Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Stealth Sock

I can't believe I knit the whole thing. I never meant to. You see, I had been gifted with some sock yarn in one of my favorite brands – Brown Sheep Wildfoote. This yarn is not such a treat to knit with – splitty and rather rough -- but it undergoes an amazing transformation when washed, becoming deliciously soft and squooshy. So, since my major focus was on the two shawl projects (the Arctic Diamond Stole, which has been behaving extremely well of late, and the Swallowtail Shawl), I thought I would just dink around with some stitch patterns, find a good one for the Wildfoote, and get it onto the needles. For occasional TV knitting, you know.

And now we have . . .

I guess it was all the trying-on of patterns that did it. I started with the Artichoke pattern. But 64 stitches were too many, and this pattern has a 32-stitch repeat – not so flexible. Then I tried a variation by the same designer called Eagles Flight. Same general look, but only a 16-stitch repeat. And some opportunities to make adjustments. Unfortunately it didn't look good. Possibly Wildfoote, which doesn't have much twist, isn't springy enough for such a flowy sort of pattern.

Browsing through my collection of downloaded patterns I found Ann Budd's Broken Cable Rib Socks (available from Knitting Daily). The yarn loved it, and we were off. But there were issues with the cable twists, which pull in very, very tight. In the end I did seven of the 10 pattern rows on U.S. #1 needles, and the other three (the cable row and the rows before and after) on U.S. #2's. Lots of needle swapping goin' on.

With all that strategizing, the leg was done before I knew what had happened. And then I thought I'd knit on something simple while I watched the debates (you know what debates I mean, right?). By the time our two candidates had finished solving the world's problems, I had finished my sock. Hey, can you picture Obama and McCain knitting while they discuss the issues? Might lower the hostility level a trifle.


Delighted Hands said...

It is beautiful! I wonder is Sarah Palin knits.....yarn would do wonders for the White House!
Good work!

Luni said...

That's a very pretty sock. I'm so glad to hear that the Wildfoote softens up when washed. I'm knitting a sock with it now and I'm eager to wash it and see.

Sharon said...

I knit while listening to them to lower *my* hostility - it's insane. I want a sock stretcher like yours. I went on a hunt once and decided that it's one of those things that I need to drop broad hints about around the time of my birthday. Oh wait - it's around the time of my birthday. p.s. Cool sock!!