Thursday, December 1, 2011

La Domestique

Some people decided that sock knitting would be a great competitive sport:  Tour de Sock to benefit Doctors Without Borders.  I'm a little fuzzy on all the details - maybe one of you competitive sock knitters can fill us in.  My home team decided to call themselves Team Toe-tally Socksome.  (And yes, there are teams apparently all with equally punny names.)

Unfortunately, Team Toe-tally Socksome quickly became Team Toe-tally Sucksome as knitter after knitter dropped out.  Speed knitting is grueling work.  Which is why I much prefer to watch on the sidelines.  I'm lazy that way.

In the end, Kerrilyn stood alone atop the leaderboard but even she couldn't knit quite fast enough and without her team to back her up, her light slowly faded as other knitters overtook her lead.  OK. I'm being a bit dramatic for the sake of the story but Kerrilyn did prove herself to be one of the top 10 fastest sock knitters in the world.  Sock Domination on a global scale is no small feat.  Kudos to K-Ro!

But enough about Kerrilyn (she's got her own blog - I don't need to go on and on about her like I am wont to do).  Enter Melissa of Boynton Beach who decided to start knitting socks just for this competition.  She even trained beforehand - that's how dedicated she was.  But alas, she succumbed to the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome. When she told me about this, I offered to step in.  I would be her domestique.

In cycling, a domestique is a team player.  This is someone who is willing to pull for the leader; i.e., give the leader a break by letting her draft behind for a bit, someone who will fend off attacks from other riders, dole out water bottles and power bars as needed.   I am that person.  La Domestique.  Actually, come to think of it, I'm more like a pinch hitter but let's stick to one sport metaphor per post. 

So I knit some socks:

Pattern: Calable by Regina Satta available via Ravelry or here if you are fluent in German.

Yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid (Fingering / 4 ply - 75% Wool, 25% Nylon. 376 yards / 100 grams)
colorway unknown - I don't have the label
0.75 skein used or approximately 282 yards for size 8

Needles: US 2

I ended up frogging Melissa's first sock because it was hard for me to match her tension.  Also, for the sake of simplicity, she had used one cable pattern for both the front and back of the sock.  I like the cable on the back of the sock.

I always worry that cables make socks too bulky but this wasn't the case here.  The cables are smooth and lie relatively flat while still providing some visual interest and texture.  I like cables - they're fun to knit especially if you knit without a cable needle.

However, I would not recommend this pattern for someone who hasn't knit a bunch of socks before.  Melissa is a fine knitter (she's knitting a Alice Starmore bohemoth; ergo, she is a total rock star) but this is not a good pattern for Sock No. 3 (Sock No. 1 being her practice sock).  The pattern is charted but it's unnecessarily complex and lacks the conventional charting symbols thus rather defeating the whole purpose of visualizing the end product.  And what little text there is, is poorly translated from the author's native German.  Having turned a good number of heels, I muddled through okay and am reasonably happy with the results:

I hope Melissa is too!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful socks! Great roundup of my foray into competitive sock knitting. I definitely proved myself to be a sprinter...started out strong but not enough endurance to last the distance in Tour de Sock. Oh well, it was FUN!