August 14, 2010

…lacy cottony socks…

…no-cook dinners…

…afternoons in the backyard…

Hope you’re enjoying these high days of summer!


Green Knitting

August 1, 2010

Serpentine Socks

Don’t you hate it when you’re finishing up a project, and you make a little mistake?  One where the fix is not terribly hard, and perhaps the fix isn’t totally necessary, but you know you’ll never be happy with the finished project unless you do it?  And isn’t it sometimes hard to do the fix, and cross that project off your list?  That’s the story of these socks.

A nice friend from the yarn store gifted me the Yarn Harlot’s page-a-day calendar, and one day the entry was a stretchy bind-off method.  I saved that page, and when I bound off the first of these toe-up socks, I used her method.  It was perfectly, beautifully stretchy.

Then, when I was ready to bind off the second sock, I didn’t have that little piece of paper with me.  I couldn’t remember how to do it, so I improvised.  Bad call.  Top of second sock  … not so stretchy.  In fact, nearly totally inelastic.

For some reason, I found it very difficult to rip back that bind off, find the little piece of paper, and re-do it all.  After weeks of having these socks stare at me balefully from the top of the WIP’s pile, I finally finished them.  And, hooray!  I have a wonderful new pair of socks just waiting for fall weather.

Pattern:  Serpentine Socks by Wendy D. Johnson

Yarn:  Cider Moon Glacier in Congo

Needles: 2.5mm Knit Picks Options fixed circulars

Modifications:  Completely unintentionally, I swapped out the columns of purl stitches between the lace panels for alternating knits and purls.   Somehow, I read “on even rounds, knit the knits and purl the purls” as “knit all stitches on even rounds.”  Only me.  Anyhow, I think they look nice — a case of a mistake being a design feature.

And I never want to forget that fantastically perfect bind off, so I’m going to post it here for posterity.

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Awesome Stretchy Bind Off: *Knit 2 tog, K1. Place sts back on left needle, rep from *.

That’s it!  It’s so simple, it’s a wonder that I couldn’t remember it.  I highly recommend you try it the next time you make toe-up socks, or need to bind off a crewneck.

This pattern came from Wendy Johnson’s book Socks from the Toe Up, which I just love.  Equally awesome is the follow-up, Toe-Up Socks for Everybody.  For a long time, I avoided the toe-up sock, because I didn’t know any other method of making the heel besides the short-row heel, which I don’t love.  But these books give basic instructions for gusset  heels (with and without a slip-stitch heel flap), so I’m back on the toe-up sock bandwagon!


In other knitty goodness, have you seen the Fall 2010 Twist Collective?  It is really lovely, especially the “Roxham Farm” and “WWMHW?” stories.  It was hard not to go absolutely crazy buying patterns, but I couldn’t resist the patterns by two of my favorite designers-knitbloggers-internet friends: the Community Garden beret by Melissa LaBarre and Hallett’s Ledge cardigan by Elinor Brown.  One thing that really stood out to me in all the patterns was that the cardigans are fully buttoned-up.  It seemed for a while that all the cardi patterns involved no closure at all, one big button, or at most two or three near the top a la February Lady Sweater.  But these cardigans incorporate traditional button bands with closures from top to bottom, and are worn all closed up.  They look great, and very fresh, I think.

I could so easily spend this day curled up in a chair, knitting away and listening to music.  But the yard and garden outside my window are looking pretty neglected, so relaxation will have to wait.  Here’s hoping you’re having an excellent Sunday and first day of August.