Sunday, July 20, 2008

Don't Wanna

Since I had made a pair of plain stockinette stitch socks using Jitterbug in the past, I am basically following those notes for the new pair.
I guess I hadn't done a proper swatch for the first pair, or my swatch was so close I rolled with it, because although I need the sock to have 48 sts for the fit I prefer the cast on starts with 56 sts and then I decrease 2 sts every 9 rows.
Actually, looking at my notes, I wonder if I had brain freeze calculating my gauge/cast on because I wrote the gauge right there first thing on the page. Guess I didn't want to rework 15 rows of ribbing.
I considered starting the new socks with 48 stitches off the bat, but then I thought the other socks fit so well might as well stick with it.
The heel has been modified, however. This purple skein seems thinner or has a tighter twist or something than the blue skein. (Why, no, I haven't verified my gauge, that would be too sensible.) I'm not having good luck with yarn that's been sitting in a cake recently. Maybe I keep winding them wrong.
Because the yarn feels thinner, I didn't trust the stockinette stitch heel I normally use would be sturdy enough so I decided to go with a heel stitch heel. Then I decided to throw in the garter stitch edge I learned in class, just for kicks.
(Ok, I made myself curios and measured. Still 7x10 gauge, the difference must be in my head.)
These pictures are from the weekend and the sock has changed considerably since I took them. I wanted documentation.

Bad Pooling
Normally I'm down with the way colors move around in hand dyed yarn. I like the swirly pattern that develops and I know pooling might occur around the ankle because the pattern gets interrupted by the heel flap pulling the yarn up in a different fashion. Usually I can roll with it.
But this time it just annoyed me. It was all purple on one side and blue on the other and it didn't look like it was going to straighten out any time soon. I don't know, maybe if the blue had been prominent or the distribution had been more interesting I could have lived with it. But it annoyed me, so I yanked it out to back above the heel flap.
Then I reknit the heel flap using the other end of the skein. (I also considered ditching the garter stitch edge because I'm not accustomed to picking it up and it made me cranky, but I was a big girl and stuck with it. It does look nice.)
After turning the heel I returned to the original/main yarn that was waiting at the instep, picked up down one side of the gusset, knit across the heel, picked up the other gusset, and knit across the instep back to the row counter.
Using the far end of the ball keeps you at the same place in the pattern where you were when you started the heel so should provide less interruption to the pattern. I think it is supposed to be even more effective if you use it in combination with a short row heel (but we know how I feel about those). I first heard about this method in relation to self patterning yarns.
The trick is this method moves the start of your round to the side of the instep instead of the middle of the heel. I suppose you could knit down to the middle of the heel if you wanted too and call it good, but to me that makes one gusset side a row longer (technically) and would throw off the balance of the decreases. Or maybe I'm just uptight.
Of course the yarn still pooled at the ankle. But now the purple is squarely on top, the blue is on the bottom, and the swirl came back just as I finished the gusset decreases. yipee!
And I don't have a picture because the batteries died.
I have about 13 more rows to work before beginning the toe decreases, provided this sock falls in line...whoa, wait a minute, my notes say 45 rows from pick up and I'm at row 47. Blast, I'll have to try it on again.
Ok, that's it for now. Here is a picture of the puppies looking adorable. Red eye and all.

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