February Socks are Done!

I know, I know. This is Wednesday and I should be writing a post about what I have on my needles. The truth of the matter is, yesterday I got up and realized that I had five different projects going right now. Naturally I responded by going directly to my favorite yarn store and indulging in some yummy cashmere blend yarn. Clearly I need to exercise some self restraint and get some knitting done before I cast on the newest project. Last night I really applied myself, and I am happy to announce: The February Socks are Done!!! (Ta-daa!!) (Sorry about that if you clicked on the link. Now you know what life was like in my biology classroom…)

So, without any further ado, here they are:

Socks
I decided to reverse the colors in the second sock. Fun, huh! You can also see that I sucked it up and knitted the entire twined topper on the second sock.
Heels of socks.
The heel construction of these socks allowed them to be worked stranded without cutting the yarn.

Well, they certainly are rustic looking, aren’t they? I am now referring to them as the Mongolian Boots. They are warm, warm, warm, however, and that is what I wanted. It is nice and sunny outside today, but as soon as the snow and cold come back I am ready.

I really learned a lot with these socks; here are some of the highlights of the adventure.

  • Swedish knitting genes aside, twining isn’t for everyone. Stranding was faster, easier, and I didn’t have to spend half my time untwisting the yarn. I twined only the tops of the socks, and stranded the rest.
  • I know how to knit with both hands so I can carry one color in each. Purl with both hands: not so much. My second heel (sock on the left) looks much better than the first one.
  • When making a decision about which color to call your MC, you should write that down. The increased stitches in the gusset look much better in sock #2 because I was following the directions. Duh!
  • If you can’t figure out complicated directions at some point (final join of heel to gusset) just make your best guess, knit a bunch of stitches together and move on. There are no sock police.

Whew! Time to finish up the other projects (get ready HItchhiker, here I come!) so I will be ready for the March socks. New Year’s resolutions are still a go. 🙂

Project Notes: the Basic Sock pattern in Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks by Laura Farson. Yarn: Aran weight wool from my DIL’s trip to Ireland, dyed with Gaywool dyes.

WIP Wednesday: February Sock (AKA Mongolian Boots) Update

It snowed this weekend and I took advantage of the cold weather to work on my February New Year’s resolution socks. Here’s where I’m at:

Sock gusset.
How weird is this? This is not a two thumbed mitt, but the sock nearing the bottom of the heel. The center stitches are the heel flap, and the stitches added to each side are the gusset. The heel turn is next.
Sock in progress.
The heel is turned (little checks) and I have successfully connected the sole to all of the gusset stitches. Looks like it’s designed to fit  a lumpy foot, doesn’t it.
Sock on foot.
It fits my foot! Now, be honest. Doesn’t this look warm? These are so thick and cushy I plan to wear them as indoor slippers or maybe inside my Ugg boots. My son told me they look like Mongolian boots. 

Mongolian boots?! I wonder what those really look like? I wonder what patterns and colors they use? I have more of this Irish wool, and I have to say that it is not what you would wear against your skin. (The sheep that sourced this fiber actually had hair mixed in with their wool! I haven’t seen that since I since I spun some California Red that I got dirt cheap. Pokey, pokey, pokey!!) It is perfect, however, for over-socks/boots. It does dye well, is very lofty and warm, and I’m pretty sure it will felt like a charm. Hmmm…

Introducing the February 2015 Sock

My feet just hate the cold. Once they get cold, they stay cold for a long time. (Yep. It’s a Reynaud’s thing.)  A few weeks ago I came home on a sub-zero night and ended up under the covers wearing layers of wool including socks and my Ugg boots trying to warm up. Seriously, this is ridiculous! Time to fight back!!

Sock and Book
I’m knitting the Basic Sock in the book Knitting Scandinavian Slippers and Socks by Laura Farson.

Say hello everyone to the February sock. <grin> This sock is stranded or twined every single row of knitting including the heels and toes. Doesn’t that sound warm? I’m knitting it in a rustic worsted weight wool (this is the same Irish wool that got dyed in my canning jars a couple of posts back) that is lofty and very warm. I’m using yarn that is heavier than what is called for in the pattern, so they will be larger and more dense. These are the kind of socks that I can use as slippers over lighter socks while indoors, or they can stay on my feet while I’m wearing my snow boots. They are going to be warm, warm, warm!!!

I am so motivated to have warm feet!!

Anyway, this pattern is very interesting and I am learning lots of new tricks. The cast on was “Two-Strand Twisted German Cast On” which seems a lot like Old Norwegian cast on, but with two colors.

Top of ock.
The blue yarn at the top shows the cast on and two rows of the twined garter stitch edging.

The edging continued with twined garter stitch, also new to me, and created so much twist in the working yarn that I abandoned  it and moved on to the checker stitch without finishing the last two rows. Instead of twining I’m knitting the rest of the sock stranded. The twining is much stretchier than what would be traditional for a Scandinavian sock, but I want to get these socks done before the next bad cold snap.

Inside of sock.
All this stranding is going to make the socks cushy and warm. Warm is good.

Anyway, I’m happy with my stranding: look how plush and warm it looks!!

Gusset of sock.
The gusset is created by adding stitches to each side of 25 central stitches. Later they will be reduced in the construction of the bottom of the heel. There is no heel flap and picked-up stitches. All new to me!

The heel is worked in a way that I have never seen before, but it looks like it will be a good fit on my foot. I’m getting close to the bottom of the gusset now, and the heel looks pretty challenging, so this might be something of a learning curve. 🙂 I’m knitting with two cable needles instead of my usual double points, and I am finding out that this is easier for trying on the sock while it’s being knitted.

So here it is. The February sock is going to be fun, I’ll learn lots of new techniques, and I should end up with warm feet. Yeah!