Monday, June 25, 2007

Finished: J's Gray Ribbed Socks

Pattern: 2x2 rib worked over 64 stitches
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton Fantasy (45% cotton, 42% wool, 13% nylon), colorway 814, one skein
Needles: one US 1 (2.5 mm) 32" Knit Picks circ, worked magic loop
Started/Completed: June 13/June 24
Recipient: He Who Wears Gray Socks

These were quite possibly the most boring socks ever to knit, and it was a real struggle to slog through both of them. Although I really like how ribbing looks and fits, I can't stand knitting it because moving the yarn from front to back and back to front really slows me down. Perhaps if the yarn had been more colorful I wouldn't have had as much of a problem; although this yarn was somewhat self-patterning, it was still all shades of gray. The only way I managed to get through the second sock as quickly as I did was by making my Embossed Leaves sock off limits until these were done.

I have a mixed opinion about this yarn. On the one hand, it's nice to find a sock yarn that isn't all wool and therefore is suitable for more temperate spring and fall days, especially as J's feet often get overheated in wool socks. I've certainly been making more of an effort lately to try cottons and cotton blends for the summer months. However, I had the same problem that I've always had when knitting with cotton -- it's just so much harder on my hands than wool. Even with the wool and nylon content in this yarn, I found my hands aching if I knit too much on these socks in one sitting. I also found myself tugging and pulling at the yarn to maintain an even tension, and it's definitely much less elastic than a wool sock yarn.

Although this yarn did self-pattern to a degree, I didn't worry about trying to get the striping pattern to match up. (I know you're really shocked at this, what with my normal OCD-ness about matching stripes in socks. Take a minute to recover if you need to.) My main reason for not matching the stripes, despite the urge I had to do so, was that I was worried about running short on yarn. Had these socks been for me, I would have had no qualms about cutting out a large section of yarn to start the second sock in the right place, but J's feet are considerably larger. I'm always nervous about running out of yarn, but in this case I just didn't want to risk it.

In any case, J is very pleased with how these look and I'm hoping will be just as excited about how they feel on his feet.

Once these were finally off the needles, I allowed myself to return to my Koigu socks. I don't know if it's just the the Koigu is so wonderfully soft or if it was that in combination with the fact that it's so much softer than the yarn for J's socks, but this knitting is so much softer, gentler, and more pleasurable. I'm already into the heel flap -- and of course I'm already getting nervous about running out of yarn!

I made good progress on the first sleeve of Aidan's sweater last night, but I've decided not to kill myself trying to finish it by the weekend. I've got too much to do in the way of cleaning and other preparations for houseguests this weekend. Plus, it will be so much fun to package it up and send it off!

5 comments:

marirob said...

I love those socks, it's so hard to find good sock yarn for guys. And I hear you about the cotton content - whenever I knit with cotton, I have to take lots of breaks. Can't wait to see your Embossed Leaves socks completed!

carrie said...

perfect guy socks. i'm sure "he who wears gray socks" will love 'em.

Jess said...

Strong follow through! I always admire a good slog. :) On to the fun!

Jen said...

They look lovely! I would have never been able to tell that they didn't match perfectly had you not said something!

Stephanie said...

I always like slightly mismatched socks, maybe I'm just odd...and I totally know what you mean about the ribbing. that's how my first socks were...well, how my first socks would have been, if I had ever finished them(way too boring for me)! A+ for sticking through it ;)