March 24, 2012

"Diagonally," A Wrong Turn in Sock Design Finally Gets Right

I hope to release "Diagonally" by fall for
Halloween knitting, along with a few other sock
Remember that thing I talked about a while back, the whole "journey into sock design...hopefully?" I have neglected to keep anyone interested (yes, all 2 of you...) apprised of my doings.

First, let me say that the learning curve for sock design has been steep, but worth every steep step--as far as personal satisfaction goes, anyway. And, like any other project in life, it has been more time consuming and more expensive than expected. It's sort of like those home improvement project stories you might hear from time to time.

You know, those stories that begin something like this: "We are really excited to add on a sun room to the back of our house." They follow with further justification: "It will be a great investment! We will be able to really enjoy our back yard then." They embellish: "I have furniture already on order for the sun room. That way, once it's done--and it shouldn't take us more than a few weeks--we won't have to wait to use it."

A few weeks pass and the story changes. "It's taking longer than we first thought, but even if it's a little slow, it will be worth it!" Then, "Well, John is doing better after that last trip to the emergency room. They think the feeling will return to his reattached fingers within a few months..." Finally, "I think we will hire a contractor for the rest. We can still use the room next year..."

While I still have all of my fingers, nails, most of my hair (some has been pulled out...) and have only broken 3 bamboo dpn's (the most painful of which was the breakage of a new Lantern Moon needle), I think I am on my way. Maybe.

Since Sock Summit, I have been playing around with patterns for a lightning motif that winds around the leg. After lots of fiddling with ideas, yarns and tons of recycled graph paper, I think I finally have what I wanted. 

"Beautiful Tricks," coming out hopefully with Diagonally. This lightning motif
is a little different. It didn't work on Diagonlly, but works for me in a
column design.
It started with a stitch pattern on Socks that Rock, but that pattern was too close together for this particular project.

I separated the YO's with an in-between knitted row, which was great, but I could not figure out how to "twist" it neatly around in a spiral. Enter Cookie A's pattern, Rick, for her brother of the same name. Examining the structure of the chart, I could see that she was adding a decrease at the beginning of certain rounds and an increase at then ends.

This was completely irritating because I had been having an ongoing problem all along with the pattern on the foot. Long story short, when trying to put a diagonal pattern on the top of the foot only, I was incidentally putting decreases at the start of what we could call the "lace panel" and increases at the end. This was causing the panel to move off center and, instead of recognizing that this concept could have spiraled the leg of the pattern, I instead focused on keeping it centered on the foot/instep.

Consequently, instead of recognizing that what I wanted was accidentally discovered--and not used--months ago, I put the work down long before Christmas (mostly to make gifts) and it was only recently that I picked it up again and had an "aha!' moment.

Regardless of my frustration, it worked out and I like what I have.

The first incarnation of this pattern was in Blue Moon, as I said. Then, since the pattern was originally for my daughter, Annie--the lover all things Harry Potter--I made it again in her choice of yarn, which was self-striping.

This obscures the pattern and it was not my intention to make a sample sock with stripes. So, I turned to Smooshy Dream in Color. For some reason, I like purple for this pattern as Harry Potter seems to conjure this color for me when I think of the stories.

Here it is in purple Smooshy. This will be written for a regular, calf-height sock:

Contrasting yarns: Dream in Color Smooshy on top at about 7 stitches per inch
on size 1dpn's and Sensations Bamboo Ewe on the bottom in stripes and 9 stitches
per inch on size 1's.

Finally, I have sketches for this, as a knee high, in a more stitch-definition friendly yarn, Madelintosh Merino Light in "Wicked."

I actually think this will be the best version of the pattern.

Now I just have to make the other sock spiraling in the other direction. Hopefully it will not take me until August to figure it out.

Comments and suggestions are welcome! Please feel free to make them.

Thank for reading!


Luigi Serio said...

What does your husband do while you design and knit socks? Stand in awe of your talent?

The Knitting Muse said...

What do I do when my husband edits my blog? The same thing!! : ) Thanks, honey. Most supportive husband EVER!