Whew, it takes a lot of yarn to cover guy feets! I made toe-ups because, although I heard that Trekking comes in generous amounts, I wasn’t sure it was enough. It was enough, but I could have used more (turns out that hubby doesn’t like a skimpy leg). So here they are, the Ladder of Life Toe-Up Socks:
I may trade the above out for a better picture sometime, this one’s kinda dark. This picture gives a nice feel for the texture of the stitch pattern:
And just to overdo it, here’s another:
I used Judy’s Magic Cast-on for the toes, expanded to 70 stitches and used 3 5-stitch repeats of the Ladder of Life pattern on the top of the foot, with 5 stitches of 1×1 ribbing between the ladders and on either side (a total of 35 stitches for the front, 35 of stockinette in back). I used the instructions for a large-size toe-up heel from Wendy Johnson, following it exactly. That required doing an extra increase round on the gusset. This worked out well cuz when I was finished with the heel, I got rid of the extra stitch on each side with a k2tog (or p2tog) when I resumed knitting in the round and that eliminated any hole that may have formed at gusset-tip! After a round of straight K, I converted the remaining stitches to pattern (4 more 5-stitch ladders, plus associated 1×1 ribbing between) and knit until there was not enough yarn to knit more, ending on the row just before a decorative purl row. EZ’s sewn bind-off finished the socks and (a bonus) looks like the final row of purl stitches! The Great Trying-On Session will probably be Sunday … must … control … curiosity …
New stuff for me: making Gigantor-socks (I’ll prolly be reluctant to make more unless he seems really, really happy with these!), metal DPNs, 6″ DPNs. The metal needles took some getting-used-to but I liked them a lot. My knitting seemed more even and they were just a pleasure to use. However, I did have some trouble while I was figuring out how to work with them. I was knitting one sock on 6″ KnitPicks Harmony wooden needles (also nice, but I like the metal better) and the other on the metal. The sock on the wooden needles was coming out perceptibly larger (though not enough to make a size difference, IMO, what with negative ease and all). I was also struggling again with a tiny bit of laddering at one needle-join only (to the right of the front of the sock). After some time, I finally concluded that I was knitting extra tightly with the metal needles cuz they’re slippery and a) shorter than I’m used to and b) have a manly number of stitches per needle (also not used to that). I redistributed the stitches over 4 needles and (yay!) felt more comfortable and loosened up a bit. And I think that helped the laddering too (it was to the right of the needle that had the most stitches). All in all, I liked the metal needles enough to order more so I can do both socks in metal next time. The wooden ones have very nice pointy tips and I will still used them, especially for travel.
I loved the generous quantity of Trekking yarn and I really loved the colors (Trekking XXL colorway 71). You prolly can’t tell, but the color variations match pretty well between socks (but not all totally matchy-matchy, which was nice). However, I thought the yarn was splitty. I admit that a good part of that was surely me and my new pointy needles, but I think another good part of it was the yarn. Also, it may be that the yarn is supposed to look “rustic” but I didn’t like the blobs of stuff like this that I encountered fairly often:
I don’t have enough experience to know if this is common, but it was kind of annoying to have to stop and pick these off. I have another ball of Trekking that doesn’t show any sign of this, maybe it’s a random bad-luck ball of yarn. Thought I’d mention it anyway, FWIW …