Work continues to take all the best hours of the day AND they expect me to show up again next week, next month, next year?!?!
Despite that obvious setback, I still managed to get some knitting done this week! I slipped in one more tiny thing…
A tiny, vaguely holiday themed cat! The pattern is Tiny Window Cat, a Ravelry freebie! The ears, head and body are seamless so it went quickly!
The real news this week though…I finished my socks!!
If I can’t have a Christmas sweater, Christmas socks will do nicely! It’s been cold here, only San Francisco cold, but still…I’m excited to start wearing them. I think it’s going to be hard leaving my shoes on my feet. The urge to show them off is strong!
I didn’t follow a pattern, just cast on and went with it. Even though these are my first socks, I’ve taught socks for years. I’ve knit plenty of booties and slipper socks. And I’ve been hanging around with hardcore sock knitters for years. I’ve had plenty of time to study socks without actually knitting them.
I suppose these are my version of a ‘vanilla’ sock. 64 Stitches, Toe Up, Short Row Heel. I did try two different short row methods. The left sock is the traditional wrap and turn short row. The right sock is a modified Japanese short row. The Japanese short row is by far the winner. It looks better, there’s virtually no gap at the corner of the heel and it was vastly easier to execute.
Japanese short rows are the variety that employ locking stitch markers instead of wraps. It is a bit goofy looking…
…but it is incredible effective! Those locking markers actually save the day!
It’s bad enough picking up a single wrap while knitting from a sock blank. The needles are tiny. The yarn is kinky. The whole thing is weird and fiddly. Picking up a double wrap, as one does with a sock heel, is virtually impossible with a classic wrap and turn. It made me kind of crazy.
Enter the Japanese short row and the locking stitch marker, which acts as the perfect little handle! You just pop that wrap up on to the needle via the marker, remove the marker and knit on. I loved it. No fiddling with finding a kinky wrapped stitch, inevitably splitting the yarn and dropping the stitch in the process of fixing the split.
No, it was absolutely worth fiddling with a marker to avoid the aggravation of picking up a double wrap! I’m not sure I’ll do it again though. At least not right away. I plan to test out a whole bunch of different heels. I’ve got sock blank two queued up and ready to go…
Yarn my mom & I dyed when I was home for Rhinebeck. And it’s a sparkle base! I can’t wait!! I’m gonna stick with toe up, but probably go for a slip stitch heel this time. If I’m going to wear these socks to work, they need to be reinforced at the back of the heel. I’m hard on socks, I want to give them the best chance of survival possible.
To confirm that the sock bug has bitten, I think I’m going to set a pair a month goal for myself in 2017. I certainly want to own that many pairs of hand knit socks! Time to make it happen!