I have said it once, I have said it twice: I don’t think that knitting heavily-patterned socks while using colourful yarn is a good idea.
You just won’t get anything out of it. Every once in a while, I see folks using commercial-dyed sock yarn (say, Regia or Opal) and knitting intricate, complicated patterns, mostly with really fancy cables.
And all I can think of: “It’s naught.” You can’t see the cables properly, because the colours get in the way and the stripes (which are a big part of Opal yarns, usually) don’t work into each other harmoniously, so you cannot appreciate the pretty colourway either. It’s simply not worth the effort.
Now look at this:
These socks were knit of a Regia yarn that is simply called “Regia 4-ply color”, and obviously, I didn’t stick to my own rule. I bought this yarn in June, after having bought two balls of it for last year’s Julklapp in our knitting group, and eyeing it ever since then. The yarn is really pretty:
It’s also really busy, changing the colour of the barberpoled-yarn every centimetre or so.
I took it to my sister’s birthday (which is at the beginning of August) and cast on 20 sts for a pair of sneaker socks after coffee (and cake).
After finishing the toe, I started with the Hermione’s Everyday Socks pattern, and, after a few rounds, showed my grandmother what I had done. She eyed the sock suspiciously.
“I don’t think it’s worth the effort”, she finally said. “Frankly, I wouldn’t bother, and knit it in stockinette stitch.”
Of course, I didn’t listen, and when I came to the point where I had to start the gusset increases (which for me is after 12,6cm), I added a bit of texture:
I know that this is nowhere original, I have seen socks with garter stitch gussets a couple of times, but I have always found them to be very pretty. The fun fact about garter stitch gussets is that they look very fancy, but are easy to knit: Simply increase your stitches as you normally would, and purl all your gusset stitches when it comes to the second row (“knit all stitches”). I increased until I had 14 gusset stitches, but kept the first and the last stitch before and after the instep as a knit stitch, to have a smarter edge.
The heel flap was knit with slipped stitches (I find that they make the sock really comfortable and sturdy – none of my socks had ever any problem with the heel flap) and then I continued the leg for about 7 rounds (6 on the second, because what the heck, the sock was long enough), and topped it off with 10 rounds of 1/1 ribbing for the cuff. I bound off using Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind off, and wow.
I’m in love. The socks are colourful, the texture is lovely, and I really love the look of them, although you can’t spot a damn thing unless you’re near enough to see all the small details. They made a great travel project when I went to and from work, and the pattern, while keeping me interested, was not complicated at all, which allowed me to knit a few rows in between writing a huge crack-fic (a “crack fic” is a crazy, funny story, a crazy fanfiction story in particular) with a friend of mine in the evenings (yes, we are over 700 pages. After about 2-3 months of writing. We’re bonkers). Today, I bound off, sewed in the ends, and weighed the remaining yarn.
1 gram is left. I am a happy camper.
Have a great start into next week, my friends! Take care!
All the best,
P.S.: OH, by the way? Last night, we went to Duesseldorf to celebrate L.’s birthday, and she got the pair of socks I knit for her:
She wasn’t as enthusiastic as I would have hoped (she didn’t squee or say anything about the pretty colourway), but the socks fit and she was opening presents in front of all the guests. I’m biding my time, and hope that she will love them. 😉