Monday, April 14, 2008

Sockdown 2008

I'm antsy. I'm bored. I'm antsy and bored at the same time. Is it startitis? Is it pre-Pesach nerves; split between wanting to knit every waking moment because I won't be able to for 8 days and knowing I should not be knitting because I have cleaning to do? Perhaps it is that I want all my WIPs finished up but I want something new and exciting even more?

Well, I have a plan. Sockdown 2008.

I plan on knitting up 7 pairs of socks. Each pair from a different yarn company. Each pair with a different, unique colorway. Each pair with a pattern I hope will do the yarn justice. Some I have decided on a pattern for and for some I am still pouring over pattern books and stitch dictionaries.

The Contenders:
Hand Maiden Casbah
Right now this is the favorite. You may remember that I used it for my Oriel socks and that I am using it again for my Marigold socks. And that I am in love with it.

Here are the newest progress shots, taken this afternoon.

Sundara Yarn's Sock Yarn.

I'm using it for my Esther socks.

But I think it also deserves a second pair. Since I decided to try and convert this to toe-up (I say try because I am just on the foot section so far and haven't yet tackled the heel and gusset,) I wanted to keep to the pattern repeats as written. Which means I used bigger needles. And though Sundara recommends up to 2.75 mm needles, I don't I am creating a dense enough fabric. Since I won't really be wearing these out of the house I am not too concerned but I'd like to give the yarn a fair chance and see what I can do when knit to a tighter gauge, using smaller needles, like 2.5 mm. I have 4 other skeins of this wondrous stuff, but the two that are speaking to me right now are these:

Grape over Grey Violet, which I think would make a nice pair of Gentleman's Sock with Lozenge Pattern (Nancy Bush, Knitting Vintage Socks) or Sky (pattern still to be determined.)

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock
I have several colorways in my stash and have yet to use them, with the exception of small amounts for baby and wee tiny socks. I'm planning on using the Georgetown colorway for Pomatomus someday. But for Sockdown 2008, it's all about the Devon.

This is the thinnest yarn I have and calls for a 2.0 mm needle. But I did a bit of swatching on 2.25 mm needles and was happy with the fabric it created. And with my big feet, wider that I realized feet, it's a cast on of a whopping 100 stitches for the pattern I have decided on, Ribbed Lace (eight-stitch pattern) from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks.)

Blue Moon Fibers: Socks that Rock, Lightweight
STR may not be a new comer to Tante J, but I like the way it knits up and I have a couple of ideas kicking around. Like Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks for the multi-color Lucy (Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters, from which I have poured over many times but have yet to knit something from.)

Shibui Knits Sock Yarn
I love the way this feels in my hands as I work on New Roommate's Icosa Ball (ya, gotta get back to that!) And I want that on my feet. This exciting colorway is Spectrum, and it's been in my stash about six months. I love it but want to do it justice. And now I know what it wants to be. A pair of Cookie A's Monkey Socks.

Definitely. Monkeys.

And finally.

Zen Yarn Gardens Squooshy Yarn in Velvet Rose.
I loved this when I first bought it and then I sort of forgot about it. Poor, poor, pretty yarn. What does it want to be? Suggestions?

Of course I will be working on these socks simultaneously. What fun would it be otherwise. And as I progress, I'll keep you up to date on the pros and cons of the yarns and their chosen patterns.