Flaming Yarn

I guess I must not be challenging myself very much if I finished April/May’s socks on May 3rd. But I’m sticking with my previous line – I really don’t need any extra commitment at this moment, so I’m not going to push it.

The reason I blasted through these socks is that I’ve bee practicing a whole lot of project monogamy (with a few bigamous days, but we won’t talk about that). I haven’t even unpacked the whole box that I packed at the beginning of Lent; I can’t quite deal with it. I want to keep what’s on the needles to a minimum, just out of fear of being overwhelmed. Maybe the knitting is still jealous and vengeful, and if I let too many projects get actively on the needles, they’ll gang up on me in the night and throttle me in my sleep. Ugh, that’s sort of morbid. Sorry.

Anyway, pattern review. These socks, “Flammegarn Socks,” were so fun! The super-simple slip-stitch pattern was perfect to show off a wildly multi-colored yarn, breaking up any tendency to stripe or pool with those little lines of slips. I may find myself returning to this pattern, as I have several sock yarns in my stash that are just too crazy to do anything complex with.

Because I was in a rush, I skipped a couple of the more unique aspects of these socks. I wasn’t going to do a very long leg, so I skipped the calf decreases (even though I love calf decreases) and just knit a standard 8″ leg. I totally missed that there was supposed to be a seam stitch, which I’m a bit miffed about (because I love seam stitches!) but I decided to move on. But I’m glad I paid attention for the heel, because I’d never done a heel like this before:

It’s called a “shaped common heel,” but that’s quite misleading. There’s no actual heel turn – just some oddly placed decreases and a kitchner. So weird. It makes a more pocket-like heel, so you’d want to be careful  not to make the foot too long. (I wasn’t that careful. I didn’t even succeed in making the feet the same size; one is 4 stitches smaller in circumference. I’m not sure why they both fit. I’m calling it grace.) The wide toe on these socks was also new for me, and kinda fun looking. It’s just like a “normal” toe, but with a bunch more stitches in between the decreases, so the decrease lines make a nice wedge on the toe.

Yarn review: Okay, so it’s a little lame to do a review of my own yarn. But I have to say, I was thrilled with the Merino/Nylon sock base. It knit up to a very firm sock-appropriate fabric on US1s, but I’m sure one could go up to US2s, probably even 3s and still have socks on the other side. Although the yarn construction does not make it that prepossessing as a base, this means you aren’t distracted by some weird texture when you knit it up. It just does its job – make a fabric. I’m also rather proud of how the colors came out. The colors mixed up beautifully, not pooling or flashing or even striping too much. If you are going to have a wild multi-colored sock yarn with moderate-sized runs of color, this is what I think it should look like. And the slip stitches break everything up so nicely. So pleased I am!

I wanted to crank these babies out so I could put them on display at the Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend. So you can see them – and maybe even us! – live and in person. (As a reminder: I’ll be at the Saturday night spin-in and at the Cloverhill booth in the Main Barn on Sunday 8:30-1:30. ETA: I will also be around all day Saturday; if you want to meet up let me know.) I will NOT be bringing my computer, but I WILL be bringing my camera… so expect a full report, come Tuesday or so. If you are in the area, I hope very much to see you there!

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