Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sock Madness Round 3 FINISHED!

I included the above photo of my finished Round 3 Sock Madness Socks because they come the closest to the true color of the yarn.

I think I am 5th in my bracket (Mighty Minnows).

These socks were fairly straight forward (I liked the chart) until the feet. Here is where I ran into problems.

I knit my socks 2 at a time on one circular needle magic looped.  Once you finish the heel turn on a pair of socks,  the pattern round starts at the middle of the heel.  This is fine if you are using double pointed needles, but can be confusing if you are using a method that has a definite front and back.  This isn't a huge problem if you are doing one at a time, but it can get very confusing if you are knitting two socks at a time.

Think about it.  If you place a marker at the middle of the heel,  and you are either using two circular needles or one circular needle magic looped, you can mimic the 4 double pointed needles:
Double Pointed Needles holding a sock

1 circular needles magic looped holding a sock

You still have a definite front and back, but you can divide your back into 2 parts.  You just have to remember that your round "begins" in the middle of the back at the marker. 

You knit the left side of the back (Part 1), then the front of the sock or the instep (Part 2), then the right side of the back (Part 3).  This is usually not a problem with top down socks, as the back or sole is almost always plain stockinette.  If there is a pattern on the gusset sides, it can get complicated.

This gets even more complicated if you are knitting the socks 2 at a time:

2 at a time socks on a magic loop

Ok, don't laugh at my graphics.  If you have two socks on your magic loop, you will start with Line 1 of your gusset pattern on part 1 of sock A, which is the left half of the back. Then you pick up the gusset and knit the back of sock B to the marker, then knit Line 1 of gusset pattern on Part 1.  You knit the instep pattern on both socks (part 2), then you finish line 1 of the gusset pattern on Sock A part 3, slip the marker, and start line 2 in part 1.  When you get to Sock B, you have to go back to the last part of the pattern and finish that line on part 3, slip the marker, then start line 2.

Are you confused yet?  I usually just knit straight until I am ready to start the instep (front) side of the socks, and I call that the beginning of the round.  If there is a gusset pattern, it will be on the second side of my socks, and split by straight stockinette of the sole.  I keep stitch markers to show where the actual sole begins and ends.  This also helps with counting in gusset reductions.

I knit the front of sock A, the front of sock B, the back of sock B, then the back of sock A.  This whole demonstration was a really long way to say that the Greenhouse Socks pattern for Round 3, were confusing when we got to the gussets and then even more confusing at the feet.  I cut and pasted the pattern so that I could knit them as though they were written Front and Back, and I found that helpful.

Then, there was an increase as the sole reached the ball of the foot.  This didn't completely coincide with the instep pattern, but I may have knit too many pattern repeats.  In the end, both the instep (top of the foot) and sole (bottom of the foot) were increased and shaped.  It actually is a pretty comfortable fit.  The bind off was really different, also.  Again, it was difficult to do on a magic loop.  The 2 at a time part didn't really affect it. but, it was really awkward for magic loops.  This isn't a huge problem, but I wish I had had some warning.  Like the directions might say, "The bind off is difficult on a magic loop or 2 circular needles.  Please switch to double pointed needles at the last toe round." 

All of that being said, the socks fit great, I love the Cascade Yarn, and I think the pattern is really nice.  I am happy that I learned a new sole structure, and a new bind off.  I am happiest that I am finished with this round and I can go fold the 4 loads of laundry that are in a huge pile on the TV room couch.

This photo has the top sock twisted so you can see the top of the sock pattern.  I really like how the 1x1 ribbing is carried both down the front and back center in a V, and also down the sides and into both the heels and the gussets.  I wish I had taken a photo of the sole, but now it is too dark.  Maybe tomorrow.  I can hear laundry calling my name.

shaping the world with Round 3 Finished.

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