Stormy Socks

May 8, 2014 12:20 by Suzy

And the Sock Obsession continues...

For April's Sockdown Challenge, I chose Crocus vernus, a pattern from the featured designer Hunter Hammersen. I really liked the elegant floral lace pattern on these socks and couldn't wait to make them.

The yarn for this project had been in my stash for well over a year...I bought it just a month or two after I first started knitting. Purple is my absolute favorite color, and the Mountain Colors "Harmony Storm" colorway is a beautiful mix of purples and greys and greens. I wanted to use the yarn for socks, but I was very leery of sock knitting at that time. I wasn't really comfortable using DPNs and all the explanations of the Magic Loop or 2-circulars methods were beyond my comprehension. Plus, the descriptions of sock construction looked way too difficult. Or so I thought. Fast forward to 2014...I can't stop knitting socks, and this yarn immediately came to mind when I chose the Crocus vernus pattern.

Aren't they beautiful? I love the almost "ruffly" edge on the cuff, and the contrast of the lace pattern with the channels of yarnovers along either side. I completed 6 repeats of the pattern on the leg, with another 6 repeats on the foot before working the toe. The finished sock is a bit more snug than other socks that I have made, but they fit me very well and look so pretty on my feet.

In other news...

- I won a prize in the March Sockdown Challenge with my Slytherin Socks! I won a copy of the Intwined Pattern Studio software. I've never thought of designing my own patterns before, but with this software it might be fun...

- I'm taking a break from sock knitting (gasp!) and working on a long cowl/infinity scarf right now. My indigodragonfly club yarn for April is a worsted weight, and I thought it might be fun to work with heavier squishy yarn and big needles for a change. Loving it so far!

- When I do go back to sock knitting later this month, I will be tackling my first ever stranded colorwork project! I received a copy of Op-Art Socks for my birthday, and one of the Sockdown Challenges for May is mathematics/tech/geek so I plan to make the Fibonacci socks. Can't wait to get started on those...

Until next time, happy knitting!

Slytherin Socks

April 30, 2014 14:31 by Suzy

Back in February, I discovered a group on Ravelry called Sock Knitters Anonymous (SKA)...every month there is a different "Sockdown" Challenge with various options to choose from. Members choose the challenge option and cast on during the challenge month, and must finish the socks and post photos in the group by the end of the following month. It's a really fun group, and I like how the different challenge options encourage you to work outside your comfort zone. There are two featured designers each month, or you can pick one of the design/construction/theme challenge options. Some months there is also a Mystery Sock (MOCK) pattern as well.  At the end of each challenge period, the group moderators hold a random drawing from all of the completed projects for various prizes donated by some awesome pattern designers, yarn companies, and other knitting-related vendors. Great motivation to finish your socks, don't you think?  My Monkey Squalor socks were my first entry in the SKA of the February challenge options was designer Cookie A. She had TONS of patterns to choose from, and the Monkey pattern is one of her most popular on Ravelry.

For the March Sockdown, Heidi Nick was one of the featured designers. After browsing her patterns, and adding a bunch to my Ravelry Favorites, I decided to make the Dolores Umbridge socks. I really liked the mock cabling and the unique zig-zig running down each side. I had another indigodragonfly special edition colorway in my stash...Owl Week: A Bad Week To Be A Field Mouse in the Sad Lester Sock base. I fell hard for this gorgeous rich green as soon as it was featured on the website last summer. I was originally planning to make the Nennir cowl, which has a really cool Celtic knotwork pattern that I thought would be perfect with the green. Once I got the yarn, however, I realized it was not the best choice for a project to be worn around the neck. The Sad Lester Sock base is made from 100% Bluefaced Leicester wool, which I hadn't used before. The wool is soft, but not as soft as Merino wool or the other indigodragonfly Merino blends. It takes colors beautifully, however, which is why the green was so awesome. So, I decided to make socks from it instead.

Now, in case you are unfamiliar with the Harry Potter universe, Dolores Umbridge is a truly evil witch disguised as a sweet old lady. She acts syrupy sweet, dresses in pink with big bows on her head, and decorates her office with collectable kitten plates...and is a fan of incredibly severe punishments for anyone who crosses her, or anyone of less than pure Wizard blood. Creepy, creepy lady.  

In addition, most of the villains in the Harry Potter world are/were members of the Slytherin House at Hogwarts School of Magic. The colors of Slytherin are green and silver, and the mascot is a serpent.  So with a pattern name of Dolores Umbridge, and using striking green yarn, I had to name this project Slytherin Socks!

How amazing are these??? Cables twisting snake-like down the legs, all the way to the toes. 

This was a great first time working exclusively from charts, and I really liked the heel construction. Instead of a typical heel-flap, the increases for the gusset are worked at the same time as the heel, so there was no picking up stitches. Very cool.

So I definitely see myself knitting a pair of socks for each month's SKA challenge for the rest of 2014! I'm nearly finished with this month's challenge (good thing I have until May 31) and I already have my pattern and yarn ready for May. Stay tuned for more sock posts as they are completed!