Caution: Post May Contain Actual Knitting Content
Look! Actual knitting! Actual finished knitting! Very exciting times indeed.
Pattern: Sunshine Socks by Cookie A.
Yarn: ShiBui Sock, color “Kiwi”
Notes: Once I got settled on a yarn, these socks went quite quickly. The pattern repeat is intuitive and easy to follow. I like knitting socks with repeating charts like this, since they seem to go quickly. Also, so long as I remember to make a few notes, it seems easier to make the second sock a perfect match.
My main struggle was with settling on the right yarn. The first two yarns I tried turned out to be splitty (I’d never used either before); they couldn’t hold the cable twists and they were extremely frustrating to work with. Both were lovely, so I’ll try them again with a lace or plain pattern.
For this sock, the third yarn was the charm – my beloved ShiBui Sock in a luscious lime green. I heart ShiBui! It has a nice firm twist that works beautifully with fancy stitches, it’s soft but sturdy (so far – the finished socks I’ve worn are holding up well) and it comes in beautiful, semi-solid colors. I’ve read some complaints that it pools, but I’ve found that the lighter colors perform beautifully with no pooling and I don’t mind the pooling on the darker colors so long as it doesn’t distract from the pattern.
I used just two skeins (191 yards each) of ShiBui for these socks. Depending on the pattern, I sometimes need to dip into a third skein to accommodate my long feet. The length of the leg and the type of stitches used makes a huge difference – a shorter leg (Twisted Tulip) takes less while cables or twisted stitches (Pomatomas) takes more. I know – this is Knitting 101, but it seems the light is just dawning for me.
I also struggled a bit with gauge again. I dropped down to a US 0 for these, which isn’t too far out of line (the pattern calls for US 1 1/2; I usually drop one or two needles sizes for most patterns) But I also changed needles in the midst of this project, going from the super-slick Knit Picks Harmony’s to the slightly less slick Clover bamboos and the fit of the socks came out perfect. I’m thinking that the additional drag – minuscule as it is – is just enough to slow down my stitching so that I tighten the yarn more as I go. Hmmmm. Well. That theory might not hold up to scrutiny but I like it, so I’m sticking with it. And with the Clover bamboos.
These socks were knit as part of the Sock Innovations KAL on Ravelry where a different pattern is knit each month. My idea was that I’d knit the chosen sock right at the start of the month, then work on other things – other socks, gift knits, the English Rug, summer knits – in the vast amount of time left over during that month. Ha Ha! I have three days left before the next sock begins…..hmmmm, maybe this isn’t going to work the way I’d planned…. (well, there’s a shock!) but I’m going to continue for now, especially since I really want to knit every pattern in the book. The yarn issues really slowed me down this time, and I’m still spending a lot of time in the garden, but that’s easing up. Maybe this plan will work in the future?! Only time will tell!