Thursday, August 16, 2007

Norwegian Saga

I mostly like to write posts about projects that I've just started or that I've just finished. I like my posts to show genuine progress. This is why I haven't posted recently about my Norwegian knee highs. I started these socks July 12th or 13th and have been plugging away at them ever since. These socks are my fist attempt at stranded colour knitting and they are evidence of the learning curve.

The sock on the far left was my first attempt. I used size 3 metal needles, which was a mistake. By the time I'd turned the heel I could no longer fit my foot and leg into the sock.

Next I tried knitting with bamboo needles size 3.25. This is the sock in the middle. I also wove in the unused yarn when I knit more than three stitches without changing colour. This was a success and produced a sock that actually fit. For this sock I followed the pattern pretty closely; I only changed the way the heel was turned because I could get the suggested way to work properly for me. I was happy with this sock, though I thought that the heel and toe design were only ok.

Having one sock done I set about making its pair. By this time I had realized that the key to nice stranded colour work was a combination of wooden needles and a relaxed tension. I cast on my second sock (which was really my third and is the sock on the right) and was really happy with how clearly the pattern was showing up. Unfortunately it soon became apparent that this sock had a much looser gauge than its intended partner. I decided to carry on since I was really happy with the relaxed gauge. Since I was clearly no longer making a partner for my first finished sock, I decided to modify the heel and toe. I kept working the leg pattern down the heel instead of switching to the checker board pattern. I also tried continuing the foot pattern along the toe:

I wasn't all that happy with how the toe came out so I ripped back and tried a simple black toe.

So now I had three socks, two of which fit, and still no pair. I cast on a match for my second/third sock and my relaxed gauge finally paid off:

At last a pair of Norwegian stockings. They still aren't exactly the same size but they are pretty damn close and I love them.
Now I just need to do a gauge swatch using size 3 bamboo needles to see if this will produce a match for the first sock that fit. The saga continues. At least I have learned how to do pretty consistent colour work on double pointed needles. I have also learned that second sock syndrome is not my problem.


elan said...

Jake (my youngest) just walked up behind me, saw the socks & said woah! those are cool, I agree.

Arielle said...

Knitting four socks to get a single pair takes way more patience than I can imagine--that's awesome! They came out beautifully.