BRIEFCASE SOCKS

Not much knitting progress to report on Rogue. Other priorities intrude this week. I have however gotten a fair bit done on my "briefcase sock."? That’s the pair of socks in progress that live in my work backpack. I like to keep one going that’s done while waiting for appointments, in line at the post office, and in those other bits of time that would otherwise be frittered away.

Briefcase socks are usually not of the most elaborate styling or construction. They have to be able to be picked up and put down without losing one’s place in a pattern, and mindless enough to do with only minimal attention. As such, self-patterning yarns are ideal. This pair is in Reynolds Swizzle. It’s marked at 7.5 stitches on a US #1 or #2. I’m using 1.25mm needles (US #0000), and getting 10.5 spi. This particular sock is 80 stitches around. As you can see, even at the much smaller gauge, I’m getting accent stripes that are perfectly satisfactory. They’re mostly one row wide, with a two row overlap of about 25-29 stitches. This pair is being done in the standard toe-up/short-row heel style that has become my automatic default. I began the sock at the very beginning of a yellow stripe. I’ve just started the short-row heel section at the blue stripe now just off the needles. I’ll probably begin the second sock at the start of either the blue or green accent stripe, just to be playful and have a pair of fraternal rather than identical twins.

Why do I knit my socks at such annoyingly tiny gauges?? I like them better. I find densely knit socks to be more comfortable, with none of that walking on pebbles feeling others report as a reason for not liking hand-knit socks. I have found that densely knit socks wear better and last longer, especially ones that are a bit tight on the foot. Socks that are large enough around to permit shifting can bunch up inside the shoe and either wear themselves thinner over time, or create blisters.

I find that most 4-ply fingering weight sock yarns work just fine for knitting at gauges significantly finer than they are marked. Three ply weight fingering is even thinner. It’s tough to find it now that the old Kroy 3-ply is history, but I can get up to 12 stitches per inch out of a good 3-ply. That’s fine enough to knit many pre-1900 era sock patterns verbatim. Cast on 96 stitches?? No problem with a 3-ply.

Finally how am I liking the Swizzle compared to other sock yarns?? It’s o.k. Not great. I find it a tad harsher than the Regia line and the Fortissima/Socka line. It’s also thinner looking un-knit, but denser (less airy) than the other two. The narrow, widely spaced skinny stripe is different, but boring. I may try to liven up the sock ankle a bit by either purling the accent rows, or by playing with a slip stitch or mosaic pattern on them.

Aside:? Welcome to my Japanese visitors!? I have no idea what the referring page says, but you are more than welcome to wander around and rummage through my past entries. Google translation tells me this

???????!

means "Happy knitting!"?? Although automatic translations are usually too literal (and usually produce silly output) I hope it’s not too far off.

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