Sunday, October 08, 2006

Identical, Fraternal?

**No Photos Tonight Due to Technical Difficulties Involving Card Reader**

Third time is the charm, indeed. I completed sock 1 of the Trekking XXL socks last night and cast on for sock 2 this morning. To answer the question posed in my title, I'm not so anal that every pair of socks must be identical. That's the beauty of hand knit, eh? It's unique. I do try to get my socks somewhat similar, though. With this particular yarn, I didn't find that a possibility. The yarn stripes, but I'm notfinding any true repeats in this skein. I'll have a pair of fraternal twin and quite beautiful socks in that case.

**Imagine Picture of Completed Sock 1 Here.** I did a 56 stitch cast on, two inches of ribbing at the top and a total of 5 inches in the cuff before starting the heel. I don't like terribly tall socks. The basis of my pattern is the sock "recipe" in the knitter's bible, aka Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. No knitter should be without this book.

I've almost managed to complete the cuff of sock 2, and **Imagine Picture Here** showing what it looks like on the 12 inch circular. Turtlegirl was curiuos about that.

My personal preference for knitting self striping or handpainted yarns is to keep the stitch pattern simple. I find that the simple stockinette shows off the colors in the yarn to best advantage. On the other hand, complicated cable and lace patterns just get lost in multicolored yarns, IMO. I prefer to use solid colors for patterned knitting.

That said, for a plain old stockinette sock, I find that knitting on a 12 inch circular seems to make the knitting fly by. Typically, I cast on using DPNs and join my knitting on the DPNs. I just find it easier to handle those little stitches on bamboo as opposed to the slippery Addi circulars until everything is joined nicely and neatly. After a couple of rounds, I transfer my stitches to the circular and knit the cuff. Then, I switch back to the DPNs for the heel flap, holding my instep stitches on the circular. I pick up the gussets and do the gusset decreases with the circular and knit the foot up to the point of decreasing for the toes which are done on DPNs. It just works for me. Usually, I will use DPNs exclusively for knitting lace or cabled socks.

I don't find that having 56 stitches on a 12 inch needle is too tight. I haven't made socks with fewer stitches, so I can't really say how my method would work if you had a smaller number cast on. Some people find the 12 inch needles too small to work with comfortably. I have large hands, and I find the small needles quite comfortable to use. You just have to get used to holding such tiny needles which is the case really with learning to use DPNs for the first time for sock knitting.


Blogger Vera said...

Think fraternal socks looks very charming.

6:56 AM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

When I have card reader problems it's usually fixed by removing and reinserting the card into the camera, and also checking that the batteries are in correctly (don't ask me how I know this. A-hem) and charged.

10:52 AM  

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