Monday, 28 April 2014

Top Down Vanilla Socks with Afterthought Heel - Finished

'Vanilla' as in plain, unpatterned, which amuses me as the yarn is Drops Fabel blue-mustard print, a self-patterning yarn with only a little vanilla colour in it!

I've taken my time over these, what with using crafting time to do a flower and the colour centre of a block for the colour sampler blanket per day, doing some gardening, trying (and so far failing) to find the source of the smell of something dead in the bedroom (ugh), taking a day out a week for an ECDL course, and writing/reviewing my adult ed course proposals, also reviewing my CV and applying for a job. It's good to stay busy!

I decided I could do fewer stitches so cast on 68, 17 per 2.75 mm dpn.  12 rows of 2/2 rib and 40 rows on the leg, then 65 on the foot before doing the toe shaping.  I don't really like the 'star toe' shaping, as it doesn't suit the shape of my foot.  The 'afterthought' heel is a better size and shape than the two styles I've done so far, but I found it such a faff to pick up so many small stitches and unpick the waste yarn.  Definitely trickier than picking up stitches along the side of a heel flap.  If I were to do it again, I would be tempted to leave the 'top' (leg) stitches on a stitch holder and cast on the same number to continue the sole. Or maybe instead of knitting the waste yarn in, perhaps threading it through the stitches with a tapestry needle?

I don't like gathered toes with a little hole, so I left 10 stitches top and bottom (rather than 8) and did a kitchener graft. I did a couple of extra rows on the heel so that I was left with 16 stitches top and bottom as suggested in the pattern. The only issue I have with kitchener grafting in these self-patterning yarns is that the colour seems to change just at the point that the grafting starts, so that I get a line of a different colour.  It's not really a problem - no-one is going to see it except for me. I used about 70g/1.4 x 50g balls.

I put my new socks on yesterday to enjoy my cosy toes, and was washing up after lunch when the sun came out. Deciding that the washing up could wait until I had done a spot of bramble bashing, I put my work boots on and found my gauntlets, opened the door ... and it started to rain. Grumbling to myself, I took my boots off and was nearly knocked over by a couple of cats making a dash for the door as it started to rain harder, until it was pouring down. As I finished washing up, I watched the sky change from light to dark grey and decided there was only one thing for it on a rainy Sunday afternoon ...

... put my feet up with a cup of tea, and take a photo of my socks!

Decisions, decisions ... which colour, techniques and pattern for my next pair?

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