Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gingerbread House Knee Socks

For my 2nd pair of post-tenure socks (begun in mid-March), I turned to KnitPicks Imagination, a cushy blend of 50% Merino Wool / 25% Superfine Alpaca / 25% Nylon, in the colorway called "Gingerbread House," which setssix different cheerful "gumdrop" colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple) against a background of warm ginger-brown. I really love this yarn for socks!! Which is good, because I have several more colors stashed away... It knits up into a wonderful fabric, soft and warm and snuggly against the skin. I wanted to see how far I could go on two skeins (= 438 yards) to fit my smallish (US size 61/2, European size 37) feet. So I used the Lace and Cable pattern from Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up, with one skein for each sock, and basically kept knitting until I ran out of yarn.

What I got, to my amazement and delight, was a splendid pair of honest-to-goodness KNEESOCKS. Once againI worked the two socks in tandem by switching off between two sets of dpn's: first both toes, then feet, then heels, then legs, then cuffs. To shape the calves, I measured the circumference of my lower leg at 2" intervals and calculated first increases and then decreases based on my gauge. And to help the socks stay up, I switched to smaller needles for 1" of ribbing at the top, and finished off with Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off (JSSBO). They fit me perfectly and don't fall down with general use, although a brisk walk can cause them to sag a bit, but that happens with commercial wool knee socks too. I had less than a foot of yarn left over on either side. The colors pooled a bit here and there, but I don't mind the effect. In fact, I rather like it. As always, click on any one of these photos to view an enlargement.

Oh my, but to my mind these are genuinely *happy* socks, so bright and colorful and toasty warm, and they go beautifully with the tawny brown leather clogs that I wear pretty much constantly through 3 seasons of the year, in all but the most inclement weather.

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