Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Pair of Flamers

So I finished these several days ago, and just haven't posted them until now. Today, the sun is out and it seemed like an ideal day to get that elusive Natural Lighting Photo that I hear so much about. Just for a recap, they are Yarnissima's Firestarter Socks (ravelry link) in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the colourway Flames. I am so in love that I am offering far more photos than are strictly necessary. First, just a couple to display how hard it is to get a flattering photo of one's own feet. Then a couple of close ups, just to show off.

I have to agree with others who have mentioned that the variegated handpainted yarns don't really show off the cable pattern along the sides very well. However, they do make the stocking stitch look great, and the purled gussets look phenomenal with the added colour variation, so I'm still a little up in the air about whether I would use it again for this pattern. (And yes, I did enjoy the pattern enough to do it again. Normally a pair of socks is enough for one pattern, but this one was pretty engaging and turns out so nice, with no little unsightly gaps at the heel/gusset area or anything.)

Of course, the other potential concern with handpainted sock yarn is that you find pooling in some places. The funny thing with this pattern is that I got such an even stripe through the areas with the same number of stitches, but then as you increase for the gusset, it changes the pooling, and then when you go up a needle size (or two) the whole thing changes again. I got a lot of pooling toward the top of the socks -- in the back of the calf area, there is a big purple/pink pool on both. I am learning to Live With The Pooling. Knitting socks can also be a lesson in acceptance and appreciation of the randomness of life.

As I was saying, I did change things a bit when I got to the top of the sock -- I did another increase in needle size, just to add a bit more shaping. I had initially thought that I might add some purl stitches into the ribbing to make the shaping for my large calves. Because the pattern already called for one increase in needle size for shaping, I decided to just to do an additional one, rather than adding stitches. It worked just fine, but left the upper part of the sock a bit loosey-goosey, since they gauge is way more than the yarn would ideally be at. In future, I might opt for the added purls instead.

Overall, I am a big fan of this knit, and definitely recommend it for knitters ready to take on cabling without a cable needle on some cool toe-up socks.

Now on to the charity knit... and then... sewing?

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