Friday, November 30, 2007

Ecce Sock!



I'm not sure if there's a Latin word for sock. The free online translator websites didn't seem to think so.

Sock #1 is complete as of a few days ago. It went fast. Sock #2 is nearly to the heel. It should be done in a few days.

The yarn is an old ball of Opal from my stash. As you can tell, the main color is gold/mustard, and there are occasional narrow stripes of yellow, red, and blue.

This is a toe-up sock with a short-row heel. I did Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' short-row version, with yarnovers instead of wraps. It's OK, though it seems more fiddly to me than the wrap or no-wrap versions. The two sides of the heel don't quite match; one set of decreases is slightly looser than the other. We'll see if I can improve on that in the second sock.

It seems like half the knitters I know are knitting socks right now. I wonder why? Is it the cold weather, the hibernating instincts of late fall? Is there some kind of Group Think going on? I know that a lot of knitters usually have socks on the needles at all times. However, those of us who knit them in fits and starts suddenly are knitting them again. New sock knitters are joining the Great Sock Knitting Conspiracy.

Not that there's anything wrong with this, of course. The world needs more hand-knit socks and more knitters who know how to make them.

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Fleegle wrote (in comments to the last post):

That's really a blue doily...don't know if I care for it. It looks a bit boring to knit. 5000 stitches for a doily round? Or is that the total number of stitches you have left?

The 5000 stitches is the approximate number for the rest of the Azalea doily, 12 rounds of knitting. Those are rounds 51-62. The doily has close to twice the usual number of stitches per round. They're tedious stitches, too. The design is economical, using only a few maneuvers to create its beauty. Most of the stitches are stockinette.

The blue doily is indeed blue! Actually, it was rather fun to knit. Only the outer rounds were a bit tedious, when I was at over 400 stitches per round. That's the section where those outer fan motifs are developed.

For most of the doily, you are doing something interesting every few stitches. Each little section of motif is small and easily memorized. There are remarkably few stretches of plain knit stitches, never more than 5 in a row. The rest consists of yarnovers, decreases, increases, twisted knit stitches, and so on. There are sections of double yarnovers in most rounds and plenty of k5togs scattered throughout the doily.

I'm not really up on art terms, but I like the aesthetics of this design. A lot of Niebling's patterns are flowing. They may or may not have a lot of symmetry. This one is very restrained and highly symmetrical. I like that. It has a different, more restricted kind of energy flow compared to the more swirly designs. However, this can look boring if your preferences are for the more open and lively doily styles.

I finally got around to fixing the dropped stitches in my Lyra. Talk about fiddly--I hate doing that. On to round 157 tomorrow. Can't wait to finish it so I can start Aldelaida. Or Lotus. Or something!

Congratulations on fixing the dropped stitches in Lyra! It's always a relief to be able to recover like that. For me, that's usually mixed with the self-annoyance that the time/effort was needed in the first place! I don't mind the simple errors that are easy to fix. Major fixes are stressful and frustrating.

Adelaida and Lotus are pretty patterns. Are you going to do them as doilies? As shawls? When a doily gets to a certain size, I usually consider whether it would work well as a shawl. With all the work it will take, I want the result to be large and readily displayed. Since I don't live a doily lifestyle, shawls tend to get way more public exposure than a large cloth would.

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It's almost December. Already! I'm not ready.

However, tomorrow is National Pie Day here in the US. Perhaps I should celebrate. National Cookie Day is December 4. I also have my eye on Eggnog Day (Dec. 24) and Chocolate Day (Dec. 28).

Happy Pie Day Eve to all!

2 comments:

fleegle said...

That is one handsome sock! Soon, of course, it will be two handsome socks.

I always have a pair on the needles for portable projects. Roy and I both prefer handmade socks--they fit us better than storebought. And, of course, it's a perfect way to knit interesting and weirdly dyed yarn that cannot be used for anything else except a hat or plain scarf.

I was forced, as a child, to knit scads of doilies using tiny needles and #80 crochet thread. I won't ever knit another one. All the doily-esque ones I knit now are fiddled until they become shawls.

I love the Frosted Ferns piece, but won't ever knit it myself. Like you, I don't have a doily lifestyle. And I have a box of them in the closet from childhood. I would give them away, but I don't know anyone else with a doily lifestyle either.

row 173 this morning!

The Doily Underground said...

Thank you! Most socks are handsome, except for those that are lovely or rustic or (insert your own favorable adjective here).

I used to always have a sock on the needles, but fell out of the habit a few years ago. It must be time to resume.

When are you going to show us the doilies you made as a kid?

You were lucky to have the knitting instruction you did, even if it resulted in knitting silly doilies on tiny needles. Do you still have all the old pattern books you used back then?

Congrats on round 173! You must be getting very close to done by now.