Monday, June 27, 2005

WIP Socks and a Magical Darning Egg

I finally finished Sock Experiment 3 (SE3) last week. I now have a pair of socks that I knit myself for the first time!

Bright Colored Tootsie Covers
(Click on pictures for a larger view)

Having tasted success, I of course have moved straight on to....Sock Experiment 4!

This time, I'm using that Sockotta yarn that comes out in blue, gray, purple, and mottled stripes. I could have kept things easy and done a repeat of the Simply Splendid Socks from Cool Socks, Warm Feet - but no, I've proven I can do that one now! So I moved a few pages further through the book and chose the Toe-up Socks with the Bosnian Square Toe, the Turkish Heel, and the Crenellated Top Edge.

SE4, off to a good beginning.

I'm also using a much smaller needle this time. SE1 - SE3 were all done on an Inox Size 2. This time, I'm working with a Bates Size 00 to get a denser knit.

A close-up of the color pattern.

Something else I learned while making these first socks - a darning egg can be your best friend when you're weaving in ends! I looked at those available in a few yarn shops, and always felt that they were just too small to count - I have size 10 WW feet, after all! So I decided I was going to have to make my own darning egg.

I went to A.C.Moore and got some wood parts - a finial ball, and a miniature bowling pin to serve as a handle. Gryphon picked up some double-ended screws to attach them together with. Then, of course, being me, I couldn't just sand and stain them. No, not Folkcat! I had to get my paints out and start playing! Here are some views of what I wound up with.

The egg, the whole egg...

I decided to give the egg a nice, glassy finish, so I used about six coats of high-gloss polyurethane on the entire thing. That's why there's a lot of glare in the photos, even though I turned off the flash.

I painted the detail design using paint pens. It's no particular symbolism or image - just doodles that I made up as I went.

A close up of the design.

I've always believed that you should use the best tools you can if you want to enjoy your work. Apart from just having a solid, functional design, for me that also means that they should be appealing to the eye. I had lots of fun painting this one, and I may have created an auxiliary addiction to the sock knitting - I have ideas for more painted egg designs bouncing around my head already!