I LOVE knitting socks. Every now and then I go on a sock bender – and I think, thanks to the Rockin’ Sock Club from Blue Moon fibers, I’m on one now. I joined the club in January, and the first sock arrived this week. I like the color, I LOVE the yarn, which I knew I would, since that was the reason I joined the club, and the pattern is interesting – toe-up, which is not my favorite way to knit socks, but, I’m game to try again.
I started almost immediately – following the pattern exactly, using the smaller sized needles the pattern called for (US 0, 2mm)(which is my usual sock needles size), and the toe was good, but the provisional cast-on with crochet chain didn’t pull out correctly, but I clipped it out when it became time to pick-up those stitches, but then as I went along on the foot, gee it looked too wide for my slim foot. The designer states that she has a wide size 10 foot. Well, I have a SLIM size 7 foot, which nowadays is a smallish woman’s foot. One of the often stated advantages of toe-up socks is being able to try it on your foot as you go. So I knit along for awhile, and tried it on. Wide, wide, wide – sloppy around my foot. So . . I ripped back to the toe, and didn’t increase as the pattern calls for, just adjusted the rib pattern to fit my stitch count. And it’s working quite well. Buuuuuut . . . .
The Rockin’ Sock Club (RSC) has a webpage, and a blog that all of us members can post on, and I’m checking it everyday. I read several of the comments, and realized that MAYBE I should have followed the idea of going DOWN to smaller needles for the foot, and kept with the pattern’s stitch count. Smaller needles. 00 or 000. I have that size needles in a Civil War era sock for my husband, (he does Civil War re-enactment music stuff), and I’m having problems finishing them between the smallness of the needles, and the LONG length of the dp in that size compared to my usual 6” sock needles. One of the RSC posts mentioned that Susan Bates has 7” sock needle sets with the smaller size needles, including a link to where one could buy them, so I have now ordered them – even an inch shorter will be better than the ones I’ve been using. So I’m putting the RSC socks on hold until they arrive.
But I decided I wanted to be more comfortable with toe-up socks, and the provisional cast-on with crochet chain. I read Wendy Johnson’s blog regularly (http://wendyknits.net/) and she doesn’t do cuff-down socks at all, just toe-up, and she has posted her basic pattern, and has it in her book, with a good description of picking up the stitches in the crochet chain.
Here’s the result – after two tries on the toe – and five on the crochet chain pick-up. I got closer on the last one, only had to cut out half the stitches this time. I’ve since experiment a bit more today, and I may have it. Maybe. I’m just doing Wendy’s basic sock in some glorious yarn from Canada called Apple Pie. (or Apple Laine) the color is Blue Bayou, much oranger in “person” then on their website, or in my own photos. The yarn is 50% wool, 20% mohair, 20% SILK and 10% nylon.
Shear heaven to knit with. I’ve not gotten too far (only started yesterday), but I’m liking what I’ve got, and how it’s feeling.
And to continue the socks theme – I finally finished the pair in trekking that got lost for two months. They told me last night, that I’ll probably still prefer cuff-down socks.
In her book Wendy explains that one reason she doesn’t like cuff-down is because of having to Kitchener the toes – I understand that many don’t like doing Kitchener – but, having finally mastered it (it took several years) – I LOVE it, and LOVE the look and feel of the finished socks. We’ll see what my feet say about the Apple Pie socks. I figured they were a perfect candidate for toe-up as I’m not sure I have enough in two skeins to make my cuffs as long as I usually do (8” before the heel), so with toe-up I can just knit until they’re either the length I want, or I think I’m running out of yarn, and need to finish ‘em.
Finally, for grins, here’s the back of my car. I figure folks might enjoy all my bumper stickers – RSC sent me one in the first project – NSK – Notorious Sock Knitters! MSWF is Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.