Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stash Sock Club

My sock yarn stash isn't too crazy, but I have a few potential pairs, so I've organized my own personal little sock club. I like to knit socks with yarn that is representative of the season, so here is a look at my line-up.

The socks for the last month were knit with Schaefer Anne in a pretty blue-green colorway. I thought it was appropriate for early spring as we were seeing more blue sky, and some rain, and the green leaves budding out.

I've been using New Pathways for Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi, and for this pair I used the "Riverbed Master Pattern." This pattern has the increases on the sole, which I think you can kind of see from the picture. I also tried the reinforced heel this time. I think it gives a nice cushion, but I'm not sure I'm crazy about the look. Maybe I just need to wash these though, I haven't done that yet. The socks are for my mom, who prefers ankle-length. (This makes knitting socks for her pretty enjoyable, because as soon as I am done turning the heel I'm almost done!)

I really like this book. I'm not much of a pattern sock knitter. I've done simple things on the instep and leg a few times and although I like the way it can look, I find I prefer just plain knitting. For one thing, if the socks are for me, I'm going to wear them in boots where no one will see them. I wear them around the house too, but I cannot stand to wear thin store-bought socks with my boots anymore. My point is that most people won't be able to see that work anyway.

The other issue is ease of knitting and portability. My socks usually get stuffed in my purse to work on at lunch when I'm on the phone, or when I'm in the car, or when I'm waiting for something. I don't want to reference a pattern constantly and I like to be able to knit without thinking for long stretches. I've tried cabled socks and even though they look beautiful, to me they are just too fiddly. I think I'll keep my cables for hats and sweaters and maybe mittens. I'm not a lace sock person either, so basically that leaves knit/purl stitch patterns. I'm fine with those if they are simple enough to memorize easily. Anyway, since I'm so picky about what will and won't work for socks for me, I need to have more basic patterns to go to.

New Pathways for Sock Knitters does have actual sock patterns in it, but for me I'm having more fun playing with the different versions of increasing on toe-up socks. I also really love the method of making the heel, especially since it doesn't involve picking up any stitches along the edge of the heel flap. One word of caution though: if you don't like math and having to plug numbers in to figure out a pattern this is not the book for you. I like math though, so all is fine.

My current socks are knit from Rock Creek Yarn's Simply Sock Yarn in "Cherry Blossom." I shouldn't have to tell you why I think this is the perfect colorway to be knitting right now, but check out the picture I took yesterday, it isn't a cherry tree but I think it is just as pretty.

This skein of yarn was the last I bought before imposing my moratorium on yarn purchases. This yarn is hand dyed by my friend MB and apparently I was her first customer! I love the way this yarn is knitting up too, it is soft and smooshy and totally not splitty.

I got to the part where I need to start increasing for the gusset on the first sock and decided to start the second one. Once I have the second one knit that far I may try doing the two socks on two circular thing, but I'm afraid of tangling the yarn. Mostly I just find I do better with my socks by doing them sort of at the same time. That way I don't forget what I did and they turn out better.

The rest of my sock line-up includes Iris colored yarn (actually the name is "Blueberry Jam") I bought at the Great Lakes Fiber Show last year. (Sadly I have to miss that this year since someone graduates from law school that weekend. I'm trying to get over it. After all I'm not supposed to be buying yarn now anyway.) Next on my list is Trekking XXL I bought on our honeymoon (for June when the roses that are similarly colored are blooming), followed by a skein of Jitterbug (the colorway reminds me of a swimming pool, appropriate for July I think), and finally a skein of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn that reminds me of late summer flowers.

That isn't all my sock yarn, but it takes care of the skeins I most want to knit with.


EGunn said...

You have some pretty socks coming! And Cat's book is a lot of fun to play with, isn't it? I knit all my socks with 2 circs, and it can be a little tangly at the beginning. I saw a trick somewhere though (no idea where), which I use all the time. Once you have the toe knit, just stick the ball of yarn inside the sock, and then there are no more tangles (and it all stays together in your purse...nice bonus there!). It can make the socks a little bit heavier to knit on, but I find it's not too bad, and it's a lot easier than untwisting the yarn all the time. =)

Merry Gentlemen said...

Gasp! I love seeing the Cherry Blossom in action!