Tag Archives: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport

Weekend socks

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As I mentioned, I finished the Happy-Go-Lucky boot socks on the weekend and I am mostly pleased with them. I was a little worried I wouldn’t have enough wool to get them done, though, because halfway through the second foot, I was looking at this weeny little balls and wishing very much that I had a scale at home. I managed to squeak them out, though, and have barely enough of either of the stripy colours to fill a thimble.

Worried. So worried I took a photo.

I have some quibbles with the way the pattern is written, but first, pictures!

Count 'em: two finished socks!

L and I are both going to work on our sock photography/modeling for next time.

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, here are the details:
Pattern: Happy-Go-Lucky boot socks by Véronik Avery, from Sock Knitting Master Class
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport in colourways 1910 (blue), 859 (teal), and 803 (purple)
Needles: 2.75 mm Clover bamboo dpns

Blocking really helped. You can see how smooth the blocked sock on the left is, compared to the unblocked and bumpy one on the right.

In terms of modifications, I did a few things this time and have others planned for next time around. First, though, let me explain something fundamental: This pattern is only written for an 8.5-inch foot. My foot is 9-inches around. I knit this anyway. I increased the gauge slightly, and, mathematically, that should have done it. However, these socks are quite, erm, fitted, and as I said previously, I was actually worried I wouldn’t be able to get my foot all the way in. Clearly, I can, but it’s a strain, and it pulls the stitches, and the colourwork doesn’t look as pretty as it ought to. So, that’s the background, here are the modifications:

Actual mods: Besides changing the gauge, I also added an extra pattern repeat to the leg because I wanted it to be a little higher, and when decreasing the gusset I only went down to 34 heel stitches (instead of 30) because I don’t think my foot width is really that much narrower than my ankle/leg width.

Future mods: This is a little tricky, because I’m just not sure what to do about the heel area. In theory, I want to add an extra six stitches (one diamond) to the pattern, which would give me a little more space. But, that either means creating a bottleneck in the ankle again, or having a foot that’s 72 stitches around, which is too many (baggy-footed socks are not appealing). I think, what would be best, is this: Rather than decreasing six stitches at the ankle, simply divide the stitches so there are 36 on the heel flap and 30 on the instep; work an extra repeat of the heel pattern (although I’d be tempted to just work a regular slip-stitch heel) and deal with the extra stitches in the gusset decreases (I would decrease to 34 again, I think, because the foot fit well). Most of my problems with the sizing came as a result of the ankle/heel, so that’s where I would centre my changes.

All of this being said, if you like the look of these socks/this pattern, don’t be scared off. It was a wonderful mix of easy and interesting, and if you’ve never tried slip-stitch colourwork, it’s a great primer. It’s actually a good lesson for stranded colourwork in general, because it allows you to get used to the idea of maintaining floats while only having to manage one colour per row. Here’s the wrong-side of the work, where you can see the floats that run behind the slipped stitches.

I think the pattern on the inside is kind of pretty, actually.

All in all, it’s a good pattern and I’m sure I’ll knit it again (truly, the colour combinations are endless!). I’ve ravelled it here, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Happy Go Lucky

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Happy Go Lucky, fresh out of the gate.

Wherever you are, I hope your weekend weather was a beautiful as the weather we enjoyed in Toronto. It’s March, remember, and it should be miserable, torturous weather throwing rain and slush and days no warmer than 5C at us; instead, though, we’ve been enjoying days of 15C, 16C, and 21C days! Deep down I know that this cannot last, and snow will likely fall once again before we’re fully free of winter, but right now I don’t care. This weather is incredible!

So, how do you knit in weather this delightful? My answer last year was not to. This year, my answer is take small projects outdoors. Thus, despite having just cast off one pair of socks, I cast on another. Meet the Happy-Go-Lucky boot socks from Sock Knitting Master Class, my current project go-to.

Happy Go Lucky, fresh out of the gate.

Happy Go Lucky, fresh out of the gate.

I’m knitting these in Cascade 220 Superwash Sport in 1910 (blue), 859 (teal), and 803 (purple). I am loving this wool. It is soft and buttery and it seems that 2.75mm needles are the perfect size because, in my hands anyway, the stitches feel almost like they’re forming themselves. I short, I am loving this project.

Anyway, because the weather was so gorgeous, and because I got the entire weekend off, L and I spent pretty much the entire weekend running all over the place and being outdoors. Except, the running (at least on Saturday) was actually bicycling. Oh heaven.

Old vs. new

Old and hard vs. new cushy and new.

This is my new old bike, and on Saturday morning L put a new cork wrap on my handlebars and then we took off all over the city. In no particular order: We went to Lettuce Knit so I could exchange some wool, to the Ex to throw a frisbee, we watched planes land on the Island, we went for fancy sandwiches, we went to one of our new favourite coffee shops – in short, we did all kinds of things we’d been talking about doing for ages and finally did because it was such a gorgeous day.

I took many pictures of this plane coming in to land, but this one looks the most like an action shot. (It was much sunnier that day than this photo would have you believe.)

In theory, this meant I didn’t have much time for knitting, but in practice, it all worked out fine (small projects, you see, are very portable). So, on Friday before work I spend three and a half hours knitting on a café patio with Zoe. Then, to cap on Saturday’s bicycling, Wendy and I met up for beer and sat knitting quite happily in a pub – much to the apparent amusement/confusion of a woman sitting at the bar, who turned around to stare at us for a quite some time. It was St. Patrick’s Day, though, so maybe she as just confused  as to why neither of us were knitting in green. Who knows.

Cafe knitting.

Cafe knitting, crappy cellphone photo.

What I do know though, is that if this weather keeps up, knitting through the summer will be an absolute pleasure because it will involve bicycling, coffee, beer, and lots of time out of doors with people I love.

Heel flap

Despite the busy weekend I still managed to get the heel flap finished (and now turned).