Monday, February 22, 2010

Sock Wars Update

I am, remarkably, still alive after 5 weeks.  Of the original 203 warriors, the official count is 39 left standing as of this evening.  I have logged four kills, with the fifth launched Saturday and arriving at my victim's home any day.  I am amassing a great little collection of leftovers from each pair of death socks, which will become a pair of souvenir socks for myself when I do finally meet my warm woolly death.

Sock Wars homepage
An outsider's view of Sock Wars

Sock Lab - Let the Experiments Begin!

I believe that people tend to fall on a spectrum between color and texture.  I am definitely far, far on the color end.  What that means, in terms of socks, is that I buy a lot of crazy patterned sock yarn.  But I have learned (the hard way) that the crazier the yarn is, the simpler the pattern has to be.  So I make plain old stockinette socks that show off my yarn really nicely, but bore me to tears.

To combat ennui, I decided this weekend to suss out as many unusual sock constructions as I could find.  So far I have a good list of patterns to try, all with unique or atypical geometry:
Rainbow Socks
Target Practice
Hat Heels
Vice Versa

I cast on a pair of Rainbow Socks this weekend, and so far I am really happy with the look.  I dyed the yarn especially for this pattern, after trying it with different yarn and frogging when I didn't like the patterning.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sock Wars V: Between Missions

Sock Wars is almost three weeks old, and I am still alive.  I have made four kills, the last being a target in Canada whose socks were put in the mail this morning.  After the initial intense rush to finish that first and second pair, there have been periods of waiting for the next socks-in-progress to arrive in the mail.  I now have this nagging feeling when I am between missions, like there's something I'm supposed to do that I've forgotten about.  And I find that I miss having a sock to work on.  To counteract this, I started a series of four socks which can pair up multiple ways.

This is fun yarn that I dyed myself.  I knit up two long blanks, each long enough for a full pair of socks.  I did a color wheel exercise: mixed red, yellow, and blue dye, and made dye mixes that were gradations in between each (so 25% red/75% blue, 50% red/50% blue, 75% red/25% blue, and so forth).  I ended up with twelve shades that made a lovely rainbow when blended from end to end. 

After the blanks were dyed, rinsed, and dried, I pulled them apart and skeined them into a loop that was ten armlengths around.  Since one armlength is about one round of sock knitting, this represents ten rounds.  Dyed half of the loop black, and presto!  Self-striping yarn.

The only problem is that I had some yarn left over when I made my first pair, so there was no red or purple in the mix.  I decided to solve the problem by making a second pair of socks that start with red and purple (but probably won't have much yellow and green in the mix).  They can be matched any which way because all four socks will be fraternal twins, but there won't be an identical pair in the bunch.  I've done two so far and I'm casting on a third tonight.