Saturday, December 5, 2009

Still cataloging the stash, the great stash knit-down, and some socks

Up to 116 items stashed, and I'm not finished. Note that "item" means a specific color of a specific yarn. So it doesn't take into account that I have 6 balls of Sugar'n'Cream Ecru and list it as 6 items: it just sees all the Ecru as "1 item." This also means that about 70 or so of these items are just balls of Sugar'n'Cream.

I'm working on tentative rules for my own stash-down. I joined Ravelry's Stash Knit Down group in an effort to control my yarn supply, since said supply has now taken over two rooms of the house.

I also finished some socks not too long ago.

This is Sock 3.0, or my first adventure into short-row heels. They were knitted up on size 1 needles (the larger 1: 2.50mm) with very old Lion-Brand Sock-Ease (before they revamped their sock yarn line). One lesson this sock taught me is that negative ease in socks is a good thing, as these don't get all loose and baggy. Another lesson learned is that you can have too much negative ease in a sock: it fits snugly--a little too snug when you first put them on--but I lost length in the process. I did a little math and figured out that the sock is 8 inches in diameter. My foot is nearly 10 inches around.

So there was a valuable lesson learned, that I took over to my next sock...

This is Sock 4.0.

These are my first attempt at longer socks as I usually knit ankle length ones. This one is done in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport. Since I was going for longer leg length, I played with the ribbing so it could accomodate my calves (I have SOLID calves, not those cutesy ones that they should look like). I started off with a Size 3 for half the ribbing, then switched to a Size 2 (2.75 mm) for the rest of the ribbing and the leg. It's loose enough...actually, it's so loose it feels like it will fall down at any moment. It doesn't actually fall down, but it does feel like it. Mental note: perhaps only an inch or so on the larger needle would be enough.

The heel is turned on a Size 1 (2.50 mm), since this yarn is 100% wool and I didn't use a reinforcement thread (I heard it often does more harm than good to the sock). Then back to a Size 2 for the rest of the sock. I gave the foot a little extra length (though it did lose a touch at the end), but messed up by making the toes too narrow. It's comfortable to wear though. This sock ended up measuring 9 inches around, which is perfect: about a 10% negative ease. It's a very warm sock, perfect for my Raynaud's-afflicted feet. I'm not wild about how the colors came out though...for some reason, I look at it and think of ketchup and mustard.

Sock 5.0 (no picture yet) is on the needles. This is in Berocco Sox...which isn't that great: it tends to felt slightly and was quite the shock to see when I washed my gauge swatch. On a Size 1 (2.50 mm), it was 9 st/inch in some areas and 8.5 st/inch in others, so I split the difference and used 8.75 in my math. I've cast on 80 stitches, which comes out to about 9 inches circumference. I'm also using Size 2 (2.75) for only 1.5 inches of the initial k1 p1 ribbing. I'm not sure how long I'm going to make them yet.

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