Friday, November 28, 2008

Why I like WW socks

3: They're soft and cushy
2: They're warm and cuddly
1: They're a very quick knit

If you use the right yarn-acrylic or wool-you'll get a cushy-soft sock that works up in a breeze. I'm almost at the toe shaping of a pair of socks I started a couple of weeks ago that probably wouldn't have taken more than a few days of knitting if I hadn't put the first one down to work on something else for awhile. I'm using Simply Soft Heathers in Truffle on #3 DPNs and it only takes 48 sts to make a sock for my size 8-1/2 wide feet-and they're even the teensiest bit big, which isn't bothering me because I can't stand snug socks.

Yes, I do like socks made from sock yarn too-but they take a bit longer because you're working on at least twice the stitches on smaller needles, and with my CTS, sometimes the really small needles are a pain to work with because one or both of my hands will go numb after awhile.

Another good yarn for socks-and yes, I have a pair on the needles for that too-is Cascade 220 Superwash. It's a lighter weight than the SS, but I'm still using the same size 3 DPNs and I have the same number of stitches as for the SS, but the Cascade is a bit stretchier than the acrylic, so the sock will still fit and not be too snug. I'm using a twisted rib pattern I'm making up and writing down as I go, so look for it to be posted in my patterns soon-it's a bit different from other twisted rib patterns in that I'm twisting the stitches on every sixth round so you can still see the ribbing, but it breaks up the monotony some, since I'm carrying the rib pattern all the way down the instep.

But with the damp, chilly winters we have here in SW Miss, I like a nice thick sock for keeping my feet warm-and winter is when I usually wear socks/shoes cause I hate anything on my feet-which is also why I usually make ankle socks-and those make up even quicker than other socks-although I might try a taller sock to see how the twisted rib looks on it when I go to make another pair, I just don't think I have enough of the Cascade to do it with these socks.

Another thing I just don't understand about most sock construction patterns-why do they distribute the stitches so that they have to be rearranged when you get to the heel shaping, and why do they put the instep stitches on one needle when they get through with the heel? That, to me, is an awful lot of work for a pair of socks. The ones I'm working on have the heel stitches already on the third needle (last needle worked in a round) and I haven't seen any difference in the way my plain socks look than ones where you have to do all that shifting around. Yes, there is a slight line down the front of the sock where the two needles were when the sock isn't on the foot, but you have to look real hard for it, and it doesn't really bother me-as long as you snug up the first stitch or two when you change needles you won't get ladders.

Another thing-the heel flap/turning/gusset shaping of most heel instructions in patterns. Well, that's an awful lot of work to put into a heel, and yes, I can do them, but I don't like the way they turn out or look on the finished sock-even the pictures of socks where people can probably do them better than me. Short row heels and toes are much neater and cleaner-looking than traditional heel/toe shaping and make the heel/toe look more like a store sock, but better-since you made it yourself.

While I'm on the subject of short row toes-yes, I meant on a top-down sock. I don't like the way the leg of the toe-up sock does, it's a bit too snug for my taste. And if the top-down sock makers already know how to graft toe stitches together, there isn't much difference in grafting the sock together at the end of the sock than it is grafting it together at the instep-except you have more stitches and it takes a bit more time. Yes, there is a slight line there where it meets-due to the difference in looks of back and forth st st and st st in the round, but that just makes the sock look more store-bought, and like I said, it's a very slight line which store-bought socks have yet to achieve, because they sew their socks together at the instep instead of grafting them.

So, those are my comments on why I like my way of constructing socks-yours may differ, and that's okay-just like there's no right or wrong way to knit or crochet, there is also no right or wrong way to construct a sock, as long as it looks like a sock when you finish it.

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