Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In which I contradict myself

A few months back I waxed poetic about DPNs for socks, and asserted that I really really hate using circs for this purpose.

Stand back: I am about to reverse that opinion. Or at least revise it somewhat.

The thing is, last week I had a sudden impulse to learn how to knit entrelac in the round. I'd figured out the flat variety a while ago, and liked the look of it, but for some reason I had it in my head that entrelac in the round would be uber-complicated and dangerous.

Turns out that this fear was mostly unfounded: in fact, entrelac in the round means you don't have to make those annoying little side triangle thingies (aka "the poopy stuff"); instead, you just keep knitting the rectangles (aka "the good stuff") for as long as your little heart desires. Granted, if you're looking for a quick pair of socks, you might want to reconsider entrelac as the technique of choice. But I was in the mood for something fun but a bit challenging, and I think I found it.

This is the kind of project where it's almost impossible to avoid stopping from time to time to gape in wonder at the beauty of the design, and the way the colours flow into one another. Not that I can claim the design for my own; it's pretty generic, really. But if you go look on Ravelry, you'll find a number of entrelac sock patterns to try.

Oh, another thing I swore I'd never do again: Noro Kureyon Sock yarn for socks. The last pair, knit on 3mm needles, sprung leaks like the friggin' Titanic, and stretched out in some particularly horrible and unattractive ways. However, last week when I took out a ball of Kureyon and inspected it closely, I realized that it's really no worse, consistency-wise, than the sock yarn I spun meself last winter. And the trick to getting that yarn to make a creditable pair of socks was...small needles. 2.25mm, to be precise.

As I knit these ones, I've been realizing that the nice dense fabric is much more sock-like than the loose, floppy stuff I knit on my last Kureyon Sock outing. And when it's washed, it'll fuzz up like nobody's business. I do like myself a nice fuzzy pair of socks. Not for this time of year, you understand, but when winter comes I plan to have a nice sock stash built up. Warm feet: the key to winter happiness.

As for the whole "circs for socks" thing, well, let's just say that knitting entrelac on DPNs introduces a few too many moving parts for my liking. Doing it on circs, more or less Magic Loop style, makes the project just that much easier to pop into one's purse, in the expectation that when you pop it out again it will not have turned into the dog's breakfast.

So, yeah. Chalk one up for circs. And my apologies to Elizabeth Zimmermann.


Kathleen Taylor said...

Entralac is a technique that doesn't stay in my head. I can do a project with it and it goes fine, but the next week, I need to study the instructions all over again to do it. I love the look though- and I love your Noro Entrelac socks (I don't love Noro sock either, but this might work just fine).

(super secret word verification: nitingso )

Mary Keenan said...

That is just gorgeous, gorgeous work!

Patti (from Ottawa) said...

I love those socks!