This project was my "challenge", as the Ravelympics is all about challenging yourself. I was a little skeptical of myself as to whether I could complete these within 17 days, seeing how I've never ventured into the world of sock knitting before. I had CO the first sock during the opening ceremony, but couldn't work on them for long cause they required too much of my attention and I had really wanted to watch the ceremony. So I put them down and worked on another project. Yeah, I had put them down for 5 days before going back to work on them! I think I was avoiding them, if truth be told. But I finally buckled down and got to work. I even made up a time line as to when I should get certain parts done! What a nerd I am!
I'm not sure how I feel about the twisted ribbing (the cuff), I'm sure if I was a continental knitter it would be ok but since I'm an English-style knitter I found the constant yarn overs to be quite the drag. Just glad that only lasted for an inch before I could go on cruise control with the endless amount of stockinette. I had some major ladder action happening, but after a quick Google search and a skim of a knitting forum in which one of the responses definitely hit home for me (I was “knitting like I was knitting a box, not a circle”!! So bloody true!), which prompted me to change the way I held my needles and WOW! My ladder issue disappeared!
The afterthought heel worried me a bit, mainly cause it sounds complicated. It took me some searching online and about 15 minutes to figure out that you just knit half a row with scrap yarn before continuing on with the knitting. In the end you're left with a tube sock before going back to shape the heel. This confusion is not due to the pattern, but my utter lack of sock knowledge/experience. This rings true with the grafting of the toe too, since I never grafted a thing in my life! I messed up my needle numbering (yes, I used DPNs rather than my beloved Magic Loop) on the first sock, cause when it came time to slip the stitches onto 2 needles my tail fell in the middle of the row and I ended up having to knit across one needle to get it to the end.
When I finally got to the part where I had to shape the heel, I was quite surprised as to how easy the whole thing really was! The only issues I had was the picking up of stitches (sooo time consuming!) and the fact that when I grafted the heel closed it seemed a bit too pointy for my liking. If I were to make these again, I think I would decrease the heel 'til I had 6 stitches left and not 4.
I tried to do the duplicate stitch of the ribbon design on the one sock (y'know the waving ribbon that's on the cover of Eclipse), but then decided against it after my eyes started tearing up and got really sore from staring at the teeny tiny black stitches. Even using my HD natural light craft lamp didn't help! I tried to do it again a few days ago when we had that gorgeous sunny day, but the black stitches were still too small and my duplicate stitches were all over the place and were ranging in different sizes. I managed to get maybe 2 inches done before I gave up. You can see what I got done below:
Even though I made gauge with the 2.75mm (US 2) needle, the socks were a bit too big around the ankles and legs. I'm not sure if this is cause I stretched out the socks from putting them on and off so much, or if it means I should've gone a needle size or two down (even though the 2.75mm needles were the smallest needles that I have). Hmmm...something to think about when knitting up my next pair of socks...
Pattern: Eclipse Socks by Julie P. Miller
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Solids
Colors: 2 skeins of Black, 1 skein of Burgundy