Knit Flix

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Outside In

Summer 2009 Knitty was launched today and I'm beaming from ear to ear because Outside In is in it.


OI no diving

Outside In Back-story
Last Christmas, I received a skein of hand dyed sock yarn from a good friend (thank you Mindy!). The colorway was "Millefiori" from Frog Creek Fibers.


(Thanks to Jessica from Frog Creek Fibers for the photo above. I was so excited to start knitting with the yarn, I didn't snap a photo of it in the hank.)

It was so vibrant and colorful and I knew immediately that I wanted to design something with it. This was going to be a challenge because I wanted to create something interesting that wouldn't be lost in the colorway.

During Christmas vacation, I cast on and went through a number of options before becoming fixated on a biased 3x1 rib. The wide rib was nice because it provided a good amount of st st to show off the colors. So I knit like a fiend and made a cuff in no time. But when I tried it on, the ditch where the ribs met stuck out like a sore thumb. It looked... sloppy. Maybe I was too critical (who me?). I showed it to people around me and yes, they saw what I saw.


So I tried making it neater--a ptbl? No, that didn't look better and that's not a stitch many people like so maybe it's fortunate that it didn't work.

Back to the drawing board. I was ready to rip when the pattern on the wrong side caught my eye. Wow, spines on a field of purls? I liked it! Turning it inside out (or outside in) saved the pattern and a complete redesign. With the green light, I plugged along with the sock, creating an afterthought heel and thinking about sizing options.

The Millefiori socks were finished (photo coming soon), but I thought some improvements could be made. Spinnity suggested a cuff that was more traditional, a 3x1 rib on the public side. That was a great suggestion and was easy to add. The sock felt tight around the instep due to the chevron pattern reducing stretch and the short row heel. How can I add more room to make it more comfortable? Maybe add some sort of gusset? I came up with a way to add more sts before the heel divide, blending them into the stitch pattern.

Socks #2 were knit in Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Superwash Rosemusk and incorporated both of these changes. But the socks still pulled where the ribs met at the center front and back. Sandi at Purlescence suggested adding a design element that would relieve the pressure on those center stitches. How about yarn overs?

Yes! A design that works!

Socks #3, the final design, were knit in Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Superwash Violets.

OI front flowers

OI gusset and back detail

Spinnity arranged for Bill, nature photographer extraordinaire, to bring his gear to Stitches West and take photos by the pool at the Hyatt. It was getting late and we were losing the light, but the 3 of us were able to find some nice locations and I'm really pleased with what Bill was able to capture--all of the purple sock photos are his.

OI lounging

OI back rocks

OI side rocks

OI bark

OI back flowers

OI water

Thanks to everyone for the feedback and input, and thank you Bill for your mad photog skills.

Oh, and if you're looking for some pretty hand dyed sock yarn, check out Frog Creek Fibers. They have beautiful yarn with generous yardage. Look for them at Sock Summit in August. Tell Jessica I sent you.

Photos of the OI's predecessors will be posted soon.

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