Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Something's fishy.

I admit it. I am not a sock knitter. Sock knitters fascinate me. There's a woman at my knitting group who, as far as I can tell, knits only socks. She says she's knit other things, but I'm not sure I believe her. Just socks, that's all she does. It almost sounds boring to say it, but let me tell you, she makes some pretty fantastic socks.

There's some sort of cult surrounding sock knitting, I think. It sucks people in. They make a sock, and then pretty soon they've got itty bitty needles flying everywhere and pounds and pounds of Koigu and Lorna's Laces.

But, like I said, I am not a sock knitter. I just Don't Get It. I'm perfectly happy with my little Adidas ankle socks. They're nice and cushy, they let my oh-so-awesome ankles show if I want them to (and let me tell you, I've got great ankles!), and I've got a million of them, so I don't have to worry about matching socks. So why would I knit my own socks? Many of the sock patterns out there, while complicated enough to be interesting to knit, really aren't that attractive. I don't like socks that go way up high, except for hiking boots. And the sock yarns out there aren't really suitable for hiking, they're far too thin.

But when I saw Pomatomus, I knew that I had to knit it. It is not boring, like many sock patterns. Even better, while it's somewhat challenging to knit, it actually looks good. It has a nice texture to it that non-knitters can appreciate. I'm still not sure when I'll actually be wearing them, but I broke down and knit a pair.


Pattern: Pomatomus
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in "Jeans"
Needles: 2.75mm Crystal Place Bamboo DPNs
Duration: First Sock: November 16, 2006 to December 1, 2006. Second Sock: January 18, 2007 to February 4, 2007.

I initially began these on November 11, 2006, with 2.25mm needles, but discovered that while the initial ribbing would fit over my heel, there was no way the fish-scale pattern would stretch enough to physically fit onto my feet. After a few days of being annoyed at the socks I desperately wanted to fall in love with, I began anew.

Naturally, being rather anal about certain things, the YO increases bugged the living hell out of me. Sure, it made them lacey. But those lacey eyelets only extended up half of each fish-scale. So I modified the YOs into m1 and m1p, leading to a more solid look. Even after washing, there's still a bit of looseness there, but it seems much more balanced to me than the versions with YO increases.

And, naturally, being not so anal about other things, I managed to lose my place in the chart a few times on each sock, always over the instep. And since I'd already discovered other things I wanted to modify in the sock, I simply winged it, fixing things on the fly, instead of ripping out. There are some lopsided fish scales in there, though they're hardly noticable.

The things I want to modify? Next time I make this sock (and there will be a next time!), I'll be using a ssk, instead of k2tog. Why?


That's why. Look just a little bit to the right of the center. See that beige stitch, laying so much more smoothly than the rest? That is a stitch I accidentally dropped and fixed, without regard to which way it was slanting. And it looks so much better than the k2tog.

This is a fantastic sock to make. Cookie is an amazing sock designer. Turns out that every single sock I've ever had the urge to knit has been one of her designs. Now if only I knew someone who was going to Stitches West, so I could get myself grubby little hands on the Twisted Flower Sock kit. You don't understand how imperative this is, fair reader. Cabling, lace, and a sock truly worth wearing. What more could a girl want?

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