Thursday, December 19, 2013
Knit In Progress: Aquaphobia Revisited
Holy smokes! Am I actually blogging about my knitting?? My goodness!! It feels like the last few handfuls of posts have been knitting related but never about what I've been knitting. I'll admit, this year the blog hasn't really featured much, if anything, about what's been on my needles. Everything has either been hush-hush or all about the sewing of bags. So it feels good to finally get down to my knitterly roots.
So...what's this knitting that I speak of? This here is the beginnings of an Aquaphobia sock. I know only one or two of you may remember that I made my first attempt at knitting this pattern a few years ago, back in 2011. I don't know if this happens to any of you, but sometimes a pattern comes along and you just make it your mission to conquer and master it. Only to knit it up and no matter what it just doesn't want to work out. You frog and knit, frog and knit, switch needles, switch yarn...nothing. The freakin' pattern just isn't panning out. And you feel...stupid. That's how Aquaphobia has been for me.
In my first attempt I had used some yummy, highly variegated BFL yarn and 2.25mm (US 1) needles. A few inches into the leg and I realized the leg was a bit on the tight side. So I frogged and went up a needle size, just to discover that the leg was now too loose. For me, there's nothing more annoying than socks that are too loose in the leg that they end up bunching around your ankle. So I frogged the sock and tried the needle size I was originally knitting with but a different needle brand. The leg was coming out even tighter than before but I was in knitter's denial about it and just kept on knitting. We all know how that goes. I just wanted the dang sock to work out!
Anyhoo, I knew the sock wasn't going to fit and so I stuffed it into a project bag and shoved the whole thing in the back of my yarn closet. A year later I finally had the guts to just frog the sock, re-wound the yarn, and put it back in the stash. Defeated. I felt completely defeated.
For some reason I felt the urge to dig through my stash and find the very first skein of fingering weight sock yarn I've ever bought and wind it up. The yarn, German made and bought via a destash from one of the ladies in one of my knitting groups, is so variegated that I knew it couldn't be anything more than socks. And the first pattern to pop up in my head: Aquaphobia. I'm determined to make that pattern my bitch. Please excuse the language. But it's true. Aquaphobia, you won't be making a fool out of me again!
I'll admit that before I got well underway with the pattern I had a false start that made me a little nervous. Remembering how the previous attempt produced a tight leg I decided to cast on using a 2.5mm (US 1.5) needle. I had knit the cuff and about 2 inches of the leg before discovering that the sock was fitting a little on the loose side.
I frogged and cast on again with a pair of brand new Hiya Hiya Sharps in 2.25mm (US 1). Um...can I just say how much I LOVE these needles?? After my disappointing experience with the last pair of so-called high-end sock needles (and the complete lack of response from the company's customer service) I was on the look out for another pair of trusty sock needles. My fabulous friend Aja has raved to me a few times about the Hiya Hiya Sharps whenever I've griped about the need to find a better knitting needle that didn't break the bank. Sadly none of the yarn shops here in Victoria carry Hiya Hiya and so that brand rarely ever crosses my mind. I have a few pairs of regular Hiya Hiya circular in my needle arsenal and have always enjoyed knitting with them. After finding a somewhat local shop that carries them, I finally gave in and bought 2 pairs of the Sharps. And boy, am I ever glad I did!!
Aquaphobia has 2 little 2-stitch cables that run on the sides of the leg and foot, and the Hiya Hiya Sharps are perfectly pointy enough to knit the teeny tiny cables with ease. I've had no problems whatsoever with the cable or the joins. And since they are made of stainless steel, there's no risk of the finish flaking off! I foresee a lot more sock knitting in my future! But first, I've got to finish Aquaphobia.
I don't want to say too much in how well the first sock is knitting up for fear that I'll just jinx myself and the sock will somehow either shrink up on itself or bloat up a few sizes. But I will say that the pattern has been an enjoyable knit so far and I'm really loving how much of a fabulous job the stitch pattern is doing in breaking up the variegation of the yarn. There's a fair amount of pooling where the foot meets the leg, but I think I can handle that. But the rest of the sock? Gorgeous! If you follow me on Instagram then you've already seen what the fabric looks like. I just hope it looks this nice on the second sock. And speaking of the second sock, I hope my good luck doesn't run out before I get to cast on for it!
Aquaphobia, let's be friends!