Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wow! Another Pair!

Well, imagine that! Two pairs of socks in a row. And both are blue! And the one still on the needles is also blue (but an old sock; I'm just re-knitting the foot after it wore out).
These are the "Spring Thaw" socks, by Cat Bordhi, in Knitter's Magazine, Summer 2008. I got the magazine after Sandra recommended this issue (I'm not sure if she was recommending for the socks, or the shawls, or some other items...). Then I saw Monica's pair of socks
and I knew I needed to make them. I'm fascinated by the idea of different architecture for socks, but lack the time and energy to explore on my own. Books are expensive for me, but I had the magazine!

I used Lang JaWoll Cotton, Superwash (49% wool, 35% cotton, 16% nylon) and 2.75mm needles. I started the first sock last August. They're worked toe up. I got up a ways, to the point where you have to do a bit of math to figure out how much to knit before starting the pattern. I got paused here because the gauge was hard to measure in the dark yarn, and I needed a calculator and never had one. Then, at Christmas, I learned to knit two items at once, on one circular needle. I knew I had to finish the socks this way! I got started on the second one, and knit the same number of rows as the first one. I put them both onto one circular needle, and got started again. Then, I noticed that the first sock was actually shorter than the second!! Argh. Took it off the needle and worked it separately till it was the same length as the other. Back on the needles. Did the gauge and math, and got to work on the pattern part.

It takes a bit of keeping track, when you increase on the bottom of the foot, and when you start a new purl column along the foot edge. Not terribly taxing, but just needs a pencil and the chart.

I turned the heel and worked the back of the heel and then started the leg.

There is an error in the pattern and Knitter's will NOT acknowledge it. If you knit the socks as written, they will NOT look like the picture.
On the right sock, when you get to row 19 of the little leaf, you count over 6sts and start row 1, so that the bottom of one leaf and the top of the other are worked on the same rows. On the left sock, you count 6 sts before the motif, and it says to work the row 1 in the st 5 stitches before the row 19 of the ending leaf. Well, that stitch is a purl st. Why would you put the marker before the 6th st, work that stitch, THEN start row one in the NEXT stitch? Anyway, this is done differently on each sock so that you get a mirror image pair.

Actually, that is not the major error. After the heel, you are to start a new leaf in the 4th last st of the heel. On the right sock, this means the resulting two lines of leaves are half a sock apart and spiral around the leg. The is no separate instruction for the left sock. There is a leaf being worked just off to the left of the heel, on about row 16. If you start a new leaf 4 sts from the left edge of the heel, it will totally throw the pattern and nice symmetry off!! You'll have two lines of leaves, about 10 sts apart, instead of half a sock apart. And then when you get to row 19 of the existing leaf and need to count 6 sts before it to start it's next one....At this point, I emailed Knitter's Magazine, and their response was that lots of folks ask this question, but the "pattern writer" insists the pattern is correct and to just have faith. I had faith for about 6 rows. My sock looked nothing like the pictures, and I knew Cat would NOT make socks that were mirror images on the foot, but then totally wacky on the leg.

The remedy to this mistake is to start the new leaf four sts AFTER the right edge of the heel stitches. This makes them 1/2 a sock apart. Shame on Knitter's for not admitting to this error!

The left sock is actually the one on the right, LOL. You can see where I started a new leaf just in from the right edge of the heel 'flap'.

This is also the left sock, and you can see the leaf that is worked at the side of the heel flap. Imagine if I had started another one at the top of the flap, just in from the left edge!

Totally crappy picture!
The fit of these socks is great. The heel flap was in the right spot on the first attempt! I liked this heel better than the one from that I used on the last pair. I'm not sure what it is--the math made for a better placement perhaps. The toes are a little square looking (but so is my foot). There is some ankle bagging, which might be because of the cotton. I think you could do one more leaf on the one line with only 3 leaves; it would continue up into the rows of plain ribbing, but then there wouldn't be the big gap of patterning.
The yarn is a little rough, but I hadn't washed them. Warm enough for inside with the air conditioning on! I'll probably use this architecture for another pair, maybe just plain ribbed like others on Ravelry, without the leaves. I'm not sure how it would fit without ribbing, but I'm sure it could probably be figured out. I definitely want to try more of her patterns, so I'm saving for the book!

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