Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I finished the socks last week with little to no fanfare. I’m really not happy with them. I guess the gauge is too loose because they are not warm and they feel rough to stand on, like net. I used size twos as suggested on the ball band- but I think from now on I am going to knit all my socks with incredibly tight gauge.

Beyond the breezy texture of the knitting, the pooling really threw me for a loop. I thought it was fun on the first sock and anticipated more of the same for the second sock. Unfortunately the second ball of yarn had a very different pattern randomly developing in the colored plies and the large sections of solid red simply weren’t there. The second sock did wind up with a pooled pattern but it was very subtle- there are bands of marled rows alternating with bands of solid color rows red and purple. Because I planned to wear these with clogs- I switched back to my remaining first ball for the heel and ankle to at least get a little cohesion- so this is the end result.

As I lost enthusiasm for the socks I realized that this wonderful yarn had just been misapplied in the project and I decided to try it out on the Diamond Head hat pattern by David Xenakis from the “Knitter’s Dozen” hats book.

Sure enough the nature of the yarn really shines when knit into tiny facets of this diamond design. Can you believe this is the same yarn as the socks!?

It is a very fiddly project and there are so many ends to weave. As I worked on it I kept thinking that a person with forethought could avoid most of the end weaving if they began the project with seven bobbins of yarn and didn’t break the yarn at the tip of each diamond… well… next time, if there ever is a next time. This design seems more reasonable for crochet than knitting but I am enjoying it… let’s see if I can still say that after I weave in all the ends!
This pattern was written and charted for people who would turn the work- since no row was longer than 22 stitches I used an unconventional (although not unheard of) method of knitting without turning. I made two little videos to demonstrate.
In this video I knit short rows without turning the work over by alternating between knitting english and continental style with the yarn always held in my right hand.
In this video I knit in the continental style without turning, this time I change yarn hands when I change directions.


C. said...

Woah!! What a HUGE difference! The socks look far older than the hat...that's crazy! I agree though, not a good sock yarn. :)

Beth said...

I don't think I've ever seen a ball band give an appropriate suggestion for sock needle size. I'd aim for 9/10 spi next time.

RheLynn said...

Nice socks, and quite a difference between the two projects/same yarn - thanks for showing us!

SPC Angela Mendez said...

Hi Mrs. Thompson, I know this may seem a bit weird, but email is so much faster than letters. Thank you soo much for choosing me as on of your "anysoldiers." I picked this picture to comment to because i dig your socks. I love bright colors. I've never tried knitting, but i crocheted a blanket before. Actually my mom had to finish it for me because my stitches were loose. None the less, thank you and your husband for the inspiring words. I will keep you in my prayers as well. - SPC Angela Mendez USARMY