Bada bing, bada boom! I have not been idle in my absence. If you’ve been checking back for new posts, you at least saw the Evenstar ticker moving faithfully along – almost halfway done! But that’s not all:
I finished Clocking the First on Sunday, less than a week after I’d started it. It’s been a sock blitz! Despite the fact that the leg is FIFTEEN INCHES LONG (pant pant) there were enough landmarks to make it seem to progress pretty quickly. A couple inches of ribbing, then a couple inches of plain, then some decreasing, then add clocks, continue for a while, then turn the heel. And after the leg, the foot flew by!
This is the top of the clock, which starts about 1/3 of the way down the leg. Now that I have one in front of me, I can explain to you what a “Clock” on a stock(ing) is. Basically, a clock is a common feature of older sock patterns. A clock is a vertical column of patterning on either side of the leg of a sock that comes down to right over where you would split for the heel flap. The pattern splits with the sock, half of it continuing down the edge of the heel flap and half continuing down the foot. The result is that the split pattern looks like the big and little hands of a clock, as you can see on the foot section below.
Pretty spiffy, huh?
This sock is all about little details, the tiny things that make for excellent craftsmanship and that happy little feeling we knitters get when we know we’ve done something really cool. For example, at the very edge of the cuff, the first thing you do is knit two rounds of garter stitch. This makes the edging particularly need, and fits in with the unique ribbing in this design: two stitches of seed stitch followed by two stitches of stockinette. This isn’t as elastic as normal ribbing, but it doesn’t need to be – this sock goes all the way over my calf,which does most of the work of holding up the sock.
This detail is probably my favorite – continuing perfectly down from the ribbing is a seam pattern that travels all the way down the back of the leg. Before knitting was invented, the first stockings were made from pieces of fabric sewn into a tube. The seam was generally put at the back. When socks began to be produced by knitting in the round, some sock designs still incorporated a “seam stitch” into the back of the leg to replicate that style. Eventually they got really fancied up, like this design. I love how neat and symmetrical it is, and how the decreases are so perfectly framed. And by the way, it’s really hard to take a good picture of the back of your own leg.
Clocking the Second is off to a good start, though it’s not going nearly as fast as the First. This is understandable – a sort of Second Sock Slowdown, if not Second Sock Syndrome strictly speaking.
But my problem is also, unfortunately, with the yarn. It’s decent – for how much I paid for it. It’s a wool-nylon blend that feels just fine on my feet & legs, will be very warm, and will hold up just fine. But it’s doing a number on my fingers. My right ring finger, holds the right needle along with my right thumb, has gotten rubbed pretty raw. I compounded my problem by screwing around with some really nice sock yarn the other day… nearly moaning with happiness at the buttery feeling of 100% merino. Now I pick up poor Clocking the Second and go…. ick.
I still have two thirds of the month in front of me; that’s plenty of time to get through #2 at a reduced pace, interspersing the sock with some other interesting things.
But I don’t think I’m going to go the cheap yarn route again. Which means I may be knitting a 50$ pair of socks in July. Erm… hm.