Monday, January 15, 2007

Kickin' off the year with some embossin'

Gratuitous lawn shot

Whoo hoo, my first FO for the new year! An appropriate launch for what will likely be deemed the year of the sock, a pair of Embossed Leaves from IK.

Lacy goodness
This pattern is SO. MUCH. FUN to knit! Now I'm not one of those seasoned pros who can memorize a 16-row repeat after one pass. Hell, I had to write the chart out by hand and keep it by my side for the entire knit - both socks. But it's the type of pattern that peaks your interest without being a pita and puts a smile on your face every second it's on the sticks.

Lying on the lawn with a garbage bag under me for protection (yes, a clean one), pants hiked up to my knees, legs in the air, taking pictures of my feet. Yup. My neighbors think I'm weird.

Gotta mod
I did make a few minor adjustments, however. First, I skipped the twisted rib at the top and just did your basic 1x1. I can't remember exactly why, but I seem to recall trying them on a few rows in and finding that the twisted rib was not quite as stretchy.

Second, I did the heel as written on the first sock, but the garter stitch didn't appeal to me and cutting the yarn was rather irksome. So I tinked it back and did a standard EoP flap instead. (Still a bit annoyed at myself for cutting the yarn in the first place. Future note - no scissors until you're past the point of no frogturn.)

Star toe, squeee!

Other than that, I remained true to the pattern. New for 2007 - the star toe. Love this! Looks very cool and, as it's nice and round, the fit is stellar. I personally don't mind kitchener, but if you do, this toe will make you squeal like a little girl.

Tool time
This was my first pair using Silvalume dpns. Excellent needles! Smooth finish, no slipping, light, and unlikely to snap under my tight gauge. (If I manage to snap a metal needle, that will be a sign I need to drink before knitting.) Plus, they're affordable! I lost one on the plane to London (how you can lose a needle in one freaking second in a controlled, enclosed environment will forever remain a mystery), but these are cheap enough that I now own two sets with a couple of extras for the couch to munch on.

They resulted in a pair of socks that are nice and snug - notice how the ankles don't pouch? They are a tad long, however. If they were about an inch, maybe an inch and a half shorter, they'd be perfect. Might want to wear your glasses when you use 'em, lest you prove your mother right and poke your eye out. Even so, these have become my sticks of choice for socks.

I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Bittersweet for these. I just love how bright and colorful it is! I was antsy to knit up a pair in more girly colors, and this one definitely fit the bill.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. It's much too contrasty to really show off this lacy of pattern. But did you ever get that must. knit. this. right. now. feeling? I had that. I had to knit this pattern, and I had to knit this colorway, and even though I knew they weren't really right for each other, I went ahead and did it anyway. Like that biker boy fling you had back in your 20s.

As you can see, it pooled in an interesting way on one sock, and did more of a stripey dance on the other. Can't explain why, but the way variegateds do things like this actually turns me on. Might be different on a pair of straight stockinette where the color pooling was more noticeable, but for these, I find it funky cool! Besides, they're mostly under shoes and pants, so who cares! :)
It had to end sometime. It's not you, it's me...

The end of the affair
In the past, I've gone all googly eyed over LL. I do still *heart* the Shepherd Worsted. I have yet to find a worsted weight superwash wool in decent yardage that's as soft and snuggly. That being said, I must declare that my love affair with the Shepherd Sock has come to a close.

As I've gotten a little more wise to the ways of the world (blogstalking and podcasts), I've been enlightened by the truly talented, scrumptiously soft, screen-lickin' yumminess of more independent dyers. So, after this pair came off the sticks, I swapped or sold the rest of my LL sock, most of which was accumulated early on due to NSS - Newbie Stash Syndrome.

Now it is Socks that Rock, Yarn Pirate, Sunshine Yarns, Scout, and a growing list of other indie/Etsy yarners that fill my dreams. And, thanks primarily to some excellent swaps, they're now filling my stash as well! (Although I'm still waiting to fondle some Scout...)

That's a wrap
These were a thoroughly enjoyable knit, watching the leaves come to life beneath my hands was so exciting! After the first repeat, I bounced up and down on the couch, and even Hubster said how cool they were. I'll definitely have another go at this pattern in the future. Although perhaps next time in a more solid colorway.

Embossed Leaves Socks
IK, Winter 2005
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Bittersweet
Needles: Silvalume, Size 1 dpns
Mods: Subbed cuff with standard 1x1, subbed heel with EoP, ditched the yarn cutting (on 2nd sock anyway :P)
Lessons learned: Lacy socks and starry toes are fabulously fun!


Blogger Bezzie said...

Ooo!!! Very pretty! Like the biker boy in your 20's...snort!

9:30 AM  
Blogger bradyphrenia said...

i love your photos, and your socks look so pretty! this pattern is going on my needles next, so i'm glad to read your notes on it.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I likey!! I have a ton of LL that I love and this looks like a good pattern for them!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Those are beautiful!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Batty said...

Those are gorgeous! Now I have to go dig out that issue of IK and take a look at the pattern.

Oh, and your shoes are to die for. Perfect for showing off socks, and I love the round toe because it looks nice with pants and skirts.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Awesome job on your socks! I love the post and pictures!! WTG :)

9:34 AM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Yay! Another convert to know the ways of the Embossed Leaves! It's such a fun knit isn't it? I did end up memorizing the pattern somehow so I know this will be my go to fun non-stockinette traveling sock. I love the colorway you chose for it! So fun! Loud and proud without being obnoxious! Weee!

10:41 AM  

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