Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Japanese Feather Lace Socks

I have completed another pair of socks, yessiree. The latest and greatest are right here, starting with the toe shot:

Next, we have the ever artistic side view:
And of course, a closeup of the lace pattern:

Pattern Notes

Pattern: Japanese Feather Lace Socks by Suzi Anvin
Yarn: Sockotta by Plymouth Yarn, bold stripe effect color # 5612. 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15% nylon.
Needles: sizes 0 and 00 double point.
Gauge: Well, it called for 9 stitches per inch. Let's leave it at that.

Comments: This pattern suggests, rather boldly, that it is a good introduction to lace knitting, because the pattern is easy to knit. I would, also rather boldly, disagree. Now, the lace pattern itself was reasonably straightforward... however, everything else about the pattern was not beginner at all. For one thing, as the lace pattern snakes back and forth across your instep (which is gorgeous), the rest of the foot increases and decreases along with it. This looks beautiful, but is in no way 'beginner'.
Also, there are typos. One of which left me scratching my head for quite some time, and I am not a beginner.
Next, the heel includes stitches I have never seen before. This does not shout out 'beginner' to me. What in the world is a K-YOd? Yep. I now know.
I think what caused me a lot of consternation is that there weren't enough checkpoints in the pattern - moments that said 'yes, you should have this many stitches on each needle'. Cuz yeah, the number changes pretty frequently.
Next, the heel shaping leaves you with a bit of a 'pointy' look to it... I think if I did this heel again, I would not work the short rows for so long. I mean, I do believe I have pointy heels, but not THAT pointy... and yes, I did shift the sock around for the pic so that the pointiness did not show!
I did much better on the second sock (not getting confused-wise), but suffice it to say that I really don't think a beginner would have a good time at all with this pattern.

All of this being said, I think that the lace pattern is quite pretty, and now that I know what I'm getting into, I would consider knitting the socks again. But seriously... I think a 4 row lace pattern over, say, 8 stitches, is a LOT more 'beginner friendly' than... a 28 row lace pattern over 11 stitches. Just for the record.

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