Thursday, 5 June 2014

Seven-Colour Socks

Back in February, I had an idea that an ideal thing for keeping the feet and toes warm between workshops (or even warm generally) would be some colourful socks.  I added a sock pattern to my Ravelry queue simply because it played with colours on springy-ring garter bands.  Although the original calls for lovely DK-weight wool and wool-nylon blend yarns, I could see a use for some of my acrylic DK stash. It also contains a simple pattern of crosses and since I've been cowardly avoiding colour-work, I thought it would also be an excellent introduction.

The snag? The pattern is in Norwegian. Like the Finnish pattern I picked up for my first pair of socks, Norwegian isn't one of my languages either. Not only that, but there was a lot of detail over the colour changes, and very few instructions relating to the knitting.  Definitely a pattern which assumes you know how to knit socks, without the need for fussy details such as which decrease to use, or how many stitches to pick up along the heel flap, or how and where to do gusset decreases!

As usual, the automatic translation through Google was somewhat garbled.  The heel section appeared to describe a standard-style heel flap and gusset, but with very scant detail.  I didn't really understand how the instructions for turning the heel worked, leaving me wondering whether I had translated it correctly.  I looked on Ravelry to see if anyone else had commented, but only a few had done the pattern and hadn't included much by way of project notes.  The type of heel was 'Sognefelling' - parish(?) decreasing, so I searched YouTube with 'Sognefelling hael strikken' (knit a 'sognefelling' heel) and was presented with one video ... which presented a method of knitting a heel which was like the 'simple all in one heel' I did a couple of pairs of socks ago, with a few differences, but not at all like the pattern.  I did a search on 'Sognefelling hael strikken' and found a Norwegian blog, from someone who had done this pattern.  She commented that the method of turning the heel was a new one for her, so of course she had to try it, but made no other detailed comment.

I had an offer of sending the translation to a native speaker to check it over. In the end, I decided the quickest way to stop obsessing over whether my translation was correct was to knit the heel part as a sample, to see how (and if) it worked.

It worked fine, creating quite a square heel rather than the diagonal line of decreases I was expecting. I picked out seven colours from my DK stash and went for it.  I also decided to have a go at the stranded colour-work, which I'm finding faster and easier than I thought, although I might need to work some more on my tension.  I also need to work a little on colour changes in the round.  Working with DK means that it seems to grow quite fast, and there are fewer rows on the heel flap, so not as many stitches to decrease for the gusset.

So far, so good.  I'll give more details of the yarn and tweaks when I've finished, along with the translation.

It's the wrong end of the year for snuggly socks.  On the other hand, the weather is still a little cool and changeable, hard to believe it's June already!