Auntie Ann Knits

Monday, February 25, 2008

Crazy Conservative Socks

As far as I can tell from Ravelry and the internet, the only other pair of these in existence is the sample for the pattern. Maybe there’s a good reason for that!

These are actually a lot of fun to knit (once I figured out the pattern instructions, which IMO could be clearer and more detailed), but I’m not sure yet how the finished sock will be. The pattern is by Gerdine Crawford-Strong, and can be downloaded free here.

BTW – the name I have given these socks is not a political commentary – the published pattern name is “Conservative Socks”, but mine are pink, purple and bright blue.

Ms. Crawford-Strong originated the “Strong Heel”, not named for its strength but for her. I don’t know all of the details of it, but it is supposed to make more attractive socks with self-striping yarn, with less interruption of the stripe pattern for the heel. There are a number of examples in blogland and on Ravelry. It reminds me a bit of Cat Bordhi’s “Cedar” construction, although again I don’t know the details of that.

Picture 1: Cast-on, ribbing, and most of Section 1 triangle. It will be decreased down to a point, then the next section begins in the “V”. Section 1 is Dream in Color Smooshy, last seen in the “Flow Motion” socks.

Section 2
Picture 2: Section 2, mostly done. It starts with a triangle at the bottom, then parallelograms up each side of the Section 1 triangle (nearly done with second parallelogram), and then there will be a triangle on the top tying together the two parallelograms. Section 2 is the J.L. Yarnworks yarn, which is much, much prettier in person, but the scanner doesn’t seem to like it as much as I do, which is lots. It last starred in my “Purple Monkey” socks.

Heel turn done
Picture 3: Section 3 done, heel turn done. Section three includes all of the increases, sort of like the gusset of a traditional sock pattern. The heel turn is done over all of the heel stitches (blue triangle at the back of the heel) plus all of the increased “gusset” stitches (that is, over enough stitches to be the equivalent of the sock circumference). The pink is the Smooshy, of course, and the blue is Trekking yarn, previously seen in my “Falling Water” socks.

The pattern picture that downloaded looked as though Section 1 and Section 3 should be the same color, although that's not how the directions read. I decided to make them the same color. I ordered the back issue this was originally published in (hoping for clearer instructions, and there were some other interesting patterns in it), and the magazine picture clearly shows that indeed Section 3 was knitted in a different color than Section 1. Well, I still like my choice. Also -- the pattern is actually not even in the magazine -- there is some background explanation and a template for designing your own crazy socks, but you have to go to the website for the actual pattern. Crazy, no?

Anyway, this is a fun way to use up some yarn leftovers now that I've figured out the techniques for this sock. One of the reasons I started looking for sock patterns for bits and bobs of leftover sock yarn is that I had a lot of the Smooshy left over after the Flow Motion socks -- nearly half the skein -- and probably 1/3 of a skein of J.L. Yarnworks yarn left after the Monkeys -- and I could not let them just sit around. I just had to turn both of those beautiful yarns into more socks.

I'm weighing all the leftover yarns used in these socks both before and after knitting so that I can have a good idea how much I used of what, and which other leftover sock yarns might be combined into future Crazy Conservative socks.

If I'm crazy enough.

In other news, DD and I took a trip to the Gold Country in the foothills of California over President's Day weekend. We toured a working gold mine and two caves, one of which we took a 165-foot rappel down into. Big fun! Both she and I are experienced rappelers, but even the inexperienced rappelers had a great time and it is set up to be pretty much idiot-proof, as it should be. We also continued on for the crawling part of the tour, and once back above ground we did the zip line. I got back in touch with my outdoorsy, adventurous side, which has been somewhat dormant of late. If you're ever in that part of the world, I recommend this. Check out their website.

Alas, on our one day of skiing I fell clumsily and twisted my left knee pretty badly. I'm seeing the orthopodic guy Thursday. Hopefully a little PT and maybe a brace will be all that is in store for me. I tore my right ACL skiing about 6 years ago and have managed to avoid surgery for that so far, and hopefully won't need it for this tear/sprain/whatever.

The knee slowed me down only a little bit at Stitches West, but that's a story for another day.


  • Ok, those socks are a little crazy, and not just in their color scheme. Still, I like them and am a little tempted to try my own. But only a little ;-)

    I hope the "other day" when you tell us about Stitches comes soon!

    By Blogger Liz, at Monday, February 25, 2008 2:04:00 PM  

  • Wow! You've been busy! That is the coolest and most complicated sock I've ever seen. Perfect for you, oh genius knitter. Way too over my head for sure. Good idea to use up left over sock yarn. Craftaholic also did a swatchy sock with leftovers that you might want to check out. Sorry about the knee. That hurts just thinking about it. Ouch! Be good and stay off of it. I'll be checking in on you.
    Love ya'

    By Anonymous angelarae, at Monday, February 25, 2008 7:43:00 PM  

  • Add my kudos for attempting those socks. They look great!

    By Blogger Renee, at Tuesday, February 26, 2008 8:41:00 AM  

  • My goodness - the sock is amazing. The construction is really unique & your choice of colors are great. I think this will be too much for me.

    By Blogger Ann, at Tuesday, February 26, 2008 3:04:00 PM  

  • That sock is something I have never seen. A conversation piece for sure. I'm pretty adventurous, but that just about draws the line for me. Can't wait to see if done and modeled.

    By Blogger Angelika, at Wednesday, February 27, 2008 3:25:00 AM  

  • Your conservative socks is quite an interesting ( and difficult) pattern. Great idea to use up you odds and ends! You are very talented as you make such beautiful socks.

    Hope your knee is just a sprain and nothing more serious. hugs :)

    By Blogger hakucho, at Wednesday, February 27, 2008 3:40:00 PM  

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