April 1st, 2007

red panda eating bamboo

My first knitted socks

I finished knitting my first pair of socks.

I used some German self-striping sock yarn, I don't remember the brand, washable wool/polyester. It wasn't the softest stuff I've ever knit with, but it feels good on my feet.

I used the Universal Toe Up Sock Formula from Knitty.com. This pattern works quite well to create a custom fitted sock (although for me the toe came out a bit too narrow. I have wide forefeet).

I had one problem with the pattern: When I went to start knitting in the round again after making the heel, there were holes in the corners. The pattern suggests that you make some extra stitches to compensate, but that didn't work for me.

I knit them on size 2 Brittany birch DPNs, which I loved. The gauge is a bit looser than I prefer for socks, though; if I did them again with DPNs I would use size 1. They are stockinette except for an inch of 2x2 ribbing at the top.

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My next sock project will use circular needles. I like working with DPNs; it's portable and most of the sock could be done without my full attention. And the yarn did not slide off the DPNs nearly as often as I expected it to, but it did do so a couple of times. I want to see if I can learn to do circular needle socks the same way and if doing socks on circs will solve the problem of ladders where one DPN shifts to the next. (I did find a way to solve that, which my brain isn't letting me describe in words right now. But the way I used would make doing patterned socks more difficult, I think).
red panda eating bamboo

moebius moebius moebius

I tried to make a Moebius scarf using Cat Bordhi's A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting. I failed to check the cast-on carefully for only one twist, and it ended up as a scarf with one side but three half twists instead of one.

I used one skein of Mountain Colors handpainted "Mountain Goat" worsted weight yarn, 55% mohair and 45% wool, and #8 needles. This made a scarf with about a 65" circumference and 5" wide (ribbed). The yarn is absolutely luscious - soft, light, warm, and developing a lovely halo.

I finished it with an applied I-cord edging of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK, 80% alpaca and 20% silk. This yarn feels lovely but is very delicate. If you knit with the brand-new yarn it's OK, but if you frog it and try to knit with it again, it starts splitting very easily. It's hard to tink and impossible to un-knot. I won't be buying it again.

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I haven't given up on Cat Bordhi's Moebius cast-on, but the first Moebius scarf I made used a different method for casting on (you cast on half the stitches and then pick up from the bottom edge for the next half...not sure if I'm explaining that very clearly) and I didn't have the problem of extra twists. Also Bordhi's cast-on, because it is over two cables, is either very tight to knit into or produces a loose center to your Moebius strip. A lot of Bordhi's projects are felted in which case the loose center wouldn't matter.