Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Great Sockghan Experiment of 2015: Square 1

Hi Blog! I missed you!

But yeesh, have I been busy with the earning a living thing.

I'm fine. The dogs are fine. The cat is fine. Perpetually angry, but fine.

Nothing much has struck me as worth a blog post for a while, but I thought it would be fun to tell you about my knitting dilemma and how I'm planning to solve it. Later this summer I'll be on a road trip that involves a couple thousand miles of road and several dozen hours in the car. How to fill the time when I'm not driving? Knitting, of course, but what? The criteria for a road trip knitting project are pretty simple: (1) It has to be small enough to fit comfortably in your lap. (2) You don't want to get bored with it. (3) There has to be enough of it.

So shawls and scarves and sweaters are pretty much out. Certainly socks are an option, but--and I hesitate to even mention it--I might be getting a wee bit bored with socks. I could get back to that mitered square sock yarn afghan everybody was working on a couple of years ago, but . . . no, I get bored thinking about hundreds of mitered squares, let alone actually knitting them, although the results of those who actually manage to finish them is always stunning. Crochet afghan squares? No, crochet for too long makes my wrist hurt, but afghan squares, now there's an idea. . . .

And it hit me: My favorite sock patterns, knit flat, as afghan squares. Knit square by square, the project is small enough for comfortable car knitting. Every square will be different, so boredom won't be a problem. And it's an entire afghan. There's no way I'll run out of knitting in 10 days, no matter how much time I spend riding in the car.

To my Ravelry Project Page!

Skimming through my Ravelry project page and simultaneous brainstorming reveals these possibilities, not all of which are actual sock patterns:
2x4s (a 2x4 rib)
Rock-a-Byes (a traveling rib from The Joy of Sox)
Monkeys (Cookie A)
a self-striping in stockinette
Hedera (Cookie A)
Sunday Swing (Knitty)
Diamond Gansey (Socks from the Toe Up)
Almondine (Sock Knitting Master Class)
Inlay (Knitty)
Hermione's Everyday Socks (Erica Lueder)
Wanida (Sock Innovation, Cookie A)
an Eye of Partridge pattern

Linking to each of these would take an age, and if you've read this far, you're a knitter who can find these patterns on your own anyway. I will link to Wanida, the first experimental square. Here she is:

I cast on 37 (the 33-stitch pattern for the top of the foot, plus a 2-stitch garter stitch border) in worsted Berocco Vintage on size-8 straight needles. I knit two rows of garter stitch, and then started the pattern (purling the plain knit rows, of course), knit it until it looked about square, knit two more rows of garter, and cast off. I blocked it to 8 inches square.

So it looks like the general principle of an afghan made of sock patterns is sound. Whether all of the potential patterns will lend themselves to afghan squares so easily I can't say.  At 8 inches square, I'll need 54 squares to make a generous 48" x 72" afghan. I may decide not to be so generous. We'll see. :)

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