Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Garter Rib Socks

This is a strange time. We're isolating due to COVID-19, and with that comes a certain amount of stress and worry, both for ourselves and on behalf of loved ones. But at the same time, there isn’t much we can actively do to help the situation — staying put at home is about the best of it.

For me, that means a lot of nervous energy. I need to keep my hands busy under normal circumstances. That need is stronger now, yet my attention is being pulled in multiple directions.

So I cast on a pair of socks.

Casually posed feet wearing striped multi-colored hand knit wool socks on a white background.

I chose the Garter Rib pattern by Charlene Schurch. It’s only a bit more involved than a basic knit-two-purl-two rib, which is nice and easy for my mind to handle right now.

And I used eight different yarns, leftover from previous socks projects. The yarns have slightly different weights and therefore different gauges. I decided that US-1 (2.25 mm) was a safe needle size with a 72-stitch cast-on.

I split the balls of yarn roughly in half then knit with two at a time, alternating them with each row. As I came to the end of one yarn, I brought in the next. The yarns are:
  • Berroco Sox Metallic in colorway 1375
  • Regia Blitz Color in colorway 02527
  • Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock in colorway 06
  • Noro Kureyon Sock in colorway S233
  • Plymouth Yarn Rockin' Sox in colorway 3 Multi
  • Plymouth Yarn Dancing Toes in colorway 99 White, which I had dyed with Kool-Aid flavors lemon-lime, ice blue raspberry lemonade, changin’ cherry, berry blue, and fruit punch
  • Cascade Yarns Heritage Solids in 5618 Snow, which I had dyed with Kool-Aid flavors strawberry, grape and berry blue
  • And unidentified sock yarn that my Mom sent to me; I believe it may be Lion Brand Sock-Ease Prints

The only place where I was unable to alternate yarns after each row was at the heel turn. Happily, that’s an area that can always use reinforcement. I held the yarn double through the heel turn then picking up the stitches around the heel flap. As I began the gusset decrease, I was able to return to alternating the yarns.

Although I used the yarns in the same order, the yardage wasn't the same in each ball. The color repeats also began and ended in different places or, for longer repeats, were different sets of colors entirely. It makes me smile that, despite all of that, somehow the socks have almost identical dark red strips at the base of the toes.

Tops of feet wearing colorfully striped hand knit wool socks on a white background, showcasing a prominent dark red stripe in the same place on each sock despite differencs throughout the rest of the colors.

Not only do I have a colorful new pair of socks, but I also made my sock yarn stash a bit smaller. Of the yarns listed above, I used up all of it except the Misti Alpaca and the Dancing Toes.

I want to make another pair, this time with a different group of colors and working from the toe upward. But first, my latest yarn order was delivered so I want to knit with the new yarns!

Stay safe, dear readers.