So here they are. My first real completed pair of socks (I am not counting the Norwegian Stockings�??they are after all, stockings…not socks.)
I learned so much from these babies. Part of me is surprised that I actually finished. You see, I have tried to knit socks before. Maybe my 4th knitting project ever was a pair of socks. I gave up on them because I had no faith in the sock pattern as they seemed too big and were taking FOREVER. Plus the needles were just so small. Really, I just wasn’t ready. A month or so later I attempted my second pair with different yarn which resulted in one ill-fitting sock. I liked the colors and because the yarn was a nice thick worsted they weren’t as intimidating to me but I was so bummed when I tried it on because it didn’t fit my heel at all. I didn’t understand enough about knitting to figure out what was wrong or how I could fix it so I left the sock to it’s sad single self.
I left socks alone for a while and only in recent months have I again felt the draw of hand knit socks. I have long admired the gorgeous socks made by craftoholic Steph. Look at her gallery and all those awesome socks (I am in love with the Gothic Knee Highs). She offered several of the lace patterns she used for her socks and so I emailed her, got the patterns, and decided on the Orchid socks.
See the back:
Okay, so here are my notes:
The yarn… Anne from Schaefer Yarn. All their colorways are unique so I don’t know what to call the color but I loved the mix of burgundies, purples, and oranges when I found it at my LYS. A few things surprised me about the yarn. It seemed to knit up darker then the ball looks. Also, it sort of self-stripes in this cool wavy way. I loved the yarn when I bought it and I still really like it. Although, part of me thinks the pattern would have been highlighted better in a lighter, more solid color.
The sock anatomy… I decided to try toe up socks with short row heels. I figured out what to do using a variety of online patterns and helps. I loved knitting the socks toe up�??I think it is so cool to watch it grow from the bottom and also how you can really see how they are going to fit as you knit. I chose a pointed toe because at the time it seemed easiest but I don’t love the pointed toe and probably won’t do one again. I think I will try a short row or rounded toe next. I liked doing the short row heels and will definitely do them again. I think I like them better then heel flaps as they fit my foot well and are much sleeker looking. With the exception of the toe I used this pattern for the basic outline of the sock. The sock is a 60 stitches sock and knit on US 1’s.
The sock pattern… love the pattern. It was so fun to knit and watch develop. See a close up:
The ribbing… okay, I knit the ribbing on these socks maybe 6 different times. I just couldn’t get it right. I finally ended up increasing 4 stitches on my first row of ribbing and working K2, P2 until the last row when I switched to 2’s and then bound off VERY loosely with the larger needles. This worked better although I wish I would have done more rows of ribbing (I did about 10).
What would I do differently?… well, I think I made the sock either too long or too short. It hits in that really awkward spot where my calf starts so the sock doesn’t stay up as tight as I would like. Because of how pretty the pattern is, I would like the socks to have a really close tight fit so you can see it clearly. They don’t sag, but they are looser then I would like. I should have done some increasing (which I need to figure out how to do so if anyone knows of a good formula then please let me know) and made them a few inches longer. Or, I should have made them an inch or two shorter. In my real dream world, I would have made them knee highs but again, I don’t know a good formula for increasing up the leg yet.
In the end, I am very pleased. I am wearing them to work today which makes me happy. I remarked to a co-worker that I don’t think I would ever buy socks in this color scheme or normally wear socks like these but because I made them they automatically become my style. I believe I have a new love here�??sock knitting love. Everyone in blogland has already caught the vision and now I have too. It is like I finally get it.