Is it Groundhog Day, again?

Log Cabin SocksThis week I feel like Phil Connors (Bill Murray) in the movie, Groundhog Day.

At this point I can’t even remember how many times I’ve knit this sock. Just as I think I’ve got it done, I find another reason to rip all or part of it out.

The one on the upper left was done on 3.75mm needles (per the pattern) and the one on the right was done on 4mm needles. The ones on the larger needles are a much better fit; not so tight. So, don’t let the picture of the skinny model in the book or a swatch of stockinette stitch deceive you. The cables will make the fabric less stretchy and possibly a bit tight unless you do some adjustments.

The mate to the second edition is still in progress after having been ripped back to the heel flap to correct a problem with the last cables. Upon finishing the toe I noticed that one side got turned the opposite way. Oh, I hate when that happens!

While ripping out the yarn on the mate, I got thinking about that last set of cables on the heel flap. Doesn’t it look a bit odd  with only two turns? It does to me . So, I checked the book again and noticed that the socks in the picture don’t have that cable! I could just scream at the editor and/or designer. Why was this tidbit of info left out of the pattern. Oh well, there’s only so much rework that even I’m willing to do. Besides, I’m dying to start a new project. Look at the yarn that arrived in the mail this week. It’s from  Virtual Yarns and will become this scarf.

Log Cabin Socks

Log Cabin Socks half done

This week I finally did cast on and start the Log Cabin socks from “Handknit Holidays”. I dumped the idea of doing a tubular cast-on in favor of a “K2, P2” cast-on. Here’s a photo of the edge.

There really wasn’t any reason to worry about the elasticity of my cast-on edge since the yarn I’m using already had lots of it. In fact, my swatch ended up being about 1/2 inch larger than the gauge listed in the pattern. I tried to be a diligent knitter adjusted my needle size but after much trial and error found that the cables constricted the fabric so much, that when I used 3.75mm needles as recommended in the book, the circumference of the sock amazingly matched the final measurements. The picture illustrates this by showing that the “cuff” of the sock is somewhat larger than the leg.

As with many projects, this one has turned out to be quite different than expected. I had visions of a somewhat over-sized sock that would be comfortable to wear around the house or with slippers. That’s not quite how they’ve turned out. The fit is snug compared to the photo in the book. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t like the socks, they’re just not quite like I expected.

I’d also like to note that the cable design on these Log Cabin socks is very similar to another pair I knitted last year called Crossing Cables. It’s interesting how such a  similar design can be knit with different construction methods.  I think the designer of the Crossing Cables sock is much more experienced at knitting cables and actually has a more technically correct way of doing these cables.

So here’s a close-up of the yarn, Cork by Rowan. Click on the photo for an expanded photo.

Rowan Cork

Isn’t it a really odd yarn structure? Reminds me of softly spun singles that have been felted before being made into I-cord. The result is a very soft sponge-like yarn with tons of elasticity. Too bad I won’t have an opportunity to use this yarn in future projects. Rowan discontinued it last summer.

Analysis Paralysis

In the software development world, one can’t help but hear the phrase “analysis paralysis“. We’ll this past week I’ve been stuck in that mode as I try to decide on which cast-on method to choose for the Log Cabin socks from “Handknit Holidays”.

I’m not a novice when it comes to knitting socks but I still can’t help wondering if I’ll ever come across the perfect 2×2 cast-on.

Here’s my attempt at swatching the tubular cast-on as shown in “Basic Knit and Crochet” by Ondori.

2x2 tubular cast on relaxed

2x2 tubular cast on stretched

Kind of sloppy for my taste. OK, I will admit that if I had used a smaller needle it might have come out better but I don’t think that would get rid of the splayed knit stitches.

At this point, I’m toying with the idea of doing an provisional cast-on and then binding off using the sewn method show in Simple Socks. It won’t be the first time I’ve used that method but to be honest, I really didn’t think it was all that elastic.

Funny thing is, this afternoon I happened to see this commercially made knit hat (made by Pistil) in a shop that has a very neat elastic edge. It didn’t look like any cast-on / bind-off that I’ve seen before. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how it was done and although it’s a splendid cap, I wasn’t willing to plunk down money for it just so I could figure out how the edge was finished.