Monday, January 18, 2016

Fresh Off The Needles: Zombie BBQ Socks

What's this? Another sock FO? You bet! I was still riding on the high of finishing my last pair of socks on Christmas Eve that on Christmas Day I decided to tick off another WIP on my to-do list. After all the presents were opened and everyone was relaxing and enjoying their gifts (and the Mister and I were downing mug after mug of coffee), I parked myself on the couch, all cozied up in my adult onesie and and armed with a fresh mug of coffee, and set to work on finishing another sock. The Zombie BBQ socks that I had cast on in October. They were meant to be my Halloween socks but I never got around to finishing them because, well, shiny new stuff.

Like the last pair, when I picked up this project again I saw that the first sock was completed and the second one only half done. Can I blame "Second Sock Syndrome" as to why I left two pairs of socks in this WIP stage? Because I'm going to. Never mind that I had brought this sock along with me on my weekend getaway up island to Tofino and this pair was my main knitting project, and the fact that I was the passenger both ways (meaning: I got approximately 10 glorious hours to knit from the travel time alone!!). But then again, since it was my first time making the trip to Tofino, I guess I did spend a fair amount of time looking out the window and enjoying the beautiful scenery. And we did make a few stops (there was a yarn shop en route!). Anyhoo... 

The socks. This is the last FO of 2015:

I truly lucked out with this yarn. I really loved how the colourway looked all twisted up in skein form but thought once knitted up, it could look like a muddy mess. I was expecting pooling and maybe a little bit of flashing action here and there, so I was pleasantly surprised and more than thrilled to watch the colours knit up into its own striping pattern. And then I was immensely relieved that the striping pattern continued on in the same manner after I had knit in the heel. I even like how the toes knitted up differently, giving the sock a contrasting toe effect. 

I've knit these socks toe-up (surprise, surprise) because I loved the colourway so much I wanted to make sure that I used up as much yarn as my short legs would allow without the socks feeling or looking awkward. So they're a little above mid-calf height with a nice thick 2x2 ribbing to hold them up and to fit my calves without having to do any increasing.

I contemplated doing an afterthought heel because I was a little nervous about ruining the striping but decided to live dangerously and went with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel instead. This is my fourth time using this heel and I still can't get over how clean and easy it is, and look, no holes!! I didn't even have to pick up extra stitches in the corners either! While it's an easy heel to knit, I still have to refer to the instructions from time to time. Not to see how to knit the special stitches, but rather the placement and when to start and stop. If you're looking to trying out a different heel on your next pair of socks, I HIGHLY recommend this one. It can be used in both toe-up and top-down sock patterns and the pattern is only $1 USD. Of all the heels I've knit, the FLK heel is hands down the best fitting one. In every single sock I've knit it into. 

I would love to give this heel another go on self-striping yarn again. The one and only time I've used this heel on a self-striping sock was on my Halloweenie socks from a few years ago. Even though I think the socks look great and the stripes appeared even, I was up in the air about how the colours played out in the heel and more specifically, if I cared for the thin little black stripe along the heel hinge. I think next time I'll use a contrasting yarn and maybe, just maybe I'll have a new yarn/heel combo.

I'm even really happy with how the ribbing turned out. I thought it would be a hot mess due to the change of knits and purls, but it continued on with the striping. I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off (JSSBO) to finish off the socks. This bind off has never failed me and is a bind off that I use on all my toe-up socks. I've never had to rip the bind off out due to it being still too tight around my leg and I've never had to worry about whether or not if I left myself enough of a tail (unless I'm playing yarn chicken).

I have about 26 grams left over and it's a little yarn bit that I don't plan on giving away or chucking out. Surprisingly enough I'm not at all sick of knitting with this yarn. I plan on knitting a hexipuff or two from it, yes...I still think about my Beekeeper's Quilt...and often...and maybe add it to a pair of "monster socks" that I've always wanted to knit. Monster socks, in case you've never heard of the term, is a pair of socks knit up using leftover bits and bobs of sock yarn. I've seen some knitters make a matching pair (they've divvied up the leftovers so that each sock will have the same amount of yarn), but I really like the idea of completely crazy, mismatching socks. 

For now, my Zombie BBQ leftover is sitting lovingly on my desk right under my monitor. I'm keeping it there as a (gentle) reminder to knit up that hexipuff. And to get started on those monster socks. In the meantime, I'm glad the weather has been a little on the rainy side as of late because it means that I can keep wearing hand knit socks without overheating!

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: My own plain vanilla toe-up sock recipe

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock 
Colour: Zombie BBQ
Needles: Knitter's Pride Carbonz Fixed Circulars in 2.25mm (US 1)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Zombie BBQ Socks

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