Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Socks!

A while back I had purchased two skeins of Knitpick's "Imagination" handpainted sock yarn in the (now discontinued) colourway, "Woodsmen". It was a mix of dark olives with the occasional streak of gold-- colours right up my alley! I was at a loss of what sock pattern to knit it up in for a while, though, because I usually like to knit socks with all sorts of crazy cabling and lace going on, and I knew that the colour shifts probably wouldn't make those kinds of patterns stand out very well.

So it sat in my stash....until one really cold winter day when I was possessed with the urge to KNIT MOAR WOOLY SOCKS to keep my perpetually cold feet warm. After poking around ravelry a bit I finally decided upon the ultra-famous (amongst sock knitters, at least) Jaywalker sock pattern by Grumperpina.

It was a super easy knit-- one of those patterns you can take pretty much everywhere and not worry about losing track while chatting with people or watching tv. All through the leg every other row combined two stitch increases and one center three stitch decrease per repeat to create this fun little chevron pattern. Something giving the sock a little visual interest without being overwhelmed by the handpainted yarn.

I did it in the smallest size because I have small feet, but while knitting the socks up I was thinking about how unisex the pattern is. For a really large-footed man I think it would be incredibly easy to adjust the stitch quantity to accomodate a much wider foot. So many socks are designed for the woman's foot in mind, and while that's really no problem when they're so frou-frou that 98% of the male population wouldn't be caught dead wearing them, I find the knitting pattern world is sorely lacking in some interesting looking sock patterns that include instructions for making them wide enough to fit a larger man's (or woman's!) foot. This sock pattern, however, is honestly simple enough to adjust the size, even if you don't consider yourself an "advanced" knitter in any way.

Although for the most part knitting this sock was a breeze, I did have a freakout moment when I reached the toe and it came time to graft the stitches closed.

I really passioned over this. Many times before while knitting through other patterns that required grafting, I'd pull out one of my ratty knitting manuals and study the stupid kitchener stitch chart. With the instructions within sight, I'd try my hardest to needle my way through the stitches, only to find that whatever I was doing wasn't freaking grafting. So...I'd rip it out and cheat with a three needle bind off. Yep. I was the knitter who'd rather knit a sock toe-up (I honestly don't get why people are so leery of toe-up socks, by the way) than kitchener stitch a toe closesd.

BUT. This time I decided it was time to grab the bull by the horns and just master that damned stitch already. Instead of using that stupid knitting manual I found a Godsend of a grafting tutorial on knitty.Using that tutorial just made everything click into place. It was...dare I say...easy???

Anyway, I'm not afraid of grafting any more (hooray!), which makes me feel really accomplished. Now onto the photos!

Here's a closeup of that magically seamless kitchener stitch toe.
Closeup of Kitchener Stitch Toe
Here are some more pictures of the socks on my feet. It really was such a pretty colourway.
Jaywalker Socks
Check out those chevrons. And my pale leg.
Jaywalker Socks
Well, that's it for now. Now I've got a tree I'm working on for my cousin Lisa, as well as a shawl from Nancy Bush's book, "Knitted Lace of Estonia". The tree is almost finished; I'll probably get to taking photos of it soon.

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