Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A new beginning

This blog isn't going to be just about socks, I swear -- I'm really not that into them. Mostly. But I am starting a new pair of socks -- Eunny Jang's Bayerische Sock. So pretty! And I had the exact right yarn on hand (from the last pair of socks I started, two and a half freaking years ago). It seemed fated. As usual, I need to go down a size or two in the needles; this was a problem because size 0 needles were the smallest I had on hand. I called A Good Yarn (motto: we're the LYS on Kyle's way home from work), who had nothing between a size 0 and a 0000. But Windsor Button (motto: we're the most dangerous of all yarn stores because we also sell notions and embroidery stuff and lots of shiny buttons!) was able to hook me up with a Susan Bates sock set with four sets of needles, size 000 to 1. My inner knitting snob is all, "OMG, Susan Bates needles? Why don't you just knit up an afghan in your school colors from Red Heart acrylic while you're at it?"

But actually, they're not bad at all -- much quieter than the larger sizes, for one thing. I hate noisy needles! And they were $10 for four pairs of needles (and that's at Windsor Button, which isn't exorbitant or anything but isn't a big box bargain store either). Win win! My roommate has a needle sizer that goes down to 000, so it was extra easy to figure out which size was which (as a wise poster on the advanced knitting livejournal community pointed out, they can't exactly print the size on the shaft of a 1.5mm needle).

So I've started the Bayerisches Sock, and it is a... a challenge, let's say. The increase row between the ribbing and the beginning of the pattern is scarier than most sweaters. Seriously:
*(K1tbl, p1) 7 times. M1 purlwise. (K1tbl, m1 knitwise, p1, m1 purlwise) 2 times. (k1tbl, p1) 7 times. K1tbl, m1 knitwise. Purl into front and back of next stitch. M1 knitwise. K1tbl, m1 purlwise, p1, m1 knitwise, k1tbl, p1. Repeat from * for other half of sock. 20 stitches increased, 96 stitches total.
Tell me that's not disturbing and frightening. It took me three tries. Then it took me two more tries to establish the pattern, but finally! There it was, ending at the end of the fourth needle and everything. I had to take a break after two pattern rows because I had a death grip on my poor little aluminum needles (in my set, the 00s are hot pink, which is clashy but kind of awesome with the red yarn).

The sock pattern involves four cable charts, three of which are eight rows long and one of which is 16 rows long; after eight rows, the pattern is really starting to come together and I'm getting much more relaxed about cabling without a cable needle, and just more relaxed about the pattern in general. My knitting has really loosened up a lot, which makes me worry that I'm going to have to go down another needle size, but anyway this is good practice, right?

Here is a terrible, hideous, fluorescently-lit camera-phone photo of the Sock So Far:

We had a rough patch during that increase row, but I think I love Eunny Jang.


felinity said...

Ooh wow, that looks amazing. I totally love Eunny -- her patterns are fantastic.

Alexis said...

The sock looks great. And Eunny is fantastic, I can't wait to see what she does at Interweave.