Friday, April 23, 2010

I love kid socks

I think this is the fastest pair of socks I've ever finished: 9 days. He loves them, and while I was knitting on them yesterday and showing him my progress, he asked me to finish them (1' of cuff ribbing in contrast color) so he could wear them today. I had to weave in a number of ends, but it felt great to lay down the pair on the chair by his bed at the end of the evening!

The yarn is from my friend Rabbitch, and I got it from her at Stitches West this year (along with some other riches). I made a full pair of socks for me, and G asked for a pair "just like yours"--except not: without the patterning, just a generic sock but in the same yarn. Fortunately, the skein was a generous 430 yards, so even after finishing the pair, I have several yards left over. I had thought to knit up the calf as far as I could go and then finish off with the grey, but once I got as high as it was, G said that was long enough.

I used the toe-up sock with heel flap pattern from Charlene Schurch's first "Sensational Knitted Socks" book, which is a little Chinese-menu-ish (For XX stitches, do this; for YY stitches, this; etc.), but most of it is pretty straightforward. The transition from the heel flap to the gusset stitches was a little challenging, as it required switching the yarn and then picking up stitches in an order different from theirs (as theirs didn't have contrast heels), but it worked out.

I also got to finally implement an idea that's been bumping around my head for a while: the use of a marked poker chip to keep track of sock-toe increases and of heel decreases. I started using it on the first sock's heel, so I marked one side "K" and the other "dec" with little pieces of sticky notes. Then, when I was on a "K around" side, I had the "K" side up, and as I got to the back of the heel, I just flipped it over. This way, when I got to the other side, I could just glance over and know that this was a dec round--and not end up with extra, undecreased stitches on one side and not on the other, which always seems to happen.

I used it again when I started the (patch) toe for the second sock: one round has M1 on the 2nd stitch in from the edge, all around; the other round is just a K round. It meant that the increases were even, rather than ending with 12 stitches on all needles but one, which had 9 or 10 (this always seems to happen, too). I love this new method. And when I walk away, or knock it off, I can carefully study my knitting to know which side to put up, and then don't really have to think much for the rest of the toe (or heel).

Oh, here's my socks from the same yarn. The bottoms of the soles are the same pattern as his. I love the pseudo-stripiness. The yarn is between an aqua and a teal, if the color seems a little turquoisey. They're called "Percy Jackson socks" because the pattern is Poseidon by Elinor Brown. If you don't fully get the reference, read "The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan.
Percy Jackson socks


TheAmpuT said...

Delurking to tell you the I love the poker-chip idea. I was doing it with a quarter that I had painted on with nailpolish, but it would often get snagged up and shoved in the change jar when I wasn't looking! What I use now is a stitch marker that is two little metal colored rings, one green and one red. So every time I come around, I just change it...and it stays on my needles, where nobody can snag it and spend it on ice cream LOL.

Your kid socks look adorable.
I used to love kid socks. Now my almost 13 year old wears shoes bigger than mine. Aye!!

Jennie said...

Thanks! I like it because it clearly SAYS when to knit and when to change the stitch count. I'm not sure if green/red would tell me enough--maybe red for "Stop; do not change stitch count!" and green for "go ahead!" LOL

And, are kids ALLOWED to have larger shoe sizes than their parents? That doesn't seem right. Also, it would take longer to knit them socks!!