. No two babies are the same size, so understand completely your difficulties. Too big is always preferred so they get some wear out of it, even if you're rolling sleeves. Always seems a shame to have something so pretty worn only a few times because they've outgrown it.