Some progress at last on the Fleece Artist ones. The one knitted from the inner end of the ball has finally been reknit to the ribbing. I've just frogged the one from the outer end of the ball back to where the calf shaping will start.
In the meantime, let me show you some pictures from along the way. First, the toes (and yes, these were knit from two ends of a single ball):
I'm doing toe-up with a gusset. Since the Fleece Artist skein is somewhat shorter than most, I figured I'd start at the toes and go until I ran out of yarn. The design is basically from More Sensational Knitted Socks (Small Tiles), but I broke the pattern differently at the sides; that got me the precise foot width I wanted, and then I managed to extend the garter along the edge of the heel flap, and also tuck the gusset decreases into it:
They're going to end up longer than I expected. Hence the sudden realization that I needed calf shaping, hence the frogging back, etc. etc.
In other news, I finished the snorkel socks! I love them. I love the stripes. I loved knitting every stitch. With the stripy yarn, plain stockinette was plenty to keep me happy.
Look at the heels! (Afterthought, and just like the toes.)
And look at the toes! I knit these top-town, people! (Of course the dyer should get all the credit for the consistency...)
Why was I not able to actually frog back my helical Rosebud until I'd screwed up something else, too?
I caught the problem weeks ago. See, I'd forgotten to look at the pattern when it was time to start the empire waist and hence didn't know about the decreases in the first row of ribbing. As my less-used boobs deflate, I'm considering switching to a smaller chest size (I still need all the room in the hips, never fear), so I really can't afford to ignore those decreases.
I threaded a spare Addi through as a lifeline:
and left it there for a month, until my almost-done Parrot socks* got long, but not wide enough. Time to rip back to just after the minimal calf shaping I put in, so that I can add some more. Threaded an Addi 0 as a lifeline, unraveled away, and remembered: hey, there's that sweater, too, with the four live strands and the elastic thread skipping promiscuously from one to the next.
Somehow the act of frogging the sock freed me to calmly approach the sweater. I spread out the four balls of yarn on the floor in a circle around the sweater, grabbed the card of elastic thread, and carefully wound one, wound the next, detangling the elastic as I went. It took less than 15 minutes in the end.
* The only picture I have for those right now is of the ball of yarn, pre-socks:
That ball! It took me a week of stolen moments to wind. But I've worked over three-quarters of the yarn, making one sock from each end, and it's stayed usable the whole way down.
The fit's not perfect. They're a little long in the foot. Could be narrower in the ankles, wider in the toes. And I could have done a better job with picking up extra stitches at the corners of the heel, and of handling the last few rounds of the the heels.
But they feel wonderful on the foot (and in the shoe). Soft and snug. And I'm so happy with the little targets on the heels and the overall continuity of the striping—afterthought is the right way to do the heels for yarn with narrow stripes.
They were fun to knit. I love the stripes—these socks will get worn! But as I knit I maintained a continual interior dialog (what? you don't yell at other people inside your head?) with the dyer, always rooting for the wide stripes to be wider. Some of the orange stripes made it past five rows; others petered out at three and a half. One poor little red stripe was barely a row wide. I tried to make the socks close to identical twins, but the yarn didn't play nice enough for that (see the match at the ends of the toes? and the variation in the width of the first few stripes?). The first heel got inserted into a gray stripe, but the second went into a red; the first sock ended on a big grey stripe, the second on a narrow, so I had to splice in a little extra grey yarn to finish the bindoff.
I'll tell you more about the heels and toes later on. This lovely yarn (the blue/green/brown stuff at the bottom of the entry) is going to get made into a similarly constructed but more carefully considered pair, which I'm going to work top-down—more control over where I put the heel, since it's not constrained by the foot length. Plus I want to try having the heels and toes be constructed very symmetrically: both decreased, instead of one increased, one decreased.
I liked the way the ends of the ribbed reversible cables came splaying out against the seed stitch background on this swatch, and I've been trying to put together a baby blanket design based on that motif—which is fully reversible, and the blanket should be too.
Chocolate bar borders, and candies in the middle? Yum.
The first happy sock, with its afterthought heel, is done! My goodness, am I happy with the heel.
And I've gotten through the toe on the second one.
I'm not sure what's going to happen with the top bindoff. I tried something annoying from this page (its only virtue was that I could remember the directions from my first skimming, and hence didn't have to get off the couch to try it) and I'll try something different on the second sock. If I like the second one better I'll redo the first.
Or maybe it's just that I can live with the couple three mistaken crossings, especially since the cable-down-the-raglan-line has turned out well...
... and the stockinette is also much smoother than I usually manage. I'm leaving each purl stitch on the tapered part of the needle as I start the next one, and that seems to be enough to keep them as (excessively) tight as my knit stitches.
The idea here is to put the nifty Arwen reversible cables onto a baby cardigan. anny purls did this already, but she did bottom-up, full Arwen-width cables, and fingering weight yarn. This is DK-weight, three-strand cables, and top-down—swatch measurements told me how to get the same dimensions as the Knitting Pure and Simple Easy Baby Cardigan, despite the horizontal compression from the cables.
Finishing steps I fear: grafting the hood (yes, across the cables), and achieving a nice hem on a bind-off edge. The apparent difficulty of the latter is a pretty convincing argument that I should have gone bottom-up after all.