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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Socks

Rose City Rollers

I have a finished pair of socks!  They're just short, little socks, but they're socks.  They were also more involved than they should have been, through no fault of the pattern.  Sit back and let me tell you a story!

For years I've been making the Footie Socks for sleep socks.  They are just enough sock to keep my feet warm when the temperatures drop but not so much that my feet get hot.  Unfortunately, some of the socks relax a bit too much when I wash them (drying doesn't seem to snap them back) and they tend to fall off my feet under the covers.  When I saw the Rose City Rollers sock pattern, I thought those might work better.  They come up higher on the top of the foot and even have a little cuff around the ankle.  I think this might help the socks stay on, even if the yarns relax a bit.

So I went to my basket of possibilities (the basket I put leftover yarn skeins that are partially used, but still have 50% or more of their yardage) and grabbed some Hue Loco MCN/Vintage Sock in Dodecahedron, leftover from a pullover I made a couple of years ago.  I tossed the sock project in the car when we took Caleb to school, but once I got started I stopped looking at the pattern.  The pattern calls for a traditional heel flap but I did a Fish Lips Kiss heel (short rows) instead.  In a typical 100% wool or wool/nylon blend sock yarn I think it would have worked out just fine.  Unfortunately, this particular yarn (80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) doesn't have as much elasiticity as my usual sock yarns.  With my high arches (and insteps) and the lack of a gusset at the heel turn, they were really snug across the instep.  

I went ahead and finished the first sock though and as I knitted towards the toe, I started to figure out there was something going on.  95% of all the socks I've knit for myself have 64 rounds between the heel turn and the toe decreases.  This works out whether the socks have a traditional heel flap or a short row heel.  Occasionally I get a pair that needs only 60 rounds and a couple have needed 68 rounds, but the vast majority have 64 rounds in that section.  These socks?  78 rounds!

At this point I realized that the problem might have to do with the yarn.  I've only knit two other pairs of Merino/Cashmere blend socks and this was the first time I used this particular yarn base for socks, so I don't know if they all have a little less bounce or if it's this specific base, so I decided the best thing to do would be to start over and re-knit the sock.  This time through I did the traditional heel flap as the pattern calls for and the instep fits better.  It still took 78 rounds to get to the toe decrease, but I have a pair of really soft and beautiful socks that fit now.  I'd like to knit another pair using a more traditional sock yarn, and I haven't slept in these yet, but I know now to keep an eye on these luxury blends because they're different from traditional sock yarns.


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