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:
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.
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:
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?