Thursday, December 21, 2006

Just Add Whipped Cream

Last night, in the cafe of the Barnes & Noble at the Waterworks mall, there occurred a gathering of sheep:

Just kidding! There were indeed quite a few sheepy tape measures there, but there were even more knitters:

Clockwise from left: my darling J, who allowed me to drag him out even though he'd only just flown in from Chicago yesterday afternoon (the one non-knitter in the bunch); blogless Betsy; Donna, working two socks at once with magic loop; blogless Lori, making her long-awaited return to the group; Amanda, working on the endless cream shrug; Jen, working on a sock, presumably the mate to this one; Jenn, knitting a knee high out of luscious purple Trekking; and, on the table in front, the start to my second Pomatomus. (Notice that Jenn has her camera at the ready, awaiting the arrival of everyone's favorite 40 drinker. And he did not disappoint. I think the two of us would rather forget the new view we had of him this month, to be honest.)

What you can't see is what was in my bag as my show and tell for the evening:
Pattern: Pumpkin Pie Socks (original design by yours truly)
Yarn: Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4 Ply (100% merino), colors 736 (MC) and 737 (CC)
Needles: US 2 Knit Picks circulars
Gauge: 28 sts and 40 rows = 4 inches
Started/Completed: ~October 26/December 19

These were the first socks I truly designed myself, although I'm the first to admit they're nothing extraordinary. The yarn was bought on closeout at WEBS, although the colors were different in person than they appeared on the screen. The pumpkin-y shade was pretty accurate, but the contrast color turned out to be a light peachy shade rather than the cream I was expecting. Still, these two together reminded me of a slice of pumpkin pie topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

The design is relatively simple: pure stockinette with a twisted 1x1 rib at the top (for added elasticity to keep the sock up) and a slip-stitch heel. The last stitch of each round in the stockinette portions was purled to create a faux seam up the back of the leg, and the paired decreases (K2tog and SSK) were done on either side of this stitch. The resulting slant given to the stockinette around the calf results in a nice tailored fit along the contour of the calf muscle.

I started this sock with two skeins of each color, and used one of each while knitting each sock, but there is probably enough yardage left to make a another (obviously shorter) pair in the opposite color scheme.
I'd be happy to share the pattern with you, but I don't think you'd really want it, as it's written to match my specific leg measurements -- much like Grumperina, I have rather shapely calves. If there's any interest, I'll be happy to write up a tutorial on how to design your own socks like these.
Although these certainly took a little longer than the average pair of socks (though not much, what with all the stockinette), I know these will definitely not be my last pair of knee highs.


  1. PLAID BOXERS. I don't think I'll ever be able to erase that image from my memory. I guess it could have been worse, they could have said "Hi Ladies" or something like that. Blech.

    So twisted rib is more elastic than regular ribbing? Huh. I learned something new today! I always thought it was just to be pretty. The Pumpkin Pie socks are very pretty!

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