Sunday, August 10, 2008


So, I told you a while back that I was trying the Sidewinder pattern. I'd like to report that I finished the first sock. It looks like this:

On the plus side, I will say that it's a very interesting knit, from a technical perspective. Very, very clever, the way that the pattern has been designed to allow you to create all he construction details, working horiontally instead of vertically. And it does fit very nicely, particularly through the foot. Other than that, I don't think I like it.

First off, handpainted sock yarns are designed for color repeats over the 60 - 80 stitches that you would have going around a sock, not the 100+ stitches of these vertical rows. So, to be honest, I don't really like how the colors come out with this approach.

Then there's the garter stitch. The design uses garter stitch and short rows on the back of the calf to help with the fit. I realize I'm in the minority among knitters when I say this, but I've never really like the way garter stitch looks very much.

Then, there are the unusual construction details that the design requires. To create the heel and toe, you need to use paired increases on one side of the sock and paired decreases on the other. However, increases and decreases don't exactly look the same when they're knitted (at least not the ones that the pattern recommends). I know that if I could actually take a picture in focus, this observation would be clearer, but I'm hoping you have the idea.

Finally, the pattern requires that (after you graft the 100+ stitches up the back to seam it closed) that you also graft a short seam under the toe. It's very small, and if you graft it, there's really not a bump or anything, but this little seam annoys me.

So, there you have it. I really enjoyed knitting this sock, but I know I won't enjoy wearing it. Here's my Sidewinder today:

I've ordered the Cedar Creek pattern from BMFA, and I think that may be a happier solution for this yarn. We shall see.

While we're at it, don't forget that this is the last die for the comment contest to own that yummy merino/alpaca blend.

And finally, to Chris and Terri: It was a beautiful day. You were beautiful, the rainbow was amazing, and it was so special to be a part of it. Love you both. (and thanks to Don for the amazing pictures!)


Polly said...

I've been wanting to do the side winder pattern for ages. Looking at yours makes me want to move it up my list.

Octopus Knits said...

Awe... well, you know best (although I thought it was quite pretty!) At least you had the fun of learning a new technique :)

That is, indeed, a lovely photo!

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