Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Socktoberfest Is Here!

All of my other projects are being neglected just so I can work on socks. Socks, socks, and more socks. I am loving Socktoberfest!

I finished Hoya Socksa #1 on Sunday night. I thought it was lovely; I thought it was perfect. I cast on for Hoya Socksa #2 and began the toe. Tra la la la la!

On Monday, I woke up and tried on Hoya Socksa #1, and . . . it didn't fit. Sigh. I thought using a slightly larger needle would give me a loose enough bound-off edge for the cuff of the sock, and I was horribly, terribly wrong! I spent Monday evening, re-working the bound-off edge and trying to achieve a cuff that would actually go over my heel. I looked up three or four different methods on the web, and either I couldn't understand the poorly written directions or the method didn't produce a loose enough edge. So after an hour or so of trial and error, I started experimenting!

I briefly remembered seeing in someone's directions how you can simply increase the number of stitches by 25% in the last row before binding off. My experiment included just a bit over 25%, and looks great! The cuff of the sock has 1 1/2 inches of 3 x 2 ribbing, so I increased one stitch between each of the two purl stitches all the way around the sock. I also bound off with a US size 3 instead of a US size 1 needle. It worked like a charm!

Now, I know I said I was a cuff-down kind of girl, and I'm sure you can tell that I am writing about a pair of toe-up socks. I realized in reading my pattern that my Hoya Socksa lace would not properly mimic the spires of Georgetown's Healy Hall unless they were pointing up, and the only way to make the pattern work would be to knit the socks from the toe up. It's not a bad way to make socks, but I still prefer cuff down.

My Hoya Socksas have a short-row heel--this is how I chose to avoid my aversion to toe-up socks. I generally like the look of a short-row heel because it mimics the heel in a store-bought sock. Uninformed non-knitters usually look at them and ask you where you bought your short-row socks, and this can be a great compliment since they obviously don't look hand-made. Socks with heel flaps and gussets just fit better though, and I absolutely prefer having a custom-fitted sock. I'll take the fit of a heel flap over the look of short rows any day!

I guess my next challenge will be learning how to do a heel flap in reverse to see if it fits the same or better than a regular heel flap. Then, and only then, will I become a toe-up convert.

Now quit reading blogs, and go knit some socks!!!

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