Thursday, October 04, 2007

passed the first test

yesterday was SOOO hot along the eastern seaboard it was enough to make you want to go live in antarctica. i locked the house up and put a heat absorbing tarp (yes, a tarp. i was making do!) across the north facing glass wall which makes my office so attractive in winter and so completely unattractive for the other 9 months of the year. no air conditioning in this little beach shack, apart from the odd sea breeze. i have a self-imposed deadline of finishing the chapter im working on by the end of next week, that means i really need to get the most out of the morning hours when i work best and its cooler etc.

even with the tarp and the little fan thing, this room got too hot to be in past 1, so i lay down with the dogs on the slate floor for a while and then picked up the second berry stripe sock to cast on. an hour later and i had this:

i was pleased. i have, i think, passed the first test of the southern summer of socks and that is the capacity to knit even when its really freakin' hot. the little beach shack held its cool and there was merely a hint of sweat on the fingers.

some of this may have had more to do with issues i was having with the picot edge. its been many moons since i made the first sock of this pair and of course in that time the knowing of how to do the picot had deserted me. i had great trouble with the folding over and attaching because you have to pick up the edge of your cast on stitch and knit it together with the stitch on the needle. if you knit a little tight like me (cough - what bent knit pick - cough), then this can get tricky. the result is a facing that slants a little because you have not matched up your stitches properly.

the first one has a nice straight facing but the second one slants ever so slightly:

i am a very resistant frogger, and i know this is going to have a ribbon through it as well, and in this perspective you cant really tell, so im just gonna live with it.

meanwhile, no sooner do i blog my ideas for sock patterns and get lovely comments from people when i start to doubt myself. this is what i am thinking.

firstly, the yarn that i said was for monkey socks, its a fairly thick 5 ply, not smooth or fine. im starting to think it may not be monkey material. if i wanted to knit fairly good sturdy desert boot type socks (they're for that type of girl, by the way) then what might be a better pattern, thats not just plain old sticking stitch cos im gonna stab someone with a dpn if i have to do another one of those after the two pairs i have going.

this raises a second issue. the red black and white is not actually for st kilda fans (sorry q-mick) but for trents flyball* team, the st george phoenix. i wanted to make a pair of fibonacci socks for each of the other three members. not real long but not ankle socks, just long enough so you can get away with no shaping. and i thought fibonacci rather than straight stripes just to mix it up a bit. but thats a whole heap more stocking stitch right there, and they just are not getting done for christmas. not all three of them, and not when there is italian/german cotton sitting there bleating at me. any suggestions for a stitch that you can work with stripes that isnt boring!

also, a question re jaywalkers. i really like the zigzag effect of them, and i will be making a pair this summer. however, the yarn i had slated was the opal, in pale colours. every pair of jaywalkers ive seen are bold strong colours. im thinking the effect might get lost with this particular opal, and it would be more suited to something delicate.

which means i might have to buy some really bright coloured self striping (koigu, did i hear someone say?!) especially for jaywalkers instead. or i could try them with the red, black and white. would that work?

and another thought. i dont block my socks. does this make me bad? should i block socks?

oh so many questions.....

k xx

* flyball= another weird dog sport where 4 dogs race in team against another team, like a relay, and they run over four short jumps, grab a tennis ball and come back. seriously major fun for the dogs, if youve ever seen it.


Carolyn said...

I've bent knit picks needles too! I don't have much sock expertise, but I've just finished one jaywalker in shades of blue. I don't think it has to be bright at all. The pattern shows off variations of color really nicely, so I think any multi-colored yarn would look great.

Also, I don't block my socks either, but my jaywalker does look a bit wonky when not on my foot. However, when on my foot it is fine, so why block?

TinkingBell said...

There's a lovely bold stripe in a uarn called Grinasco strong print - its lovely and bright (I got mine at the shearing shed in Manuka - an unfavourite of the SnB girls - but Im sure its available other olace - love the picot edge BTW

happyspider said...

Ok, firstly, your socks looks gawjus and I'm deeply impressed.

Joods made monkey socks in my hand-dyed 5ply, you should ask her what changes she made (they look fab).
I've seen jaywalkers in real gelati colours and i think that opal (in your ravelry stash) would look great.
And i only block my socks because i like the way they look after... i'm odd like that. plus they look way more professional if you're gifting them. I just use a metal coat-hanger bent into a foot shape and wash and dry them on them. works fine.

hope that covers everything :)

Rose Red said...

Ribbed patterns work fairly well in stripes, or chevron/feather and fan patterns (not very masculine though, if they are for men!!)

I block my socks the first time I wash them because I like the way they look (ie for blog pics!), but after that I don't usually bother. You can try ironing them if you want, that works too! It also helps if the socks are a little tight to get over your ankle/heel.

jp said...

I block my socks when I am making a lace or shaped pattern.

It usually opens up the lace or pattern and removes any of the twisting naturally caused by the pattern.

I don't block stocking stitch socks as the foot does them for it.

kms said...

thanks guys, all very helpful!