Priscilla's Dream Socks by Priscilla Gibson Roberts FO

Pattern: Priscilla's Dream Socks from Interweave Knits "Favorite Socks"
Yarn: Briggs and Little "Tuffy" (Very close to 1 skein)
Colour: 93 "Red Mix" Lot: 893
Needles: 3.75mm dpn's
Start: July 13 Finish: July 30
Modifications: Omitted changing needle sizes to make more slouchy fit at ankle

I was feeling brave after my foray into toe up construction and I had some very cottagy rough, red yarn newly stashed.
My feet had been cold for three weeks straight up north but I didn't want to walk around the cottage in my pristine Cashmerino bed socks. I was yearning for a pair of tough, indestructible slipper-type socks that could handle the often gritty cottage floors but would also be cozy and comfortable when pulling my feet up underneath me on the couch. I was flipping through Interweave's "Favorite Socks" when I came upon this pattern that seemed to be ideal for my yarn, well suited to my purpose and had another interesting kind of construction for me to explore - short row heels AND toes!

I did a gauge swatch, starting as I usually do, one size larger than the recommended 5.0mm size to account for my tight knitting but in the end I needed to go down to 3.75mm to achieve the gauge required by the pattern of 5sts/inch. the resulting fabric is stiff and tight and frankly just what I was looking for - I was off and running!

Until I tried to tackle the "Old Norwegian" or twisted German cast on recommended by the pattern. I fiddled with it at intervals all day, cross referencing the technique between the pattern book and Montse Stanley's version. Following the illustrations I would get it but then if I lost concentration I couldn't replicate it. Finally I set my mind to trying to understand what I was doing rather than just occasionally (accidentally?) stumbling upon the correct approach. That was the key to success and by that evening I had a lovely, thick cast on edge and I was stiffly working my way down the leg.

Her technique for short rows was very effective - only two holes appeared on the first heel and after that I didn't have another problem with it. To be honest I don't really understand enough about short rows to comprehend why this worked but it did - and better than any other short row technique I've ever tried. Then it was more stiff, ache inducing knitting onwards towards (my first ever) short row toe.

How fun to swoop up under the toes and then back over the tops towards the instep! (Starting on the instep of course alternatively allows you to hide the seam underneath the toes if that's your preference.)

The decorative "X" cast off though is too nice to hide. Or rather my second decorative "X" cast off was too nice to hide.
The first, pictured above, was too wonky with my uncertain tension to leave as is so once I saw I could do better with the second sock I went back and redid toe #1...

Towards the end of that second sock the first skein of yarn ran out. (I think without the large gauge swatch I could have made the pair with the single skein) I decided to try splicing the yarn together to avoid a knot.

Here is the yarn, split and interwoven...

...Twisted together

...Knit onto the needle - see the thick looking stitches at the left?

Then there it is, its two rows down from the needle. Can you see it? I can't!

In the end, I love the lack of adornment save for the toe seam and the rolled cuff. Taking the toe seam - an element of the sock we generally minimize and making it a features while treating the usually decorative fabric of the sock as background is sooooo clever and I think the end result is quite striking!

This yarn is every bit as "TUFF" as its name implies. I feel like I could walk around downtown in these socks and neither my feet nor the socks would be any the worse for wear. They are going to be perfect hanging around the cottage socks. But now what to do with that almost full skein of Tuffy that's remaining? I went back to "Favourite Socks" and found just the thing!

I should be ready to post an FO report tomorrow. Thanks for dropping by!


Lorraine said...

Is Briggs & Little still around? It's a great yarn for a great price.

Acorn to Oak said...

You're so adventurous and brave trying so many new sock making methods and tricks! You're quickly becoming a sock expert! Not to mention, making a LOT of socks this summer. I'm really impressed! :-)

Michelle said...

Wow, all these socks are amazing. I really appreciate how you documented how you did them - this is so useful.