Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sock 'em to me

Two tips for knitting lace socks 

Oriel lace patterned socks
As the weather warms here on the East Coast, I'm not thinking much about wool or wool socks and I must remind myself: It is exactly the time to think about them in time for the first chilly days.

I love textured patterns but it took me too long to realize my love of lace-patterned socks. The first lace socks I knit were in  the Oriel pattern from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks. From there, I was hooked.

Knitting socks is not a priority. In fact, they just barely make the list of handwork. Typically theyre m'y low-key, go-to project when I'm too tired to do much of anything else. I don't care how long it takes me to knit a pair of socks. It might be months. That's OK. 

Waving Lace patterned socks
Currently on the needles is the second of a pair in Evelyn Clark's Waving Lace pattern from Interweave Press' Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave. I love the picot cuff design on these, too.

I've learned so much about knitting socks by....knitting them, of course! Two recent ah-ah's related to my lace sock knitting are fit and blocking/drying.

Lace patterned socks to fit

Check the fit before knitting to the measured foot length. Fortunately, I checked the first sock of Oriel before finishing it off. (It is a top-down). I had knit to my tried-and-true foot measurement--like I had knit my other socks--but fortunately tried them on before finishing. I had gone too far. As lace stitches stretch much more than most other stitches (I know, I should have thought of this from the cast-on), the sock was about an inch too long. I tinked about an inch before finishing and it's a perfect fit. Good lesson. I won't forget.
Sock blockers/dryers 

Blocking/Drying hack

I'm not totally convinced a blocker is necessary for most sock knitting with today's yarns, so I've been hesitant to purchase a set. My wire frame allows socks to dry perfectly and if they also block them, it's a plus. I used two coat hangars, bending them into a general sock shape. They work perfectly. They can be hung for the socks to dry and they store equally easily.

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