Thursday, August 2, 2007


While I have knitted a pair of socks before, I have mainly concentrated on knitting sweaters in my knitting life. Lately, there has been such a buzz about socks, I decided to go with the flow... Actually, these blue socks I decided to make because my son was going on a skiing trip to Manning Park in March. I wanted him to have a pair (or two) of wool socks to keep his feet warm. He has a tendency to feel cold all the time, and I wanted him to enjoy his time outdoors in the snow. Because I hadn't knitted socks from the toe up, I tried one pair cuff down and the other pair toe up. The wool I used, Trekking, was mostly wool with some bamboo. There was enough for the two pair of socks, but just barely; the second pair was slightly shorter than the first pair - I was afraid of running out.

I love these beautiful Kitri socks. I ordered the kit from the designer, the Tsock Tsarina. The socks themselves were not that difficult to knit, once I got over the initial struggle with fine yarn and sorting out the pattern. I hate knitting behind, though, and this pattern was full of twisted stitches. Nevertheless, I got the two socks done fairly easily once over the initial hurdle. The challenge came when I tried to knit the beaded lace cuff. First, I picked up all the stitches at the top of the sock from the provisional cast on and then cast on the lace stitches. Working at 90 degrees to the body of the sock, you knit one row, then pick up a sock stitch, and go around the top of the sock, picking up one at a time. Either I hadn't read the instructions carefully, or had misunderstood them, because working with six needles getting in your way is a prime pain. Finally, I figured out that I should place the sock stitches on a length of waste yarn, and only have two needles to work with. Much easier. However, now I discovered that the black Zephyr was very challenging to tink, so as I was learning the lace pattern and making mistakes, I found it necessary to unravel completely, and start again. Third time lucky, I thought, casting on again for the lace and studiously reading the pattern. I had done about six rows, when I started to wonder when the pattern was going to ask me to add in some of those beads I had carefully strung... only to reread the pattern and realize I should have been adding them from the very first row... Rip it out again and start over. Okay, so now I have the pattern pretty much down pat, the needles are out of my way, and I am motoring along, adding beads (which had their own challenges, but hey! I worked it out), when son Stewart calls me for help. I put the sock down and go help, and when I come back, mere minutes later, the cat has chewed completely through the Zephyr yarn, leaving me with about a meter of yarn (and all the beads) hanging from my work. The only reason the cat is not dead is that Stewart came running to cuddle and protect him... OK. I admit defeat. I put the socks away for about a month and thought about other projects. When I went back to it, taking care to keep it well out of the cat's way, the cuffs didn't take very long at all. I was delighted with how the grafting of the the ends together was virtually invisible. Mind you, one cuff is better than the other, but don't look too closely and you'll never know. They need blocking still, but I am delighted with the way they turned out. My sister is graduating from her teacher training in the fall, and these are going to be her grad gift.

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