Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Knitting Socks with Planning and Experience

Arriving at our new home last week was only the first hurdle. We spent a week in the house with only the items we packed in the car — yes, we planned ahead by including sleeping bags and pillows. Our furniture and the rest of our belongings made it here a few days ago. We’re thrilled to be sleeping in beds and sitting on chairs again! The unpacking and reorganizing has been progressing more quickly and smoothly than we expected, but it’s still mentally and physically tiring.

Needless to say, the main living spaces have been our top priority. My shelves and sewing table have been set up, but they’re still surrounded by sealed boxes and will likely remain that way for at least a few more days.

I planned ahead for this situation also — sort of. In our road trip bags, I packed yarn and needles for two pairs of socks. I didn’t pack any patterns; I was hoping I could find something online that would work.

I also didn’t check my gauge before starting. The two yarns that I packed are both fingering weight by Regia, which I’ve used before with US-1/2.25 mm needles. I know from past projects that socks with about 80–85 stitches per round on US-1 needles typically fit my feet well.

With that information in mind, I searched Ravelry for a sock pattern. One of the first to come up that I already had in my pattern library was Jaywalker by Grumperina. This pattern came out more than ten years ago and was one of those must-knit patterns at the time. Somehow I never got around to knitting it.

Of the two yarns I packed, I decided to use Regia Blitz Color in colorway 02527, which is a bright purple with short stretches of red, orange, yellow, and a deeper purple. I cast on for the 9” size, which calls for 84 stitches. The ball band photo shows a very regular self-striping effect; I knew the variation in the pattern could change that, but I hoped the zigzagging stitches would still be apparent.

Purple Hand Knit Socks in Progress with Regia Yarn

I’m so happy with this combination of pattern and yarn. I like the way the colors form loose stripes, sometimes pooling and sometimes not, showcasing the zigzags either way. I like that the zigzags are strong enough to make the ribbing on the leg shift along with them just enough to be noticeable. I love the diagonal and vertical stripes that formed on the heel; I can’t wait to see if the same pattern emerges on the second sock.

The sock fits perfectly. Although I was quite confident they would, there was that little part of my brain that kept reminding me that I didn’t knit a gauge swatch. Sometimes experience pays off!

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