Friday, February 4, 2011


I'm sick. It started Wednesday with a wee sniffle, upgraded to a full on stuffy nose yesterday, and today I feel as though someone were trying to suck out my brain through two tiny holes above my eyebrows.

Nothing I can't handle, of course. I know that if I were just able to hunker down with my knitting, some tea, and seasons 2 and 3 of Buffy, I'd be completely recovered within a day or two. Which would be totally doable, if only I lived in Neverland. *Sigh*

Too bad, I've got the perfect socks for it too...

Nancy Bush's Estonian Socks, from her brilliant book Folk Socks.
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll
Colours: Fawn (MC), Wonderland Heather (CC) and Sapphire Heather (Border)
Needles: 2.5 mm Harmony circulars
Modifications: extensive

Even though I'd had the book in my library for a few years, I didn't really feel the urge to knit anything from it until I stumbled upon Mustaavillaa's version while trolling researching Ravelry. Her version, though... they were something else, and I knew I wanted my very own pair.

My first incarnation turned out to be... well.... ass. The colours I'd chosen were WAY too busy, and the pattern was just lost in the blue-teal yarn vomit my careful knitting produced. I decided that simpler was better, and re-cast on with just one contrasting colour for the main section of the colourwork, and the results were much more to my liking.

Plus, I was working these babies using my newly acquired two-handed colourwork technique, which just had me completely chuffed, you know? I soon ran into a small snafu though. The calf shaping in the pattern only has you go down to 80 stitches, and you keep that stitch count until you begin the toe shaping. 80 stitches was fine for my calf, but for my foot? No way, that was too big. There was nothing for it. I was going to have to modify the pattern to suit my own body.

Now, if you know me at ALL, you know that it's extremely difficult for me to modify a pattern. Sure, I know it can be done. I know designers aren't the boss of me. I know it's my knitting, and that I should feel free, even encouraged, to adapt it as closely as possible to my body in order for me to have the best possible garment I can have.

I know all of that, and yet the very notion of not following a pattern to the letter gives me a twitch.

But these socks were special, and I wanted them to fit me perfectly. I decided that with the gauge I was getting, I'd be OK with 72 stitches around the foot, and adjusted my calf shaping accordingly. Trouble was that that completely screwed the pooch when it came to the heel shaping.

The pattern as written has no gusset shaping. The gussets are knit into the heel itself (I hope I'm explaining this right), so by the time you pick up your instep stitches, you're already back up to your original stitch count. There are no decreases.

I wasn't going to dicker around with all those numbers didn't feel confident in my ability to reproduce Nancy's shaping instructions with my new stitch count, so I worked a regular flap and heel, then picked up the stitches along the heel flap for the gusset as I normally would have.

They're not perfect, but they're the socks I'm most proud of.

Happy Knitting, Everyone.


Sinéad said...

Those there are some seriously gorgeous socks. Seriously. Socks so nice, they demand you go out and buy boots that will allow the tops to peek out to show them off. When you're better, of course. Get well soon!

Chantal Boucher said...

Haaa j'en veux!! Ils sont trop, mais trop beaux! ouf! tu m'impressionnes!

dawn said...

I love the socks! Like seriously if I wasn't already married...well you know. They look like they fit you perfectly so kudos on the moderations.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

Great socks Tara. I think they look just perfect with the mods you did.

I also hoe you feel better soon. Are you still sick?

Alrischa said...

Good socks for reading Eclipse in, too. I just finished watching the movie about 20 minutes ago, but I must read the books again...

Love the two-hand colorwork, though mine does NOT look as neat as yours yet. Knitting continental makes me feel clever for some stupid reason! lol.

Love the color choices, too. Perfect.

Maryse said...

Ils sont magnifiques! Je suis sûre qu'avec de beaux bas comme ça, ton rhume ne durera pas bien longtemps! Reposes-toi bien!

Jennifer said...

Not only are the socks gorgeous (seriously, I LOVE that color comb1ination)but your photos are always stunning. (And a touch risque...not that this one is close to some of the others...but still requires strategic leg placement). Kudos!

(How many did you have to take before Phil got the one that was in your head?)

Mrhide said...

Well thank you Jennifer ;).. I try to take good pics!

sapphireblue said...

That accent up on top is lovely!

Laurie said...

I hope you feel better soon!!! And I love the socks - they look just perfect, and I love the colors you ended up choosing.