Monday, June 6, 2016

FO: Arne & Carlos Socks

As a follower of Susan B. Anderson's blog, I have long loved the Arne & Carlos line from Regia yarn. She started making socks from it a long time ago, and I would search all over for this amazing yarn at the time to no avail - it seemed that, being a German company, the yarn was only easily found in Europe, and it was pretty expensive in the US. Being the cheap frugal person that I am, I waited and looked on others' fancy printed socks with longing. Then this past January, I totally lucked out. Craftsy got the entire first collection of their yarn and put it on sale - I immediately snapped some up!
For anyone not familiar with this yarn, it's a fingering weight 75% wool, 25% nylon jacquard printed yarn. This means that the yarn is dyed in such a way that it creates a fancy pattern as you knit. It looks like you did lots of color work when in reality you just used a plain knit stitch with all the same piece of yarn. This stuff is magical, ya'll. I was so excited to finally get my hands on some (in my favorite colorway no less - 3657 Summer Night) that I just had to start knitting some socks as soon as it arrived. 
I searched all over through my crazy pattern stash (thank you, Ravelry) for a plain sock pattern that I already owned. Having only made socks very sparingly, I only had fancy cable and lace patterns that just wouldn't show off this yarn to its full potential. I wanted plain stockinette stitch. Having just completed a pair of Smocked Guernsey Socks that fit me really well, I had an idea. That pattern is really just plain stitching with that smocking stitch added in, so I could just leave off the smocking stitch and they would be plain socks. Eureka! So, I just followed the stitch count and measurements of that pattern to make these. I had to make a few adjustments as I went, but it was a very easy change to the pattern.
To make these socks, I cast on 85 stitches, knit for 1/2" in k2p3 rib, decreased down to 68 stitches and knitted k2p2 rib until it was 1.5" long, then changed to just plain knit stitch. I knitted until the cuff was 6" long, then added a line of scrap yarn for an after though heel. I then knitted the foot of the sock another 5" and started decreasing for the toe as the Smocked Guernsey pattern instructs. Next I had to decide on the after thought heel which I've never done before. I've used the technique in toys before, but not for an actual heel, so I didn't know how fast to decrease. I knit the heel once, tried it on, thought it was fine, but within seconds the heel slipped off my actual heel and the sock slumped. The heel was definitely too small. I remembered that the Lace Knee Socks from the Knit Sock Workshop class had a different type of after thought heel, so I pulled out that pattern and sure enough it had a heel that would work for my sock with slower decreases than I did the first time. I ripped out the first heel, and knit according to the lace sock pattern, and it worked great :)
This is my first time ever working with matching yarn in knitting. I knew I wanted my socks to be an exact match because I'm anal like that. To do this, I just paid attention to where the yarn was in the pattern when I cast on and made sure to start at the same point on the second sock. I did have to pull off a decent sized ball of yarn on the second skein to find that same spot, but it worked great and I'm happy to say that my socks are an exact match :)
Observe: perfectly matched cuffs :)
And perfectly matched feet/toes. The sock on the left has a teensy bit of blue at the toe because that foot is actually a smidge longer than my right, so it worked out perfectly. When I wear the sock, the toe naturally sits under my toes, so you don't see that anyway and they look like a perfect match when worn too.
The only area I didn't bother matching up was the heel. By the time I had to rip out the one heel, I forgot to pay attention to where the pattern was when I began and I was just so excited to get them finished that I didn't care. Plus, it's the heel. No one will see that while I wear them anyway. At least they fit my foot now, lol.
So, there you have it. Another pair of awesome socks that fit me perfectly :) I'm really thrilled that my experimental pattern worked out, and these socks look very impressive even though they were the easiest sock knitting I've done thus far. I will confess that these socks put me on a serious jacquard yarn kick and I purchased some other exciting printed yarns, so you will certainly see more deceptively impressive looking socks from me in the future, ha ha. I've always thought socks would be so boring to knit, but now I caught the bug and I will probably knit quite a few pairs.

*The Craftsy links are affiliate links, but all products were purchased by me and opinions are 100% my own.

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