May 6, 2007

FO: Mad To Dance

Alternate Title: Hurts So Good

I did it. I finished the Mad To Dance socks before the round six pattern was released. Whew!

We went to a morning showing of Spiderman 3 on Friday. (Yes, we are geeky enough to go to a morning show.) I knew the new pattern would land in my inbox while we were out, so I really wanted to finish the socks before leaving for the theater.

I sneaked in just under the wire. I was posting the finished picture to the Flickr group just as it came time to hit the road.

They are on home-made, wire coat hanger sock blockers. This idea and how-to is from page 139 of your ever-handy Stitch N' Bitch Nation.

Pattern: Mad To Dance
Designer: Treesa
Yarn: Regia Bamboo Color (45% Bamboo, 40% Wool, 15% Polymide), color #1059. This was my first time using a yarn with Bamboo content. The Bamboo is not sproingy like wool, but is smooth and strong and provided excellent stitch definition as well as a lovely touch of sheen, perfect for this pattern. I've heard that because Bamboo has natural antibacterial properties, Bamboo socks fight foot odor. That's pretty cool if it's true.
Needles: Size 0 aluminum DPN's
Mods: Nothing major. There was some confusion among the Sock Madness-ers about how many pattern repeats you're supposed to do on the leg. I interpret the pattern as saying 3 repeats for the leg, but the Sock Madness admins said 2 repeats would suffice. I split the difference and did 2.5 repeats on the leg, simply because that gave me a leg length I liked. The only ripple this sent out was I then needed to switch the twist directions of the cables on the heel, but that was easy enough.
New Techniques Learned: The Old Norwegian Cast On (scroll down for video tutorial) and Cabling Without a Cable Needle (or DPN). I sort of doubt I'll ever use the Norwegian cast on again, but I'm always glad to learn a new skill. Meanwhile, cabling without a cable needle is totally awesome, dude! I love it!
Why "Hurts So Good" is the alternate title: I made multiple decisions about these socks that made the knitting extra time-consuming. I believe they were the right decisions, so I would sing "Hurts So Good" to myself every time I felt like grumbling.
I wanted to use Regia Bamboo, but because it's thinner than Cherry Tree Hill, which the pattern calls for, I had to go down to size 0 needles. ("Hurt so good...") I've never used needles that small and it was challenging. I know Melanie regularly uses size 000, but she's crazy, er, I mean brave. ("Come on baby...) Using thinner yarn and smaller needles meant I needed to make the socks in the largest size. Lace and cables are not speedy for me, and here I was making every row longer. (Make it hurt so good...") Also, I practiced knitting in the Continental style, to which I am unaccustomed. I did that in preparation for the two-handed, Fair Isle knitting I'm using on the round six pattern. I didn't knit Continental on every row and I abandoned it completely in my final sprint to the end, but still. ("Sometimes love don't feel like it should...") And to top it all off, I pushed myself to finish before the new pattern was released. ("You make it hurt so good.")

I'm glad they're done. I'm pleased with how they came out. And I'm off to the Fair Isles now...