They’re the Interlocking Leaves pattern by Kelly Porpiglia from the Fall 2008 issue of Knitty. I used Jojoland Melody superwash yarn and two 16″ US #0 circular needles. I love the lace pattern and the yarn, even though it’s varigated, really defines the stitches.
This is my first pair of toe up socks, and they were a bit on the frustrating for me. I used a figure eight cast on and loved how easy that was. My grumpiness came when the gusset wasn’t deep enough and I needed to rip back my knitting twice (as though once wasn’t bad enough) before I was pleased with it and it fit correctly. The other thing that made me growl was the cast-off edge of the cuff. Even though I went up a needle size and cast-off very loosely, the edge was so tight it was difficult (if not almost impossible) to pull over my foot. A friend suggested a sewn cast-off (that the clever Elizabeth Zimmerman wrote about in “Knitting Without Tears”), and that worked so much better. I found a great page at Wooly Wonders blog that has excellent (big) pictures that show how to do this flexible and easy cast-off. After all is said a done, I’m not going to say I’ll never do toe up socks again, but I’ll admit I not a big fan of this technique quite yet.
One thing that always amazes me is what happens when I wet block a knitted project.
The sock on the left is fresh off the needles and has not been blocked yet, while the sock on the right has been soaked in the sink and put on a sock blocker to dry. You can see a marked difference, as the lace pattern has been opened up, but what’s more is that the feel of the yarn has softened to the touch. I’ve tried steam pressing and spritzing my piece with a spray of water, but nothing seems to get the job done like totally immersing my finished knitting in a sink of water and then laying the article flat and shaped to dry. Steam ironing smashes the fibers while wet blocking allows the fabric of the knitting to stay light and fluffy.
I need to thank my friend Ana for taking the top three pictures of my socks!