Auntie Ann Knits

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bad socks, no cookie!

I have some self-striping yarn in colors I like, but I had a dilemma. What sock pattern to use? I could, of course, have made stockinette socks, and I hadn't ruled that out, but I was thinking of -- something a little different, a little more, well, interesting. Myself, I'm not so fond of the feather and fan stitch pattern, which I know a lot of people like for striped yarn.

On a previous pair, I tried a stitch pattern that was sort of a mash-up of the popularJaywalkers pattern and a chevron stitch pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. You can see them here, where I am still pleased with them, here, where there is no pic but I post about giving them away, and here, where I took them back again. I can't call those a big success.

I unvented a stitch pattern a bit like the Odessa hat pattern, which I liked so much in hats. I have made many an Odessa, although with the ones I made for chemo caps I substituted a raised bar increase for the YO's, so as not to have a hole. They don't like holes in chemo caps, they tell me. I am such an idiot, it is only recently that I have figured out that this substitution is why the caps came out a bit small around, which I had compensated for by adding an extra pattern repeat. Doh!

Anyway, here is my trial "Odessa"-type sock leg:

odessa sock

Stitch pattern (over multiple of 5): SKP, K, raise bar increase, K2. My terminology may be wonky, but SKP = slip, k1, PSSO. Raise bar increase is that increase where you lift the bar between the stitches with the left needle and knit into it without twisting.


Odessa sock close-up

I really like the patterning, how each color, which would be a narrow stripe in a stockinette sock, becomes a series of diagonal bars. And how the faux-Fair-Isle bars happen to line up diagonally, more or less, to make a pattern in another direction. I kept thinking this was coming out too tightly and with a 65-stitch sock, it didn't seem as though it would fit over my heel. After marinating in the UFO pile for a while, somehow that problem has disappeared. And so, after having initially rejected this as being too dense and non-stretchy, I actually think it would work. Except for the PITA factor.

It's just too much of a Pain in the Ass to knit this stitch pattern. To try to pick up that bar every 5 stitches, with some of the yarn being black.

While this knit leg was marinating, I got Lucy Neatby's book, Cool Socks, Warm Feet, which is supposed to be tailor-made for my problem -- what to do with my stripey yarn that's not stockinette? I'm not quite so thrilled with this book as many seem to be, although I have to admit there are many heels, toes and cuffs in there that I haven't tried yet. I already whined expressed my opinion about the gauge instructions for the Mermaid Socks here.

I wasn't happy with the beginning of my Mermaid Sock, or the Odessa sock, either. I decided to try some different things. So I present to you now the world's largest and most ridiculous swatch:

Odessa sock sampler

I had intended, when I first began writing this post several days ago, to go through and explain what each stitch pattern is and what I like and don't like about each one.

But suffice it to say that I frogged both the swatches last night and have put the yarn in time-out to think about what it has done. A line I am stealing with reckless abandon from Maia.

I will probably let the yarn out tomorrow night for knit night, when it will commence becoming mindless stockinette socks. Nothing wrong with those, now, is there?


  • I love the pattern for your "Odessa" socks. If you don't mind, I may have to steal that pattern stitch.

    I hate lifted bar increases too so I use a variation (and it has more stretch!). Instead of lifting a bar, make a yarnover. On the next row, knit the yarnover through the back of the loop. The result is the same except that the adjacent stitches aren't tightened.

    Love the title of this post too.

    By Anonymous Maia, at Thursday, May 03, 2007 12:36:00 PM  

  • Nope, nothing wrong with a stockinette sock. I plan to make some one of these days.

    By Blogger Liz, at Thursday, May 03, 2007 12:49:00 PM  

  • I love the colors of this yarn! I'm sure it will be beautiful with whatever pattern you finally settle on.

    By Blogger Da Gu Ma, at Friday, May 04, 2007 10:41:00 AM  

  • Annie - I love your blog site. Now I never have to hunt down another pattern. I just see what you are working on, follow your links, and have lots of new projects on hand. So I'm knitting the modular felted tote (found by following a thread to the Rainey Sisters). Now I'm thinking about the Odessa hat, since your pattern turned out so cool. I'd seen the pattern before, but I like the yarn you are using for it. I bet it's a bit annoying on a sock pattern! And BTW, we are still working on the Dells one knew what month we were talking about.

    By Anonymous Lisa, at Friday, May 04, 2007 1:20:00 PM  

  • Nothing at all wrong with a stockinette sock, especially when using such misbehaving yarn!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Saturday, May 05, 2007 4:21:00 AM  

  • Oh, that "Odessa sock" is absolutely brillant! And btw, I was trying to get back on your questions re my sock blockers but couldn't find your email anywhere.... so please see update on my blog. Cheers, Maryann

    By Blogger Little Sesame, at Saturday, May 05, 2007 9:27:00 AM  

  • This is reminiscent of my efforts of forcing a stitch pattern on some intensely colored variegated yarn.

    The odessa pattern is very becoming on the self striping. It is. That just seems so brilliant to have thought of that pattern to create interesting colour blocks such as the ones in your swatch. I'm sure you'll come up with something even more brilliant to make it all work!
    (Loved your use of marination - it's totally apt! hehe).

    By Blogger Deepa, at Saturday, May 05, 2007 11:01:00 AM  

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