Completed Project: Hidden Hearts Socks

This project dates back to August (see post), and was a “learning” project as much as a sock project.

Things learned:

Turkish Cast-on with one Circular Needle – my new favorite toe-up sock cast-on method.

Knitting on Circular Needles (instead of DPNs) – Also my new favorite technique.  While the cable for the circular needle sometimes gets in the way, this technique is much safer and more stable for me than trying to manage DPNs.

Project Progress by the Gram – as a toe-up sock, with a yarn that was enough for two socks in one skein (Berroco Comfort Sock Yarn), it was an interesting experiment to knit “half the yarn” and then start the next sock.

That mostly worked – I ran out of yarn right at the ribbing of the second sock and had to find something that would coordinate and complete the project.  I considered unraveling half of the ribbing for the first sock, but discarded that idea as being unnecessarily complicated.  As it happens, I kind of like the result – the scrap yarn I used coordinated perfectly, and almost seems intentional.

There was a lot of yarn.  This is a knee sock!

Something else that worked out unexpectedly – the yarn pattern matched up perfectly in the sock.  That made my day.

All in all – a thoroughly enjoyable (if slow to completion) project, and I learned several new techniques that will have a permanent place in my knitting repertoire.

Detail of sock pattern
Sock with “alternate” band. Second sock is laid out, below

 

Casting On – Skyp Socks

I’ve made Simple Skyp Socks  (free Ravelry download) several times; it’s an easy pattern that is suitable for males, looks nice, and is adaptable to any foot size.

The current project is for a special male in my life; I hope it warms his toes.

Yarn is On Your Toes by Kertzer in color Camouflage.  The yarn company seems to be out of business, and the yarn is only available through second-party sources (eBay and the like).  Too bad – I like the wide color bands and the yarn is treated with Aloe Vera for additional softness and warmth.  I purchased this skein a few years ago from my favorite LYS:  River Knits.

I only purchased one skein (400 yds), so I hope I have enough for a man’s sock.

KAL Update – Cableship

I have very much enjoyed this project.  The instructions are clear, the intervals (between one section and the next) are manageable, and the sock is terrific.  Thanks, KnitPurlHunter!

I’m sorry to report that I don’t have WIP photos.  The project was so fast and so fun (and my day gig is starting to get busy), I didn’t a chance.

So, here is the completed project!

Notes:

  1.  Socks using a single circular needle are probably going to be a permanent part of my repertoire.  I feel that I have a lot more control.  (That said – I’ll be interested to observe my experience the next time I knit cuff-down socks.  I’m not sure how I’ll manage the toe decreases).
  2. However, this is my third sock using a single circular needle that knit up larger than expected.  I must be using a circular needle differently than DPNs, and I need to figure out how to adjust.
  3. Turkish Cast On for toe up socks is much easier (for me) than Judy’s Magic Cast On (IMHO).  With apologies to knitting technique pioneer Judy Becker, the Turkish Cast On is easier for me to manage and remember.
  4. German Short Row Heel – the way to go as a terrific alternative to the traditional knit heel (particularly for toe-up socks).  Michelle Hunter’s instructions are the best.
  5. I like the Zauberball yarn – it is made for socks (yes, I realize that all sock yarn is technically “made for socks,”) and is a very nice weight, handles well, and shows off the pattern of the sock well. (Shout-out to my Local Yarn Store, River Knits, for carrying this and other fine brands)
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You can see the back cable on the prone sock

If you look closely, you’ll notice that I did not bow to my usual obsession to have the stripes match.  This particular varigated yarn pattern does not seem to have regular repeats, and the color chages are gradual enough to not trigger my need for balance.  Besides, I plan to gift these socks, so I probably won’t see them to notice.

Completed – Cachoeira Socks

Slow to start, but once I finally got onto the pattern, it went quickly.

Comments –

  • I originally thought the pattern too busy and distracting, but after working it up, I really enjoy it.
  • Using one circular needle for socks – new favorite technique for sock knitting!  While any technique has its appeals and frustrations, knitting with a single circular needle allows more secure project management – meaning, no stitches dropped off the ends of the DPNs, no cramming too many stitches on a DPN, no lost stitches when on the go.
  • Still don’t know why this project knit up a good bit larger than expected.  Definitely wearable, but plenty big.
  • I really liked the way the pattern continued on to the heel stitches.  Very interesting and appealing use of pattern.

The details:

Pattern:  Cachoeira, found at Knitting Magazine.

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in color Lost Lake Heather.  Machine washable, shows detail well, 65% Superwash Marino Wool, 25% Nylon, 10% Donegal (which accounts for the tweed).

WIP – Cachoeira Socks

One done – one to go.  This project is moving along well, despite a slow start.

As with the other sock project currently on the needles, I am enjoying the new experience of knitting with a circular needle (as opposed to DPNs) and might adopt that as a regular practice.  There was a bit of a challenge in casting on using the circular needle.  It felt awkward, at first, but I eventually got onto it.  Will have to repeat several times until I’m comfortable with casting on socks with circular needles.

I like the stability of a circular needle – I have more confidence that the stitches at the end of the rows won’t drop off, and it was easier to knit the heel on the circular needle.  The project is also more portable, as I’m not managing (and keeping track of) 4 or 5 DPNs.

New experiences broaden the mind, are challenging, and can result in new skills.

As with the other sock project, this sock is knitting up a bit larger than expected.

WIP – Hidden Heart Socks

Current progress on one of the two sock projects on needles.

I enjoy knitting socks on a circular needle (new to me with this and the other project) – however, I’ve noticed that I’m either using a needle a size too large or my knitting is looser with a circular needle.  Both socks are running a bit large.

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I like the Berroco Comfort Sock yarn.  It’s easy to knit and makes a nice sock.  This particular color (#1811 Hari Hari) has much more gradual color variations than suggested by the company photos.  I’n not complaining – it suits this pattern well.

Another interesting observation about this yarn – the yarn ball is 100 grams to start, and I currently have 72 grams left – based upon current progress, that suggests a fairly tall sock, if I want to use up all the yarn for this pattern.  The nice thing about toe-up socks, is you can knit until you run out of yarn.

SMV – WIP Cachoeira Socks

I have been knitting regularly – really, I have – but it seems that progress is very slow.

See below current status of Cachoeira Socks.  As previously noted, this sock is not a breeze.  For quite a while, I contemplated ending this project and winding the yarn back.  It helped to put this project on a single, long circular needle – managing two “sides” is a lot easier than managing four (with 4 DPNs).  Also, I think I finally got into the rhythm of the pattern.

Things really took off when I started on the heel – which, itself, was of interest, since it was constructed as a continuation of the pattern, rather than the typical heel.  Now that I’m “around the bend” and into the foot, it is going much faster.

One thing is that the sock size is larger than I expected.  It will still fit, but I was expecting it to be on the snug side, and it’s more on the loose side.

PS – I live on a farm. “SMV” means “Slow Moving Vehicle,” of which there are many on the road, these days, now that harvest is in full swing.  It also captures my impression of my knitting progress.