Sunday, January 6, 2008

Sockswatch Sighting Sundays

I don't know how long I'm going to last at doing this regularly, but hopefully, every Sunday I'll have a post with at least one stitch pattern swatched for socks using variegated colorways. I have so much magpie yarn (multiple color sock yarn) and for months now I've been wishing I had a way to tell what a particular pattern might look like in a variegate yarn. Indeed much of my non-knitting of socks is related to that problem. Since most stitch dictionaries etc use a solid yarn and since my visualization skills are still young (or possibly non-existant) I decided that this year I'd try to do someting about that.

So I'm taking a representative yarn from my stash and making a 72 stitch (approximately the stitch count that I'd need for fingering weight socks) circular swatch to try out some pattern options. I plan to draw the stitch patterns from stitch dictionaries, sock knitting books, and occasionally probably from patterns I have collected but worry about the pattern disappearing in the color changes. I'm going to try for two patterns a time, one on each "half" of the swatch.

For this first batch of swatches I'm using Yarn Pirate merino fingering weight in the "Rum Runner" colorway which was the first yarn in her Booty Club. I'm knitting the swatch on KnitPicks Harmony DPNs in the 2.25mm size 1 which I think is giving me the gauge I would need (8.25 stitches/inch) to get the right dimension for my foot at 72 stitches per inch so it should be a fairly good test for swatches.

First up, from the January 3 and January 6 pages of the 365 Knitting Stitches a year perpetual calendar. Brick Rib (Jan 3) and Simple Lace Rib (Jan 6).

Brick Rib

Simple Lace Rib

The first step was to circularize the patterns of course. After that I did one full repeat through the Brick Rib pattern on one side with 3 repeats through the Simple Lace Rib pattern on the other. I added a couple of rows of another repeat of each, mostly to see what happened with the Brick Rib since that changes from knit to purl again there, before switching to stockinette to see what the yarn would do knit plain.

The Brick Rib would make a reasonable ribbing for the top of a sock leg. It's got a nice elasticity and it is more interesting to work than plain ribbing might be. But it doesn't seem like the pattern is even discernible. Maybe a full second repeat through would make it more noticeable although that might be a bit long for just a cuff. It might make a good choice for an all over pattern though. Particularly in a sock yarn with less single row stripeyness. Or with colors that were closer together maybe.

The Simple Lace Rib looks kinda nice in the variegate even with the two color one row each alteration thing going on. Although it's definitely not nearly as clear as it is in the solid color on the calendar page. But it is noticeably less stretchy than the Brick Rib was. It might make a good leg pattern if you wanted a lacy sock with a vertical line to it.

I think I also need to work on the photography skills. If I can take a better photo showing the patterns better I'll replace these.

In holiday knitting news, I finally finished the FoUI's footwear. (Sorry - but once I hit that third F I just couldn't stop myself.)
the FoUI in his socks showing the fronts

and the backs

He says it is cool how the teal/turquoise meanders about. In fact I think it is a bit of a selling point for him. Guess that means he has the magpie gene too. I kind of like it too but I can easily see myself getting all obsessive trying to figure out why they moved differently. So now that they're done I've got to move on to something else before I succumb to that curiosity.

Unfortunately, I didn't finish until 1pm today so I didn't quite make my goal. But he seems to think they were worth waiting for. They went on for the day when I gave them to him, and he said they fit well and pretty much asked to have a second pair go into the queue asap. Although later he said he'd had to take them off because his feet were hot. So I'm not sure if I'll have to make another pair really really soon or not.

1 comment:

Sheepish Annie said...

Oh, those are cool lookin' socks! I really should do more swatching and stuff. I'd probably have fewer sock-related tragedies that way...