Secret Sock Pal 2

June 27, 2005


I am beginning to feel a bit behind with progress for my Secret Sock Pal.

Lots of other members in the exchange have yarn, patterns, and a plan. Grumperina has conducted scientific tests regarding gauge and foot size. Carolyn is knitting socks at a remarkable rate to warm up. And Purly Whites is trying out patterns in practice socks to ensure sock perfection when it really counts.

I have .... a couple ideas and a fair amount of stashed sock yarn, none of which seems appropriate.

Also a factor is my serious stash of Kool-aid packets, featuring basically every flavor known to man. Dyeing yarn seems like the way to go. Which I will do as soon as I get around to ordering some more dyeable yarn. Hey, I have until September 15, all kinds of time!

This weekend I made a half-hearted attempt at trying out a sock pattern.


Although it might look like nearly nothing, this was in fact the beginning of Ann Budd's A Pair of Socks (the girl version) from Interweave Fall 05. (link to the pdf)

However, early on I decided this pattern with this yarn (Koigu P822, previously seen as a contender for the Chevron Scarf) ended up looking too messy. Instead of pretty ribbed socks, I went with the old standby, 2x2 ribbing.


and they're not for my sock pal. The yarn is seriously the color of antifreeze. I can't send that to someone I've never met! Besides, I kinda want to keep them...

July 21, 2005

Magic Looping it

So, its mid July, about time to get moving on the sockapal-2-za sock, right?


I decided that to try out some new techniques for extra knitting motivation: a picot edge and the magic loop.

Magic Loop is quite cool. From the beginning, I was unconvinced that this techinique would work seamlessly. I figured there would be a seam to block out later. But there is no seam! It really is magic!


The picot edge, inspired in the most part by Claudia (see April 12 entry) , was kinda tricky. On my first try, I knit together the cast-on row with the 5th row after the YO row, rather haphazardly, and it ended up very biased (as in diagonal). So I undid that.

This morning, I was up uncharacteristically early, at 5:30 or something ridiculous, so gave it another try. This time I looked at The Big Book of Knitting, which recommends using an extra knitting needle to pick up the cast-on stitches. This worked - no biasing!

Here's what the back looks like:


Although the edge does seem to flare out a bit, I am hoping that will calm down with washing. It will, right?? I'm not sure if I'm up for redoing the edge again. but it is for my sock pal, so perfection is the aim..

July 25, 2005

Building a better picot edge

Sometimes it takes more than one try to get it right. I am still not convinced that picot edge perfection has been obtained, but its getting closer.

Here's the second iteration of the picot edge (the first was very short-lived and did not make it to the photography stage). This 4-row facing was knit with the same needle size as the rest of the sock. However, even after a trial blocking, the edge still wanted to flare out.


Next I tried a using a size smaller needles for the facing, and knit it for 7 rows. I secured the facing by knitting one round together with one loop of the cast-on. It works a lot better, and though it wants to flare a little, mostly behaves.


I'm going with the above picot edge for this sock, and maybe try something a *little* different for the next one.

BTW, this yarn is Koigu, shade 822.

July 27, 2005

A bit more on the magic loop

So there were some questions on the magic loop. Adele metioned encountering problematic loose stitches at the initial join. I haven't had this issue at all, in fact, I've found that magic loop causes less problems at joins than DPNs. A photo demo seems in order.

I learned magic loop entirely from this internet demo.

Here's the sock in progress. I am using a 32" US size 2 Addi turbo needle. Apparently longer needles work even better, but this one has been fine so far.


Note the closed loops at either side. This is one thing I've found is crucial for no-loose-stitches at the join: cross the cord at either side. This reduces the pressure on the stitches there.

Here are some close ups of either side.



This is about 6-7 stitches into the round. Since the back stitches are resting on the circular needle cord, when you pull the first stitch tight, the previous one can get even tighter than the needle circumference. So the little bit of unavoidable looseness can even out later.

Hope this is helpful to any aspiring magic-loopers out there!

July 29, 2005

Um, is this going to be a problem?

I finished the first sock pal sock! It took about a week of knitting time. I wasn't knitting anything else during this week, which should give you a sense of how much knitting time I have these days - not much!

But I am worried. It looks huge. Is it going to be too big for my sock pal??

Here it is compared to my standard ribbed sock. These socks both have the same yarn(Koigu), same needle size(2), same number of CO stitches(60). The only difference is that one has ribbing and the other does not.



The sock pal sock measures 8.5" inches around, unstretched, and my sock pal's foot circumference is 9". So this should be good, right? Even though it looks huge, it is really okay, right?

please say yes.

August 2, 2005

For you, sock pal, minty socks

I have finished the really-large-looking but actually correctly-sized sock pal socks!

Thanks everyone for your reassurance regarding the first huge-looking sock. Its good to hear that others have run into this issue as well.


Its quite possible that the magic loop made a difference in terms of speed. I cast on for the second sock on Saturday AM with DPNs, worked the picot edge and a few rows after it, then switched to the Magic Loop. Knitted on and off all weekend, through 3 fine episodes of Six Feet Under, then by Sunday evening, the sock was done! It was rather speedy. Maybe the Magic loop makes the actual knitting faster, or maybe the technique is so streamlined that I tend to knit for longer amounts of time..hmmmm

I still love my Crystal Palace DPNs, but Magic Loop is moving up there..

Here's the Koigu remaining:


Phew! Knitting socks with Koigu is a bit nerve-racking. You can do it with 2 skeins, but you've got to be careful. I always get concerned about running out of yarn towards the end. My very first pair of socks ever was knit with Koigu, and I ran out of yarn like 3 rows away from the end! Next time I may try toe-up, so no worrying.


The two balls of yarn are ever-so-slightly different in shade. This could be because I bought them months apart, at different yarn stores even!

and, I even washed and blocked these socks. I never block socks, usually just wear them a couple times then throw them in the wash. But for you, sock pal, blocked socks.

September 22, 2005

A good day for socks

The same day I sent off my sockapal2za socks (admittedly, quite close to the deadline), mine came in the mail.

I sent these:


and got these:


This exchange is really cool. You make a pair of socks, and get a pair in return. Although I understand how that works, actually receiving the socks from my pal was like an unexpected bonus. a really nice unexpected bonus!

Shannon knit them in the Friday Harbor Pattern. from Blue faced leicester yarn. They fit perfectly! The yarn is soft, and I think they'll be very warm in the winter.


My favorite part is how the pattern extends over the toe area.


Thanks, Shannon!

Also today we have a new blog debut. I recently designed Caitlyn's new site, Knot Without My Knitting. I am not going to lie - I am super pleased with it :-) Do check it out!


April 19, 2006


All day yesterday I wore these socks that kept falling down. I think this must have inspired a recent elastification of knit goods...

The first victim was a finished sockpal sock.


The sock is a 3x1 rib throughout, then about 1 inch at the cuff is 1x1 rib, worked in solid red yarn. It took like 4 tries to bind off this sock.. I used the tubular cast-off, but it kept turning out not quite right. Then, it seemed like they'd get out of shape very quickly, so added some elastic.


The elastic is actually sold as jewlery cord. Its quasi-clear, and stretchy. I threaded it through one side of every knit stitch. And it does help! Its not too tight... just enough to keep the cuff in shape. If its totally annoying for my sockpal, the elastic is removable.

Then, I figured my knee socks could use the same treatment. They are totally not falling down.


Finally, and the reason I bought the elastic in the first place, my legwarmers. These are one of favorite knit projects, but the only time I tried to wear them, they fell down before I even got to the subway. Shouldn't happen now that they are elastified!


April 23, 2006


Sockpal socks are complete! thank god. These were my primary project for the past week and a half, and I am very happy to have them done.


Yarn: Knitpicks color your own, dyed with kool aid.
Pattern: 68 stitches, 3x1 rib on instep and leg. Turkish cast on for toe, short row heel.
Needles: size 1 40" circ
Stripes: 10 red stripes from toe to heel (not including the bit of red starting the toe); 10 purple stripes from heel to cuff.

Since December, I've knit a number of pairs of socks with knitpicks color your own sock yarn.
1. Red Elfine socks for my aunt
2. Stripey stockinette socks for my mom
3. Cascading leaves socks in green
4. The green and orange knee socks
5. These sock pal socks

No wonder I need to a break from it!


For the elastic, I worked 3 rows, then knotted the two ends and wove them in. its quite likely that there is a better way to do this.. but this method works.

Sockpal, I hope you like these!



diana AT streetsandyos DOT com