February 7, 2016

The Sock Project: Stocking Betsy McCarthy

I have come, once again, to the heel gusset of my toe-up sock, Rosebud, by Wendy Johnson. Now it is getting exciting! I like this pattern because the lace is not overly complicated and is (so far) only across the instep. Plus, there is a nice relaxing plain-ish round on the even rounds. An advantage of toe-up knitting, as we all know, is the try-on factor. And this socks seems to fit well so far! I think it is a keeper.

In keeping with my spazzy knitting style, I have, of course, started a second sock simultaneously. My rationale is that one needs a plain, simple knitting project for those times when the show you are watching is getting too good (X-Files? Oh, YES!!! Plus, Ghost Adventures just started up again...ahhh, guilty pleasures!), or if you are visiting with friends, or your family is asking for dinner...again! I love to feed people, but does this seriously have to happen every day?! In this last scenario, as I stand up and roll my eyes, headed to the kitchen, I have not lost my place and I will not be freaking out later about which round I was on. 

My second, simpler sock is another "back to the beginning sock," by Betsy McCarthy from her first Knit Socks! book. I purchased this book years ago when it first came out. I didn't know at the time there were loads of knitting books and this one was recommended to me. Plus, Betsy McCarthy is sort of a neighbor to me. She lives in my city, Vancouver, WA. She lives in the quaint downtown area of Vancouver. I even know where. 

Look! It stands up on its own!
And without starch, too!
Am I stalking (or is it stocking...) her? No, but not too long ago, I happened to have just one degree of separation from her. I should have taken advantage of it at the time.  I had a casual acquaintance through work who was her neighbor--like across the hall neighbor. And Betsy McCarthy personally taught this casual acquaintance of mine to knit! For free!  This casual acquaintance of mine is also the person who recommended the "Knit Socks!" book! Once I had realized the significance of all this good fortune, it was too late: my casual friend had disappeared and I have never seen her again. 

That's okay, I still have the book. And later, I also purchased the second version, you know, just to support my local gal. Plus the patterns are very, very simple and functional -- and well written. Pretty important stuff. 

The sock I am working on from her is simply called Starter Stockinette (now we really are getting back to the beginning!) I was having a little trouble her recommended getting gauge on a US3/3.25mm, on my Rowan Superwash Wool worsted weight yarn, which I am madly in love with, but I digress. The pattern called for US3/3.25mm to get 6 stitches to the inch. 

Two things: 
1. That is pretty dense for worsted. Red flag or hard wearing sock? 
2.  I have only knit this particular yarn at about 4.5-5 stitches per inch in the past, so was unsure about needle size. 

It fits! Just enough slouchy on the ankle. I can push it down a bit after
washing. Superwash softens up anyway. 
The answer to the second question required a bit of swatching. So, I knitted in the round for a while and realized I had to go down to a US2/2.5mm. And what do you think? Yup. Almost total cardboard. BUT I am going for it because I think it will be tough fabric and it feels like a boot sock. I need some of those. I am seriously down to the holiest of holies on that. I so love them in my hiking boots -- even if it just for walking around town in order to accidentally bump into Betsy McCarthy. 

I wonder if she likes Starbucks...there is one near her building...and I do sooooo love Starbucks....

Get cozy,



Uloma Jennifer said...

your project is nice. i love it

Anonymous said...

Nice knitting!