I posted a couple of weeks ago about my first foray into test knitting. I only had to make a single sock to satisfy the completion criteria for this top-down test, but I’ve been very disciplined and made the second sock without delay. It’s all too easy to succumb to the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome and put the project away half-completed because, let’s face it, knitting two identical items one after the other is rather boring.
Here are my completed socks.
I like the way that short rows make a self-striping yarn, or one with even shorter colour changes like this Cozy Toez, more interesting. The contrast with the plain stocking stitch of the foot portion is interesting too. The pattern I tested should appear on Ravelry soon as Sand Art Socks and I think it would be a good introduction to the German Short Rows technique. Knitting lots of little back-and-forth rows can get a bit tedious because of all the stopping and turning – unless you learn to knit backwards, which I never have – the Summit shawl is the prime example of that kind of torture.
I knitted it five years ago, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that it was needed for a Very Special Occasion (finally tying the knot after 30+ years of unwedded bliss), I’d have thrown it in a corner and walked away as soon as I realised it’s composed of thousands of very short rows. But in this sock pattern all the fiddling about is over once you reach the heel, albeit the heel is worked with German Short Rows too.
The instructions cover various adult widths and the length is easily adjusted. I don’t think I’d recommend Sand Art for a first socks project – stick with plain stocking stitch or ribbing if you’ve never knitted a sock before – but the pattern is clearly written and anyone who knows their way around a sock shouldn’t have any problems. You don’t even have to graft the toe.
If instead you fancy continuing the short rows onto the instep, there’s a similar pattern called Rainbow Socks that you might like to consider.
This was my first test knit and I’ll certainly do it again. Having an externally-imposed deadline is a good way of ensuring that the project doesn’t languish while others are started, and it was fun to be working through a pattern at the same time as a bunch of other people and exchanging comments with them and the designer. Of course, that’s what knitalongs (KALs) are for too. (For those who don’t know, in a KAL you knit a particular pattern at the same time as others and compare notes via Ravelry, social media or real life meetings.) I’ve never participated in a KAL, maybe it’s time I broke that duck as well.