20 September 2006

FO: Mismatched Socks

The socks are done!

They fit, Hubbster loves them, whatever. Having now done the short-rows three times, correctly, without reference to the Gibson-Roberts book, I feel I've more or less mastered the technique and am ready to move on to a new one, as per my Sock Technique Exploration Project (STEP). Note for those who are into the details: I like the Gibson-Roberts slipped-stitch turns very much, though as I've pointed out mine end up a little loose on one side (the one that turns from purl side to knit side), but not so loose that there are holes. No holes anywhere, and there's a lot to be said for that. I also do like the fit of the heel, because I always do it on 2-4 more sts than half, so that the line of turns goes up a little deeper and gives a little more room. This way, the sock doesn't lay quite flat when it's not on the foot, but who cares?? That said, though, I want to try the flap heel (which I've only done on fuzzy feet before) because I like the idea of having an extra-cushy heel from doing rib or garter stitch on the flap. So, STEP 3 (har, har) will be trying out the Widdershins method of toe-up socks with flap heels (since I'm always working with stash yarn of limited quantities, I try always to go for toe-up).

But what happened, you ask, to STEP 2? Step 2 is what I'm going to do now. Let me explain: I want to make two pairs of Widdershins, one plain for Hubbster and one cabled for myself, out of the yarn I won in Cookie's contest. That's not here yet, plus, a totally unrelated event intervened, and the result is that before I get to Widdershins I'm going to try another sock technique I've been thinking about for ages: Elizabeth Zimmermann's moccasin socks. (from Knitting Around, and the Almanac, and maybe elsewhere too) I love the idea of being able to easily re-sole the whole sock when the time comes (keep in mind that Annemor Sundbø found sock legs over 100 years old in her ragpile - those things last, why waste them??), and I love following EZ "patterns," so there we go. The event that intervened to make me decide to try the moccasin socks before Widdershins is... [...ta dum dum DUM...]

The Elizabeth Zimmermann Knit-a-Long:

YA-HOO, people!!! I hope it continues forever, as I would love to always have an EZ item on my needles, and I'm totally loving, already, seeing other people's FOs. I think this could lead to a huge revival of EZ's patterns, since they look spectacular in new yarns and colorways.

I've made a few EZ things already, as you know if you've seen the archives of this blog, and I've posted all EZ-related FOs to the KAL Flickr page. And, after binding off Hubbster's mismatched socks last night, I cast on this morning for the moccasin socks, in the dark-blue-with-flecks PeaceFleece I had leftover from Budyonovka (I think it's "Siberian Midnight").

As you can see, I'm making them two at a time on a magic loop. It goes super-fast, with 44 sts on US7 needles (this gives me a gauge of 4.5 rather than 5, but that's what I want to fit Hubbster's monstrously wide feet). I'll make the second pair on US6, which gives me 5 sts/in, and fits my feet perfectly. I'm doing Hubbster's first even though he just got the last pair because I have two full skeins of his yarn, and I want to see how much the socks take up of that. I have a little over one skein of the red Peace Fleece I used for the tam ("Samantha/Katya Pink") that I want to use for my moccasin socks, and I'm hoping that'll be enough for the legs and tops of the feet, and then I'll dig up an alternative yarn for the soles. If necessary, I can add stripes to the legs to make the red go further.

Once I've got the pattern down, I'm going to try making them from the bottom-up. Reading through the instructions, I don't see why it should be too hard, but ask me again later, after I've tried it...

So...yeah...I haven't worked on the Fair Isle or the mohair lace tank in 24 hours, but don't think they're forgotten! I think I needed a little break to digest the steek business, but I'll be back to it soon.

And then...I've already decided on my next sweater project: the increasingly super-famous Simple Knitted Bodice by Stephanie Japel, in the pink microfiber I ripped from what was going to be Rosebud. I like this idea because (a) I have enough and (b) the SKB is a similar shape to Rosebud (low v-neck, fitted below the bust, flared at hip and sleeve bottoms), but without the problems that made the microfiber so inappropriate (ribbing, badly fudged extra shaping) and top-down, so if it's not working, I can start over much sooner! I would love to knit an SKB exactly like Laura's, but since I've got good stash yarn that I love (though in a different way), I'm going to use that. I also have some luscious dark-red microfiber, but not as much, so I think eventually I'll use it for Sizzle. But since I've already joined the SKB KAL and, as you can probably tell, am very excited about the project, I better really get moving to finish that Fair Isle soon, huh?

(Chapter, what chapter? by the way...many thanks to Susan - you're right, I could be using a typewriter. [shudder]. )


Veronique said...

You finished the gicantic socks already?! Wow.

I found a thesis from 1979 in a conference room yesterday, and it was entirely typed using a typewriter!! Of course, I gasped, and had to explain myself to a professor. A professor who then sterny looked at me and said "that's how it used to be, young lady, didn't you know that?". Oops. Didn't mean to make you feel old!

Kate A. said...

Tee hee. One of my - ahem - older profs told us once how everyone used to keep the current draft of their diss in the fridge, in case of fire. Everyone laughed (in a slightly horrified way), until one student said that her father's only diss draft *was* lost in a fire, and he never actually finished his PhD for that reason. Of course, he still got hired as a prof somewhere and had a long career - those were the good old days, when jobs were lying around for the taking! :-P

Beth said...

Yay! For some reason I can comment. I had to go through kind of a back way to get here though.
Zimmermania here we come! I'm starting with Pi Are Square and adding my own little lace patterns and then I want to try those socks as art. i can't think of the true name right now. Then maybe Tomten Jackets for the whole family. Maybe i'm getting a little carried away.
O.K. we'll just focus on the shawl for now.
Love the socks. It really cuts down on trying to make a matched pair if you do it his way.

aija said...

I love PGR's method too. I will be watching your mocc's (and the KAL)... I need to knit a pair of those socks, not for the refootability (I love making up words! :)) but to try and use a thicker yarn at the sole for something like a hiking sock.

Leah said...

I'm totally with you on all the EZ love in the blogsphere right now! The KAL is going to be such a great resource!

I can't wait to see the moccasins! Isn't peace fleece the best?!?!

OH & the mismatched socks are awesome! I love how they turned out!

Marianne said...

Love the Hubbster's socks, somedays I could only wish that *everyone* would like their socks just so.

Susan said...

I too have joined the Zimmermania that is currently floating around in the air only somewhat thicker & faster than the fall pollen. I'm thinking of a child's jacket done out of the plastic-y Homespun I have or else some very lovely (but very strange to work up), ummmm....**other** stuff whose brand name I now can't remember. Hmph. Hate it when my brain stops working like that!

As for your chapter suddenly, ah, being non-existent I can totally relate! Next week my students will be turning in their first research logs to me - NINETY SIX RESEARCH LOGS - to be graded by hand in one week. (All of their other work is blissfully electronically marked & posted!) I can feel an upsurge of knitting time magically coming my way just thinking about it! :)

Beverly said...

How cool to read about the STEP! I've been working on the same process (didn't come with a cool name for it like} and am finishing my second pair with PGR heels. Love them.

The wonderful thing about knitting is if your doing something, chances are that someone, somewhere is doing the same thing. I look forward to seeing your progess and techniques.