Wick me away…

I’m happy to report that progress has been made in the planning of both projects, The Bag and the Fishnet Knee-Highs! But let’s talk about them one at a time – knee-highs today, and the hemp bag some time next week.

It seems that I’m not the first person (not by a long shot!) to notice that the pattern as written does not evolve into the photographed knee-high! Several readers left me comments to that effect, and there’s even a thread on the Knitty forum about it.

Last night I received a thoughtful note from Joan M-M:

Aha! That’s more like it! Knee highs, here I come!

Let’s finish by discussing the strangely fascinating Wick and the intriguing toe construction presented in the pattern.

A yarn composed of 53% soy and 47% polypropylene immediately reminds me of skiing clothes. Any skier will tell you that a base layer composed of a moisture-wicking fabric is paramount to a pleasant skiing experience, and polypropylene is one commonly-used synthetic with moisture-wicking properties. I find my polypropylene gear comfortable and well-suited for its purpose, so my first reaction to Wick was, “it’s about time someone put that into a sock yarn!”

However, it’s not surprising that Wick feels a little… synthetic, acrylic, not natural, if you know what I mean. Soy fiber on its own is already a bit slick and snaky, in my opinion. When it’s combined with the synthetic polypropylene, let’s just say I have no trouble imagining that Wick is extruded out of one of those pasta machines (“spinneret“), no spinning wheels in sight.

So Wick definitely feels synthetic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like knitting with it! In fact, it lacks most properties that drive us away from acrylic yarns! It’s not crunchy, it doesn’t feel sticky, and the fibers don’t cling to one another. Rather, it’s incredibly soft, springy, and has the same amount of bounce as wool, I’d say. Knitting with it is effortless (save for when I catch the fiber on something and it distorts a bit too easily), and the resulting fabric seems to have good drape and integrity. How the socks wash, wear, and wick away moisture is a question for the future…

Now, about that toe. Basically, you knit a little trapezoid which goes on top of your toes, then knit an identical trapezoid to cover the bottom of the toes while simultaneously joining the two trapezoids together! Sounds familiar?

I think this method of making the toe is quick and easy, looks good and functions as intended. Is it refined, methodical, or clever? I’d say no. Considering that you start with a provisional cast-on anyway, might as well work short rows, right? In fact, I think I might go with that when I start over…


17 thoughts on “Wick me away…

  1. The BeadKnitter

    I hate it when editors change the pattern. They have no business doing that. If a change needs to be made, they need to contact the author to do it.

    One time I knit a cashmere suit. (Jacket with matching tulip skirt). I ended up with what would have been a jacket big enough to wrap around a full size elephant. I contacted the designer and to her horror, as well as mine, the editor had changed the number of stitches to cast on to double what they should have been for the two front pieces. Now, why in the heck would an editor do that? And what was I supposed to do with all that extra cashmere left over? (not cheap either!)

    I like your toe much better than the one in the pattern.

  2. Camille

    All that synthetic-ness makes for some amazing stitch definition. I wonder what they feel like on? I’ve been debating a non-wool kneesock, I may need to grab some Wick and swatch away.

  3. allie

    I’m bookmarking this page, because I do want to make those mesh socks sometime. Wick sounds like a fascinating choice for socks. Now, I’m curious to find out how it washes and holds up.

  4. Holly

    Wick yarn has caught my interest but I thought the gauge would be worsted weight and too bulky for anything but boot or house socks. Would you comment on the gauge you are getting and the ability to wear the socks for normal shoes?

  5. Marlena

    Every time I’m in Halcyon, I spend a few minutes picking up and putting down balls of Wick. I’m intrigued, but couldn’t imagine making anything other than a sweater out of it. Silly me!

  6. Lisa

    I really enjoy knitting Wick. The only problem I find with it is if your hands are not totally moisturized, it grabs the skin. I guess I should moisturize my hands better!

  7. Jeanne B.

    Why would a tech editor change someone’s pattern, especially if they have permission to publish it? The designer designed it that way. I don’t get it. Glad you found the answer, though.

  8. stella from nz

    interesting yarn,

    i love that toe, its my preferred toe, interesting how how one persons fav toe is so odd to another. I do dislike a little the tiny row of bumps or holes or distortions that occur when I short row a toe, and believe me I have tried many many short row ways. I do like the little row of straight stitches and the increases like a fully fashioned sweater that you can get with this toe. I don’t figure eight or provisional but use montse stanleys tubular cast on and knit the starting few rows double knit on much smaller knitting pins. When finished it looks pretty much the same as the toe you have in this post – so many many paths to warm and comfy feet?

  9. Ryn

    Yay, Grumperina! It’s always nice to know that your hunches are right. The socks look great already, and they’re only at the toe stage! Exactly where my first pair of toe-ups are right now, ha ha ha. 🙂

  10. k

    the socks look cool. however…am I the only one not that excited about the polypro yarn? perhaps I’ve had too much experience with how smelly polypro clothing gets after a few days in the mountains, despite it’s great moisture wicking properties. I much prefer merino wool. but since you’re making fishnet socks, I guess it’s unlikely you will be hiking in them anytime soon. good luck with the pattern!

  11. irene assaf

    could you please send me the great pattern for the

    fishnet knee=highs. I think they are great!


  12. Omar

    I’m making these for Betsy now, and of course should have known that you would have been the one to track down the proper stitch pattern!

    Haven’t been reading knitting blogs much these days, but reading this made me miss kibbitzing with you and the others on Sundays!

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