And … They’re Off!

The Blue Tesselators are officially off and running!

Well, figuratively … eight double-pointed needles would make actual running pretty uncomfortable!

To avoid the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome, I like to knit both socks at the same time.  This also increases the chance that I will knit both socks the same way, ha ha!  I do a lot of ad-libbing, you see.  And I have a notebook but I don’t always write things down.  But I can just jump to the other sock and do it again.  That works nicely!

The pattern is actually for cuff-down socks, so I’ll document what I’m doing fairly thoroughly.  I hope that helps anyone else who may prefer toe-up, as I do!  My feet are size 9 1/2 and it seems that when I use regular sock yarn for a mostly stockinette pattern, a 64-stitch circumference works well.  I’m using size 1 1/2 needles (2.5mm).  From what I have knit so far, this is bearing out.  (Actually, I’m wondering if knitting on size 1 needles would give a pleasant bit of extra negative ease?  Hmmm, maybe next time …)

I’m using Zwerger Garn Opal sock yarn in the evocatively-named “1269” colorway.  It’s the first time I’m using this yarn and  I was looking forward to trying it because it seems to be very popular … I was therefore somewhat disappointed as I wound the yarn into its two center-pull balls.   First, there were 5 or 6 slip-knots which meant that I had to pause 5 or 6 times to pick them out. Second, there was a knot (broken yarn)  in the middle of the hank.  It has been recommended that we knitters accept the occasional knot, and I do, it’s just a bit  more annoying when a knot arises deep in the winding process.  Finally, the last part of the ball was a tangled mess and it took 15 minutes to pull it apart by hand so I could wind it.  It’s unfair to judge a yarn brand by one experience, but I can’t help starting off badly on this one!  As far as knitting goes, it’s OK.  A little loosely-plied, but easy to get used to.  It looks very pretty when knit up and seems to show the pattern well. 

I used Judy’s Magic Cast-On for the toes.  I cast on half the desired number of stitches (I  like a fairly blunt toe), which was 32 (16 per needle).  I like to leave 2 stitches at either end of the needle when increasing.  Don’t know why, just like the way it looks!  It took 16 rounds to get the desired number of stitches and then I knit 8 more rounds without increasing.  The sock on my left foot in the picture is at this stage.

The right sock shows one iteration of the decorative pattern.  It’s interesting and yet very easy to memorize … perfect for train knitting!  I was so interested in it that I didn’t have my ticket out for the conductor on BOTH the inward and outward-bound rides yesterday, hah!  Both conductors cut me some slack.  Maybe they knit, or know some knitters …

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