Saturday, May 03, 2014

Preparation - Or That's My Story

I'm preparing for next winter. I've just cast off another pair of socks this week because all my hand knit socks seem to be wearing out at the same time.  Holes and thin spots abound lately.

Of course I am fully capable of darning my socks.  Although I hate doing it and have seriously considered taking all my holey socks to Mom and begging or bribing her to darn them for me. However, I'm sure she has her own knitting she'd rather be doing than fixing my tattered knitting and of course there's also that whole "teach a man to fish" theory. So I've sucked it up, followed some tutorials and YouTube videos and been doing it myself.

But I digress. I'm forgetting I just told you I have to knit new socks because I'm at risk of having cold toes if I don't prepare for winter ahead of time. I guess the fact that I can fix my socks sort of the negates the whole need thing doesn't it? Hmmmm.

Well then. Preparation. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! It's all about being prepared. It's nothing to do with the fact I'm completely and totally addicted to doing colour work knitting. Nope. Nothing at all...

I have to tell you about the latest pair, Water For The Elephants, by designer Rose Hiver, who found inspiration for her socks in the novel Water for the Elephants by Sara Gruen (which I read and thoroughly enjoyed!). This is my second pair of socks from Rose Hiver. My first pair were my Butterflies are Free that I knit earlier in the year. Rose's patterns are wonderful to work from. So clearly written and beautiful designs. She makes colour work seem easy!

I do a few modifications for fit for myself - using a 2.5 mm needle and 64 stitches for a cuff then increasing to the 72 stitches the pattern calls for and switching to 2.75 mm needles for the colour work. I then switch back down to a 2.5 mm for the heels and then back up to the 2.75 mm again for the foot until the end of the colour work. Once I'm back to a single colour on the toes I decrease down to 64 stitches again and use the 2.5 mm working until the decreases until I have 16 stitches left at which point I graft them and call it a day.

Its been a trial and error method of finding the right fit. When I knit my Butterflies are Free I did a gauge swatch, which I think safe to say I've never done for socks before. I was really happy I had as my socks would have never fit if I hadn't known to go up a needle size for the colour work. I quickly realized the toe was too wide and long as written so ripped back and changed on my first sock I had knit. It was worth it to go the extra mile and have a pair that fit perfectly!  I have been using the same yarn, Sisu, that Ram Wools Co-op in the city sells, for my colour work so that took all the guess work out of the second pair!

Unblocked and fresh off the needles!
Back to my Water For the Elephants. I wasn't sure I was sold on my colour choice. In fact a few times I did consider ripping them out and abandoning them until I could get a colour combo I liked better, but the colour has definitely grown on me and now that they are finished all misgivings have been forgotten. I absolutely LOVE these socks.

My "pretties"

I enjoyed knitting them (and Butterflies are Free) so much I am contemplating casting on Fireweeds, yet another gorgeous design from Rose, as we speak. You know, for winter preparation reasons of course...

No comments:

Post a Comment