Tag Archives: Dragonfly Fibers

Heels and toes

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It’s mid-October, so I thought a Soctober update was in order. Mostly, I think, I’m on track.

My first priority this month was to finish these Stepping-Stones socks for my mom, and I’m only a couple of inches from starting the toe decreases, so if all goes well they’ll be in the mail by the end of the week.

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Indigodragonfly Superwash DK in Fringe Over Troubled Water. I changed skeins part way through the foot of the first sock, so I’m interested to see if the difference between socks is noticeable.

 

If you’ve never knit socks or are looking for a speedy pair, I can’t recommend Clara Hughes Parkes’ pattern highly enough (I can never get the name right on first type – this is why). These socks knit up quickly, are more than just plain stockinette but don’t require too much attention, and are a free pattern to boot. This is the second time I’ve knit these socks and I know more pairs are in my future because, honestly, in Canada we need thick socks. I also plan to knit the large size in lighter-weight sock yarn, because I like the way it breaks up the colours in variegated yarns.

Second on my list is Saltburn. These are the official start of my Christmas knitting, so I can’t say too much about them. I will say, though, that I’m planning to shorten them. The recipient like ankle socks, and while those aren’t super practical in the winter, I don’t want to knit socks so high that they won’t become part of the regular rotation. To compromise, I’m knitting the cuff as written and then three (rather than five) chart repeats. The leg is 3.5 inches right now, which is probably as high as they need to be, so when I pick these up again I’ll be dividing for the heel!

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The white is Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label in Natural and the blue is Jill Draper Makes Stuff Splendor Sock in Cobalt.

That makes these socks just about 1/4 finished, which is a nice surprise. I usually knit the legs of socks to somewhere between 5 and 7 inches, and only knitting to 3.5 makes these ones feel super speedy!

I’ve been trying not to get ahead of myself planning- and execution-wise, which is something I absolutely tend to do, especially ahead of the holidays. I’ll cast on four things and then wonder why I’m not seeing any progress. This year, I’m trying a more measured approach and working on no more than two projects at once: one that requires attention and one that’s more mindless. Saltburn is my current attention-requiring project, but since I’m almost finished my mindless Stepping-Stones, I decided it was time to wind the yarn for the next mindless knit.

Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Mushroom Hunting. I can't get enough of this colourway.

Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in Mushroom Hunting. I can’t get enough of this colourway.

I haven’t yet decided on a pattern for L’s socks, but I’m thinking they’ll be something kind of plain. The yarn is gorgeous all by itself, and he’s not sure he wants anything fancy, so I’m going to keep it simple: 72 stitches knit up as… well yeah. I have three basic options, I think: a) 1×1 ribbed cuff into 3×1 ribbed sock; b) 1×1 ribbed cuff into 1×1 mistake rib (one row 1×1, one row knit); c) 1×1 rib cuff and stockinette.

What do you think? Do you knit man socks? What gets the best reviews? I’ve knit lots of socks, but never for L, so I want to try and get this right.

Slightly odd socks

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iPhoto tells me this was taken July 5.

iPhoto tells me this was taken July 5.

It turns out that maybe the best way to finish a pair of plain socks is to cast on an intricately cabled sweater. These socks have been on my needles since April. They were my backup knitting: something I could knit a few rows on here and there when I needed a break from whatever else I was working on, or we were spending an afternoon with friends, or I thought I might finish my book on my way home from work and maybe I should tuck my knitting into my bag just in case. And they were perfect.

The first sock languished at the toe decreases for a while (they’re easy, but not totally mindless) and then I finished it up and cast on the second sock back in June, when I thought I might need a stretch of plain stockinette. And then the second sock just sat there with two inches knit until my recent cabling issues. I wasn’t in any rush to finish them, but then after turning the heel on the weekend, I decided I was pretty close to done should maybe just buckle down and finish them off.

After the weekend.

After the weekend.

There has been a twinge of fall in the air here this week, and it has been getting decidedly cool at night, two things that should make me want to finish a big sweater, but instead drove me to knit socks. I can’t explain it.

The two skeins knit up really differently. The first sock barely pooled at all (except around the gusset, which is to be expected), but the second sock flashed like crazy. This is why hand painted yarns are fun.

The two skeins knit up really differently. The first sock barely pooled at all (except around the gusset, which is to be expected), but the second sock flashed like crazy. This is why hand painted yarns are fun.

What I can explain, though, is why they don’t quite match. This goes back to casting on when I needed something plain. I had most of two skeins of this Koigu KPPPM (#P123), so I went for it. Two skeins of Koigu will make me a pair of plain socks almost exactly (that is, minimal leftovers). I knit these socks at 9 sts to the inch, because without the benefit of nylon the tighter knit makes them last longer, so they’re dense, and I have big feet, but one skein per foot is perfect. I, however, did not have one full skein per foot, and instead of altering my standard sock pattern – say, knitting a 5-inch leg instead of my normal 6 inches – I just went on autopilot and then ran out of the first skein just before the toe of the first sock, and then ran out of the second skein in almost exactly the same spot in the second sock.

I had some leftover Koigu (colourway number forgotten) kicking around, so I just used that. They don’t quite match, but I don’t mind so much. I have a soft spot for surprise toes (toes of a different colour, whether just one or both) and when the yarn is this wild and not-matching anyway, I don’t mind at all.

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Details
Pattern: Basic 68-stitch cuff-down socks
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM #P123
Needles: 2.25mm
Mods: Besides the toe, none. These are knit more tightly than my normal socks, which is why there are more stitches. Notes are here on Ravelry (thank goodness, because I couldn’t remember the exact numbers of things by the time I got to the second sock!)

Oh, and yes, even though I meant to go right back to Burrard, I may have slipped accidentally and cast on for more socks. Simple Skyp Socks have been popping up all over the place and now I know why.

Knit in Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in the Admiral Benbow colourway.

Super addicting. (Knit in Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in the Admiral Benbow colourway.)