Tuesday, February 1, 2011

FO: Niblet Socks

Since the Sassy Stripes socks that I gave to my mom keep getting holes in them which I can never seem to fix, I decided to knit her another pair - using worsted weight yarn this time to try to ward off holes! I also had another secret motive: I wanted to try out magic loop on a pair of socks that wouldn't take me forever to knit.

I planned to use the same Starter Stockinette pattern I had used before for my own worsted weight socks but I decided that it might be a good idea to use a pattern specifically written for magic loop since it is my first time. So after a very quick Ravelry search (in a hurry to get started!) I found this pattern and decided to give it a go. The pattern was very easy and produced some very thick & warm socks in a jiffy.

I'm still not sure if I like the magic loop method. I love the fact that it doesn't create any ladders running down the sock leg and traveling with your project is much easier, but it makes for kind of an awkward knitting position for the English-style knitter and I kept getting all tangled up in the cable. I honestly think I work faster on dpns, but maybe I just need more practice?

Anyway, here is a pic of my mom modeling the finished project. (She picked out the yarn and loves it. Frankly, I think it's kind of ugly... ha ha.)

yarn details

Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Woods
80% acrylic, 20% wool
worsted weight
machine wash cold; tumble dry low; do not bleach; do not iron70 grams/162 yds @ $2.99 each (mom's treat!)

project details
pattern: "Niblet Socks" by Kathleen Taylor; free at http://kathleen-dakotadreams.blogspot.com/2007/09/freebie-friday-niblet-socks.html
needles: size 4, 32'' circular (from knit picks nickel plated options set)
gauge: I didn't bother... naughty Pepper!
yarn used: 248 yards/1.5 skeins
finished size: ladies medium (7-8)
duration: March 27, 2010 - September 19, 2010
cost: about $4.60

  • The heel/gusset area was created using short rows instead of knitting a heel flap and picking up gusset stitches like I have done with all my socks in the past. The short row method was really fast and easy and ideal for the magic loop needle set up (and produced no holes at the top of the gusset!), but I'm not super happy with the result. The socks just don't have the same fits-like-a-glove feel. It also looks kind of strange, though luckily that's not too obvious in this project because of the thick variegated yarn I used. I think it's worth the extra time to knit a flap and pick up stitches, but if you're in a hurry this might be a good option.
  • I enjoy that Taylor provided a chart for the stitch pattern - even though the pattern isn't that complicated. I love charts and always make them so I can stay sane while I knit, so she saved me some time by doing it for me! Yay!
  • On the foot I did five pattern repeats (starting halfway through the pattern) after the heel to measure 5.5'' and then 10 rows of stockinette so the foot measured 6'' and then I started the toe.
  • I finished off the toe with kitchener, rather than just sewing through all the stitches and tightening as the pattern instructs.

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