I finally finished the first of the Crenellated Socks for Megan in Lorna's Laces Bee Stripe using the pattern from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks, Warm Feet. If you'll recall, these were the socks I started on January 1 as my "it's a new year" project. They are also my first toe-up sock and my first Turkish (or afterthought) heel.
I can't say I love the sock.
I can say I think it's fairly ugly. I do like the yarn itself in terms of knitability and hand. But I'm not fond of the coloration. I know Megan was hoping for wider striping when she selected it. So, that's one thing.
I also can't say I love the toe-up process. I much prefer cuff down. Now that I've tried toe-up, I can say that. I didn't know that for sure before.
Part of the trouble here may be that when it came time to choose how to position the toe, Megan selected the triangle toe rather than square. I think it looks odd, and it feels a little funny under my foot. I think if we'd gone square, it might have worked out better.
(Note: I was thinking that maybe I can just pick up stitches about 2 inches down from the toe, rip out the toe, and work it as if I was doing a normal toe on a cuff-down sock. That would work, right? I'm going to go ahead and make a matching sock #2 first. But if it ends up that the toe is a sticking point, I'll rip out both and do them again the other way.)
I can say the afterthought heel was an interesting experiment. I liked the process. I was a bit skeptical as I knitted in the waste yarn and then kept knitting up the foot. But it all worked out nicely. I did consult both a Socknitter's reference and The Keyboard Biologist Knits for sustenance before I started the heel.
I got concerned when reviewing Neatby's directions when I saw something along the lines of "don't worry - you'll have big gaps here" and then in the finishing instructions "now neaten up the gaps."
I like sock patterns that take care of the gaps as much as possible during the knitting rather than going back at the end and taking extra steps to hide holes.
The other sources I looked at all pick up a few stitches in the corners to help alleviate gaps. For some reason, Neatby doesn't.
I did, and that worked out okay.
The rate of decrease for the heel that I used, however, wasn't fast enough. I still had several rows to go when I had M. try it on and found it was already too long. I took out about 7 rows and did the decreases on every row from there on in, and it turned out great.
I like the fit of it, actually.
I think I like the process of the other kind of heel better. But this does fit really nicely.
The garter cuff doesn't thrill me, but then, for myself, I probably don't lean toward cuffs anyway. But M. picked this one, and it turned out nice. The crenellated (picot) bind-off is a cool touch and worked out great. Sort of fun. Sort of unexpected. Sort of funky. Definitely different.
Again, there's not a lot to say except it's an ugly sock. But it's a sock full of "firsts" and adventures in sock knitting - which makes it a good thing regardless!
I went ahead and cast on for sock #2 so that I didn't allow myself the chance to talk myself out of it.
Now, maybe, I can consider starting a sock for myself from Knitting on the Road. I do keep a number of projects going at once, but I haven't ever had more than one pair of socks going at a time before. (I don't know how Christy manages it!) But, I think this time, I need a break from the bee stuff and want to work on something I think I'll like!
In other news...
- I did order the Street Smart pattern booklet for the Must Have Too Cardigan that's making rounds. I can't get it out of my mind, and I really want to start working on a new (as opposed to something started but in the closet) sweater right now. So, hopefully that will get hear by the end of the week so I can get going.
- My Charlotte is coming along. The auction is March 5, so I've got to get a move on to get it finished in time since wearing it to that is my goal.
- I love Theresa's iPod stocking and think I'm going to have to make one for my (nameless) mini.
- I haven't listened to it yet, but I'm anxious to check out Marie's Knitting podCast.
- I picked up the new Interweave, the old Vogue (so I'd have the flower trellis felted bag pattern), and the British Knitting (Feb. issue - check out the great red cabled zip-up on the cover as well as adorable intarsia heart cardi on the inside) while doing a bookstore run in the rain over the weekend.