LEFTOVERS FOR LUNCH

I’m not quite sure why – maybe it’s spring doldrums, but I continue to be rather uninspired by knitting. Since I wrote last, I’ve finished two more pairs of socks and am half-way through the third. One of those pairs has already been given away, so no pix are possible but here’s the second rather boring pair:

moresox-4.jpg

About the only thing I can say about recent sock production is that I’m trying to use up leftovers and odd skeins. The turquoise in the pair above is old Kroy 4-ply (pre Kroy Sock). The multicolor is a Schachenmayer sock yarn, a ragg blend of spring pastels, mint, turquoise, yellow and pink leftover from a baby project. I had only one 50g skein of each.

The sock on needles below is a more ambitious adventure in leftover exploitation. I save every little bit of sock yarn. You never know when you’ll need as little as a row or two to work a contrasting color stripe. Along the way, larger bits get used up to make baby booties in my favorite pattern –Jane’s Booties by Ann Krekel. But I tend to use mostly the brighter colors and primary colors for the booties. This means that the tangled mass at the bottom of my sock yarn box is disproportionately a large number of tiny balls in browns, greens, and muddy mixes (the in-between parts of self stripers). Since there’s more than enough of those leftovers to do a couple of pairs of socks, and I wanted to reclaim my storage space, I decided to work them up.

Even though I need to use lots of little bits, I don’t like lots of darned ends in the foot part of my sock, so I decided to use some of the larger quantities for the feet. The ankle part however is fair game. The foot is rather humdrum, toe and heel in the same brown, and 6×2 stripes of green and brown. Rather than tons of skinny stripes I opted to do my ankles in entrelac:

moresocks-5.jpg

I’ve got bits of my brown and speckled green in the ankle, plus odds and ends of three self stripers and a couple of raggs and other prints. Lord knows what yarn labels these were in specific, but likely suspects include Regia Ringel, Schoeller Stahl Fantasia and Opal, all chosen because somewhere in their repeats they included green and/or brown. The second sock will begin similarly with a very plain foot part. Then it will explode into a similar bit of entrelac, although I won’t be using the exact same mix of leftovers. I do have just enough of the first set (most notably the orange and brown) to unite the look of both socks so they end up being fraternal twins.

As for what pattern I’m using – I’m not. These are toe-up socks with Figure-8 toes, worked on 72 stitches around (rather large gauge for me, and quick to knit), with a short-rowed heel. I worked about three rows beyond the heel in the speckled green before blasting out into the entrelac. To keep the ankle a manageable width, I had to do some decreases. Each foundation triangle “eats” 8 stitches of my circumference (k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1, k2tog) to produce patches that are 5 stitches wide. That’s 9 five-stitch foundation triangles in total around the ankle. Then I continued in normal entrelac manner until the sock was long enough. On the last row of half-triangles, I reintroduced the stitches I trimmed out before to restore the piece to 72 stitches. I’m now working my standard 20 rows of plain old k2, p2 ribbing at the top.

One more note. To keep from going nuts, I worked the entrelac patches using “backwards knitting.” I used my usual yarn in left hand Continental method for what are normally the knit side rows, but instead of flipping the work over to purl back on each 5 stitch patch, still holding the yarn in my left hand I used a throwing variant to knit back from left to right. Much more efficient than flipping back and forth a zillion times.

So I guess the moral of the story is that frugality pays. If you save all those small bits you can look forward to some interesting adventures in sock knitting.


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