Tuesday, March 25, 2014

2014 Sock Madness, Round 1


I finished my Brucie socks in time to be placed on a team for 2014 Sock Madness.  My Team is:  Tenacious Tadpoles.    I was a minnow last year, which I think was the slow team.  I'm pretty sure the Tadpoles aren't much faster... but perhaps not the slowest?  Thank goodness, though, because it's much harder to finish socks quickly when you have a job, even a part time job.

That being said, I'm now on the first round of real competition.  Sock Madness calls the pre-lim round or the "placement" round:  Round 1.  I call the first round when you are actually on a team: Round 1.  Hope that doesn't confuse anyone, but, that makes more sense to me.

The round 1 pattern is a beautiful cable pattern, Diamond Shreddies by Carrie Van Kessel. 

I'm using yarn I bought at the Madrona Fiber Festival last year, Redfish Dyeworks Silk Sock.  I was looking for some yellow sock yarn (ha ha ha I have plenty, now) and was bemoaning the fact that although there were some beautiful yellow FINGERING weight yarns at the festival, there were none that had nylon in the mix.  The person from Redfish Dyeworks talked me into trying their silk sock, saying that the silk content took the place of the nylon in adding durability.  Well, we shall see how durable these socks are, but I can say that the fabric feels amazing.  It is so... silky!  I catch myself just stroking the stockinette sections.

The pattern has these beautiful cabled sections that will be on each side of the sock.  In the beginning, you knit the cables (if you are using magic loop or 2 circular needles) on the "front and back," then when the legs are finished, you move the stitches so the REAL front and back are in the right places to knit the heels.

The only thing I don't like about the pattern is that she has it set up so the break between the "front and back" sections originally falls between two purls.  This always causes laddering for me.  I can sort of have a knit and a purl where the sides split and not get too bad of a ladder, but two purls just doesn't work for me.  Finally, when I got to the cables, I twisted the pattern just a bit so my front and back split in the stockinette section.  It made a a big difference.  I just hope the ribbing (where there is a bit of a ladder) will even out with washing and wear.

The heels are a modified Eye of Partridge pattern.  I do love this heel.  It is so pretty.  The designer has modified the traditional Eye of Partridge heel flap by keeping the ribbing on the sides of the flap.  It is just beautiful  and really shows up well in this yarn.

I hope to finish the turn today, and the gussets (that will be a bit of a reach...).  Skeinherder is coaching me again this year.  Honestly, I couldn't compete without her help.  She texts me occasionally during the day to check my progress and cheer me on.  She checks the group threads for me.  I am way too chicken to see how many people have turned in socks.  I know it will just waste time and make me more nervous about whether or not I will make it to the next round.  Skeinherder is my thread mole.  She reports back how many socks are in so far, and always tells me not to worry!  She also reminds me to stretch, get up occasionally, and stay healthy.  Coaches are so important to success.

Anyway, back to the heel turns.  I'll report back in tomorrow, though I will be working all day so I'm not sure how good any photos will be.  We shall see how good the light is in the late afternoon.

shaping the planet in Round 2

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