Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Tale of Two Socks and Two Shawls

It was the best... No. Sorry.

I've been working on the Twisted Tweed socks in the absence of anything else that's managed to capture my attention. Back when I first started them, I wrote here that I was a bit concerned that the slipped stitches would make the sock a lot less stretchy, and therefore difficult to put on. Back in the day (last year or the year before, who knows, I've lost all track of time), I knit my Tilting Sunset socks using a similar (but not identical) technique. If I remember correctly, and it's entirely possible that I do not, the pattern for the TS socks involved slipping a stitch for a couple of rows and then moving it one or two stitches to the right or left, creating some tilted and elongated stitches running up and down and around the socks:

(The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy, Cloud Jungle colorway. Amazing.) These stitches do, indeed, reduce the elasticity of the sock. Once they are on, they're fantastically comfortable, being Smooshy and all, but it does take a little finesse to get them on, particularly over that lumpy heel and ankle area.

Luckily, my fears about the simple slip stitches in the Tweed Socks were unnecessary. In this sock, you slip stitches with yarn in front on every other row, which compresses the row gauge a bit and reduces elasticity somewhat, but not enough to make it difficult to get the sock on.

As always, my meager photographic skills don't do the yarn justice (Sundara Sock Yarn, Sage over Pumpkin). The slip stitch pattern really works with this yarn, creating a lovely tweedy effect. I'm almost done with the first sock.

I'm still considering what to do for my next non-sock project. The smoke ring thing doesn't seem to be working out right now, or at least, the yarn I chose didn't seem to want to be a smoke ring. So I gathered up some magazines and some books to look for some inspiration and honed on in "Knitted Lace of Estonia," which some of you will remind me I had said would likely be the source of my next project while I was still working on the Simple Knitted Bodice.

I should pay more attention to myself.

Upon first glancing through the book, I thought that I would knit Madli's Shawl, a nice rectangular shawl with lots of lovely nupps. But then I found a lovely laceweight version of Miralda's Triangular Shawl, which just sent my plans into turmoil. The version of the shawl in the book is made with fingering weight yarn instead of laceweight. In my opinion, the delicacy and beauty of the pattern is completely lost in that yarn. If I had only seen the version of the shawl in the book, I wouldn't even be thinking about knitting it. Now, having seen what it can look like in a more delicate yarn, well...

This is what I love about Ravelry! (Or hate, depending.) There are so many variations on patterns that we can't all visualize, so it's wonderful to get to see those variations made real.

But now I don't know which one to do! From nothing, to too much, in one day.



Scott T. said...

oh, I can see the pattern in the second sock much better than when you show me at home; now I see why you keep trying to get me to see that it's a cool pattern. of course the color looks totally different in the picture.

kippi said...

so pretty! Hate it when the socks won't go over my heel. Both pairs are fantastic.

As are both of the shawl patterns. Do you feel you need some zen time (repetitive pattern)? if so, go with the Madli. The Miralda one looks more fun. They both are beautiful though. what are your yarn choices for each pattern?

Sharon said...

I like the rectangular shawl. What yarn would you use?

How was your Thanksgiving? Life has been crazy busy. I hope you're well. As usual, I have sock envy looking at yours!

Loren T said...


You're just going to have to learn how to knit socks. It's as simple as that. I can only imagine how crazy busy things have been for you lately. I hope you managed to take a little time to relax on Thanksgiving (ha! she said, knowing what her own paltry Thanksgiving was like), or at least had fun.

I think for the Estonian shawls I would break out that Yarn Chef laceweight I custom-ordered. I think it would look beautiful in one of those patterns.

Sharon said...

I'm thinking I will return to socks in the darkest days of winter (February). I think I told you that I took a sock class last January, and completed a beautiful sock that was too small for my foot. I was so disheartened I put it all away, never getting to the second one. All of your recent work is just lovely, Loren. You are a true artist.

I drove a Swanson 6th grader to Hebrew school with my daughter yesterday, and asked him if he knew a Jake T. at school. His name is Max B. (protecting the names of the innocent here). He said he did!


Loren T said...

I'm glad to hear that you plan to revisit socks, Sharon. They really are a pleasure to knit and to wear. I think once you get one that fits right, you'll never look back. I'm happy to enable you at any time :)

I asked, and apparently the boys are in Star class together. Jake says Max is a good guy, and Jake's pretty picky, so that says a lot. Maybe I'll get to meet him at Colonial Fair tomorrow.

BTW, I pulled him out of his reading slump with some P.G. Wodehouse. He's hooked now.


Sharon said...

I'm impressed--Wodehouse is great!! Next you'll have him reading C.K. Chesterton. :-)

My Sam is into the Twilight series, which she really wants me to read along with her. We saw the movie a couple of weeks ago and it was ho-hum. I so WANT to be a good Mom and share these books with her, but I know they're going to bore me to death (and take me away from all the books I have stacked on my bedside table, not to mention my New Yorkers). Oh, the real life dilemmas of a 21st century Mom.

Sharon said...

Max's parents will stand out: his Mom Marcy is probably over 6 feet tall, and his Dad Scott is VERY short. They are a great family. We know them well. I only mentioned to Max that you were a Mom I emailed with about knitting. I don't know your last name, and Max couldn't remember Jake's, so your anonymity is preserved!

Loren T said...

Weird, Sharon. Usually when someone comments here, I get an email. I didn't get one for your last two comments. Hmmm.

I'm kind of glad I don't have a girl, so I don't have to get sucked into the Twilight thing (pun sad, I know). Think of it this way -- they're probably very quick reads ;)

It's a small world here in Arlington. I'm surprised that we only kind of crossed paths that one time.