Hello, dear readers, and happy Sunday!
I’ve got some finished socks to share with you today — the first of many FO posts this month, hopefully!
I finished these right before Christmas, so they’re not my first finished object of the year, but I’m pretty darn excited about them :
My finished Droving socks (on my fabulous new sheep sock blockers that my lovely mom got me for Christmas — swoon!)
These socks were a big learning experience for me! I cast them on feeling fairly confident in my colorwork skills, but quickly realized that stranding in small circumference knitting is a whole other kettle of fish! These are by no means perfect — if you look closely, you’ll see places where I stranded too tight, and I’m sure there are also places where I stranded too loosely! I started these on two circulars, then switched to magic loop and definitely struggled most with my stranded tension overt the joins.
I also found that my progress on these was very slow when I was watching TV, etc. Perhaps this should have been fairly obvious to me — but since the majority of the chart is a picture, rather than some sort of geometric repeating pattern that you can “read” in the knitting, I really had to be looking at the chart fairly constantly!
All of that being said, I’m very happy with the finished socks, flaws and all. The little sheep, of course, make me super happy. But I also love all the other colorwork details — the tartan plaid-esque motif below the sheep, the corrugated rib at the cuff.
These were also knit completely from stashed yarn. The teal yarn was a Christmas gift from Mr. N in, er, 2013, I believe — he brought it to me all the way from New Zealand; the wheat yarn was at least ten years old (full details of yarn, etc. are below)
And the contrast heels and toes make me very happy! (Though, after blocking, I’ve realized I made the feet a teensy bit too long — one day when I’m feeling very virtuous, I’ll undo them, rip back a half inch into the foot, and reknit the toe … but that, I think, can wait.)
Because these were a challenge, I learned a lot while knitting them. I really tried to be aware of color dominance (so, since I wanted the sheep to be dominant on the sock, the golden wheat yarn was always held to the left). Of course, I also got lots of practice stranding, which I can hopefully put to good use on my Rail Trail sweater — especially the sleeves! And even though I ultimately knit both of these socks with a yarn in each hand, I tried out carrying the main color and contrast in my left hand on the second sock, and found that I like that a lot better — but it changed my gauge, meaning my socks wouldn’t match, so I had to re-start sock two and knit it in the same way as the first one.
And, in case you’d like to see how they look popping out of my (new!) shoes:
If you’re a longish term reader, you’ll know I’ve been wanting a pair of Clarks desert boots for awhile (I talked about it in a post thinking about shoes that showcase hand knit socks) I got a Zappos gift card for Christmas and decided to treat myself to a pair. I’m not sure I’ll be running around Philadelphia with rolled up jeans, sheep socks and desert boots anytime soon, but I’m very excited about these and the possibility of having at least a bit of handknit sock peeking out of them!
You can see all my notes about the socks over on my Ravelry project page, but here’s the basic info:
Pattern: Droving by Ann Kingstone
Yarns: Red Riding Hood Yarns Fleur Sock in Flight of the Griffin (MC); Brooklyn Handspun Signature in Golden Wheat (CC)
Needles/Method: Chiaogoo Red Lace US size one (started on two circs, but switched to magic loop); knit socks one at a time from the cuff down.
Modifications: Used contrast color for heels and toes and slightly modified toe based on personal preference
Project Start-Project Finish: November 4-December 24, 2016
I’d definitely recommend this pattern if you’re looking to expand your colorwork skills. But for now, it’s back to vanilla socks for me — I’m hoping to cast on a pair of Smooth Operators for Mr. N tonight:
I’m linking up with Paula over at Spin a Yarn for Once Upon a Sock — go check out the lovely house slippers she’s made! She, Maggie of Project(s) in Progress, and I typically post about socks on the first Thursday of every month — I sadly missed this Thursday because my Droving socks were still blocking! Head over to their blogs and see what they’re up to — and if you’d like to join in, we’d love to have you!
Thanks, as always, for stopping by — hope you’ve had a good weekend!