Yay, my socks are done! I have really enjoyed this mystery sock-a-long sponsored by the Knitters Brewing Company. I talked about yarn selection and knitting style already, so instead of repeating myself, I will instead say how much I have been looking forward to having these socks done and on my feet. So pretty! I can hardly stand it. Easily my favorite detail: the heart cuff. How charming is this?
Pattern: Mystery Socks III: the Family Jewels
Designer: Wendy Gaal
Available: free! on ravelry (kits are available with matching yarn and beads)
Yarn: Stroll Tonal in Queen Anne
This pattern has a number of “new to me” features. One of the big reasons I signed on was the opportunity to try a big bead on a sock. When the time came, I ran off to Legacy Beads to find a 15mm-ish flat bead that worked with my yarn — no clashing colors, not so matchy as to fade into the yarn, but not too contrasty either. I settled on a “twist” Swarovski crystal bead in “Golden Shadow.” My mad beading friend inspected the bead and determined that it had an “AB” finish on the back, but not the front, which helped it keep it’s own color while still reflecting some of the yarn color. This makes sense to me — I had tried a clear crystal version, and it completely disappeared into the yarn.
Another cool new-to-me thing is the Fleegle Heel. I didn’t know this was in the pattern when I signed on, so it’s pure bonus! I found it easy to do, and a nice fit. I enjoyed it way more than a toe-up heel flap (those joins! ugh!), and it fits way better than a traditional short-row heel. You can see a small err in my photo — the racing stripes on the gusset were supposed to blend into the leg, but I failed my “read the directions” roll and started the racing stripes one stitch too soon. Oh well — only the designer and the 200 other people in the knit-a-long will even notice.
In general I found the pattern to be extremely well-written and mistake-free. I prefer a charted pattern to words, but I understand the designer’s desire to “surprise” — and how a chart could potentially ruin the surprise. I believe a complete version of the pattern will be released with full charts and so on, so chart lovers need not despair (or resort to home charting, as I did). All unusual techniques were well-explained and/or had links to good videos. Great fun, great community of KAL-ers!