Sunday, 17 April 2011

Quest for the Perfect Sock

I think starting a new blog broke my computer. Fortunately my significant other is a computer nerd, and managed to fix my desperately sick laptop in just a couple of days. If you're not lucky enough to have a computer nerd as your significant other, I highly recommend becoming very good friends with one.

This is what I'm working on at the moment:

The yarn is Hot Socks Circus, and it smells as delicious as it looks. (Yes, I like the smell of sheep. Don't judge me.)

If you already know me, you won't be at all surprised that I'm knitting a pair of socks. I almost always have at least one pair of socks on the go. I knit my first pair last August (during the World Cup), and have now made approximately 14 pairs - I say approximately, because I lost count after 11 or 12.

Knitting the perfect pair of socks has become an obsession of mine. I am determined that one day I will knit a sock that is SO neat, comfortable and well-fitting, that I will look at it and not be able to see anything that needs improvement. That will be the blueprint for every future sock that I knit. I'm still a long way from that point, but I'm sure having a lot of fun getting there.

Every time I knit a pair of socks, I do something a little differently. Try a new cast-on, turn the heel a bit differently, do a different toe. The current pair is a return to cuff-down after several months of trying to perfect toe-up with short-row heel and toe. I really wanted the short-rows to work because they mimick commercially made socks, but mine never look neat enough or match on both sides. Going back to cuff-down feels like coming home.

Here is my current sock formula:

  • 56 stitches, twisted German cast-on over a 3mm needle
  • 2.5mm needles for the rest of the sock
  • 1 x 1 twisted rib cuff, 2 inches deep (To make twisted rib, knit into the BACK of every knit stitch. It twists the stitch around, tightening it up and creating lovely neat, deep ribs.)
  • Stockinette stitch for leg and foot
  • 7 inch leg
  • Reinforced heel flap of 28 stitches (on WS row, slip every other purl stitch)
  • Pick up extra stitches in corners, knit through back loop to tighten up and minimise holes
  • Toe from Kim Goddard's beginner sock pattern
My next mission is to find a good way of disguising the "jog" at the cast-on join. It always looks fairly obvious with the Twisted German cast-on, no matter how clever I try to be about darning the end in.

Only 3.5 more pairs to make for other people, then I can make some for me again!

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