Friday, April 13, 2007

Be right back...I left something out front

In my last post I gushed all over myself about this amazing sock yarn from Cherry Tree Hill that I *had* to get at my LYS the other day. Well, I didn't let this beauty languish in the stash, no way. I joined in the Lilac Socks KAL and cast on late Wednesday night. I had the cuff done last night and I just finished turning the heel and picking up the gusset stitches this morning. This is the dreamiest sock yarn I've had the pleasure of using to date. I love the way the yarn is plied and twisted so that it is firm, yet soft all at the same time. The stitch definition is crisp and the melange of colors is nothing short of spectacular to my eye. I was a bit concerned about pooling, but things ended up working out OK without needing a cut and splice intervention.

I've learned a few new things in the process of knitting Jeanie's lovely pattern. First was how nice a k2p1 rib looks--better than k1p1 (which I hate) or k2p2. Next was how to knit tiny cables with tiny yarn on a project using 4 tiny dpns. Talk about fine motor control--yikes!! I haven't done much with cables lately and this was my 1st encounter with charted cables. Oh, I've seen them charted, I just haven't knit them from a chart so I needed a way to remember when to hold the stitches on the CN to the front or the back--I never can remember which is what when I'm knitting on a project that calls for both. I came up with the perfect little ditty to help me get it right. To make a right leaning cable the stitches are held to the back of the work and in a left leaning cable the stitches are brought to the front. So right is back and left is front became "Be right back...I left something out front." Ta da! I chanted my mantra and didn't have to tink a single cable for going the wrong way!

Now for the confession--knitting tiny cables on a project using 4 tiny dpns is a big PITA. Yuck, yuck, yuck! I do not like it Sam I am. In fact, I hated it so much I left the cable out of the last pattern repeat on the cuff. I figured it didn't really natter at that point and it was after midnight get my drift ;O) If I'm going to continue to knit cabled socks I need to either master cabling without a cable needle (Grumperina shows how) or learn the "Magic Loop" technique or both! I am not knitting another pair of socks with cables on dpns--nope, no way! I considered leaving the cables out of the Lilac socks but darn it, I liked the swirling effect at the base of each "flower cluster" so I made the sacrifice this time--but never again.

The Lilac socks pattern is really wonderful, as are many of the sock patterns Jeanie has so generously shared for free to members of the Townsend Sock group. It's not a beginners sock, and it's knit cuff down with a traditional heel flap which might not make devoted toe-up sock knitters very happy, but it sure works for me. If you want your own copy, follow the link above or in the sidebar and join the group! It's a busy list, but folks are friendly and you can always lurk as needed (I do). I'm thrilled with how pretty the yarn is and how the sock is turning out. I will definitely be buying more Cherry Tree Hill SuperSock in the future--especially now that Sandy at my LYS across the street is carrying it. All I need is 10, maybe 15 minutes and some moola and I can have a new hank in my hot little hands ready to plop down and cast-on. How's that for instant gratification?


Regenia said...

That's such an awesome little ditty. I can never remember either, so now that you've given me a way I have this itch to start something cabled. Normally I'm no fan of variegated sock yarns, but those colors are so pretty! I may have to take the tour of that LYS too!

treva said...

Nothing to do with your sox - which are gorgeous, it's just that I'm so jealous you know where there are multiple yarn shops there. I lived in Knoxville for about 3 years, and the only yarn shop I found was Knit n Purl. They are great there, I don't want to take anything away from them at all, I just wish I'd known there were others that close by. We moved to PA, and needless to say, the heavier sox and shawls surely did come in handy up here. I do miss it there and we have hopes of being back at some time in the future.