Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Winging it from the toe up

We're getting creative here people, watch out! Why I choose to make things as complicated for myself as possible, I'm never really quite sure. Either I overestimate my skills or I just secretly love the challenge. Case in point: No one needs to make fortune cookies from scratch, but of course I did. I am a baker, but that was just crazy. What was I thinking? I wasn't! I just went for it and figured it out along the way. The process: A huge mess, lots of trial and error. The outcome: Many freakishly deformed and/or broken cookies, several salvageable ones, and a gift I ended up being quite proud of. I can only hope my "winging it" knee highs will yield a similarly pleasing result.

These knee highs will be chock full of many firsts: First knee socks. First knee socks with calf shaping. First toe-up socks. First short-row heel. First time using self-striping yarn. As you can see, this encompasses a lot of firsts. Should be interesting!

I've been itching for knee highs for months and months now. Cute knee socks have been seen everywhere, and dangit if I didn't want to share in the fun! After much deliberation (I will spare you my erratic thought process through it all- poor Dis already had to live through it once), I decided on a simple stockinette pattern, with contrasting toes, heels, and cuff. I was leaning toward stripes, but somehow coming up with coordinating stripe colors on my own seemed to require a little too much decision making, so I opted for this self-striping tweedy variety of Lana Grossa Meilenweit for the main body and an espresso brown color for the contrasts. Now, back to self-striping yarn for a second. How does it work? No idea. How would I like it? No idea. But, I came across this yarn and thought, Why the heck not?

Verdict thus far? I'm liking it. All of it. It took me a while to find a toe up cast on that worked for me- I went with a Turkish CO. I won't embarrass myself by disclosing the number of times I had to start and restart the first toe. But, once I got the first one, the second one was a breeze, and I felt like I had one mini triumph already under my belt. I'm finding that the stripes are keeping my interest, and I'm making a concerted effort to try to not get too psycho about symmetrical stripes, but I'm nothing if not a stickler for symmetry, so we'll see how far I can go with that. (Yeah, I know- it won't be far. I'll pack light.)

I will also have a challenge up ahead when I get to working on the heel, but I have managed to not think about that too much thus far. Nor am I thinking ahead yet to the calf-shaping segment of the show, since more math is involved, and I have profound problems with math- even knitty math. Actually, I know I should start thinking about the short row heel now. I hope I can make sense of it.

So, how'd you like the differences in lighting for the three photos? Yeah, sorry about that. Well, at least you can a sense of the colors in the yarn. The first photo clearly shows the colors best, but I wanted to throw in some progress pics, so crappy night-time lighting was my only choice. They're coming along nicely, though, don't you think?

PS: What is with me and this color scheme?


jillian said...

Those are going to be fabulous. Congrats on tackling all those new skills! I think it's definitley one of those cases where after doing it once it's no big dealio!

Julia said...

Your toes look wonderful. Be sure to bring them Saturday. We do show and tell.

Jennifer said...

Thgey look great! You go, girl.

amanda cathleen said...

yay for trying out new things! : )
Great colors, love the stripage

Dee said...

so cute! hey, how about a pic of the fortune cookies?!

btw, I just bought a pair of knee-highs today on my shopping trip with c-girl!

The Stitchin' Sheep said...

The socks are looking great. Very symmetrical, actually.

And, fortune cookies? I'm intrigued. That would make a great gift - with hand-made fortunes, I suppose.

Shelley said...

I just love that yarn!! And good job with the Turkish cast on. I always use that because a) I'm too lazy to learn how to graft and b) I think it's just cool! Let me put in my 2 cents here -- I think you will be much much happier with a turned heel rather than the short row one. The short row one just doesn't look right. I found this site:
She has directions for a turned heel for toe-up socks. I did it and it's great! I should take pictures of my finished Crusoe and you can see it.

Sarah said...

You and I are definitely on the same toe-up knee-high wavelength! I used the Turkish cast-on for my drunken bear socks, and just last night I invented an afterthought heel that worked perfectly, much to my surprise. I put the sole half of the stitches on waste yarn and kept working up the leg. Then I came back and used the other end of the ball (I was curious, I couldn't wait) to knit the heel: I snipped out the waste yarn, picked up the stitches, divided them equally on four dpns, and just worked around and around putting a single decrease on each side every other row (like you'd do for a gusset if you were working top-down). Once the side needles were empty, I grafted the remaining sole and heel sts together, and voila! It worked perfectly, with nary a short row!

Rachel said...

Those are going to be awesome! I was just thinking today about a pair of socks sort of like that and kind of thinking I wanted some.

As for the short row heel, it's easy. Picking up the wraps is the only hard part. Well, fiddly, not hard. You'll have no problem, I'm sure.

kat coyle said...

these socks are so cute. i want to make a pair too. It was really nice to meet you yesterday!