Thursday, October 27, 2005

SSSS exchange and such things

SSSS exchange... no, I'm not trying to imitate the sound a snake makes. It stands for second sock syndrome sock exchange. I may have written about it before. The concept is simple. When you're knitting socks, the first sock goes easily; it's fun; the pattern is new to you perhaps. The second sock isn't so much fun. You've already done the pattern once and you'd rather try something different. So that first sock languishes in your knitting basket, just waiting for it's mate to show up.

That's where the exchange comes in. You knit the first sock. Then you take it, it's future mate (the yarn meant for the second sock), the pattern and any changes you've made and you send it all to your sock exchange partner. She gets to do the second one. In return, you get the sock she finished for you and it's future mate and you make the mate. That way, you're only knitting one sock of each pair... no second sock syndrome.

So, that's what I've been working on for the last few days, on and off. And, obviously, I can't show you a picture yet, but I will post one after Yahaira gets her sock. Suffice it to say that the pattern is one I've done before, but have wanted to to again, with a tweak or two. Not to worry, Yahaira, I'll make sure you know about the tweaks.

I've also been playing with a pattern from the Six Socks Knitalong Yahoo group. That's a group set up to knit six pairs of socks per year, one every other month. I haven't been keeping up with it, but did check out the last pattern. It's called Mosaic socks. At first, I wasn't too impressed with it, but after seeing the mosaic technique in the Barbara Walker treasuries, I was intrigued. I'm doing this one in a brown Regia 4 ply and the contrast yarn is one of the Online River Collection sock yarns. The pattern calls for two sizes of needles, US 1 and 3. In metric that's 2.25 mm and 3.25 mm. I thought at first that might be an error, but used the sizes called for. It's not a misktake. I think if I had stayed with the smaller needles, I would not be able to get the sock over my foot.

The mosaic technique used in the sock (and the BW books) has you knit each pattern row twice, exactly the same, with only one colour yarn at a time, slipping some stitches, knitting others. The advantage to this technique is that you're not having to work with two colours of yarn, trying to keep them from tangling. I'm really enjoying the process so far. I'll post another picture when the socks are done (or when one sock is done..... who knows... this may become a round of the dreaded second sock syndrome).

On the sweater front, I have one sleeve done, the second sleeve to the armhole and the back has about 5" done. I would have finished the second sleeve already, but I didn't want to work on it at the store because the sleeve cap has a lot of shaping and I wanted to be able to keep track of it. When you're having to help customers, it's a little more difficult to concentrate on shaping. I apologize for the quality of the picture in one of my previous posts. It's a little on the dark side. The sweater is a nice chocolate brown with multi-coloured flecks. As much as I want to stay away from dull colours, brown does suit me.

(btw, Sandra, if you need more of the Donegal Tweed, call and I'll put some aside for you. It IS a nice yarn.)


  1. You are so do I know!! LOL.. I want to start knitting that.. one more child's fuzzy vest to knit then I can start on stuff for me!!! btw..I meant to pop over to A of Y today..had come up to take Mum for groceries..but no time..I just glanced over and drooled at the outside display>
    Do they or do you know any local place that sells Patons Astra?..a friend in the US needs one ball of the denim mix to finish something!

  2. I am really enjoying the second sock syndrome sock exchange too. (What a mouthful!) The most fun part for me was picking out colors my partner will like. Can't wait to see your mosaic socks.