Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tea with the Red Earl

So, having turned the heel on these socks, I've finally gotten to the interesting patterny bits.

Remember, these were deliberately chosen as travel knitting, and yet I didn't want to make something totally plain. Also, while my brother-in-law Tim is a pretty laid-back kind of guy, I didn't want anything too girly (he refers to his wood shop as the Man-Cave, okay?), or more importantly with a lot of YOs that would make the socks less warm than they ought to be. We live in New Hampshire- warm comes first, pretty second.

So in choosing a pattern, it was natural to look to our neighbors to the north, and borrow the Yarn Harlot's charming pattern for Earl Grey socks. I love the little teensy cables, and executed in Tim's favorite dashing red, I thought they would be quite stunning.

But when I got going, I discovered I needed to make a few changes. Because I'm trying to use up as much of the yarn as possible, I decided to knit them toe up instead of top down. And I was knitting these in the car, and didn't print the pictures out with the pattern, so I had to kind of improvise from memory the cabling down the foot. And I was still away from a computer when I got to the top of the gusset, and I had no recollection whatsoever what the transition from foot to the cable panel on the leg looked like. So I just winged it.

I wish I could say knitting the sock with a heel flap was part of some brilliant master plan to compare different heel constructions. But actually, I just happened to have flipped open my book of sock patterns to remind myself of heel proportions and that was the one I happened to get. (I may have to do my next set of socks with an afterthought heel, just so I can collect the whole set.)

We're going to pass lightly over the part where I ripped out the first heel attempt because I was convinced despite the evidence of the pattern in front of me that I was doing a short-row heel. (Peach herbal tea. Really. You were wondering what I was drinking at the time, right? Honestly, if you're sufficiently under-slept, alcohol is superfluous.) We're also going to refrain from speculating as to whether I'll be able to duplicate this piece of seat-of-the-pants knitting on a second sock (why borrow trouble, I ask?).

So, really, the little cable panel up the side is the only true Earl piece I haven't mucked with. But I think that Stephanie, of all people, would understand.

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