Archive for the “wild tide” Category

The Silkie Socks that Rock that I got earlier this year is now a pair of actual socks! The pattern is from this dummies.com article, "How to Knit Socks with Slip-Stitch Ridges", adapted to slip every fifth stitch, instead of every sixth. The finished socks are a little tight to pull on, but once I have them over my heel, they do fit well. If I use this pattern again, I'll add another stitch or two for ease - and a yarn with more yardage.

I started knitting on Flexi-Flip needles, but got frustrated at the number of gusset stitches and switched back to DPNs. I didn't try again for the second sock; maybe next time. Or maybe I'll just sell the needles; I'm not sure I care for them. (I have them in both 2.25 mm and 2.5 mm sizes - if you're interested, message me on Ravelry and we can work out a price and shipping costs.)

The start of a knitted sock leg on Flexi-Flip needles, with columns of slipped stitches on a stockinette background

As I got close to the toe of the first sock, I started to get nervous about not having enough yarn for both. There are only 360 yards in the skein, and I have long feet... and my previous Socks that Rock socks were both a few yards short. So I stopped the first sock just before the toe decreases, broke the yarn, and cast on for the second sock on a fresh pair of needles.

In the ensuing game of yarn chicken, I began to think that maybe there was hope for my sock toes... but just in case it was necessary, I found a coordinating pinkish yarn in my stash to fill in the last few rounds. The colour is a little off in this picture because I took it at night; unfortunately we're a little short on daylight hours at the moment. Things should be turning around this weekend, though. ;)

A partially completed sock in variegated shades of pink, green, tan, and blue, with a coordinating ball of pink yarn at the toe.

The closer I got to the end of my yarn, the faster I knit, as if I could race the yarn to the end. (Anyway, I wanted to finish this pair before the end of the year.) At the toe decreases, I began to alternate working on one sock and then the other, carefully knitting from the inside and outside of the ball at the same time, conveniently finishing off both socks at the same time. Here there's about 32" of yarn connecting the two still-ungrafted socks, and I tried them on at this point. "I think they're long enough. I think they'll fit! I think I just barely squeaked under the wire!"

Two almost-finished socks, with about thirty inches of yarn connecting both of them.

With some trepidation I snipped the yarn connecting the two socks and started to kitchener stitch the first toe shut. I had to stop halfway across to tighten up the graft and free up a little more yarn, and... I made it. I won this round of yarn chicken.

I still have to weave in the ends, but I need to catch my breath first.

The finished toe of a new sock, with only a few inches of yarn dangling from one corner.

One day I'll learn not to knit with short-yardage sock yarn, no matter how pretty it is. (Or to plan ahead for contrast cuffs/heels/toes, and then this wouldn't be a problem.) But this was a really neat pattern and I enjoyed knitting it. I'd do *that* again, for sure.

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It wasn't really my intent to ignore the blog for months, but (not for the first time) the summer got away from me!

I'm almost done writing up the pattern for the Sneaux Zone hat! A few people have messaged me on Ravelry to ask when it will be released, and the best answer I have is... SOON! Possibly even this weekend! I just need to look over the charts once more, make sure all the words are in the right order, and take some glamour shots. Here's the view from the top, which comes together into a star:

The top of a red and white hat. The stitches and colours form a star shape.

ALL proceeds from sales of the pattern for the first few weeks will be donated to the ALS Association.

The first of my slip-stitch Wild Tide socks are now past the heel turn and gusset. I had to switch from the Flexi-Flips to four DPNs once I picked up the gusset stitches, because the fabric was uncomfortably straining at the corners, and... I didn't go back. Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with so many stitches on just two needles, even if they are flexible in the middle?

A half-finished sock with a half-finished ball of yarn on a wooden floor. The sock has spirals of pooling colour, pinks and purples over blue, sand, and green.

I'm really pleased with the way the slip-stitch pattern breaks up the pooling a little bit without obscuring it entirely, though I do wish that the spiraling had been more consistent all the way down the leg. (That's probably just my gauge changing a tiny bit, rather than anything to do with the yarn.) Now that football season is starting up again, I'm expecting to get some more time on the couch to knit and watch the games. Of course there are other projects to work on as well, but those can wait for another post :)

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I started the Wild Tide socks with the slip stitch pattern on the new Flexi-Flip needles, and I feel as if I've almost knit enough of the leg to form an opinion of them. Unfortunately, I'm not sure it's a very good opinion...

The start of a knitted sock leg on Flexi-Flip needles,with columns of slipped stitches on a stockinette background

I'm used to knitting my socks with five DPNs, so figuring out how to hold two needles that were basically folding in half was an interesting challenge. The first few changeovers from one needle to the next were really awkward, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. It's kind of like how I *can* knit socks with just four DPNs, but I find five more comfortable. Maybe after I've knit the rest of the sock, they'll feel more at home in my hands.

I like that the needles have one pointier side and one more blunt, but I definitely prefer the pointier side, and that means remembering to turn each one around as it comes free of the stitches and becomes the next working needle. It would be better if the two sides were two different colours, to make it easier to quickly tell which is which.

With my usual sock knitting method, I "rotate" the sock every few rounds by knitting a few extra stitches onto each needle, which helps to minimize any laddering. With the Flexi-Flips, there are only three needles, and the first and last few stitches of each one are so awkward that I can't imagine how one would easily do that.

At least the sock looks nice! There are some definite laddering issues at both sides where the needles don't meet well, but I think they should work their way out in the wash. I'm quite pleased with the stitch pattern and how it's breaking up the spiral pooling a little bit without hiding it completely.

Meanwhile, since I didn't buy anything at MD Sheep and Wool, I felt very little guilt about making a post-festival purchase from Etsy.

Two skeins of sock yarn in rosy-purple and blue-violet with a skein of purple, pink, and blue speckled yarn between them.

I got these two skeins of Malabrigo Sock (top: 120 Lotus; bottom: 863 Zarzamora) at two separate shops about a year apart from each other, thinking (at the times) that sock yarn makes the best souvenirs... but never considering that they might go together.

Then, as knitters are wont to do, I started thinking that maybe they *should* go together. But when I pulled them out of the sock yarn tote and looked at them in the same light, I realized how close in value they were. So what they *really* needed, I concluded, was a skein of speckled yarn that pulled colours from both of them as a go-between. Then I found this Sheeps Clothing Yarn Co. Fable Fingering in Nebula Speckle, and knew that it was Just Right.

No idea *how* they're going to go together just yet (a shawl, perhaps?) but whooo! This is just the most perfect addition, isn't it?

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After some months of ignoring them, I've finished the green stripy socks! I'm so pleased that the stripes line up perfectly from sock to sock. (I mean, I did that on purpose, but I'm still pretty pleased at how well it worked out.) This is about as plain a sock as it gets: twenty rounds of k2, p2 ribbing, followed by an awful lot of stockinette interrupted by a regular ol' flap heel, and a star toe with four points. The yarn is Austermann Step in colourway 96 Forest Green.

A finished pair of greens and light tan striped socks displayed on sock-blockers.

My original intention with these socks had been to try the Flexi-Flip needles with them, but that totally didn't work for reasons... primarily that while everyone else seems to agree that a US size 1 needle is 2.25 mm, Addi's size 1 Flexi-Flips are 2.5 mm. Since then, I've acquired a set in 2.25 mm, and as soon as the green socks were done I cast on for a new sock with this Silkie Socks that Rock in the "Walking on the Wild Tide" colourway, which was from their sock club some years ago. I got this yarn only a few months ago, from someone at our local knitting night. (Thanks!)

Kitting needles with the barest beginning of a pair of socks in shade of pink, blue, green and tan, with the ball of yarn behind.

I'm planning to do something fairly simple again, but with columns of slipped stitches to attempt to break up the pooling a little bit, and an eye of partridge heel for a change. A review on the Flexi-Flips will be forthcoming once I get a little more used to them, too.

This year's Maryland Sheep and Wool was a whole new kind of experience - the plan had been to go with Mom, but Dad and Michael joined us for the day too. Nothing really jumped out at me as something I needed to buy, but I did drop off the fleece that Carrie and I bought some years ago with a processor who said she'll have it back to us by mid-October. The only thing I brought home was this picture of the alpacas:

A brown alpaca appears to be whispering into the ear of a black-and-white alpaca. Both of them have some hay hanging from their mouths.

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