Crooked rain

I needed portable knitting for my conference in Dallas last weekend, and I was too close to the heel turn on my second Diamante sock for comfort. (I’m not sure whether this is true for other sock knitters, but I have to turn the heel in one marathon session. I can’t stop in the middle. So when I get to that point on a sock, I have to spend an entire evening getting all the way from the gusset to the leg. Not exactly pick-it-up-and-put-it-down travel knitting.)

So the night before I left, I did two magic cast-ons, arranged them carefully on one 40″ circular needle, and got ready to embark on two-at-a-time sock knitting. My pattern of choice? The toe-up version of Grumperina‘s famous Jaywalker socks. I had self-striping yarn in my stash — Knit Picks Felici. That’s all I needed.

In three days I got several inches into the pattern, and look at those chevrons! It’s the first time I’ve tried a pattern that pulls the knitting out of a straight line like these. And I had some anxious moments in the first few inches. The sock features a larger stitch count than normal for my size, because the chevrons create tighter tension, but that doesn’t happen until there’s enough of the pattern to let the directionality emerge. At first it seemed big and floppy, but after about four inches of chevrons later, it’s fitting nicely.

For me this is the perfect combination of yarn and pattern. It’s the first time I’ve knit with self-striping yarn, and just look at the gorgeous green shades forming those V’s. And it’s yet another example of the magic that happens with simple stitch combinations; put decreases and increases in the right place — doing nothing else — and the fabric pulls into these amazing waves.

Now I’m rapidly approaching my one-at-a-time heels. Triple the marathon turning time, please!

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