Well I know the year didn’t get off to a good start in terms of my Self-Imposed Sock Club (sisc2011) but I am pleased to report that I am back on track! After finishing my Sin Miedo socks the other week I have sped right on and finished pair #2 (which didn’t need to be finished until March 14th)!
I wanted to give myself a break and knit some simpler socks, so the pattern I went for was Spice Man – to make some more socks for Trev. I also wanted to use up some recycled yarn. I bought my first skeins of Koigu in September 2009 from Socktopus:
These skeins are part of the same dyelot, but you can see how different they look. Any socks made from these will be more fraternal twins, rather than matching. And so it became the first time I knitted up these socks – as a late anniversary present for Trev.
They were the second ever pair of socks I knitted – and they used a short row heel and a 64 stitch count. It became clear quite quickly that these were too tight for Trev’s feet both around his foot and in terms of his instep – he had REAL trouble getting them on and off. When he had to tug them so hard to get them on that the bind-off came off, I knew it was time to frog them, rather than have him not wear them.
So the yarn sat in a drawer for over a year, in which time I’ve learned more knitting techniques and more about my gauge and how to knit socks that FIT. So this time, when I started the socks, I got cracking on the toe and stopped to count my stitch gauge a few rows in.
Trev’s feet are 9.25 inches/23.5cm around and I was getting 8 stitches per inch on a 2.5mm needle. Taking off 10% for negative ease, I came up with a stitch count of 68. So for stitch gauge I was dead on compared to the pattern, but I was getting 44 rows every 4 inches, rather than the 42 called for.
This was quite easy to adjust, as you knit to a set length before starting the gusset – and I knew in my case I’d have to add in an extra 2 rounds on the gusset anyway to make up for having 68 instead of 64 stitches. As the gusset is less than 4 inches long, that worked out perfectly.
So I knitted approx 45 rows for the foot before starting the gusset, where I then added 17 gusset stitches on each side. When it came to turning the heel, I wrapped 8 stitches on each side as per the pattern and left 16 in the middle, rather than the pattern’s 14. (I had 32 stitches on my sole needle, rather than 30, and 36 on the top needle, rather than 34.)
On the leg I knitted 35 rounds before adding 10 rounds of 2×2 ribbing. I cast off with Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off.
I also managed to finish these super quickly. I cast them on last Sunday (the day after I finished Sin Miedo) and finished them the following Wednesday. Quickest socks ever in just 11 days! (Rav link here.)
They look really different this time, don’t they? The socks are obviously a touch shorter since I lost a little yarn when frogging, but it’s amazing the difference the 4 extra stitches round makes to the length and also to the pooling! Instead of those almost stripes I had before, these have some really funkiness going on.
But the main thing is these fit Trev really well. I feel like I’m still learning so much with every pair of socks that I knit – my last few pairs have been cuff-down, and this was my first toe-up pair with a gusset and heel flap. Trying to accomplish that along with modifying the pattern was a little nerve-wracking, but I’m very happy with the results.
This might be the only pair of socks Trev gets this year (he still currently has more than me, with three pairs vs my two), but if I get on well with my sock club I might be able to squeeze some more in. The remaining seven pairs this year, should be allll mine. The next several pairs will be far more complex, but now I’m back on track and have six weeks per pair to finish them, it should be all good.
Between now and March 15th when I’ve decided to cast on Sinuous, I’m going to try and knit as much of a Central Park Hoodie as I can. I was going to knit it all in one piece, but after this very compelling blog post by Rock and Purl, I’m going to do it properly in pieces, as per the pattern and seam it. Not sure how much I’ll get done in a fortnight, but let’s see how I go.
And to end, a pic of the yarn I’m going to use for Sinuous:
Sweet Clement Smitten in French Pink! Trev won’t want these socks, that’s for sure!