Wednesday, 24 April, 2024

By The Fibreside

Knitting and spinning on the Sunshine Coast of BC

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Adventures in Kitchener Stitch

It turned cold again. An Arctic front swept in yesterday, complete with temperatures around -25 C and windchills of -40 C/F (yes, they’re the same at that point). Although I did hear an ugly rumour tonight about it going up to +3 on the weekend… Anyhow, I broke out the thrummed mittens for the first time this winter, and stayed relatively warm whenever I was outside today.

As I was leaving for Tuesday knit night, I said to Mike, “It’s just cold. A blizzard might stop me, but -20 won’t.” And after all, I had a sock to kitchener.

A fortifying beverage, instructions, and a 99 stitch kitchener to do.
A fortifying beverage, instructions, and a 99 stitch kitchener to do.

I’m not very practiced at kitchener. My first attempt, on a Hansi Singh Loch Ness Monster that I never finished, was really quite poor, but since then, I’ve done a little bit of kitchener. The tops of mittens, the ends of baby socks, the like. Yes, I’ve knit socks, but I usually go toe-up, because I’m just not certain with my size 12 feet how much yarn I’m going to need. But this… This is 99 stitches of kitchener madness. Also, it’s garter stitch, which isn’t the same rhythm as regular kitchener. A fortifying beverage was definitely needed.

So away I went, knit purl knit purl, and slowly the seam took shape. I got up to the heel before I called it a night. But I knew, KNEW, even at that point. This sock is too big.

Compare and contrast - a sock that fits pretty well on top.
Compare and contrast – a sock that fits pretty well on top.

Too long. Too wide. And much wider than can be accounted for in the four extra rows I knit with the extra increase. We’re talking a good eight or ten rows here.

Not only that, but the reactions of my friends at Tuesday knit night bore out my feelings about the yarn. Soft in the skein, steel wool knit up. Also, the loosely spun singles was fraying and grabbing in the kitchener, despite being superwash wool. Ugh. Just ugh.

I probably will complete the rest of the seam, just to get an idea of where I need to tweak the sizing, and I’ll see how it feels across the bridge, because me and no gussets haven’t had the best of luck in socks. I’ll also check my gauge against the pattern gauge, just to be sure. Because despite all the headaches with this sock, I really, really like the look.

Construction is just so cool...
Construction is just so cool…

I love that one side here is all frosty white/blue, and the other is foresty green/blue. I love the way the long colour repeats do their thing, and in a different yarn of the same dye configuration, I think this will be awesome.

As for this sock, I may not even bother ripping it back. Is 25% nylon too much synthetic to put in the curbside compost?

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