Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lacy Socks: My Own Design!

While I was recovering from my back surgery in January & February I rediscovered my love of knitting lacy socks (as detailed in this post), & was particularly intrigued by cookie a's lace sock designs. This inspired me to design my own lacy socks again (I was particularly into this back in the early 90's when I first began to teach knitting & began spinning my own yarns). So I worked my way through Barbara Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns and charted-out on graph paper any lace patterns that looked likely. Since I usually knit my socks on 2, size 0 circular needles, with 64 stitches around, for a gauge of ~6.5-7 stitches per inch (my foot is a pretty standard women's size 7), I was looking for anything with a repeat of less than 16 stitches.

One of the hurdles I face as a lace knitter is that I'm left-handed. I learned a long time ago that I have to reverse the decreases in any lace pattern or the lace won't turn out right. Also, although following charts is a bit easier (since the decreases are indicated by way the decreased stitches slant), I still have to decide which way I'm going to follow them- from right to left (as intended) or left to right. It gets very confusing, although I was able to work almost all of cookie a's charts by working them right to left (which made her left sock my right sock). So, in some ways, it's a lot easier to just design my own, with charts that read left to right. (This has led me to put some thought into making charts that can be read from both directions- stay tuned for this...).

One lace pattern that seemed very promising was the "Japanese Feather" pattern, on pages 285-286 of The Second Treasury. I really liked the way that the lace makes wavy selvedges & thought it would look really neat in the round. It wasn't very difficult to plug the pattern into what I think of as my sock template & I was very psyched to get knitting once it was all charted.
This is the first sock finished & (as you can see from the top photo) I don't have much more to do for the second. I was really surprised by how easy it was to memorise this pattern, as it's 28 rounds for a full repeat.
You can see how the waves in the pattern turned-out- I really like it!
I used KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in the "Queen Anne" colour.
I tried to get a close-up of the lace but the camera flash made it kind of washed-out :(

Anyhow, I am very pleased, & have 2 more pairs of socks designed, which I can't wait to try out. If all goes well, I'll probably post the patterns for free on Ravelry. 

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