Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Updates & Prizes

Hi, Knitters,
Late yesterday I sent out a pattern update to all Smooth Operator Socks pattern purchasers. This new information is now included in the pattern for new purchasers. 
Here is the note I sent out with the update:

Hi Smooth Operator Sock Knitters,
First I want you to know that with this update the pattern is completely the same with the exception of 2 pages of variation notes that have been added to the end of the pattern, pages 14 and 15. Here is the reason for the additional notes.
I’ve been tinkering around with the SOS pattern a bit and have successfully tried some new techniques. I want to share these options with you. The new notes at the end of the pattern include:
  1. A simple technique tip to get rounder corners on your Kitchener Stitch heels and toes.
  2. A new way to finish the heels and toes without any Kitchener Stitch. No Kitchener Stitch anywhere in the sock! I have done the last two socks with this technique and I love the look and feel of this version.
  3. Instructions for another way to do the decreases on the heels and toes that creates an even smoother heel and toe decrease line. It is a single sleek line of decreases that is really quite beautiful and simple to do. This is now my go-to decrease option! Now you can substitute this version right into your own Smooth Operator socks if you like.
Thank you for the support! Enjoy.
xo ~ susan

I've been working away on some new socks using the new variations to the pattern. This one is the Opal Sweet & Spicy 2, color number 8615. The cuff, heel and toe is in the Opal Solid Series, number 5186. I have had this yarn for a long time now and I'm so glad I decided to start working on it.

Here are some links you may want to check out:
The Smooth Operator Socks Knitalong Thread (You can still join in up to August 22, 2016.)
Sock blockers are from
Needles: Double-pointed needles from Signature Needle Arts, US size 1/2.25mm, 6-inch length

For these socks I used the new single line decrease variation and the No-Kitchener finishing for the heel and toe. I love both of these options so much. I think these variations make the sock look even better. The original version is just as good though.

It's all about having options and trying new things. That's how you learn what works best for you comfort-wise for the wearing of your socks and what makes your knitting the most enjoyable experience for you.

Every time I start the heel and pick up the extra stitches to close up the gap I try to experiment a little with which legs I pick up. For every sock it can be a little different, the technique is the same but where I insert the needle under the legs can be different. I look at the stripes (sometimes skinny stripes will get a jog in the stripe, for example) and the different colors and how the pulled up stitch legs will look. If I don't like the look or if I still have a hole I will try another spot. The more times you do this part of the sock the better you'll become at it.

The sock in the photo above is the first time I didn't have any gap or hole that needed stitching up on the one side of the heel where I joined in the yarn. I achieved this by experimenting with the picked up stitch legs. In the past I have had a tiny gap on the side where I joined in the new yarn which isn't a problem because that end needs to be woven in anyway so at the same time I just stitch up the gap, too. Anyway, I feel pretty good about this one!

Here is a close up example of the Single Line Decrease variation and the No-Kitchener Finish. I think it looks extraordinarily clean, neat and tidy and oh so smooth. I really love it. This is the Noro Taiyo Sock yarn. I lost the label so I don't know the color number and I purchased the yarn in Door County quite a few years ago.

The heel finish in the photo above is an example of the Kitchener stitch with the Rounded Corner variation found in the new update. The simple tip in the update really helps smooth out and round the common problem of those pointy corners.

The finished sock is like a little work of art. The Noro Taiyo Sock yarn is a single-ply yarn that looks so much like a handspun yarn. I know that a single-ply won't wear as well as sturdier sock yarns but I don't mind at all.

I haven't talked about this much but one thing about an afterthought heel, like in this pattern, is that it is completely replaceable. You can simply put your needles back in just like you did to pick up the stitches, cut out or rip out the heel if there is a hole and then knit a brand new heel. It is so slick. If I do get holes in my socks it will most likely be in the heel.  

Berry Colorful Yarning: (l to r) Bright Beginnings, Berry Punch and Hulk

Last but not least, I have randomly drawn for three more prize winners for the Smooth Operator Socks Knitalong! BC Yarning generously sent me three skeins of her beautiful self-striping sock yarn a bit ago. I am so excited to share it with three of you. I randomly selected two winners from the SOSkal Photo thread and one winner from the Instagram #soskal photos. 

The three winners have been contacted and they are:

Congratulations to all three winners! I'll be drawing for more prizes next week. I am having the best time with the knitalong. It's so inspiring and I can't believe how many SOsocks have already been completed. There are already 437 posted projects at this time. That's impressive. Socks are really the perfect summer project.

I'll be back soon with more.
xo ~ susan