aswim in knits

Monday, March 27, 2006


I've been working on my Sockapaloooza socks. You may remember that I bought the yarn, Artyarns Ultramerino 4, at Webs last month.

I thought and thought and thought some more about what pattern to try. I looked in my Barbara Walker stitch books, and I looked at patterns in books and on line. I contemplated some more, and finally decided to go with my first instinct, which was to knit up some Jaywalkers.

Now, I like the Jaywalker pattern quite a bit. Apparently, so do many others. (Go ahead, click over. I'll wait...)

Yes, there are a lot of beautiful jaywalkers. The pattern intrigued me. But, did I want my sock pal to get just one of *many* similar socks? Can't I go out and whip up a gorgeous and unique pattern like Grumperina did in creating the first pair of Jaywalkers? Well, I probably could have come up with my own pattern, or found a less common one. But, I really *like* the way that the Jays look!

So, pal, you're getting a pair of Jaywalkers because I like them!

Did I mention that I decided to use the toe-up version of the Jaywalker pattern? I'm afraid that I might run short on yarn. I'll go toe up and see what I get, and buy more yarn later if I need it. My short row toe, using the directions in Wendy's basic toe-up sock pattern, came out pretty well.

Usually, I knit my socks two-at-a-time on a Magic Loop, using a 40" Addi Turbo needle. But, I decided to knit for a while on just one sock to see how I liked the combination of yarn and pattern. I knit up to the gusset on one sock, and liked it. There was a little bit of pooling that bothered me, but it was mostly visible on the sole, so I kept going.

I cast on for the second one, and knit up to the same point by Saturday night. Or so I thought.

The one on the left, the first one I knit, is clearly shorter. And you can see the pooling on the left one, but not quite so dramatically on the right one.

I decided that the problem was gauge -- one sock was shorter, and had the nasty pooling issues, because my gauge was slightly tighter. I was about to rip one of them back to the toe and start over. But, I exercised my self-imposed "no frogging after 10 p.m." rule and waited until Sunday morning.

Yeah, good plan. A large part of the problem was that somehow, one sock was one pattern repeat (2 rows) longer than the other one. The gauge was still a bit tighter on the first sock, which I knit as I was getting comfortable with the pattern, but hardly noticeable. The gauge between the 2 socks really didn't differ by any more than 1/8 of a stitch per inch. Hardly anything, and in fact the socks look to be the same size, until gauge is measured. Then they are off by about 1/8-1/4 of an inch in circumference. I never would have noticed, if not for the pooling!

So, I added the extra repeat to one sock and all was good. The socks are the same length, and I've started the gusset.

You can see that the color pooling on the two socks is more similar on the area right below the needle. I've knit up about 1/2" using the two-at-once technique, and I'm pleased to see that with the same gauge, the results are more consistent.

There is one other funny thing, though. Where the stockinette toe transitions to the pattern stitch, there are two "bumps" that form. With the predominantly green yarn, they make the socks look kind of like an aligator head. Come on, use your imagination now ...

Although I originally thought they looked like something else. Apparently Chaotic Chris had the same thought. (Scroll to the last picture in the post...) Hee hee.

I weighed my yarn just before starting the gusset, and had used about 19 grams of a 50 gram skein. I'm going to be cutting it close on the leg length. I'll have to see what I have left after I turn the heel. I did make another pair of socks using the same yarn, and did have some leftover yarn at the end. But, that was a lacy pair, which I think takes less yarn. And this pair, for my sock pal, is a bit wider. Her foot is 9.5" around, which is about 1/2" wider than the foot of the recipient of the other pair. We'll see!


  • Hee hee - oh, talk about perfect timing! "Great" minds and all that... ;)

    I LOVE the colors of these socks and how they're pooling - it looks like a river.

    By Blogger Chris, at 3:35 PM  

  • I think the pooling looks lovely ... more stripey and swirly than blotchy.

    They're lovely. Your sock pal will be so pleased.

    By Blogger Ruth, at 5:41 PM  

  • I love your Jaywalkers!! Absolutely gorgeous colorway- I love the blue/ green combo and the "pooling" doesn't look like pooling at all- more of a cool striped pattern effect which is really pretty. Yep, I definitely see the alligator head, among other things! ;-) Your sock pal is going to be thrilled with her new socks! Take care, Danielle! :-)

    By Blogger candsmom, at 12:48 AM  

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