Let me call you Sweetheart Socks...
Come back into the light, all are welcome, all welcome...
Forgive me readers, for it has been five months since my last socksession.
Wait, has it really been five months? *runs off to check 2008 FO spreadsheet* Yup! The last pair I knit were these, back in October. Duuuuuude. Let's not do that again, shall we?
But I will say this - when you go that long without a sock on the sticks, there's nothin', nothin' like a prettypretty pair of pinky sockaderos to bring you back to the fold!
Don't you pucker your point at me.
The Sweetheart Socks (from the ever-popular IK Holiday 2007) are a veritable cable extravaganza! They're everywhere I tell ya, everywhere! They're also written at Kevlar gauge, with a stitch count waaaaay over my usual cast on. Even knowing the cables would pull 'em in some, there was no way they were gonna work.
Since I'd rather run through a bee-infested forest naked waving a jar of honey over my head than to work that many cables on teeny tiny sock yarn on teeny tiny size 0 needles after a five-month sock knitting hiatus, some mods were in order:
1. Ditched the side cables on the front panel because gah!too much!
2. Also eliminated the first and last two stitches on Chart A and shifted everything around slightly to start and end each round with a knit stitch.
This reduced the overall stitch count from 84 (!) to 76 (!). Still far more than I'd normally go with (generally in the 58-64 range), but I decided to run with it, figuring the cables and ribbing would pull it in. Further on down the line, I made a few more adjustments:
3. Shortened the leg and heel flap
4. Decreased the gusset down to 34 stitches for the sole.
5. Fudged last row of the toe chart since the instep and sole were already close to an even stitch count. (I initially purled across the entire last row, but redid it - you definitely need to alternate some knit and purl stitches there to avoid a total pouf at the transition.)
Ooo, and check it out, the back has a completely different cable pattern than the front!
Hugs and kisses in the back! Wait, that didn't come out right...
Needless to say, these were not a super-quick knit! But once you get going, you get into a groove with the charts and they do become fairly intuitive. It made for an interesting and very enjoyable knit, but I won't lie to you - there might have been a happy dance when I reached that nice, simple, stockinette sole.
This is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, which you can find in her Etsy store and at certain retailers, such as Sonny & Shear. (Or marry someone with kickass in-laws, that'll work, too.)
The colorway is Tulip, a super-saturated, bright, springy pink with subtle shadings that I absolutely love! It's one of those yarns that you continually hold up to the light and squeal, "Look how pretty!" at a decibel only dogs can hear and you know if they could speak they would totally agree with you.
It's a pleasure to knit with, nice and soft with a tight twist for excellent stitch definition. So soft, in fact, I had to remind myself this was a 90/10 merino/nylon blend! (I'm generally an all-merino girl when it comes to sock yarn.) There was no color runoff in the soak and no fading afterwards, either. A definite winner that should wear very well!
Wrap it up
Overall, the pattern was a really fun knit, and I LOVE how it looks in this gorgeous colorway! They're not quite as snug as I generally prefer, though. If I were to make these again, I'd probably ditch the ribbing in the front panel to reduce the stitch count even further and tighten up the fit. But suffice to say, these have ended the sock knitting drought and have me raring to cast on another pair! Maybe even two...
Pattern: Interweave Knits, Holiday 2007
Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, 1 skein in Tulip
Needles: HiyaHiya Stainless Steels in size 1, 32"
Mods: Reduced stitch count, ditched front side cables, shifted to start/end rounds with knit stitches, slightly shorter leg/gusset, fudged purl placements in last row