Sunday, November 4, 2012

Socks finished, socks started

I think last time I posted I said I'd photograph the FrankenScylla socks and post them this time, so here goes! One day last week I got my husband to hold still for a few minutes so I could get pictures of his feet in the socks (in daylight, even!), because I think socks look better with feet in them. Anyway, he put them on and moved each of his feet this way and that, and then said to hurry up because he'd had just about enough. The whole photo shoot took all of 3 minutes. Maybe 4. Anyway, the socks got photographed, so my job there is done. Way to take one for the team, honey.

In other sock knitting news, I've finally started the Salted Caramels socks, these intended for my father-in-law. I'd been told by my mother-in-law that he prefers blues or greys in his socks, so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered I didn't have the appropriate yarn in my stash! I made a point of checking out all my local yarn shops, none of which had quite the right yarn. (There was plenty of lovely sock yarn, just not the right yarn for this project.) I also took a look at a couple shops in Bloomington & Nashville, Indiana, when we were in the neighborhood a few weeks ago, but struck out there too. I finally ended up ordering two skeins of Cascade Heritage from an online seller: the Heritage yarn is a smooth superwash yarn with good stitch definition and generous yardage that would be just right for the pattern. I got the charcoal grey which I think will be a good neutral so George can wear them with just about everything.

Since I probably won't see him before Christmas and he won't be able to try these socks on as I knit them, I'm taking a few chances on the fit. My husband reckons that the medium size will be right for the legs, and his mother told me George's shoe size, so I feel pretty confident about that. Mostly I was worried about how the cuff was going to fit, so I decided not to do the folded cuff specified in the pattern. After looking around on the internet for a little while I decided that Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Cast On would be the way to go.

I watched the video a couple (dozen) times and cast on, and let me tell you, that's a freaking challenging cast on. For the first sock I probably tightened my stitches too much, which made knitting the first round of 1x1 rib, um, difficult. I was actually a little frustrated with it - so much so that I nearly didn't finish that first round. But once I got going on the ribbing and saw how very stretchy this cuff was going to be, I decided I would give it another shot for the second cuff. On that one, I felt good about the tension on the stitches, but then I made a mistake in the ribbing in the first round and made a discovery: you can't un-knit the first round with this cast on. I ended up just cutting the yarn and starting over. Once I got through that first round, it was smooth sailing. I think if you haven't learned this cast on yet, you should definitely try it with thicker yarn and bigger needles. I do not recommend learning this cast on with thin yarn and size 0 needles. I might have polished off a whole bottle of wine after that first cuff. (I don't really remember, but it may be why I wasn't unwilling to start the second one.)

Anyway, once I got through the cuff ribbing, I put both cuffs on one long circular needle (to knit them at the same time) and began the leg chart, which is a really simple pattern of paired increases and decreases. This bit is moving right along and I expect that I'll be turning the heels of these socks by the end of the week. I think these socks are going to turn out beautifully and they'll be just right for my father-in-law. The pattern is enough to keep me interested in the knitting, but not too busy for him to wear. It's a good balance.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Until next time, Friends.

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