Friday, June 16, 2017

Fresh Off The Needles: Rainbows & Unicorns

How excited am I to finally get these beautiful and super fun socks off the needles? I wish I could wear them right now but even with the random days of rain, it's still too warm to wear such woolly goodness on my feet. Oh well, another reason to look forward to Fall and the cooler weather! I know, I know...summer hasn't even officially begun and already I'm wishing it was Fall? Simply put, I don't do well in warm weather! Spring and Fall weather is when I thrive...and oddly enough when you can layer on the hand knits!

Anyhoo, back to these socks. I thought I would be knitting on these socks for months and months since I wasn't having any luck with the first sock and all the ripping back I had to do every time I had attempted to knit a heel. My original plan was to knit a toe-up gusset heel but after several attempts, it was quite obvious that this heel was not going to work out for me. Either I made the foot too long or too short, and after the last attempt, I realized that the heel looked too baggy around my overly narrow heels. Fine. How about a slip stitched heel instead? Yeah...that was a no go too. Somehow the heel came out too stiff with this bouncy yarn and it made the extra room a bit more prominent looking than I would like it to look. I was started to feel quite defeated. Have I lost my sock knitting mojo?

I ripped out the heel in sheer frustration and decided to just sleep on it. The next day I caved and went with my usual go-to heel that has yet to let me down, the Fish Lips Kiss heel. And lo and behold, all was good in the sock knitting department once again. Phew! But at the same time, I'm a little bummed about not being able to use a different heel technique. I feel like I'm always using the FLK heel (because it fits my heels just so darn well!!) whenever I knit a plain vanilla sock. I promise, the next pair, the next pair I'll knit a different heel!

It feels like it took a really long time to knit this pair up (three months, to be exact) to the point that someone on Instagram even commented on one of my photos that I was taking a long time and that they were obviously sick and tired of seeing the same sock WIP show up on my IG feed. At first, I felt really bummed out and wondered if my photos were starting to get boring and predictable. After a few days I told myself that I was being silly for letting someone's careless and ridiculous comment affect me so much. Why would you leave a comment like that in the first place? Screw that negativity!  

Aside from the aforementioned heel issues, these socks weren't my main project. While I was knitting these socks I had cast on and finished a Water shawl to donate to my son's school fundraiser and I whipped up a pair of Miss.Matched socks. I had also worked on my Fireside Pullover and a few other shawls WIPs (that are still WIPs...let's not go there). I was trying to be a little more monogamous with my projects, since obviously you can finish a project that much faster when you concentrate on one knit at a time, but my right hand is still all about the carpal tunnel and achiness. Knowing what I know now about healing from carpal tunnel release surgery, I sort of don't want to have to go through the surgery again. At least not right now. So with that said, I'm trying really hard to be extra, extra good to my right hand.

I had knit these socks using my usual toe-up plain vanilla sock recipe (24sts for the toe, 6" leg measuring from the top of the heel, and a 2" 2x2 ribbed cuff) because I wasn't sure how the colours would play out, even though I had seen a sample of this yarn when I had bought the yarn. But you know, needle size, stitch count and stitch gauge can change the outcome of how variegated colours can stack up upon one another. These socks are a true testament of that!

I started the first sock before I had my CT release surgery, and then finished it and its mate after the surgery. I didn't change needles, I didn't change any stitch counts, and I had cast on the second sock from the same end of the yarn cake that I was using for the first sock, and yet the foot came out completely fraternal! I really loved how the colours pooled and then started flashing on the first sock (as seen on the left foot in the photo above) and was quite surprised that it didn't happen on the second sock. Well, not as noticeably, that is. You can see a thicker band of the rainbows happening just below the toes on the second sock. I was also a little surprised that the striping continued almost evenly even after the heel on the second. Usually the heel messes something up and I find colours play out a little differently once you start knitting back in the round after the heel.

Sock's just so magical.

After binding off that very last stitch I weighed my cake and discovered that I have almost a quarter of the skein leftover. Lately I've been giving my leftovers to a good friend, who uses them to knit up little toys that she either gives to charity or uses as a cute yarn bomb, but not this leftover! I'm definitely keeping this little morsel of a yarn cake! I have visions of using it on the neck, cuffs, and hem of a baby sweater. Or maybe as an i-cord edge on a baby item. Or maybe I'll use it to knit another pair of Fennel fingerless mitts (I have exactly enough for a pair!!) since my original pair has been worn to death. Hmmm...that would be such a fun accessory to have on hand to liven up my usually monochromatic wardrobe (pun fully intended!!). Or maybe I should acquire a few more skeins from Sea Turtle Fiber Arts, in colourways similar to this one, which is called Rainbows & Unicorns, and then use all the leftovers to knit a crazy pants rainbow universe pair. I've had my eye on a few skeins ever since last year's Knit City (Rainbow Brite and Dark Side of the Moon, to name a few), I just need an excuse to get my grabby hands on them...


If any one needs me, I'll be looking at some yarn...

Please excuse the extreme ladders along the side seams - these haven't been blocked yet!

:: Sock Details ::

Pattern: My usual toe-up plain vanilla sock recipe with FLK heel

Yarn: Sea Turtle Fiber Arts Ridley Sock
Colour: Rainbows & Unicorns
Needles: Hiya Hiya Sharps Fixed Circulars in 2.25mm (US 1)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Rainbows & Unicorns


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