sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Monday, October 02, 2006

just shy of the curse

I scoff at the curse with aptly named and lovingly made socks.

Boyfriend Socks by Alice Bell (free pattern! w00t!)
Interlacements Tiny Toes yarn (overdyed)
US 1 dpns (2.25mm), 4
Started: September 16, 2006
Finished: October 2, 2006

These are really great, I've got to say. The ribbing is interesting with the cable detail, stretchy in a good way (these are for a 9.5" wide foot, mine is 8.25" and still comfy (i realized i like a slightly looser fit foot in handknit socks)-- the 9.5" foot says they fit like a glove. Alice's sizing and negative ease calculation seems right on as far as my "medium" sized pair went.

I think they make a good unisex sock, I'm thinking about a pair for my dad in the same yarn but a different color. I love them, but then again I have a bit of a soft spot for socks :)


I used the "cabling without a cable needle" method and it seemed to fly-- I was always put off by "learning" it since, well people always say they "learned" it and I never wanted to take the time to master something new since I knew how to use a cable needle :) I'm glad I did, I'll be using it from now on... just take a look at Wendy's link! If you've cabled before, there's nothing to "learn" really.

For those looking to knit this sock top down, it'd be easy just to switch out and reverse the cabling directions, c6f for c6b etc-- resulting in the same sock. I think its a great looking panel, don't let the toe up instructions stop you from knitting it. (I used the heel/toe from Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' book again.)


This was the first time I used the Interlacements Tiny Toes yarn. I liked it, a few things...

1) It seemed to have a lot of twist in it, not like the yarn was overly twisted, but that the nice looking and soft yarn kept twisting back on itself throughout the skein and knotting on itself at times. I noticed this in each of 4 skeins (I have an "on the go" sock I'm knitting in one of the variegated colorways). It wasn't where I had to let the work dangle and untwist (just once), but the twisting seemed almost odd since the yarn itself wasn't overplied. Maybe I'm thinking about this too much, reading the spinning books lately.

2) Another strange thing, the dye seems to not penetrate the "core" of the yarn in places. When I would (ahem) split the yarn accidentally, or when it was stretched in a high stress way (like cable crosses), or even just looking at the core where the plies meet when knitting, I could see the white where the dye didn't penetrate to the center where the plies overlapped. I don't think this is the dyer or the dye, especially because the colors are so saturated and I overdyed them as well-- white was just white in some core spots and not consistently. It didn't detract from the yarn, and I don't even think I'd notice it if the yarn color wasn't so deep, but it was weird since I've never noticed this lack of penetration in another yarn before. It wouldn't stop me from buying this yarn again, but I noticed it a lot more than I would have if I weren't knitting the cables. (Take a look at the cable crossing spots, you may see what I mean.)


3) The yarn feels great. It makes a thick, sturdy feeling fabric on US 1's at 8 sts/inch, and for those who like ironwear socks, a US 0 would get an even thicker result. I think it would hurt my hands to knit it tighter than a US 0, but that's just me. I like the 1's, and I also like how "heavy" these socks feel-- perhaps the cabling and ribbing makes the sock feel heavy for its size, but in hand they're soft and squishy. The cables look great in it as well, good definition on and off the foot.

4) The Interlacements Tiny Toes is about the standard price for luxury handdyed 100% merino superwash sock yarns nowadays ($12/skein), and runs right there in the middle for weight and yardage (50 gm/185yd). I think Interlacements uses great, bold colors-- I'll look to their solids again for sock yarn. The variegateds are really bold and contrasty too, deeply dyed. That's more of a personal thing (I'll take pics of the on the go project as it gets longer to show you what I mean, but it looks good in stockinette.) I don't know if now, personally, I'd look to their variegateds for texture work-- the colors are so deep cabling and lace may be lost in the depth and contrasting colors (again, a personal thing.)


I ran out of yarn :) I had knit the first with 6" to spare, but I had to cannibalize it as I ran short on the second sock. It was anathema to me, undoing the bindoff of the first, but had to be done. Each sock now is knit to row 4 of the cable pattern and have 4 rows of k1 p1 rib before binding off using the graft off top/faux kitchener bindoff I linked in my last post, with a 10.25" foot and a 7" cuff measured from where the cabling starts atop the heel. The k1 p1 rib looks a little short to my eye, but not so bad as to have me rip out a cable... I like ending it on that "closed" part of the panel. Like I said, the cabling and rib is tight enough to not really rely on the top k1p1 to keep it up and in place on the leg, its more of the aesthetic. Still love em though.

Previous posts with the boyfriend socks:

September 17, 2006
September 21, 2006

With all of that, I started a little Sherwood...

Sherwood from Fall Knitty 2006
Cotton Fleece, Wild Orange
Size 2
US 5 80cm/24" circular (3.75mm, Addi)
Started: October 1, 2006

I was able to get gauge on US 5's (I got it on 6's too, but weirdly the fabric was just a bit drapier and I didn't think I liked it as "open" as it felt). The 80cm/24" needle was fine for me-- the body size I'm knitting is 24" around so I started on 16" and it was just too much bunch. This way's not bad at all (I really didn't want to buy a 20" circular).

I am knitting the "2" (smallest) size, but am adding length to it-- once again I'm shocked that my genepool has produced a tall, skinny kid. I worked 1.5" rows of plain in-pattern (row 1 of chart) rib before starting, looks like I'm about 20 rows in the chart now.

One thing, maybe its me: I printed the body charts like a good girl and taped them together, but they don't line up evenly! The right chart is 2 squares taller than the left (over 100), so it minutely shifts upwards and I have to untape and retape as I move up the chart. So irritating, as the tape seems to pull up the print.

More later... trying to decide if I want to cast on for another sock and knit the sherwood sweater at the same time or not. We'll see! :) Have a good week yall.


Alyson said...

It's a plague! A curse! An epidemic, even!! The Yarn Gnomes are out in full force, snatching bits of yarn from the loose end of the skein while we sleep. Li'l buggers!

The socks look great - I'd say you beat the curse handily. :-)

You know, I tried cabling with a cable needle exactly once. Not for one whole project...I mean I used the cable needle one time. Without spouting another arm, I don't think there's any way I ever would have gotten the hang of it - there is no other way BUT the cable-needleless cable method!

Karen said...

Oh those socks are gorgeous! I may have to put them on my list of "to make socks".

Stacey said...

Those came out stunning! I printed out the pattern and will be making that one! My current cabled socks have me wanting to try cabling w/o a needle but I've been scared to! Maybe I should just dive right in. I'll try the link you gave.....

The orange for Sherwood is coming out great. What the heck - it's Socktober - start another sock!!!

Anonymous said...

Love the BF socks! For some reason I thought Toasty Toes was DK or sport weight, so it's good to know it has normal sock yardage. Suckage on the running out of yarn part. I have pretty short feet, so I haven't had to deal with that yet. Phew.

Sherwood is going to be so cute! I wish I had wee one, just so I would have an excuse to knit it.

Emma said...

Oh, they look great. I'm glad to read that you didn't find them too difficult, and I even bookmarked the pattern for myself, despite the fact that I have been resisting the toe-up thing just out of a fear of trying something new, I guess. These socks are so lovely, I may have to rethink my position on that!

lexa said...

I think I may use my cashmere sock yarn for a pair of BF socks. Or at least that's what I'm leaning to at the moment!

I'd like to make both boys Sherwood, too. Got some yarn I'm going to look into getting when Nova Knitter and I make our yarn shop crawl when she gets back from England. (She also printed the chart from Sherwood and had trouble with it as well.)

hillary said...

What curse? There is nothing cursed about those BF socks. They look so nice and cozy.

You must cast on for more socks right away. You can't have naked sock needles during Socktober.

Anonymous said...

Lovely socks!

I wonder about the resist - have never seen that before, either. Do you add anything like dishsoap or synthrapol as a wetting agent?

Karen said...

Very awesome socks! The color is so rich! What color were they before you over-dyed them?

insaknitty said...

the socks look so great! love 'em! :D sherwood is looking really cute too. can't wait to see it all done. :)

Anonymous said...

I love the Boyfriend socks! They turned out so well. Sherwood is going to be fantastic too - orange is awesome. Add cables, and it's the best.

Leah said...

I think you broke the cure indeed!
Those socks turned out fantastic! I love the overdyed color, it's perfect for that cable pattern!

Sorry you ran out of yarn! I love alyson's idea of the yarn gnomes!! Too funny!

Alice said...

Wow I love the blue!

April said...

Those are some gorgeous socks! Congratulations on gettin' them done. :)

I had a skein of Koigu once that kept twisting back on itself. It made me think of a snake eating it's tail. There's a nice visual for you.

Rachel said...

They look great. That stinks about running out of yarn, though. Funny enough, the socks I'm trying to knit up at the speed of light are, in fact, boyfriend socks.

Kim in Oregon said...

Love the sox!

Chris said...

Those are gorgeous!! Add another pattern to the list I want to knit...

Dave said...

Fantabulous! That deep blue is extraordinary. I could live in that colour. Interesting that you don't need a top rib ... it's a look I like in sweaters, but socks just seem to "need" a bit of rib. Welcome back!

Coleen said...

Love those BF socks! really nice job with the cables. I keep trying to learn that no cable needle thing, but I have yet to master it!

b1-66er said...

i REALLY like the image of one sock cannibalizing the other ... twins often do that in utero (here's a good stat for you that i remember from my dyslexia days: only 5% of the twins that are ever conceived are actually born as twins. happy hallowe'en!)

oh, and not that it's any of my beeswax or anything, but who is your daddy?

Anonymous said...

you have a thing for socks? what are you talking about?! : P

love them! (what curse!?) the color is perfect! but how weird about the white spots, I have some tiny toes in my stash and the colors are eye searing

Liz K. said...

I think Mr S will be getting some boyfriend socks from the Gems I have in my stash. Can my husband of 8 years qualify as a boyfriend?

Great socks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to that pattern - I've been searching for a pattern for a solid color - these are perfect! Love that blue color - so vibrant!

Karen said...

Those socks are gorgeous!! Definitely on my "to do" list. I even think I have the yarn for them. Time to go stash hunting.

Jennifer said...

I love the socks! Take that curse!!

HPNY KNITS said...

great BF socks! and Sherwood... talk about wild orange!

Anonymous said...

I printed this pattern out after your very first progress pic. They came out just amazing!

Anonymous said...

The socks look really great! Fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Now that the pirate hat is finished, I was looking for a pair of socks to knit up with Lorna's Laces. You popped in and lo and behold, I now have the boyfriends socks pattern printed to cast on this afternoon. Thanks!

Yours look totally awesome! I agree that boyfriend/girlfriend/friend/whatever works.

Sarah Ditum said...

Thanks for telling me about this pattern - and for showing your own wonderful work. I think I'll have another stab at needle-less cabling now I've read your post on the socks - even though the whole concept does strike me as worryingly like parachuting without a parachute.

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