Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta "Fake Isle" in 6674. Purchased eons ago and the ball band is long gone, but I'm sure that's what this is.
Needles: 2.75 mm Knitpicks Fixed Circs, 32". (Have I mentioned how much I adore these needles?)
Gauge: ? I could go measure but the socks are in the other room.
Pattern: My own. There wasn't even really one. I cast on 32 stitches using Judy's Magic Cast-On, and then increased until it looked like it would fit but not be too big (60 stitches).
Then I knit stockinette until it was about 8 inches (I think my foot is 10", so that left 2" for the heel). Then I knit one-half row on waste yarn and reknit it for the afterthought heel. Then I knit for a while until it seemed long enough (60 rounds), and then did 10 rounds of 1x1 ribbing. Bind off was EZ's Sewn Bind-Off.
Thoughts: Technically, I am happy with these socks, for the most part. Remember how I was raving about the afterthought heel? *enh* I was not feeling the love on this second sock. Maybe because I had hit that point in the project where sticking the needles into my eyes sounded more appetizing than finishing, you know? (Oh, you don't?) But yeah, picking up the stitches from the waste yarn is a PITA. I also wasn't thinking clearly and picked up two extra stitches at the beginning of the heel, instead of the one (I was looking for 4 extra stitches over all), but it all worked out. Here's the deal. I love knitting socks. I love wearing hand knit socks. BUT I have yet to find a heel construction that I love. So far I've tried short-row heels (top down and bottom up), heel flap and gusset (top down and bottom up), afterthought heels. I am sure there's lots more that I'm missing but they all annoy me at this point. Oh and I am also a tad concerned that the purse-string closure of the after-thought heel leaves a small bump that's going to be a bummer on my heels. That's why I *have* to finish all socks-in-progress (SIPs) before I try Cat Bordhi's new sockitectures, because I fear I may never go back. :) Her short-row heels look less irritating than the classic short-row construction.
My other beef with these socks is the yarn. Now, Plymouth Sockotta, IMO, is not a high-end sock yarn (Webs has it for $8.99 per 100 gram ball, so much much less than the $24 for 2 50 g skeins of Koigu that I just spent!). It doesn't feel like a high-end yarn either. It feels more string-like to me. This isn't a complaint. The resulting fabric is a little rough, but certainly wearable and comfortable enough, I think. This yarn gets good reviews in terms of durability of the resulting socks, which is very good. It's machine washable, which is EXCELLENT. It wasn't a pain to knit with (like the TOFUTsies, for example). My main beef is with the self-patterning aspect, which is as much a beef with my own personality as anything else. With variegated colors, I have learned to release control of how it looks because, well, you don't have any! The yarn is going to do what it's going to do. It's helping me in my pursuit of Zen calmitude. BUT, this stuff, man, it made me so anxious! Sometimes the patterning did what it was supposed to do, sometimes it didn't! To be honest, I'm not even sure WHAT the purple was supposed to do! The dying wasn't consistent, so for example, with the green, there wasn't always the same amount of space between green parts, and the green parts weren't all the same length. AND, the patterning wasn't consistent. Now, I personally prefer fraternal twins in my socks, I feel like in contributes to the hand-made funkiness of them, but if you are someone for whom this is an issue (L, I mean you), then don't use this yarn! So, the yarn is okay, but it's not good for me. I think the socks are *fine*, and I'll wear them with joy, but the pattern kerfuffle will bug me just a bit.
All in all, a worthwhile project, I learned some good stuff, blah blah, but time to move on! I cast on Monkey #2! Woo!! I just love Koigu.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go eat some of my Trader Joe's Peppermint Jo-Jos Cheesecake.