Sock, Part Deux! [FiberyGoodnessFriday]

socks! and one gouty toe . . .
socks! and one gouty toe . . .

No, you’re not seeing double. That’s my sock. My second sock. That I made. With glorified string. By myself. My very own sock.

Er. Beth’s very own sock! SockS!

For those interested in such things: the yarn I used was Jacob yarn from Shaggy Bear Farms here in Oregon. For the last few years their booth at Black Sheep Gathering has caught my eye, and caught up in my “by golly I’m gonna knit socks!!” fervor this summer, I finally, finally purchased some of their yarn. Jacob yarn, because, dude. Jacob sheep.

Jacob sheep.
Jacob sheep.

I'm not kidding, you guys.
I’m not kidding, you guys.

Based on the sheep breeds that I’ve had the opportunity to be around and whose fiber I’ve been able to knit, if Beth and I had land and could support a spinners flock? I’d want Shetland sheep, hands down, but I want Jacob sheep for their fleece, and they are my second choice in any case. Those faces. Those horns! *dies*

So, I purchased two hanks of yarn; one in their Jade colorway, one in their Triple Berry Pie colorway. The socks above are, despite how the phone camera depicts the color, are knit in the triple berry pie colorway.

The pattern I used was Easy Cuff-Down Worsted Weight Socks which I found on Ravelry for free. The pattern is pretty simple, which is exactly what I needed: a length of ribbing, a length of stockinette, some heel shaping with some less than terrifying but still unnerving picking up of stitches, and then more stockinette. I altered the length of these because I didn’t have a ton of extra yarn, and because I started them in the summer. I thought: ankle socks.

The pattern is upfront in that the heels are narrow, so I can’t exactly complain that the actual heel only covers three quarters the width of my heel — I’m a bigger gal, sideways if not up, and I know I have wide feet. Wool is, thankfully, stretchy and forgiving, and really, I could keep these socks, wear them, and have no problem with the decrease ridge being under my heel rather than framing my ankle. But, Beth has narrower feet than I do, and it was nothing to just make the foot longer and decide that they would be hers, and that the second pair could be mine.

I’m still unsure if I’m going to try to find a different pattern, or if I’m going to try to compensate for my wider heel. I like this pattern — it knits up quick, it makes some comfy basic socks, and most importantly right now, it’s familiar. Knitting what I know, knitting around the same block a time or two, bolsters my courage . . . and you know, there are still cables to try at some point. Courage could come in handy.

Next up? Another pair of socks! If my brother ever gets around to giving me his measurements, I can start his, but if not, Beth can always use some more. I suspect store-bought socks will be tapering out of my wardrobe right quick.

What’s on your needles?

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Beth says:

    Reblogged this on Wytch of the North and commented:
    I now have hand-knitted (by Jo) socks!!! TWO of them!!! And I’m going to be wearing them today!!!

    I love Jacob sheep. They’re the heavy metal Goth sheep of the fiber world, with their black and white coloration and polycerate horns, and they look quite intimidating when you first see a picture of them. But then you see them in person and…they’re three feet tall. Seriously. Which makes them the “fear me” sheep.

  2. I love the color combination. Browns are such soothing colors. Could you tell me what’s a good place to start for someone completely new to knitting? I mean like I don’t know the first thing.

    1. naiadis says:

      I knitted wash cloths, and only wash cloths, for forever, because they were small, not intimidating, and small. i’m not kidding — my first four were garter stitch, which is the most basic stitch pattern ever. My tips for beginning:

      1. If you can stand knitting with wool, knit with wool. Wool is the most forgiving of the fibers. It has awesome elasticity, it isn’t too slippery on the needles, and it’s not nearly as scratchy as people seem to think it is. I favor Lamb’s Pride by Brown Sheep Company, especially when I was starting, because rather than being a plied yarn, it’s singles — it’s a slightly halo-y mohair/wool cross, but you don’t have to worry about not splitting the plies while knitting because there *are* no plies. You know right away if your needle is going through the yarn rather than having the yarn wrapped around the needle. Also, they have amazing colors. You find them more at yarn shops, not so much at places like JoAnns, Walmart, Target, etc. They’re also not the high end of wool yarns, but a mid-price range.

      If you can’t knit with wool, an acrylic blend may be the best bet. Cotton has no give at all and can be a pain, and bamboo is *slippery*. So, if you can, give wool a try.

      2. Use bamboo or wooden needles. They cost a bit more than metal needles, but I’ve found they’re easier to hold, and most importantly, the yarn does not slip off them as readily as they do plastic or metal needles. I wish I could use metal needles — I love the sound of them — but I favor bamboo.

      3. The books I used the most when I started was Stitch-N-Bitch (not so much for the patterns but for the technical talk) and Knit Fix, but really I gained the most from watching Youtube videos as I went. My first non-wash cloth patterns was a bag that was all garter stitch, and then felted; and then scarves. I’d find a pattern, get started on it, and then use those two books and/or Youtube if I got stuck on a particular technique.

      It’s taken me dozens of wash clothes, four scarves, three pairs of mittens, two pairs of fingerless gloves, three bags, a dozen mug-snugglies with baby fair isle, and four false starts on socks to get to the point where I could actually finish a sock. So, start with happy, flat, rectangular things, and try to have fun!

  3. Miaërowyn says:

    Yay for socks (again, I know but knitting socks is just too awesome!) I think after I’m done all my Yule knitting (I’ve got my own sweater that is just about done, then my mom’s, then my niece’s, then a hood-scarf and mitts for my sis, hats mitts and scarves for my mother in law and sis in law) then I can get into socks!
    With the hats mitts and scarves I’ve decided I finally want to try colour work, so I’ll be picking out some Scandinavian designs… Then I can knit myself colour work socks after!

    Also… OmGs those sheep! Where can I get one? 😉

    1. naiadis says:

      You’ve got quite the number of projects accomplished! Woohoo!

      Every year at Black Sheep, I try to get Beth to go in for a Shetland. “We can convince the landlord it’s an exotic sheepdog . . .right?” They’re so dog like anyway.*swoon*

      1. Miaërowyn says:

        Yes, next month and December will be mostly NaNo and knitting for me… Along with gingerbread house making 🙂 i like the busy-ness of this time of year.

        Hehehe, exotic indeed! Wouldn’t that be awesome!

  4. Very nice! What’s on my needles? Well…I don’t knit, with my awkward hand I don’t think I could pull it off, but I suppose pens could be seen as needles for knitting a story together (heh. see what I did there)and for that I have a new book on them (or hope to have by November 1st). 🙂

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