Monday, May 14, 2007

Socks galore!

Velcome to zee Socking Hour, with Zelda and Chocolate Chip. Zee first item on our program tonight will be zee...

Hedera Socks from Knitty!

Finished Hedera Socks in Colinette Jitterbug's Jay Colorway

The leg part of these socks is faithful to the pattern, but I had to modify the heel so it wouldn't be so ginormous on my foot. I think this yarn is slightly thicker that the yarn the pattern calls for, but it's wonderfully stretchy and squishy, so you don't hear me complaining. Lucky for me, when I was working these up I just happened to have Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's wonderful Knitting Rules out from the library, which has an amazing "formula" for working socks. Basically, to work the heel, you place half of your leg stitches on hold, and work the back half for the heel, working back and forth in stockinette, slipping the first stitch of every row, until the heel flap is a square. From here, you work your heel short rows to turn, and then pick up the slipped stitches on either side to rejoin to the foot. On every other round you have to decrease one stitch on either side of the heel, until you are back to the number of stitches you cast on for the leg. After that, it's simply a matter of working the foot and the toe as the pattern calls for. Amazing! So clever, and now my socks actually fit my foots!

Moving on, you may remember that I had two balls of Colinette Jitterbug, and after the completion of the Hedera socks, I immediately began a sock with my other ball of Jitterbug. This is an important sock, because it is the first of my own design. I give you, the Big Bamboo Socks!

The leg is a version of the Big Bamboo stitch pattern found in Vogue Stitchionary Vol. I, the heel is worked in the manner detailed in the previos paragraph, and the toe features a little cable to make it extra fancy.

I'm really pleased with the way the pattern and the yarn work together, and I think it's really effective. The sock makes me think of twilight falling on a bamboo grove, which is a very romantic thought to be evoked by a sock. But, there you have it; I am sock crazy. I didn't write anything down for this sock, and I have yet to start the second one. I'm planning on using the finished sock as a guide for the second: Wish me luck with that.


Aside from socks, I'm working on these stuffed, knit hedgehogs, from the Fibertrends Huggable Hedgehogs pattern, which I ordered from Paradise Fibers. I've decided this guy must be named Chocolate Chip, which is clever because it's actually a color classification term for hedgies, too.

The reason his name has to be Chocolate Chip is that I'm working on a ladyfriend for him in brown, pink, and white, whose name will obviously be Neapolitan. Fortuitously, the other day I found this old ball of eyelash yarn a friend gave me ages ago. It's the kind of yarn that you get tired of very early on in your knitting career; bluey-green Lionsbrand fun fur. I think she gave it to me because someone had given it to her, and she had no desire to keep it. When she asked me if I wanted it, I have a sneaking suspicion that I had no idea what I would do with it, but my natural hording instinct kicked in and I said I'd take it. Can't argue with free, right? Anyway, since there's only one ball, it will be perfect to use for a little baby hedge named Pistachio! See? They're all ice-cream names! Get it? GET IT?? The hedgie bodies are being knit up in some wool/mohair Peace Fleece I got at an excellent price at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Spikes are Lionsbrand Fun Fur, and the eyes are plastic animal eyes I got at Joann's Fabrics. These babies knit up fast, and give you that satisfaction that only felted items can.

The hedgehog pattern was only $5, and the site had a $10 minimum, so the obvious answer was to buy some sock yarn while I had my credit card out. I decided to get a skein of Artyarns, since I'd heard good things about it. Their colors don't have fun names, but they are really pretty, and I went for this nice blue/goldy-bronze colorway that looked as though it would make some smashing Ravenclaw themed socks. Imagine my surprise when I received the yarn in the mail, and realized I'd have to rethink. The skein was enough for maybe one sock. Maybe. If you want my opinion, this is a ripoff. Call me old fashioned, or cheap, or both, but I believe that a skein of sock yarn should be enough to make a pair of socks. Especially if it costs the same as other, more robustly yarded sock yarns. Oh well--I'll still use it to make some Ravenclaw socks, I'll just have to find some yarn to work with it. The question is, what color should I get to go with it? It's got to be a solid, certainly, but what color? Hmmmm...


Anonymous said...

Big Bamboo Socks! I am in LOVE!
Black sets off colors very well, for the skinny skein sock yarn... deep blackberry purple, midnight blue, British racing green - can't wait to see the finished product!

Nicola said...

Hi :) I hope you don't mind, but I saw your Atia sweater on Craftster and it inspired me to create a similar pattern for myself. I'm doing a shaped sweater in Artesano Alpaca Inca Mist/ Inca Cloud with horizontal stripes of dark purple and lilac. I was initially going to make it a long sleeved V-neck, but since seeing Atia I'd love to do that off-the-shoulder finish.

Can you give me a hand in figuring out how you did it? I'd really appreciate it. I'm not terribly experienced - I've been knitting for about a year and a half now.

Many thanks!

Ms. P said...

Nicola, I'd be happy to give you a hand. What is your Craftster username? I'll PM you over there. Thanks for the kind words!


Nicola said...

Hi :) My Craftster account is multicolouredmaddie...thanks a lot :)