Sometimes, when I design, it’s fiddle, fiddle, swatch, swatch, curse, curse, rip rip. Every once in while, all the knitterly planets align and the yarn works with the chosen stitch pattern, and I just keep knitting. These socks were like that. I used Pagewood Farms hand-dyed bamboo merino blend. Nice to knit with, not splitty, as I feared it might be. There is also a lot of yardage in one skein. I have quite a bit left over, enough to make kid-sized socks, as in an elementary school sized kid. The color is called Prism. I’m not sure why, it’s mostly a reddish orange. Less red since I washed it, but quite beautiful. I finished these and several others around Christmas, but I am finally getting around to this post.
This shot of sock on foot up on railing shows why knitting is the new yoga.
The stitch pattern, from a Japanese knitting book, I began calling Yo Yo Diet stitch, since you increase and decrease over and over. It called for a K3tog and a double increase, where you make one stitch into three. There are several ways to make 3 sts into one; I tried the K3tog, but went with a centered double decrease — slip 2 sts as if to knit, knit next stitch, and pass the slipped sts over. Here’s a good link to how-to on this.
I also experimented with just about every variety of double increase I could imagine. Some looked good, some not so much. When Theresa was examining the first sock, she said in her dry, understated, and always kind way, “Wow, you really did try every increase you could think of. I like how the second sock looks.” That translates as, “This first sock is pretty hinky, but it seems like you eventually made an acceptable choice.”
I settled on this: lift back of st below the stitch to be increased. Knit the stitch to be increased. Lift the back of the st below from the left side and knit. It leaves a little hole in the increase that I was quite pleased with. And really, the heavily variegated color hides all the variations unless you are one of the world’s most knowledgeable knitters and looking very closely. (Like Theresa…)
I sure love looking at the more complex sock patterns. There are some gorgeous socks out there, and they are often are designed to really make the most of some of the variegated hand-dyed yarns. I sometimes buy the pattern, just to support the designer. The sad truth is, however, that I am never going to make any of them. Socks are my easy knitting, meeting knitting, waiting wherever it is I end up waiting these days knitting. I only want to make socks that allow me to either pay attention to the topic of the meeting or participate in the witty intellectual repartee among my circle of witty reparteeing friends. When the conversation opens with “I work for an idiot”, I just can’t keep looking at a chart. I have to be able to listen intently, nod along, and agree with the diagnosis. If I can’t do that, I won’t finish the first sock, never mind the second.
I have finished the pattern for these, and the lovely Ms. Incaknits is testing it out. When she’s done it will be at the shop and online, for those who might be interested.