Finished Object Friday- Smooth Operator Socks.

First attempt at an afterthought heel.

For this weeks FO Friday we have my third ever pair of socks, which are fresh off the needles. These socks are knitted in King Cole Zig Zag yarn in the Bluejay Colourway. The yarn is 75% wool and 25% Nylon. I used the Smooth Operator socks pattern (By Susan B Anderson) which has detailed instructions for an after thought heel. For those of you who have not heard of this heel before, it is where the sock is knit top down all the way to the middle of the foot (or even to the end of the toe) and the heel is added in afterwards. I have only ever used the more traditional heel flap and gusset method so I was keen to try out something new.

As you can see there are some problems with my socks (if you can’t spot the errors I am about to point them out for you!). First of all, these socks are not identical twins, I tried my best to get them identical down to the row, however I messed up somewhere. I tried to make sure that I started the pattern in the same place, on the same colour, however I somehow managed to start with very little light blue on the first one and then a full section of blue on the second. I promise you that I measured where I started to cast on and I swear that I did the same for both of them, but alas it did not work out. I put the after thought heel in the same place however and I think this makes them look more identical, so if you don’t tell anyone about this, I won’t either!

The second issue is that I somehow made it so that the toe and the heel do not line up, so where the decreases for the toe start is a few stitches over from where the heel flap started, giving them a twisted appearance when laid out flat. Again, I really don’t know how I managed this, especially on the second sock where I was so so careful to make sure that when I was picking up the stitches from the waste yarn (which I used to hold them while I was knitting in the afterthought heel) that I split them up in exactly the same place as they were before. Alas, it was to no avail and the second sock is also twisted. So I guess in some ways they are more identical than I think! I should also add that I don’t think this is any fault of the pattern, it is well written and has an excellent and incredibly helpful photos all the way through (or a shortened version for the more confident among us).

In addition to this, the heel is different on both socks, which is down to a completely amateur mistake on my part. On one I decreased to the wrong amount of stitches having read the number for the child’s size of sock. Sigh.

In relation to the yarn, I enjoyed the pattern of the yarn and like that the stripes are broken up by the stripe of black and white. This was my first time using patterned yarn and I will certainly be using it again. I didn’t find the yarn to be very soft, and think it may be a little scratchy, but I think with a wash it may soften up.

I really enjoy sock knitting, so I am going to be immediately casting on another pair of socks. It is a toss up between starting a vanilla pair (which I have found out is knitter speak for a plain pair of socks), a pair with a fish-lips-kiss heel, or Hermione’s Everyday Socks which have a pretty texture to them and would go well with some sock yarn which is hiding in my stash. I’m sure whichever I choose it will make its way into my blog in one way or another!

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Work In Progress Wednesday. Reyna shawl.

A Sumptous Shawl.

In this weeks WIP Wednesday I will be talking about the Reyna shawl. This will be the second Reyna which I have made, and it is a treat to make. I couldn’t resist making it again and it is going to make a wonderful gift for my mum.

I would say that I am about 80% of the way to finishing this project, however I always underestimate the length of time that it takes to do the final rows and think that I can sail through it at the same pace that I did in the beginning and middle section. I mean, 300 stitches isn’t that many right?

None the less I am loving this pattern and loving this yarn. The pattern (by Noora Backlund) is beautiful in its simplicity and is a well written. It also has a row tracker, which has been incredibly useful and made the pattern a breeze to follow.

I am using Cascade Heritage in their pine colourway. It is 75% merino and 25% nylon and has the lovely softness which you would expect from this fibre content. Each 100g skein has 400m. the Reyna pattern calls for 380-420m of yarn so I should be ok, and there is an option in the pattern to miss out a few final rows of garter stitch should it be needed (which I will probably do). I am really enjoying the stitch definition which this yarn gives and it sumptuous squishy feeling. It feels like a real treat.

I often spend my time exploring the amazing work of indie dyers on instagram, however my financial situation means that I can only window shop. This Cascade yarn feels like an excellent compromise however, it looks as nice as some of the yarns that you see on insta but comes up at over half the price. The colour is also amazing, however my poor little iPhone SE has struggled to really capture the depth of the green, but it is beautiful in real life.

It looks small considering I’m only 10 rows away from finishing, however I know from my previous Reyna that it will grow once it has blocked. I’m looking forward to casting it off, getting it on the blocking mat and showing you it in it’s full glory.