Friday, February 11, 2011

First Socks Are Done... And More!

OK, now I can post on the simple knit mitts, because I have given them (early) to my friend for her birthday.

Because of the bitter temps (yesterday I awoke to find that we had the dubious distinction of being the coldest spot in the Chicago -29), my friend, "S," was freezing. She owns her own company, and in order to watch the pennies, due to the crummy economy, she keeps the heat as low as she can get. Of course, that means that she's not going to be comfortable.

Simple Mitts
Here they are: Done in a lovely denim-and-fleck yarn. "S" loves when I knit stuff for her because I'm a yarn snob - her term, and I guess she's right.

This is Cleckheaton Country Silk 8-Ply. It's distributed by Plymouth, made in Australia. It's DK-weight, and this particular yarn is 50% merino and 50% silk, so I included the ball-band so that "S" would know how to take care of them.

Her husband says she's barely taken them off!

You can look up the info on - which is a phenomenal site that has info on all kinds of yarn, by name, manufacturer, fiber content, weight... all the goodies we need to know about.

Anyway, I was a little worried they wouldn't fit, but there's enough stretch in them. I did use a Lion Brand Yarn pattern, but I modified it: I knit the first 4 rows, then did stockinette stitch till I was within 1" of the top, then knit the last 3 rows. The original pattern had them knitted all the way, and I just thought that didn't do anything for the yarn. Additionally, I brought the needles down a few sizes. I did double the yarn; and I have enough to make myself a pair with only a single strand of yarn, which I might do. You seam these up the side, so you leave a hole about one inch wide for the thumb. You can scrunch them down or pull them up a bit. They're ambidexterous - you can use either mitt on either hand.

Hubby took the picture because I couldn't get a good angle. And as you can see, I will probably have to give up my dream of being a hand model... Oh, the despair....

Now, drumroll here. The first pair of socks is finished! I am wearing them today, and I have the following shot. Please pardon the winter-white...those are my legs! As you can see, one foot is visibly smaller than the other, so I guess that the "goof" I did actually worked out.

My First Socks
These are done in Plymouth's Encore, DK weight, and they're 75% wool, 25% acrylic. This colorway is a lovely autumn shade. I'm working on the next pair -- I'm told that you should make at least 3 pairs in quick succession, so that you get the hang of it.

The next pair is the same yarn, but in a dark brown. I've just turned the heel flap on those, and I'm hoping I did it right!

So, the goof. I measured the first sock against my foot. And maybe it's not really a goof, but just the way it is. The second sock is slightly smaller than the first. I measured that differently, apparently. But it doesn't matter. My right foot is larger than my left, so I have, in my opinion, a "custom" pair of socks.

OK, so first, as my LYS owner says, "you're not a machine - you knit differently." Could be that, after the first sock, I'm a little more comfortable, and not freaking out. Second, I did try the first sock on, so there's a bit of stretch.

So the "first" one is actually the one on my right foot. Don't you love how those colors swirl around on the instep? They're different patterns, but the same yarn. I can't wait to wear these with my Birkenstocks. I don't care if it's not a proper fashion statement!

The yarn label says it can be washed, but also can be hand-washed. I will probably hand-wash these, and just drape them on a rack. I don't have sock-blockers; this pattern didn't require that. Maybe that's something I have to consider yet, but I'm not a "super-sock-knitter" yet.

Maybe for the next pair, I'll experiment with the heel - seed stitch or maybe ribbed? This could be fun!

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