24 September 2006

FO: Moccasin Socks

Hubbster's moccasin socks were done a couple of days ago (yes, right after starting them - these things are quick):

...and the first sock of my pair is done, and the second one will be also in about an hour (I would have waited to post until I had both, but the computer is free now and I thought I'd better seize the opportunity!):

As it turns out, I think you could make a whole pair out of only one skein of the worsted-weight Peace Fleece, though I was using bits of several leftover skeins, so I can't be exact. But I think I've now got enough for a third pair out of lots of red and blue stripes!

Okay, details:

-I love everything about these socks. The fit is great, the look is great, the re-footability (as Aija memorably put it) is great, and most of all they're really fun and fast to knit! Obviously, at this weight they're very thick, but perfect for hiking socks (and for walking around our apartment, which has very cold concrete under the wooden flooring). I plan to make the next pair in very thin alpaca, so I'll let you know how it works at a completely different gauge.

-For the blue pair, Hubbster's socks, I had to add some short rows to the sole to cover his extra-wide feet. This looks very funny when the socks are folded (shown here in comparison to an earlier pair made according to the PGR method in sock-weight Peace Fleece):

I was afraid the incredibly weird shape of the sole would bunch up and be irritating on the bottom of the foot, but with feet as wide as Hubbster's, it's no problem:

They stretch out so much that they're perfectly flat and smooth.

-Other than the short rows on the sole, I followed the numbers exactly from EZ's recipe in Knitting Around, but using bigger needles to size them up for Hubbster, and adding a little extra length to the top of the foot, because my toe shaping took up only 2" instead of the 2.5" allowed for by EZ. I added a strand of Wooly Nylon for reinforcement, starting at the toe.

-The only other change I made on this first pair was to pick up stitches along the side of the sole from the back, with yarn in front, so that the selvedge stitches stick up on the right side. I had initially started the sole with the foot too short, until I realized I was missing that half inch in the toe and ripped back to put it in. Before I ripped back, I was concerned that the line caused by picking up those stitches would be irritating if it was right next to the foot, so when I picked them up the second time, I put those stitches on the outside. I decided I like the look of the ridge this forms on each side of the foot:

Kinda like a racing stripe, don't you think? OK, maybe it's just me....

-On the next pair, I did three other things differently. First, I centered the 6 sts that you put on a holder for the top of the ankle according to the ribbing pattern, rather than centering them around the beginning of the round. There's no reason not to do this, and I wish I'd thought to do it the first time, too.

-Secondly, when you decrease along the top side of the ankle from 38 sts to 22, I made the extra stitches on either side of the 22 in stockinette, while keeping the rib going on the 22 that would continue on to make up the top of the foot. I plan to make my next pair of moccasin socks, in a thinner gauge, with some kind of cable pattern, so I wanted to experiment with how to adapt the stitch pattern to the ankle shaping. I'm not entirely sure I like the results, though. I should have either made the stockinette sections two stitches wider on each side, or not bothered at all:

-Thirdly, I tried to minimize the pointiness at each end of the seam on the bottom of the sole (and therefore minimize potentially uncomfortable bulk under the feet). EZ has you put about 4-5 sts on a thread at each end, and pull them tight. I just decreased twice on each end in the last row of knitting, then pulled only 3 sts together at each end before seaming. This does seem to make them slightly less pointy, and once they're stretched across the bottom of the foot they are indeed perfectly flat and comfortable:

But, judging by Hubbster's pair, I probably didn't need to bother with that modification at all.

So, they're adorable (if I do say so myself), and really, really comfy. The Peace Fleece is already soft and cozy, and I know from experience that it blooms gloriously with washing (without changing size), which is why it's one of my favorite yarns (the other reason it's a favorite is the marvelous impressionist-painting quality of the colors). As Leah pointed out, Peace Fleece is the best.

As you can tell, I've been ignoring the Fair Isle for a few days, but it's calling to me now...Zimmermania will continue, if more slowly, with the third, leftover-striped pair of Peace Fleece moccasin socks, then another pair in a different yarn and gauge. And after that? I might just have to try a quick tomten jacket...the stuff showing up on the KAL is just bee-yoo-tiful... And calculations continue for SKB and Sizzle. We're going to New Hampshire for a long Columbus Day weekend, and I'm counting on having lots of knitting time there...


Marianne said...

I love those socks!!! And have a great long weekend coming up!

Beth said...

Those socks are great! I am having such a hard time with this Zimmerman knit along because I want to knit everything NOW. an now after the Sally melville class i have other stuff I want to do NOW. I am already neglecting my family. I don't know what else I can cut out for knitting and spinning time. A girl's gotta eat you know.

Susan said...

Oh my GOODNESS I am absolutely swooning over the concept of a pair of socks for Peggers where they are started **and finished** in less than a week!!! I mean, if you can do that for Hubbster (and they both seem to be men with HUGE feet???) then there's a chance I can do it for mine.

I've promised him a pair of knee-highs in time for volleyball season (gulp! November!) and god but I can't even bring myself to to contemplate starting them at the moment - he wears a size 13 which translates to something like 18" calves and 17" feet - the number of stitches that will take is just mind-boggling! But ooohhhh....maybe I can distract him for a few more weeks by some moccasin socks!

p.s. Dare I ask how the chapter is going?

Veronique said...

Wow, you're really on a sock kick! You'll have warm feet this winter, that's for sure.

spider said...

Ooh, one of my favorite EZ patterns. Your versions look great and I like how you addended the pattern to fit your husband's feet. My favorite bed socks are my EZ mocassin's made from a handspun wool/Samoyed dog blend - they're like having a big Samoyed keep your feet warm & cozy through the night...

Frank John said...

My favorite are race car socks for juniors.
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