Why hello again! First Thursday of the month, so time to talk socks! And I …. wait for it … have a finished pair! My first finished pair of 2018 (how is that possible?!)
The pattern is Lumineux by Ysolda Teague. The main body of the socks is knit in Countess Ablaze’s Sparkly Baron Blue-Faced Leicester in a one-off colorway called Velociraptor. The heels and toes are knit in Hedgehog Sock yarn — depending on how the heels on these wear, I might use the rest of the skein to knit Vintage Fairy Lights (I’m a little worried that this soft 90% merino and 10% nylon blend might not hold up to the hard wear I give my socks!)
I cast these socks on Christmas eve, and despite the fact that that was, ahem, over three months ago, the socks themselves didn’t take long to knit — I just worked on them in fits and starts! In fact, one of the things I really liked about the pattern was the simple, but varied chevron stitch pattern (even though it’s not the easiest to see in these photos!) The charted pattern involved working the same combo of knits and purls for four rows (enough to get in a bit of a rhythm) which then shifted slightly (which kept things interesting). For me, with sock knitting, it’s all about keeping things interesting but not difficult, since socks are usually one of my travel or knit night projects.
The stitch pattern was also designed specifically for variegated yarn, and I love the way it broke up this highly varieagted Countess Ablaze skein. It wasn’t til I got to the foot that I realized how much a difference the pattern made (you can see how the colors almost stripe on the soles!)
The pattern also had a new-to-me method for afterthought heels, one that incorporates a subtle gusset for improved fit. I was really eager to give it a try, and I’m glad that I did. But it is more involved than my traditional afterthought heel — one of my favorite things about a traditional one is you can just knit a tube without worrying too much. And the fit on these is definitely good — I wore them for the first time today, and kept forgetting I had them on — a good sign! But since I don’t have high arches and so don’t really struggle with the fit of afterthought heels — in fact, the Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B. Anderson are probably my best fitting socks — I don’t think I’ll be reaching for this slightly different afterthought heel as my go-to, just out of laziness. But if you do struggle with afterthought heels’ fit, consider giving Ysolda’s method a try! (And if you want a quick summary of the pros and cons of afterthought heels, I wrote a post about it now nearly two [!!] years ago!)
This was also my first time knitting with Countess Ablaze yarn — and the colors did not disappoint! I loved all the unexpected pops of pinks, lavenders, and the most beautiful cerulean blues that I encountered as I knit. The yarn is 80% BFL and 20% Firestar, which I gather is a nylon that’s also supposed to give the yarn some sparkle. I will say that, while I could definitely see the shimmer of the yarn in the skein, it’s really pretty unnoticeable in the finished socks (which is fine by me … I was drawn more to the color of this yarn!) It does give the sock a bit of a halo though, with little bits of the nylon sparkle sticking out here and there. The skeins are quite generous — 500 meters in 100 g. In fact, I have just over 50 grams left (related note: anyone want some Countess Ablaze sock yarn?)
I knit the socks concurrently, which I’ve tried out on my last few pairs. I like the portability of only working on a single sock, and the more immediate gratification. But after a few pairs, I’m ready to get back to two-at-a-time … I like not having to worry that I’m working my socks to the same length! And while I have plenty of socks-in-progress on my needles, I’ll be casting on a very special pair of socks next — more about those another time though!
There’s an ever-growing number of us blogging about socks on the first Thursday of the month! Go check them out at the links below — and if you’d like to join in, just let one of us know (and if I’ve missed you, shout in the comments!) And big thanks to Stefanie for our new Once Upon a Sock Graphics!
- Paula from Spin a Yarn (post up!)
- Kat from Felinity Knits (post up!)
- Stefanie Stefanie Crafts with Wool Paper Fabric (post up!)
- Steph from My Making Do Adventure (post up!)
- Reanna from Knit, Reanna, Knit (post up!)
- Meg from Intergalactic (post up!)
- Tammy from Life and Yarn or Love and Life (post up!)
- Lynne from Minding My Own Stitches (post up!)
- Liz from Knitting from the Hip
- Kathy B from Compassionknit
Happy sock knitting!