Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I am a pretty big fan of sportweight socks.

blue sock

I feel like these are a little too clunky to be delicate, really; they look pretty lacy, but the zigzags made by the decreases stand out more than their corresponding yarnovers do, in the final analysis.

Compare with a swatch of the same pattern in much finer yarn at a much looser gauge:

blue sock and green swatch

where the yarnovers and the way they shape the fabric into ripples are what's most obvious. It's hard to notice, in the sock, the way the single stitch in between the paired yarn overs gets stretched out at the base of each leaf; that distortion is front and centre in the swatch. None of this is to say that lace patterns knitted at tight gauges for socks are bad or lesser. They're just pretty in different ways. It's interesting to see what changes about the character of a pattern when you adjust the gauge.

(This pattern is adapted from one in the leafy section of The Haapsalu Shawl, which is the most inspiring book if you like lace patterns where the yarnovers tend to be placed a few stitches away from their decreases. My adaptation was to replace some purled stitches with knitted ones in order to emphasize those zigzags.)

This sock has a mate on the needles, almost half-finished, and its pattern is nearly finished too. (I actually wrote it months ago and just didn't get around to actually knitting it until now.) They'll only come up to the mid-calf, but they have a bit of a stocking feel to them, or at least I think so. There's some secret calf shaping that's barely noticeable in the finished sock when it's laid out flat, but very noticeable when you put it on and it flares out to fit your calf. All of the decreases are lumped together into a single round in the narrow garter welt that divides the cuff from the leg, so no pattern element is interrupted; the cuff pattern tends to draw in enough that the decreases don't make too dramatic a change to the width even though they all happen at the same time. It's a nice balance.

I am pleased with how the pattern on the back of the leg flows into the heel flap.

blue heel

Also with how the lace pattern on the instep goes nearly all the way to the tip of the toe. I think there are about four rounds that escape being patterned before the toe gets grafted closed. Toe cleavage is the new hotness, right?

blue toe

Also also, is it dorky to kind of want a lace scarf that matches my lace socks? Because I am seriously considering it.

1 comment:

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