Monday, June 21, 2010

Square vs Round

Some time back, I cast on and knit the first sock of a pair. Elizabeth Zimmermann's Woodsman's Thick Socks to be exact. I've made this type of sock before, don't wear them often, but love the down home, rustic cabin, sitting in front of a log-burning fire, cozy feeling they exude.

For me, the trouble with knitting one sock long before the second is not remembering what I did to sock #1.
So, if you look closely, you will see - but probably not, as my great photography skills have positioned the socks to hide this special feature - that one sock has a square heel, one a round heel.

The round heel is my favourite and the one I most often use. To do it, I knit to 2 stitches past centre heel before starting the shaping. The square heel, I knit to 4 stitches past centre. For some reason, I decided way back in winter time to do this pair with a square heel, finished sock #1, then promptly forgot what I had done. Of course, I could have taken a close look at the finished sock when ready to do heel #2. But why would I? I always do a round heel.

And so, I have what Ms McPhee calls 'fraternal, not identical, twin' socks. Loving them, like a good Mom, all the more for their individuality.

Woodsman's Thick Socks - Details.
Pattern: Woodman's Thick Socks, by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Found in 'Knitting Around' by EZ.

Yarn - Briggs & Little Tuffy. The B&L line of sock yarn that has a bit of nylon in it. In this case the yarn was rescued from the 'Moccathin Thockies' I knit earlier in the year. Moccasin Socks, 'unvented' by Elizabeth are a sock where the sole is added last. The point being that if the bottom wore out, it could be unraveled and re-soled. I didn't like the finished product. It was difficult to get the sock to fit snugly and the spiralling decreases under the heel and toe seemed uncomfortable. In the end, I decided that resoling was something that even Elizabeth would agree was -"much more often spoke about than done." I ripped and made the Woodsman Socks instead.

Needles: 3.25 mm

Stitches Cast On - 44

Pattern: 2x2 ribbing down entire leg and also on the instep.

Foot Length - 6 inches measured from gusset pick up to beginning of toe decreases.

Toe - round toe fashioned by decreasing every other round until half the total stitches remain, then decreasing every round until 8 stitches remain and are grafted together.

Size - They fit me nicely and I wear a 7 1/2 - 8 shoe.

Nice socks indeed. And on the foot, there feels no difference between the square vs the round heel. Good to know. Not the socks for today though - a 30' day.


Vera said...

I can just "feel" how cozy those socks are!!! I could even wear them here now since the first day of summer is cool here :-(

Needles said...

NOT socks for today. But very nice.

Many people who come to the store with sock problems have problems because they cannot accept any flaws in their work I keep telling them this is the wonder of socks. Nobody sees errors on the heel and toe, so long as they don't affect wear, therefore they don't matter.

Andi said...

As long as the heels don't feel different, mismatched heels aren't a big deal. It's not a noticeable flaw once you have the socks on and in action.

Anne Campbell said...

Gosh, can I relate to the "don't remember what I did on the first sock" part! I make up almost all my sock patterns. Sometimes I write down what I did on the first sock, and sometimes I don't. And when I don't I have to study the first in order to create the second. And I very frequently knit a pair of socks over a long period of time. So most of the socks I make are fraternal twins. Fortunately, none of the people I knit for minds a little difference.

Your socks look as though they are going to be really great for cold weather. Which will come again, for sure.