Sunday, July 13, 2008

this little piggy:
sock toes

as some may have guessed, my time is still being devoted to knitting on my creativity 350 project. i'm trying to stay focused, which can be very hard for a right-brainer like me! the only other thing i've allowed myself to do with my free time is about an hour of spinning my june fiber of the month swap roving every couple of days. pretty good, if i do say so myself!

i thought i'd had about all i could stand of the 350 knitting, until a knitting angel sent me an IM on craftster. it was my june FOTM swap partner! she is really sweet, and through conversing for our fiber trade, we found out we have alot in common. she sent an "are you out there?" IM, after not hearing back from me, and i couldn't help but unload all my project stress on her! after all, i don't have anyone in my personal *not internet* life that knits or even an LYS to seek help or consolation from!

*warning; in the next paragraph, i let my creativity 350 project out of the bag. i just couldn't keep it a secret anymore, it's too exhausting NOT to write about it here! there was no stopping it either, the words just exploded from my hands to the key board! so here is the original paragraph, unedited!*

after reading my pitiful message, she sent along some encouraging words. and, although i knew how thoughtful it was of her, i didn't feel particularly enthused to pick up my needles right then and there. but, at my next knitting session, i was able to finish the toe of the sock *whoops, i let my super top secret project out of it's knitting bag!!! honestly, i'm too exasperated trying to keep it under wraps on the blog anymore! so there you go, my super top secret creativity 350 project is(!!)........SOCKS!!! i know, who would have guessed?!?! this is only my 3rd pair in a row!*

that stupid freakin short row toe!!! after barely making my way through it on the yarn over cable socks, here it is again!!! why didn't i just go with a different toe? because i didn't know any others to look up off the top of my head, and i don't have a book saying "here are the toes, here are the heels, put them together however you like!" not to mention, i was just plain being lazy about it. so after struggling on it *see all my yarn over cable sock rants* it just magickly happened! it was so smooth, and natural. the knitted fabric just poured from my hands! my knitting angel has some well-deserved knitting karma coming her way!! and she's not even a knitter.

so, after knitting the toe, the foot of the sock went by faster than i ever imagined! *after all those stupid short row toes, i forgot that i actually AM a good knitter, i just learned that i SUCK at short row toes!* the first thing i thought when i started designing these socks was: "STRIPES!!", and since i was doing the intarsia motif on the leg, i knew i'd at least put the stripes on the foot of the sock, if not use them as the back ground of the leg, too. but right now, i'm only knitting the foot. so, what type of stripes should i do? fat? skinny? painstakingly thought out? or randomly knitted? and then, from the corner of my brain where i store all of those really great ideas or techniques for future inspiration or use: "FIBONACCI stripes!!!" and so, it was decided. i would LOOSELY base my stripe sequence on a method called fibonacci knitting, which i saw demonstrated on knitty gritty.

a word about fibonacci knitting:
i would really love to explain this to you, but for the sake of time i'm directing you HERE. that link will take you to the knitty gritty web page that FULLY explains what the fibonacci numbers are, and how to incorporate them into your knitting. the tutorial is beautifully written and SUPER easy to understand, plus it gives a very interesting mini-history lesson about Leonardo Fibonacci and the way he came up with his fibonacci sequence

so, if you're interested, but telling yourself you can't do it because it involves math and numbers, trust me when i say- i suck at math!!! THIS IS EASY, i promise!!! it's only numbers, no math included! the work is done for you! if i can do it, anyone can *and if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you'll believe me, because if there's anyone who can mess up the simplest knitting pattern, it's ME!!!*

okay, back to your regular scheduled blogging:
now here's where i start to fudge my numbers *this is why i said my stripes would be LOOSELY based on 350*. so, i already know that i can't use the number zero, because i obviously can't knit ZERO rows of anything!!! so i had to substitute the zero with the number one.

then, i had to make sure my numbers (now 3-5-1) were actually included in the fibonacci sequence. so, using the link above, i checked it out, and was grateful that all of them were there! so, that was easy, right?! yeah, too easy.

i soon realised that with my TINY gauge, not only would the stripes not look good, but changing colors that often would be down right tedious, and my knitting would probably look like CRAP from the frequent joining of new colors. i had also decided early on that i wanted my pair of socks to really stand out. i wanted to people to notice them and wonder why the hell my socks had "350" so proudly emblazoned on them, and subsequently come ask me about it! the stripes needed to be bold and graphic. so, i figured the easiest solution would be to double the numbers: 3 to 6, 5 to 10 and 1 to 2.

it was easy to knit the stripes this way, and i really like how they turned out- just bold enough, but not like striped witch stockings or anything! there is a visible line down the length of the foot, giving away the exact point where i changed colors, but i decided i would put that part of the sock to the inside of the leg, where it would be less visible to someone viewing the sock from the outside.

sneak preview!!! here the foot of the sock is completed, at the left you can see the line of demarcation where i joined the new colors. it's not too pretty, but i will tighten up the joins in the finishing stage of the sock and hopefully it'll look better!

here is a closeup of the joins. this will face the inside of the foot.
i would like to note, however, if you were to knit a pair striped socks using a "knit 10 rows in main color, knit 10 rows in contrasting color" pattern, the joins would likely be less noticeable. my theory on this is they're easier on the eye because they are farther apart than the stripes with only 2 knitted rows, so we perceive them as being less noticeable.

this is an illustration of the aforementioned theory of how the thickness of the stripes affects the look of the color joins.
on to the heel! my first thought after finishing the toe and foot of the sock? there's no way in hell i'm going to do another short row technique here!!! so i logged on to ravelry, and began searching the sock knitting groups for an alternatives. i was massively dissapointed. so instead of wasting my time searching the internet *as some of you may already know: i'm completely useless when it comes to searching* i went to the "tips and techniques" group on ravelry and posted this message, a call for names of ANY heel or toe known to man, so that you could look for them by name, making the search infinitely easier. the message has already gotten a few replies, which isn't alot, but the information given is worth it's weight in gold! i've checked out all the links provided in the first 3 replies, and although some of the websites were abandoned EONS ago, the information is still good, and most of the internal links (ie; click here to go to "socks, page 2") are still good.

so please, if you read this and my previous posts about my infuriating yarn over cable sock experience and feel like i'm reading a page out of your sock knitting book, CHECK OUT THAT LINK!!! and if you're not already a member on Ravelry, you should sign up today, even though they have a waiting list *which is already much smaller than it was when i applied* and it is a challenge in itself to figure out how to work all the totally amazing *FREE* features their website has to offer, IT'S TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!

so that is where my first sock stands as of now- next i'll decide what heel to use and with any luck, that will go faster than the toe, because i can't much more paranoia about not finishing these socks by the deadline of the contest, this has come to be so much more important to me than i ever could have imagined!! i really want to be able to show people what i can do, and hopefully everyone will like them and appreciate how much work and thought was put into them!

1 comment:

Becka the Spoiled Knitter said...

Hey from the Blog comment train group on Ravelry!
I'm officially addicted to knitting socks! You might want to try an after thought heel: If you google about I'm sure you will find several tutorials for the afterthought heel....just a thought, LOL!
Have fun!