Saturday, August 9, 2008

Etienne's Striped Cotton Socks

Yes, I took the time to trim out the messy background with Adobe Photoshop. Doesn't it just look ADORABLE?

This "gradient blue" baby sock was made using the Magic Loop method, with 2.75mm Knitpicks 80cm circular needles. The pattern is the one taught to me by Ines J. of my Dreams Knitting Group two Saturdays last month. We call it "Tita Ting's Baby Socks Pattern". I am rewriting it to make it clearer to me, since I had two false starts with a practice sock before coming up with this little beauty.

I used Cannon "escalado" mercerized crochet cotton thread, which would be about PhP30/ball retail from mall outlets, or P22.50 wholesale from Divisoria. The "escalado" refers to the gradient colorways. This particular one is SHD # 00210, Ticket 8, 175m per ball. Ines estimates that with the Tita Ting Pattern she can make roughly 2 pairs of baby socks from one ball with a bit left over.

Knitting one sock took me three hours from the beginning of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony (8pm Beijing/Manila time). I rested at around 11pm last night, then spent one final hour this morning knitting the toe, grafting it with Kitchener stitch, and weaving in ends. I love it! It's so (almost) perfect for a sock attempt! Why not perfect? I really need to tighten that first stitch before the picked up stitches connecting the gusset to the heel flap. It's the only stitch at the moment I can see daylight through. Other people can't see that tiny flaw, but since I made it, I can... Oh well, continuous improvement is always to be desired.

The practice sock looks cute here, but let me list down the things I needed to work on after finishing it:

1) Picked-up stitches were loose, creating holes along the gusset.

2) When stitch tension is uneven, you can see the glaring errors in 1x1 rib and stockinette.

3) My Kitchener graft was bad. It was twisted, when you're supposed to be able to flatten the sock from the instep. The graft was extremely strong, though.

4) I noticed that from 2.75mm-3.0mm size needles the resulting cotton fabric is softer. Work up faster, too.

But I am happy with this attempt.

Up next: baby socks for Jianna, for Lilo, for Ethan, for Inigo, for Meg, and for Red's baby boy whose name escapes me at the moment.

I am grinning from ear to ear.


Liz said...

Beautiful socks! I've yet to start my fourth pair...I've been too busy spinning yarn on 2 spinning wheels (one mine, the other a loaner till I make up my mind that it is THE wheel for me), and spending too much money on fiber!!! aaayyyy!

The Gravelcat said...

Hi Liz!

That fiber thing, I know, it gets into your brain filling you with all sorts of beautiful mad ideas and somehow you can't seem to get enough.

I knew something weird was going on when the yarn started competing with my books for shelf and cabinet space! I even (gulp) considered SELLING old books to create space for the yarn! Right now I am resisting that, because to make more space would mean spending more money on BOTH books AND yarn ("Hmm, gaping hole in shelf. Let's fill it up..."). Now if that's not a dilemma, I don't know what is.