Friday, February 13, 2009

Squirrel Nutkin

As soon as the sixth and final Socktopus club package arrived through the door I knew I was going to love it for the very simple reason that the yarn exactly matched the sweater I was wearing at the time.

I have given up on having one favourite colour and accepted that I am a true colour magpie; every colour is mine is my motto, it just needs to find its place. However, I have a weakness for some colours more than others and the autumnal red/orange/brown swathe of the colour wheel has proved the inspiration for more than a few projects and an only slightly tongue-in-cheek attempt to persuade my sister to have burnt orange bridesmaid dresses. (She knows me very well and we wore blue!)
January 318
This is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the special club colourway Sugar Maple and in real life it is a rich orange brown with the burnished copper sheen of a highly polished dining room table. The yarn is soft and doesn't feel as if it has the nylon content so useful in sock yarn but knits up smoothly into a great sock fabric.

As you see:
February 008

If you are a SuperSockySocktopod (try saying that fast) you will see that these Tear my Sole socks are ever so slightly deviated from the original. If you want to see how the pattern really looks, there are some great Ravelry pictures here.

The original pattern has an ingenious heel pattern which involves making very loose loopy stitches and then crossing them over each other to give a kind of woven section to the fabric. I knit the first repeat but I quickly realised that while I loved the technique, I also needed to want to pull these socks out of the sock drawer. The pattern results in a set of open diamonds down the back of the leg and whilst I'm all in favour of lace socks I could easily put my finger through these gaps and I knew that with the diamonds I just wouldn't wear the socks.

Cue a trip to the frog pond! The woven stitch pattern incorporated a row of purl stitches so rather than just knit the back in plain stst I purled a row every four rows to give the texture of the original pattern without the openwork and I'm really pleased with the result.
February 014

As I may have mentioned before, I am not small of foot and as the original pattern was knit for small to medium sized feet I decided to add in a few stitches to help with the fit. The cuff is knit as a 3st repeat so I added an extra three stitches and when it came to the leg pattern I simply added them to the plain panel at the front of the sock and left them there until the toe. When I got to the toe detail I decreased two stitches on the final row of the foot pattern by left and right leaning decreases at either edge of the plain panel. On the first row of the toe detail itself I knit two together at the centre point single knit stitch, which becomes invisible underneath the slip stitch detail.

Picture 014

My only other amendment was to knit 14 repeats of the plain heel flap, and pick up 14 sts on each side of the heel flap rather than 12 and 12, but I then decreased down to 11 sts on each of the sole needles in line with the pattern.

February 013

Right back at the beginning of the sock club adventure I promised myself that I would knit each sock to the pattern that came with it and it took a little bit of wrestling with my OCD tendencies to break the mould. I am so pleased that I did because I really love these socks and despite all the changes they have retained the originality and quirkiness that I admired in the original pattern.

Picture 015

Here endeth the 2008 Socktopus Sock club; and I think that this makes me officially a Queen Bee sock knitter for finishing all of the socks within the year - I'll do anything for badges.

5 comments:

  1. Those are gorgeous. Both the pattern with your mods and the color of that yarn.

    Congrats on meeting your goal of knitting all the socks...I'm impressed!

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  2. Nice colour, makes me think of Autumn.

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  3. Love the colour, love the socks.

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  4. Hi, these look fab! I love what you have done with the back of the leg! great idea!

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  5. Absolutely gorgeous socks - I think you made the perfect mod too!
    and congratulations for being such a good sock club finisher!

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