Pattern: Bayerische Socks by Eunny Jang (free pattern!)
Yarn: Opal solid sock yarn in a pretty mauve color
Needles: Size 1 bamboo dpn's
Mods: Modified size to fit my feet, didn't work chart A or C because of the fewer stitches (and general laziness)
This is a free pattern designed by Eunny Jang and offered on her website. The pattern is very much in a rough draft form. Even so, it is impeccable. First, I want to talk about the modifications that I made to the pattern. I have small feet and I know that I need to cast on 60 stitches to get the correct circumference for my socks, as a general rule. The pattern instructs you to cast on a number of stitches (72?), work the top ribbing, then increase a number of stitches (21?) in order to get the right number of stitches for the cabled leg of the sock. I cast on 60 stitches, then figured out what the ratio is between the cast on number (72?) and the number of stitches increased before the leg is worked (21?) then I increased proportionally. That meant that I cast on 60 stitches, worked the ribbing, then increased 16 stitches before working the leg of each sock. Then when I got to the heel, I decreased 16 stitches so that I again had 60 stitches on my needles. I then worked the foot with 60 stitches. One of the consequences of decreasing the number of stitches from the sock is that the side cables, chart A and C, would have had to be re-worked in order to make them work. I tried to do that but failed and decided just to have ribbing instead. I think it was a good choice.
This pattern has, as promised by the designer, cables and twisted stitches on every row. When I first swatched this pattern I didn't want to cable without a cable needle. I thought that it would be easier to cable the way that I knew how: with a cable needle. I was wrong. For me, it was much easier to cable without the cable needle. I have to admit that there were a couple of occasions where I managed to drop a stitch while trying to manuever my needle into it, but those incidents were few and far between, and none of them required me to frog or even to tink back beyond the current crossed stitches. So, I really recommend that if you're going to knti these socks that you cable without the cable needle. You will knit them faster and it will be easier.
The yarn was very good. I have worked with Opal several times previously and always liked it. It is a bit harder and scratchier than Lorna's Laces or Socks That Rock. It is still a very good sock yarn, however. I liked it and am glad that I decided to use it. The dye did not bleed at all when I blocked the socks.
I liked knitting these socks. I did find that the act of knitting into the back loop of half of the stitches, combined with the twisted and crossed stitches and the ribbing, caused this pair of socks to be more strenuous to my hands than other sock patterns. If you're going to knit these then I would also recommend frequent breaks. These are definitely a pair of socks worth having though. I will report back as soon as I get a chance to wear them for a full day.
In the meantime, I have started the Melon Shawls from Victorian Lace Today. It is the same shawl that is on the cover of the book, and several people, including Grumperina have made their own version. I am using JaegerSpun Zephyr in Violet for mine. So far, I'm loving it.