Thursday, January 22, 2009

An experiment with socks

So, I made two mis-matched tiny baby socks to learn how to knit two-at-a-time. I LOVE the method. I bought some very expensive (for me) sock yarn that was in the perfect color for me (as I wanted something subtle & dark for wearing with my slacks to work). I bought high-end as I was hoping the finer wool & mohair wouldn't itch. And because I knew I wasn't sure how tall I wanted them to be (definitely on the short side)... I wanted to knit them toe-up. But, I could not find any toe-up two-at-a-time patterns.

I did find a wonderful site that had an awesome flexible toe-up design that could be done one-at-a-time. And, I simply adapted it to the two-at-a-time system thanks to Melissa of Two-at-a-time Socks fame. I used the Midnight stitch pattern for the "style" & look from her book as well.

I also manipulated it a little - to add ribbing to the under-side of the socks where the instep is. I love how this "snugs" up the sock. I love making them toe-up so I was able to try them on as I knit them. In fact, in my first attempt at about the half inch done mark, I tried them on, realized that I was making them too big, and ripped them back a quarter inch & was able to re-work it without too much pain. From then on, I kept trying them on. And I have to say - they fit really, really, REALLY well.

But, for two things. One - The cast off at the top of the cuff? It's tight. I did all the things I knew to do to make a looser cast-off including casting off in-pattern, using a larger needle, and hanging onto the second stitch after you pass the first worked stitch over it on the first needle. And, it's still too tight. Not so tight you can't wear them. Not so tight that you can feel it while you're wearing them. But, tight enough that stretching the cuff to pull the sock on over your heel? That's wear it's too tight. But, I could live with that issue. The second issue? The fact that within five minutes of wearing them I want to scratch until I bleed? That I just can't quite deal with. I should have made them with inexpensive cotton yarn.

That's what I get for trying to be a yarn snob. I love the look & the "knit-ability" of fine wool. But, I just can't wear it. When I started the socks I was actually a bit worried about how well I could tolerate knitting with it. And, it was so soft & lovely to knit with, I was so sure that the fine wool & mohair blend was worth the money as it didn't seem like it would bother me. Alas. It does.

So, I spent probably a good 60 hours of knitting time and over $20 making the most amazing & best-fitting socks I have ever owned. And I can't wear them. sigh. I would go so far as donating them to someone who would like them - but I'm too ashamed of the tight cast-off -- so they aren't good enough for anyone else either. Terrible, huh? Anyway - here are the "poor" pics (as my brand-new awesome Christmas gift camera died within two days of getting pulled out from under the tree. Am still waiting on my refund from Amazon to go out & buy a replacement. So, you're stuck with lousy cell phone pics.

No comments: