March 31, 2018

Similar But Different

Every year since I can't remember when, I have knit JB and the girls a new pair of socks for Christmas.  Historically, they are the first things I knit each year - because I like knowing they are done.  

Sometime last Summer, Wendy at Lancaster Yarn Shop {which is also my LYS} got a pretty new color of Crazy Zauberball Malerwinkel and thought - wouldn't it be fun to make the girls socks out of the same yarn?  

So, I bought 2 balls, 1 ball is enough for a pair of socks, and then promptly put it away.  The one rule to #christmassocksforall is that they have to be knit in the year they are gifted.  

At some point between purchasing the yarn and starting knitting, Wendy and I had a conversation about knitting socks with zauberball and she mentioned a striped pair she had made.  Well, that planted a seed, but in 2018 I'm not spending my money on silly little things like patterns - not when I know how to knit a pair of socks AND have stitch dictionaries on my shelves.  

So - first things first - I caked my 2 matching dye lot balls of Malerwinkel into pretty yarn cakes.  Next, I pulled out the stitch dictionaries because there is absolutely nothing that will bore me faster than a plain stockinette sock, except maybe 1x1 rib.  UGH.  

Because I was using both yarn cakes on each sock, I didn't want to knit 2 at a time, but I still did them on my circular needles, and toe up.  To keep the stripes uninterrupted and balance out the yarn cake usage, I used cake A for the toe, heel, and ribbing of socks 1 & 3 and cake B in the same places on socks 2 & 4.  

With lots of numbers in my head, I grabbed US1 {2.25mm} circular needles and got started.  I started with a 72 stitch sock and worked 2 repeats of the stitch pattern on either side of the foot.  Put the heels on waste yarn, worked up the leg, then did 3 repeats of the pattern all around for a cuff.  Finished with a tiny, tiny bit of ribbing and bound off.  Quickly knit an afterthought heel and sock 1 was done in 3 days!  There are very, very detailed notes on my ravelry project page so that I could repeat for sock 2.  

First Pair Done!
I forgot how quick it is to knit single socks.  It took me about 3 days per sock to knit these.  Back in my bus commute days it would take 2 weeks to knit a pair of socks.  I'm also happy to report that these socks are the same size - there were no gauge changes between sock 1 and 2.  

Second Pair - Similar, but Different
With the first pair complete it was time to start the second.  I knew that a 72 stitch sock would be too big, so this time I only did a 60 stitch sock.  I tried something new when starting the second pair.  There is a technique I learned from knitting top down socks where the decreases go all around the toe.  I wanted to try recreating that from the top up and it worked!  
It Worked!
This time, I worked the ribbed lace up the entirety of the leg as well as along the edges of the foot.  
Side By Side
Pile of Socks
With the leftover malerwinkel I've been knitting "similar but different" socks Eleanor.  Sadly there is a gauge issue between her first and second sock, but I don't care - she's a baby and won't wear them for long - that is if they aren't lost first ;)

It feels good to have these done and in the Christmas Box reading for gifting already.  
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