My current work in progress:

1. Strandwanderer, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Wollmeise Merino "Pure" in the "Zenzi" colorway on a 3.25 mm (U.S. size 3) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Love Those Sportweight Socks

Talk about immediate gratification.

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Van Dyke Lace Sock 111407

This sock is knit from Dream in Color Classy — a worsted weight yarn. It’s the one I swatched up a few days ago to see if I could get my usual sportweight gauge from it. Well, I could, and I did. I used a 2.75mm needle. Oh, and the colorway is “Happy Forest.” Love that name!

I’m calling these socks “Van Dyke Lace Socks” — not terribly original, but the pattern is a simple Van Dyke lace repeated over the body of the sock.

I split my 4 ounce skein of yarn into two equal balls. The total yardage of the skein was 250, so this sock is made from 125 yards.

Three grams leftover on the first sock:

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Leftovers 111407

I toddled into work today, and I’ll be going to work tomorrow, so progress on the second sock will be much slower. But I have Friday off for a medical appointment, and then all next week off.

Roseann asked me if there is any spinning in my future. I’d love to finish up what’s been sitting on my wheel for longer than I care to remember.

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Wheel 111407

(Please note little Ragdoll feet in the photo.)
This is a Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop roving. I’ve spun up most of it — here’s the first half, plied into sock yarn. Sorry for the over-exposed pic — it’s much greener in person.

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Handspun Sock Yarn 111407

It’s been so long that I can’t remember the name of the colorway. (Hangs head in shame.)

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Roving 111407

Maybe I should set myself this as a task — freaking finish spinning my Sock Hop roving already!

My other plans for next week? Prepare a Thanksgiving feast for the KOARC, Lucy, and me. icon smile Love Those Sportweight Socks

It’ll likely take me all week. That’s my story, anyhow. icon wink Love Those Sportweight Socks And if the doctor tells me that I’m still on restriction for how much I can lift, the KOARC will be putting the turkey in the oven!

Lucy Sez

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Lucy 111407

“Don’t forget to feed me!”

More Completed Socks

There were some interesting comments on the yarn weighing experiment I posted yesterday. As you know, it was done under very un-scientific conditions, but I did use the same scale for each skein. And I left the labels on the skeins when I weighed them.

Whether a sock yarn seems slightly over or slightly under, I can tell you that I’ve never run short of yarn when knitting socks from any of the yarns I weighed yesterday.

I took today off from work and have been doing this and that.

I took my car in for routine maintenance this morning. Here is the odometer reading:

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Odometer 111307

Pretty low mileage for a 2004 car — you can see that I don’t drive a whole lot.

While waiting for my car to be serviced I had some good knitting time so I was able to finish these:

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Diagonal Lace Socks 111307

Diagonal Lace socks knit from Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in the “Strange Harvest” colorway on 2mm needles.

Marnie asked in the comments:

I notice your diagonal lace pattern isn’t flipped for the second sock. Do ever worry about making socks symmetrical when they have directional patterns?

Good question! I tend not to make specific left and right socks particularly when I’m doing a smaller all-over pattern. But within a sock, I’ll make the pattern symmetrical. For example, the side cables on my Asparagus Cables Socks are symmetrical to each other.

Kat R asked:

When you do the M1 for your toe increases, do you make them a mirror image of each other? Or do you just do the same thing for both sides? I know you said you have been increasing at the gusset by k1f&b. I was just curious about the toe increases. 

I do the K1 f&b on both sides. If I’m doing a sock on two circulars, for example, I work it as follows:

K 1 f&b, knit until 2 stitches remain on needle, K 1 f&b, K1.

Anyhow, other than finishing these socks I’ve not done much that is blog-worthy.

Several of you have asked how I am feeling. Much better, thanks for asking! It doesn’t take much effort to tire me out, so I’m taking things as easy as possible. I’ve got a follow-up appointment with my neurosurgeon in a couple of days and I have every reason to believe he’ll say I’m recovering from surgery well. He’ll likely give me the go-ahead to return to work full-time.

But I have taken next week — Thanksgiving week — off from work, so that’ll be postponed for a bit. icon wink More Completed Socks

Lucy has been demonstrating what a tough life she has.

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Lucy 111307

Sock Yarn Weights

I’ve been reading with interest Polly’s posts on actual sock yarn weights versus the stated weight on the ballband. It got me curious, so of course I had to do some experimentation of my own.

I grabbed some skeins of sock yarn out of my stash at random, and started weighing. My findings are presented in the table below, the format of which I shamelessly stole from Polly:

Brand Stated Weight
Actual Weight
Variance
Opal Handpaint 100gr 94gr -6
Arucania Ranco 100gr 100gr 0
Socks That Rock Lightweight 128gr 126gr -2
Socks That Rock Lightweight 128gr 124gr -4
Socks That Rock Lightweight 128gr 123gr -5
Socks That Rock Lightweight 128gr 127gr -1
Socks That Rock Lightweight 128gr 123gr -5
Socks That Rock Lightweight 128gr 124gr -4
Dream in Color Smooshy 113gr 119gr +6
Dream in Color Smooshy 113gr 130gr +17
Dream in Color Smooshy 113gr 122gr +9
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock 113gr 117gr +4
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock 113gr 117gr +4
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock 113gr 116gr +3
Fleece Artist Merino 115gr 122gr +7
Fleece Artist Merino 115gr 127gr +12
Fleece Artist Merino 115gr 130gr +15
Claudia Handpaint Fingering 50gr 50gr 0
Claudia Handpaint Fingering 50gr 50gr 0
Claudia Handpaint Fingering 50gr 53gr +3
Claudia Handpaint Fingering 50gr 54gr +4
Claudia Handpaint Fingering 50gr 51gr +1
Claudia Handpaint Fingering 50gr 51gr +1
Claudia Handpaint Fingering 50gr 49gr -1
Claudia Handpaint Fingering 50gr 49gr -1
ShibuiKnits Fingering 50gr 53gr +3
ShibuiKnits Fingering 50gr 53gr +3
ShibuiKnits Fingering 50gr 54gr +4
ShibuiKnits Fingering 50gr 54gr +4

We had a discussion while at Graves Mountain, I think about things that affect sock yarn weight. I assume that humidity and altitude play a part. Someone suggested that yarn weighed pre-dyeing would be different from its weight post-dyeing.

I managed to tear myself away from weighing skeins of sock yarn to do some knitting. I did knit a swatch from my Dream in Color Classy on 2.75mm needles.

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Classy Swatch 111207

I got my desired gauge for sportweight socks: 6.5 stitches and 9 rows to an inch. Woo!

And I started work on my second Diagonal Lace sock.

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Diagonal Lace 111207

Lucy spent part of the day in my lap, part of the day here:

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Lucy 111207a

And part of the day here:

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Lucy 111207

P.S. to Janice:

Thanks for the popcorn!

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Popcorn 111207

Yum!

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Popcorn Popped 111207

When is a Sportweight Not a Sportweight?

When it’s a worsted weight.

Operakatz posed the following question in the comments last week:

I’m confused…the Boomerang I have is worsted weight…I know the Baby Boomerang is more fingering weight…is there also a sport weight?

Yup, Boomerang is worsted weight. I’m looking at the label as I write this and it states:

Gauge: 18 stitches = 4″, 25 Rows =4″, Needle size 8.

Sounds pretty worsted weight to me. But when I used it to knit my socks, I used a 2.75mm needle (U.S. size 2) and got 6.5 stitches/inch, which sounds pretty sportweight. And it makes a beautiful sock fabric at that gauge — nice and firm but not too stiff. Boomerang is incredibly soft yarn and the socks I’ve knit from it feel wonderful on the foot.

Speaking of using worsted weight yarn to make sportweight socks, I just got a skein of Dream in Color Classy — their worsted weight — from The Loopy Ewe to test-knit at a sportweight gauge to see how that works out for sportweight socks. I’m betting it’ll work just fine!

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Classy 111107

Speaking of Dream in Color, here’s the first Diagonal Lace sock, made from the Smooshy sock yarn in the “Strange Harvest” colorway. Yum.

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Diagonal Lace 111107

And a close-up:

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Diagonal Lace Closeup 111107

Cast-on/Bind-off

There were a couple of questions in the comments about my favorite cast-off for toe-up socks, and a question about cast-ons for top-down socks.

The bind-off I always use is a variation of a Russian bind-off. I execute it loosely as follows:

K2, slip these 2 sts back to the lefthand needle, K2TOG, *K1, SL 2 sts on righthand needle back to the lefthand needle, K2TOG *. Repeat from * to *.

I’ve seen it stated that you work it in purl all the way around, or in knit all the way around. When I am doing a ribbed cuff on a sock, I do the bind-off in ribbing, so I knit the knits and purl the purls. When it comes to working the 2 stitches together, I work it knit or purl, depending on what the second stitch of the two is.

I always use the same size needle as for the rest of the sock and I never have any problems with it being too tight.

As for cast-ons for top-down socks . . .

In the past five years I have knit exactly one pair of top-down socks, and for those I did a picot edge that used a provisional cast-on. So y’all are on your own there. icon wink When is a Sportweight Not a Sportweight?

Lucy’s Preferred Kitty Bed

Shazza asked:

So does Lucy not like her Cozy Cushion so much any more? I am cat bed shopping and was just curious…

Lucy has two Cozy Cushions, and she loves them both. She also loves her kitty bed. Which one she chooses depends on her mood and proximity to my current position — she likes to hang out near her momma whenever possible.

Lucy’s current position:

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Lucy 111107

Ripping Yarns

I’m pretty sure I’ve used that blog title before, but it fits today’s post so, wild woman that I am, I am using it again. Woo!

Here’s my new sock-in-progress.

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Diagonal Lace Sock 110807

My companions from this past weekend might remember this sock, but it looked a bit different. I had about 6 inches done on the foot when I decided that it looked too much like another sock I’d done, so the other day I ripped it back to the toe. I adjusted the pattern and started over.

The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in the “Strange Harvest” colorway. This is one of those colorways that really doesn’t look like much in the skein, but Boy Howdy! Does it ever knit up nicely! What looked like shades of mustard now looks like autumn leaves to me. icon smile Ripping Yarns

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Strange Harvest 110807

I just love a skein of yarn with a happy ending.

When I’m designing socks I often do this — start the pattern, decide it’s not quite right, and rip back to the toe. I did it on the Serpentine Socks I just completed — but I did so after only one pattern repeat.

If I really had my stuff together, I’d actually knit swatches of the patterns to see how they looked before putting them in a sock. Well, I do that sometimes, but more often than not, I’m too impatient to get started and just dive right in. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. C’est la vie.

Time here for a coupla questions from the comments . . .

KimW asked:

Can you tell us your favorite sport weight sock yarns?

Happy to! I think my very favorite is the Fiesta Boomerang I just used for the Serpentine Socks. I also am quite fond of Chewy Spaghetti sport weight, and Zen String Serendipity Sport. All of these yarns are available at The Loopy Ewe.

Kath commented:

I like Lucy’s little catbed! Great color. If you don’t mind my asking, is that a store bought or handmade?

That’s Lucy’s “kitty pi” made from my free pattern here. I went back through the blog archives, looking for the post where I documented finishing it. I finally found it here.

Lucy sez:

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Lucy 110807

“My Momma knows how to make a cozy warm kitty bed!”