Monday, January 17, 2011

The Yarn From Hell?

Pretty yarn, right? It's Alpaca Sox by Classic Elite Yarns in Russet.

I knitted up a swatch for gauge

and found that I needed to use 0s (2.25 mm) to get 32 stitches by 48 rows.

Then came the issue of what socks to knit, and that's where the "from Hell" part of this project comes from.

First I tried a pattern, which for some reason I can't find now, that did a false cable. It involved a stitch where you knit into the front, then the back, then the front again before removing the stitch so that every fourth row the number of stitches on the needles multiplied only to then have to k3 together a couple of rows later. A pain in the neck and what's more it just didn't look good, so after knitting the cuff and 2 or 3 pattern repeats

I frogged it. It just wasn't worth the effort to get the result.

Then I decided I'd knit a pattern I'd done before written for Flat Feet Socks. Basically it was a k2, p1 for the leg and foot. I was knitting them on 2s, and decided it was just too loose, so I frogged those after about 20 rounds.

And finally I decided to do a modified Hedera. I still did a k2tbl, p1 cuff, which was dumb because it doesn't flow into the leg pattern as prettily as k1tbl, p1 would have, but dadgum it I wasn't frogging again, especially because I decided to try to do 2 socks at a time and had knit both cuffs for 10 rounds before starting the leg.

As suggested, I cast on one cuff and knitting it, then cast the other cuff on a second set of needles and then knitting them onto the first set of needles. And then I made a couple of rounds with 2 socks on one set of needles until --- I though I'd go crazy trying to keep the yarn from tangling. So I knitted the second set back off the needles and proceeded to make 2 socks at a time on two sets of needles simply by knitting one for a while, setting it down and knitting the second for a while.

This also means I have one sock on a set of circulars (size 1, 2.5 mm) and another on a set of DPNs. It's been a while since I've used DPNs and I've never used any this small, but I like it, though I worry about accidentally pulling out an entire needle (because I did it indeed by sitting on the yarn).

And after only 3 days of knitting here we are.

I just have the foots and toes to go.

On the plus side for the DPNs I think they help me reduce laddering between the foot and the sole of the sock in particular. But on the plus side for the circulars, I can try the socks on without fear.

Here are the particulars from the socks.

Cast on 60 stitches on size 1 needles (2.5 mm)
10 rows of k2tbl, p1 cuff
10 pattern repeats from the legs (only 5 inches total, not 6 from the pattern)
27 rows of heel flap
Picked up 14 stitches and made 1 for each side of the gusset

Depending on what all I have to get done today, I should be able to finish at least one of the socks today and the pair no later than then end of this week. And soon the socks from hell will hopefully be only a reference to their flame-like color.

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