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Socks of the Corn

December 15, 2008

These are the socks I was whining about weekend before last. As you can see, they are now finished. I decided that since I was so close to having them done that it was better to keep knitting rather than set them aside and let them lurk in my bag for who knows how long. Unlike my Express Lane socks, they are not short because I was running out of yarn; they are short because I just wanted to be done with them. They would have been even shorter if I hadn’t abandoned the pattern stitch on the cuff in favor of wonky 3 x 4 ribbing when I could not face committing to another four-row repeat.

I think this was a bad combination of yarn and pattern. The yarn is Maizy, which is 82% corn fiber and 18% elastic nylon. I bought it because I’d never worked with corn fiber before and wanted to try it. I found it softer than cotton but not as soft as bamboo. It was definitely splitty, which was a problem given that the pattern I chose required me to twist stitches on a regular basis. Oh so often I’d get my needle tip in between the strands when trying to twirl a stitch around. I didn’t always catch that in time to fix it without major effort, so there are these odd little loops sticking out in various places. (Maybe it would have been better if I’d knit from the inside of the ball instead of the outside; I didn’t think of that until just now. It also might have been better if I’d slipped the stitches purlwise instead of knitwise as the pattern calls for.)

It also might have been a bad combination of knitter and pattern. I chose Ridges and Ribs because I saw pictures of some pretty socks made from it using Maizy. I modified the pattern from top down with an eye of partridge heel flap heel to toe up with a short row heel (I also worked the pattern over fewer stitches to fit my gauge). I experimented with the Queen Kahuna fan toe and made it a lot more square in attempt to better fit my wide feet; I overdid it and it’s too wide, but I think the concept is sound so I may try it again sometime. I also did contrast toes and heels for the first time, just to see what that was about. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again anytime soon as long as I have enough yarn to avoid it, as it means more ends to weave in and more yarn to carry around. All my modifications went fine, but I never got really comfortable with the pattern repeat that forms the ridges. I had to keep checking my counter to see how many rows of slipping were left before the next double wrapping, and when I messed up anyway it was hard to drop stitches and fix because of all the slipping going on (and the yarn splitting).

Of all the socks I have made (this is my sixth pair), I like these the least, but I will still wear them (being purple, they coordinate with at least half of my wardrobe), and now that they are done I can pick something new to work on.


One year ago: WDW VI: The Undiscovered Attractions & A Night at the Opera House
Two years ago: no entry
Three years ago: Winter Count–May
Four years ago: Pictures Taken and Not & Froggie Went a Courtin’.
Five years ago: Weekly Update
Six years ago: Unofficial Party

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  1. Laurel Says:

    Socks look great, I’ve not tried knitting with that type of yarn — guess I would have to think about it after reading your post! By the way, I spent some time looking at your quilts, they are really wonderful and am in awe of your skills!

  2. KarenD Says:

    I’d say the problems I had with the yarn were my fault; I’m not good enough at slipping and twirling stitches to do it with this kind of fiber. I do like how comfy the finished socks are, so next time I’ll choose a pattern with just knits and purls, no fancy stuff.

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