Roositud Socks

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I don’t knit as much as I would like these days.  I write a lot, but all in corporate litigation practice (and I’ll spare my gentle readers from the delights of that vocabulary).

Writing this post makes me remember fondly learning the Roositud technique in Estonia.   These socks were knitted out of Wollmeise, with enough of the contrast coming from a taste of Wollmeise pack.  As my sister points out, Roositud is just reverse fairisle, and it makes a very nice pattern on the socks.   The pattern is  Roosimine, and includes a very detailed tutorial on the inlay technique.  More technical details here.

They were entered in the Sydney Royal Easter show, and I was surprised (the Roositud is quite uneven on the first sock)  to receive a third prize.

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Is symmetry important in socks?

Yesterday, I thought that I was going to finish younger daughter’s socks.  I had a lot of errands to run, including a trip to the Trade and Industry Department in Mong Kok (there is a lot of bureaucracy involved in importing and exporting yarn in Hong Kong). The trip to Mong Kok requires a journey on the Hong Kong MTR, which is Hong Kong’s fabulous clean, underground rail system.  I had been busy on the second sock and had not compared it to its sibling for a while, but brought them both along for the trip.  By my reckoning (based solely on “look and feel”, not measurement or comparison), I was getting close the the toe decreases on the second sock.

I was planning to count the rows on the first sock after the gusset decreases, so that second sock would have the same number of rows before beginning the toe decreases. I was sitting on the train, when I noticed that the socks did not really look similar. In fact, the line of gusset decreases on the second sock was a lot longer than on the first sock.

 

Asymmetric socks

I looked at the socks, and was perplexed (and they are the same socks – the photo was taken with a different camera). I had the same number of stitches around the foot, I’d picked up the same number of stitches along the heel flap, but I was faced with this much longer row of decreases. I inspected the first sock and second sock again, and noticed that I hadn’t done any of the short rows to turn the heel on second sock!

I’m using every ounce of my strength, not to shove the socks somewhere dark, never to be seen again. I’m going to rely on this blog post to keep me honest. I will frog the second sock back to the heel flap, and complete them properly, this week.  Feel free to post any comments you see fit to keep me motivated.

On another note, are other wordpress.com bloggers having real trouble posting photos after the latest update? It has been frustrating me no end, and is delaying the France posts.

Finished Clementine’s Baltic Socks

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About 20 minutes ago, I finished the kitchener stitch.  The photos are not great – the one above is suffering a bit from camera shake. Its much more difficult taking photos of your own foot! 

I’m very happy with the fit – and I am glossing over any errors in the lace.

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I also took a picture of a blocked and unblocked sock.  While I can’t see any difference when they are on – it sure makes a difference to their “off the foot” presentation.

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Pattern: Clementine’s Baltic Socks (available here)

Yarn: My own undyed fingering yarn, soon to be available for sale. I dyed it with Dylon dyes of royal blue and pink. They look mainly blue.

 Pattern modifications: The sock was too short for my size 40 foot, and I did an extra repeat of the lace pattern, and modified the toe so that I descreased alternating second and third rows. I had to increase needle size to 2.5mm so that I could get the sock on my foot.

Needles: Addi turbo 2.5mm magic loop. 

So when does the sock fit?

I’ve just about finished the first of Clementine’s Baltic Socks, and really don’t know if I should rip the toe and do it again.  The sock feels firm – and I wouldn’t be concerned if it was stockingette, but will the lace pattern give that much?

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I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to photograph the underside of my foot – but at present there is about a 0.5cm gap between the two needles, and I think that once I kitchener it, it will be too tight.  I would like to actually wear these socks with shoes, so I don’t want them too big. Do I assume some stretch? The yarn is my hand dyed 75% wool 25% nylon.

No children were harmed in the taking of this picture

But you would not have known it from the screaming.  For those people who were in the Mid Levels of Hong Kong at 7.30 this morning, I apologise for the noise.  I finished these socks last month, but haven’t had a chance to blog them because I haven’t been able to take a picture of them.  This morning I was feeling inspired, and the weather is gorgeous, so I thought that I would bribe the girls with stickers if they would put the socks on, sit on the balcony together, and pose for a photo.  Apparently, there were a number of problems with my proposal – putting the socks on and sitting together. 

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Despite the fact that these socks are worn almost daily in preference to slippers, today trying them on for a photo constituted a hideous imposition.  The socks are not as big as they appear in the photo, but adjusting the fit on the recalcitrants was beyond my abilities this morning. Once the tears were dried, I then asked the girls to sit together.  Big mistake.  In the photo below the older one is actually pushing the younger one’s head. And yes, the older one does actually have smaller feet that the younger one – they are only 17 months apart.

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I do keep warning the older one, that it is looking likely that one day the younger one will be bigger than her (I’ve been looking at the feet).

Project Details

Pattern: “A Classic Sock Pattern” in Folk Socks by Nancy Bush in size Child (shoe sizes 8 – 13).  I modified the amount of ribbing, and also did a different toe because I forgot to look at the pattern and went with some fairly dodgy kitchener stitch.  I would really like someone to hold a kitchener stitch class in Hong Kong! 

Needles: 2.5 mm Addi Turbo ciruclars purchased for HKD $25 in Hong Kong (that’s US$3.20) using magic loop.

Yarn: Titan “Super Trekking” in colour 601 (available over the internet here) purchased from Filati in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2007. The colours of the yarn are really bright, and it is relatively soft.  I got both pairs of socks out of two balls, and was very happy that I managed to get two matching pairs! 

If the sock doesn’t fit – frog it

I had been soldiering on with the Clementine’s Baltic socks with numerous froggings, for so many reasons – forgetting the plain row, repeating a row of the pattern inadvertently, you name it. This morning, I decided to try the sock on to admire the pattern against my pasty white flesh.  Big problem – I can’t get the sock over the heel.  Now, my feet are not that wide – I fit into the small size in Jaywalkers – but I think that using 2 mm  needles when I usually use 2.5mm has made a huge difference.  I also think that using the smaller needles has made the process more difficult (especially the knit 3 togethers!).  I might also have been gripping on to the yarn like my life depended on it because of the numerous mistakes that I was making. 

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I apologise for the close up detail of my foot – the photo was even more horrendous before cropping. 

So, I am going to frog the progress thus far on this sock.  This poor yarn is going to have its wearing ability truly tested.  But now I am possessed – this is a sock that I can knit – its meant to be easy lace! I’ve knitted lace successfully before!  I want to finish it before this weekend.  I will conquer this sock.