Friday, 20 October 2017

sock knitting season 2017 - pyroclastic socks

I am back to sock knitting. My second pair just came of the needles and my third pair is coming along nicely













I optimistically started with the cuff of this sock, with a vague idea of "making something a bit different". What that might be did not become clear until a bit later. That's me. I looked through my own patterns and decided that I didn't fancy any of them. Then I went on Ravelry, which again didn't inspire me, too many too similar socks. Eventually, I chose a pattern published on Knitty. The pattern is the pyroclastic sock, which was published in the Knitty winter issue 2009. It features a faux cable with a whiff of lace pattern repeat, which is easy to memorise. The sock also has a shaped arch, which is something I have never made before and a new to me heel flap. The sock has a ribbed cuff that neatly flows into the cable pattern. I guess this is where the name comes in, pyroclastic, as in pyroclastic flow. Having already made a cuff, I didn't bother starting over.

Despite the simplicity, the pattern nearly defeated me. Can you see how the cable/lace pattern gets narrower and narrower on top of the foot, ending with an equilateral triangle on top of the foot? It made me really cross. Let me explain. The arch shaping involves making two stitches on the sole side in alternate rounds. To maintain the stitch number, two decreases are done left and right of the cable pattern, thereby creating the triangle. The pattern instructions said to maintain the cable/lace pattern between the two decreases. I took this literally. Alas, anyone with a little experience at wits would have noticed very soon this doesn't work, the result being a botched triangle. I considered pretending this is what is was meant to look like but then thought I'd never manage to mirror botch the second sock. There was some cursing and unravelling but it was worth the effort in the end. What the instructions should have said that the same amount of stitches needs to be maintained on each side of the centre stitch in the centre cable at all times, making it necessary to fudge the cable pattern a little here and there as I moved towards the centre. If you ever decide to knit these socks, keep that in mind! If you like the pattern but not the faff, you could always just knit a regular not shaped foot, avoiding triangles and tears and whatnot.

I used Fyberspates CoopKnits Socks Yeah! yarn. The shade is benitolite, which I assumed was a mineral because all the colours in the range have a mineral name (malachite, topaz etc). Ever so curious, I set out to find out what it looks like. I found out that benitolite does not exist, it should be benitoite, as established by Dr Google and Wikipedia. It is a rare blue barium titanium silicate mineral, in case you are wondering, quite close to the shade of the yarn but more radiant. I guess calling it medium blue would be boring but I like boring, everybody knows what medium blue is*. I rather like the yarn, it smells like (washed) sheep and is soft. There are around 20 shades, all very nice.  

Anyway, the socks are cool, I like the arch shaping and the sturdy heel. Mind you, when my socks wear out it is usually on the ball of the foot, never the heel. Overall, I enjoyed knitting the pyroclastic socks. The pattern was just interesting enough to keep me going. I get easily bored with socks, it is a marvel that I ever make a second one. At the moment, I am sock knitting in the evenings, catching up with several Netflix programmes. For my current sock, I am going back to one of the first patterns I ever used, the Monkey sock by Cookie A.

It was not easy to photograph the socks, the colour is elusive and some of the features are difficult to catch without the flexibility of Mr Iyengar. I asked Annie to model them but her feet are a different shape from mine and we ended up bickering about the most beautiful feet in the house (mine). 

Right, I can smell my toad in the hole and it is time to round up the troops for dinner. Just me and three kids tonight. Richard is out for dinner and Sam is washing dishes at a Chinese restaurant. I assume he actually means scraping food of plates and piling them in the dishwasher. Have a lovely weekend. Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. xx


* just had a flash back to a post in the distant past, where I was mulling over different shades of blue. I am more accepting of the haphazard naming of colours now. 

19 comments:

  1. It must be such a job naming colours for yarns and paints. Sometimes, medium blue would actually be a lot easier. Some of the fungicides and insecticides we use on the farm have very wild and imaginative names. My current favourite is Fandango.
    Must get out my needles and start knitting.

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  2. I think they look perfect and frankly can't knit a pair of socks to save my life. I am not in love with that thin yarn to work with, and I suffer from second sock syndrome something fierce. And to be honest my brain can't handle more that a 2 row repeat so I am sticking with crochet right now, knitting seems too fiddly to me. By the way, love the color!

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  3. Wow Christina,you outdid yourself with these amazing socks! I love to knit socks and challenge myself but these look very complicated. What a beautiful design they are and a lovely yarn too. Maybe I will check out the pattern. Enjoy your weekend, Pat xx

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  4. Wow indeed, and beautifully done. So complicated! But very pretty and they look SO cosy. I am sitting here trying to be warm and wishing I had something so toasty. I bought some cotton yarn to make a cowl the other day, but the needle I need is currently on the beginnings of a small blankety thing. What to do? I really want to knit the cowl. Should I get the needle of the blanket or buy another needle? Or risk a half size bigger? Sigh. The cowl is miles and miles of moss stitch so of course I'll fail anyway, but I'd like to get going on it. Hope you and yours have a good weekend Christina. CJ xx

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    1. Buy another needle. Just try not to stab anyone with it (we all know about you and your clumsiness) :o) XX

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  5. I am in awe of your talent, those socks are beautifully knit. I am considering buying some hand knitted ones from one of the many hand craft outlets. Sock knitting has been on my to do list for years but somehow is forever elusive.

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  6. Your socks are beautifully knit, love the fancy patterns. I think that's why I don't knit much, I get bored easily from the repetitive stitches and rows. Socks are good as they are reasonably quick to do, or at least compared to a jumper anyway. Great post and photos, have a nice weekend, Cathy x

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  7. I have to say, that is one of the prettiest sock patterns I've ever seen.. I would never in a million years try it though, it looks wayyyy too complicated! You do have very nice feet. LOL! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  8. Fab socks and the perfect colour to accompany jeans, by the looks of them. I've never attempted anything that involves equipment other than two straight needles. And I don't think I've ever sniffed a washed sheep! Enjoy your weekend.

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  9. Hey Christina,
    I still wear the gorgeous socks I won in a giveaway of yours a couple of years ago. They came out of the drawer last week, as the weather turned a little chilly here. I prefer socks to slippers. I love the look of your latest pair. You are very tenacious; just thinking about knitting a sock makes me want to lie down in a darkened room. You persevere, and create something practical and beautiful too.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Leanne xx

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  10. Fabulous socks! I am completely in awe of your sock knitting ability. Grinning at Sam's washing up! x

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  11. If ever you are desperate for a quid or two, you could be a foot/sock model. =) Your socks are amazing, despite the 'boo boos' you had along the way. Love the pattern and the "medium blue" is a fabulous shade. I have always wanted to knit socks but never have; perhaps one day. Love the photos of your pretty socks on your pretty quilt top. Have a fabulous weekend!

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  12. What a lovely pattern, definitely worth the bother of ripping back and sorting them out. I've never used CoopKnits Socks Yeah! but I've squished it a few times, and again today actually when I popped into a yarn shop in Nottingham. I managed to resist on this occasion but I'm sure some will pop into my shopping basket at some point.

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  13. Amazing socks. Sock knitting here too, but much simpler. I enjoy the mindlessness Of easy pattern especially after a longer project. Maybe I’ll have to give one of your patterns a go one of these days :j. B x

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  14. These socks are beautiful and on beautiful feet ;). The blue reminds me of the aquamarine paint in my paintbox - the slightly purpley-blue colour of bluebells :)

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  15. I am back on socks too, must be the season or that we are strangely similar yet really far apart! I have just finished a final simple pair, so now I definitely get socks but now I want to learn how to make toe up socks with after thought heels so I am on that at the moment. Will keep you posted. Your socks are stunning and certainly a challenge. Jo xx

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  16. Fabulous socks. I'm in awe of the speed in which you turn them out... I'm thinking about starting a pair to be ready for Christmas!

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  17. I'm also in awe of your sock knitting prowess, seriously, you are very good. Poor instructions or assumptions of knowledge in patterns really irrirate me. It happens in crochet too. We're not psychic! X

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  18. Once again I am in awe of your creative skills – those socks are lovely. I can't even begin to imagine knitting socks. I can just about manage straight rows of k and p! S x

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx