The knitting raft is still afloat

I’m still camped out in the living room with all of the knitting, and have been working on a new project. But before I show pictures of that, I have pictures of this:

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Dianne sent me goodies! The first pic is of some of her mernio/tencel yarn dyed in the Callaloo colorway, which I am absolutely nuts about. I love the silver in with the black and orange. I never would have thought to do that. It’s very unexpected and cool. The second is some wonderfully fluffy and floaty Jacob’s sheep/angora blend roving that she scored for me from Millennial Way Farms (I would link, but their website doesn’t seem to be working , unfortunately). Besides being soft and squishy, the roving smells nice too. I keep sticking my head in the bag and huffing it, despite inhaling fibers. Thanks so much, Dianne!

Since getting the Wollmeise, I started immediately on a new pair of socks. I have total sock ADD right now, but I figure that as long as I’m working on something, pairs of socks will be completed eventually. Anyway, I’ve been promising Travis a pair of boot socks for the past few months now, and since he got me the Wollmeise, I figured the least I could do was knit him something out of some of that yarn. So, behold the start of the Red Stripe sock:

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There’s some shaping going on in the leg, and the pattern continues down the heel flap. But the most interesting thing I’ve done with it so far is to work the gusset decreases along the bottom of the sock instead of on the sides:

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It’s kind of hard to tell what’s going on in that photo, but basically it’s a picture of the bottom of the socks, and the bottom of the photo is where the back of the heel is. Think I can say “bottom” a few more times? It’s starting to sound naughty in here! Anyway, I had the realization a few days ago that the Ridgeline and Riverbed sock architectures in the Cat Bordhi book are basically the same thing. All you’re doing is changing the width of the instep. In the Ridgeline architecture, the instep is a lot narrower than usual, and in the Riverbed architecture, it’s quite a bit wider. I knit a sample top-down footie working the heel flap as normal but knitting the instep narrower to mimic the Ridgeline architecture in the book. I decreased for the gusset the same way I normally do for the type of yarn I was using (decrease of 2 stitches every other round) and the footie turned out to fit just fine.

Likewise, from what I can tell of the Red Stripe sock, the fit is also going to turn out to be fine – both Travis and I have tried on the sock in progress after the gusset was knit, and it seems like there’s no weirdness with it. I’m knitting the Wollmeise on size 1 needles (12″ Addi Turbos, so they’re actually 2.55 mm), and decreased 2 stitches every 4th round for the gusset, since that seemed to be what would make the most sense for my gauge.

So, so far at least, I’ve seen absolutely no reason why the Riverbed and Ridgeline architectures have to be worked toe-up. I haven’t tried out any of the other architectures in the book yet, but after a quick glance, I don’t see why the Upstream architecture couldn’t be worked top-down as well. Actually, Upstream seems to be almost identical to Ridgeline, unless I’m missing something important. The main difference seems to be that the gusset in the Upstream architecture has a pointy bit and the gusset in the Ridgeline architecture ends (or starts, if you knit it toe-up) with a horizontal edge of stitches.

Anyway, it’s kind of fun moving the gusset stitches around. I’m not sure why Cat Bordhi felt locked into the “2 increases every 3 rounds” thing, but if you want to experiment, I would just figure out how many stitches you would decrease (or increase) over the gusset normally, and then stick with that no matter where you wind up placing the gusset stitches.

I like the Red Stripe sock quite a bit, even though there are a few minor changes I’m going to make to the second one (I have a line of random purl stitches next to the gusset that I’m going to just knit on the second sock). Being inspired by Yarmando, I’m going to experiment with knitting an anatomically correct toe. Learning = fun!

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