Monday, August 10, 2015

The King is Dead--

Long live the king. That is sort of how if feel about knitting projects. The Blue socks done.... Quick! Find some yarn and cast on, for socks again!

I decided to jump into making my S-I-L's birthday socks—and give myself lots of time to complete them (his birthday isn't till October).

First there was the yarn—I tend to buy yarn 2 skeins at a time--(and yes, I prefer 50g skeins over 100g ones) I have big feet, but I don't like my socks too tall, (never again do I want to wear knee socks!) and I find, with many yarns, I have 7 to 10g's left over from a 50g ball.. I have make striped socks out of 4 sets of left over bits--(and I will do this again, I am sure).

Some 50g skeins I do use all up, and sometimes (extremely rarely) if I use a cable or other pattern that requires extra stitches for ease, I have even run out.

But MOST of the time, (90% or more) 2 50g skeins (or 1 100g skein) is more than enough for a pair of sock—for me.

But this is not true for men's socks. My S-I-L has big feet. He isn't fat, but he is a big man. Broad shoulders—big hands.. big boned, big feet. . And to make socks for him (mid calf height/8 to 10 inches of leg) I need 3 skeins. I've have only knit him 1 pair of socks, and I did need 3 skeins, so mentally, (if not in reality) I want to start out making sure I will have enough yarn—and that means 3 skeins.

I don't have a big selection of yarn, with 3 skeins skeins in a colorway. If I limit my selection to solid, some what dark colors, the selection gets even smaller. And to be honest—I have a very limited amount of very light colors in my stash—so knitting him (or me!) a pair of lemon yellow socks is not an option! Yellow trimmed, or patterned (stranded color work patterning) YES, but yellow socks? No.

I think eventually, I will be able to make socks for him in jacquard yarns—something with stripes or stranded like designs, in blues (his favorite color) but I am breaking him in, and for now, dull, drab, solid colors are order of the day.

So with hundreds of skeins of sock yarns available to me, I was limited in my choices.

I had some Lion Brand Sock Ease—in a lovely Prussian blue(though they don't call it that!) , and in the root beer brown—but I wasn't certain a single 100g skein was enough. And then there is the yarn its self--

Sock yarn comes in a range of weights.. Best explained this way: some times 100g of sock yarn is almost 500 yards (480 or so yard), but other sock yarn? 100G is 350 or so yards. There is a range, from super fine (almost lace weight) to chunkier yarn—almost sports weight. When the yarn is spun finer, you get more yards for the same weight.

I LOVE the lace weight like Sock Ease. I slip down to a size 1 or even a size 0(zero) needle and still get soft, drapy socks. I love Sock Ease for color work socks, too. The super fine yarn knits up beautifully with out being too bulky-and my feet still fit in my shoes comfortable. With over 400 yards in 100g, it is a fine sock yarn

But, I am not interested in making over sized sock on super fine needles—Call me self centered, or selfish, or what ever, but... I want thicker yarn. Not worsted weight book socks, but on the heavier end of sock yarns.

So I was left with 3 choices:
1—4 ply Kroy—In color flax, a drab taupe color (330 yards per 100g)
2—4 ply Kroy –in a stripe of mixed greys and charcoal
3—buying new yarn.

I went with choice 1. I have a full 4 skeins of this yarn. I don't think I will need more than 3—but its nice to know I have plenty. Maybe next year it will be choice 2--(and as for choice 3, I have been vaguely on a yarn diet—but who knows, maybe in 2 or 3 years, I will be back to buying sock yarn!)
My original plan, a few months ago, was the stripe—I like stripes, simple ones and spiral ones--(naturally jogless), and I LOVE using up a few partial skeins, left over from other projects and getting “bonus socks”.

But I found a pretty pattern—a great easy, pattern.. Called Hugo, from Stefanie Bold (find her as stebo79 on Ravelry)  (her blog is in German, so I suggest you check out her Ravelry profile!)

The patten is, at once, simple and stylish. It's subtle--(and that often translates well into masculine) and works best in a solid color. (She shows a striped version, but I don't like it much).

The pattern is free, and it comes in 5 sizes—so it will fit most any one—skinny little ladies feet, or gun boat feet like mine, or men's, small or large!

So I am started. I have cast on, and started. I used a Open Closed Long Tail (aka the Estonian Long Tail)cast on, a cast on the is very suited, in my opinion, to 2 X 2 ribbing. I have just finished the 20 rounds of ribbing, put the markers in place and I am ready to get started on this new pair of socks.

At the same time, I am sorting through my cotton—I do want some new potholders, and a new bath mat, and....When I want a break from sock knitting, I want to have the cotton handy. 

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