Hedgehog Knits

Adventures in knitting from the eastern edge of Canada.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The end is in sight

My usual Sunday morning routine involves getting up around 8:00 (while hubby sleeps in), lounging in my pyjamas, and catching up on a week's worth of Coronation Street on CBC while knitting. It's the one guilty pleasure I look forward to all week. This morning I managed to finally finish that second sleeve in the process. Here it is blocking patiently. I just have a neckband and a little seaming to go on this baby, and it looks like the yarn supply will just hold out. I realized a few days ago that I have knit over 2 km of yarn into this sweater. No wonder it has felt so long! Hopefully I'll have FO pics before the week is out.

I haven't completely stuck to my plan of not starting anything new. But I needed another portable project, and this sock yarn was just calling out from the stash.

This is the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (Buck's Bar colourway) that I bought on my pilgrimage to Lettuce Knit in Toronto. It's funny, but I have been very indecisive about what to do with this. I started out trying to reproduce the Crooked Cables socks by Sockbug that I did before Christmas, but the colours seemed to be out-competing the pattern. I ripped out and spent some time perusing patterns. I thought that such a busy colour scheme really needed something very plain, so to spice it up a bit, I thought maybe I'd finally teach myself to do toe-up socks.

It has been quite a challenge really. I don't like the look of a lot of toe-up heels, and I tend to wear out heels, so I like the sturdy slip-stitch heel flap. I remember Brenda Dayne talking about the Widdershins pattern on Cast-On, and how it is as close as you can get to a traditional heel-flap sock in a toe-up configuration, so I thought I'd give that a try. Now I've discussed before how I don't think my feet are particularly big (a fairly narrow size 8), but that most sock patterns come out way too small for me. I don't think I knit particularly tightly, but I'd rather have 72 stitches on a sock than 64. The Widdershins pattern is written for 54 stitches on 2.0 mm dpns. 54 stitches! 2.0 mm! The socks I made for my two-year-old nephew were about that size! Please tell me it's not just me who thinks this is abnormally small for an adult woman's sock.

I had a hard time judging the length that the sock should be before starting the gusset increases - I'm guessing this comes with experience (?). I've ripped it out four or five times now, tried a couple of different heels, and finally did a lot of re-calculating of the Widdershins pattern. The sock is still too long for my foot, but I don't have the heart to rip it again, now that I've finally got the heel right. I'm going to finish the pair and put them away for a gift. I decided on a simple twisted rib for the top, and the last skill I'll have to learn is a nice stretchy bind-off. There are a lot of choices out there - your suggestions would be welcome!

This has been a learning experience. I'll see how I feel about toe-ups after I've finished the pair, but somehow I do't think it's going to become my favourite method!

I've also added the Sitcom Chic cardigan to my WIP list. This isn't really a new project, it's the last of the long-abandoned projects that I've pulled out hiding. I'll be taking that out as soon as the current sweater is finished and trying to decide if it's worth saving. Here's hoping!

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Blogger Glenna C said...

OOh, nice sweater AND socks.
And if you can ever figure out the Widdershins, do let me know! AS IF 54 sts on 2.0mm needles is supposed to fit an average woman's foot. There is a toe-up heel flap in teh Sensational Knitted Socks book that I am patiently waiting to try, too.

4:22 p.m.  
Blogger Kelly said...

Hi Glenna. I'll write out my modifications for Widdershins when I get them done. Actually, the resulting sock would probably fit you perfectly!

5:28 p.m.  
Blogger Marianne said...

Kelly, I am so excited about the sweater getting finished! It's a beauty!
The socks are so pretty, I've not done any toe-up socks..so I'm very impressed.

6:15 p.m.  

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