Taking inventory

The entrancing Ene concludes our FO Parade!

Did you notice how I wrapped up four projects in a matter of two weeks? This means two things: first, there probably won’t be another FO for a little while. Second, I’ve had to take inventory of what’s currently on the needles, and adjust my project load accordingly.

Tell me, can you see what’s wrong with the following WIP line-up?


The first project requires its own tote bag, three balls of yarn, and scissors. The second project uses a menagerie of needles and takes more than baseline concentration. The third project evolves from a half-pound cone of yarn.

For someone who accomplishes a lot of her knitting on subways, buses, and while standing in line at the Post Office, none of these projects even approximate “portability.” On top of that, there’s an extensive trip in my immediate future! Airplane food and layovers, here I come!

So, without batting an eyelash, I cast on for a pair of socks.

Another one from the Vogue Ultimate Sock book – Bavarian Socks by Candace Eisner Strick. I’m using Koigu KPM #1160, a generous gift from Maritza. The color reminds me of blackberries or black raspberries, depending on the light. Or maybe the skin of red plums… you get the idea.

Incidentally, this is the precise yarn used in the pattern, and I’m using the recommended US 1 needles to boot. All of this is noteworthy because my typical combo of LL Sock and US 0 needles wouldn’t have worked (I think) without modifying the pattern – the sock would have come out too small. But this… this is right on! The cables are perfectly squishy and not too stiff, the sock stretches to grandma dimensions, and the relief of the stitches seems right – they don’t fade into the background.

And… if you can believe it, this is my first time ever knitting with Koigu. Gasp! So far, so good ;).

The pattern, in addition to being beautiful, is quite simple and intuitive. I’m doing the whole thing without using a cable needle, which helps me go even quicker.


For those of you knitting along, I’d like to warn you about a potential error in the pattern. With multiple cables, designers typically take one of two approaches – either the cables are identical, or they are mirror images of each other. If you take a look at the chart and examine the smaller side cables (focus on rounds 4, 5, and 6), you’ll note that these cables don’t fall into either category. For identical cables, you’d have to change rounds 4 and 6; for mirror-images, you’d have to change round 5.

I e-mailed Ms. Candace Eisner Strick inquiring which of these outcomes she intended in her design. Without having the socks in her possession (they’re at VK), she wasn’t able to answer me. So, I studied the photo, I studied the cables in front of me which led to the initial query, and decided to make all the smaller cables identical. Specifically, the cable appearing left-most on the chart will be used throughout.

I think the coolest part is the way the “strands” of the cable intertwine in a basket weave-like fashion.


35 thoughts on “Taking inventory

  1. Elinor

    The eternal cabling question: to duplicate or to mirror? Your socks look great! First time with Koigu??? Well, what took you so long? 😉

  2. Serenknitity

    I’ve just bought some Koigu and am planning on a first time pair of socks too, but I’m thinking how I’m going to re-inforce the toe and heel, as I’ve heard it holes quickly.

    Your socks are gorgeous. Looking at those, I’d say most of your readers will have the Vogue book on their Amazon wish list for Christmas – I know I will!

  3. Cathy-Cate

    Mmm, lovely black raspberry goodness!

    Thank you for posting that close-up of the interwoven cables; that’s just the kind of detail that makes me really want to knit those socks. I love the interweaving. Hmm, I have a birthday coming up; might have to check the Vogue book out, that’s one I don’t have!

  4. Andrea

    These are gorgeous! I haven’t looked at that book yet, but the way these socks are turning out makes me want to run right out and get it.

  5. Abby

    Ooh, you haven’t shown us the white project using the cone yarn yet. Oh, the mystery!

    Koigu and size 1 are my absolutely magic combination for socks. I’ve got one on the needles right now – Interweave’s Simply Lovely Lace Socks. Much like your love for Lorna’s and size 0s – I just can’t get enough of Koigu’s semi-solids. I think you’ll really like it.

    Wouldn’t you believe it, just yesterday I purchased my first Lorna’s and some tiny needles for Eunny’s Endpaper Mitts. With your rave reviews for the yarn, I’m confident I’ll love it.

  6. Liz

    Oh, these are gorgeous! Note to self: I do NOT need to cast on a THIRD pair of cabled socks this week. Two does it quite nicely. (I’m lucky that all of my sock needles have projects on them at the moment…)

  7. Christy / Not Hip

    These are going to be gorgeous; that color is so luscious. I’m in the midst of finishing up/starting a new set of projects myself. It is one of my favorite things: getting to solidify the next yarn and project pairings.

  8. Hannah

    Mmm, those socks are gorgeous. I love the interlocking cables on the closeup photo, it’s little details like that really excite me.

  9. Carrie

    Those are quite beautiful. I usually don’t knit sock patterns from others, (I get lazy and just make up my own instead) but I might have to make an exception there.

  10. Me

    Oh my, 4 projects in 2 weeks *gasp* I am shocked this wasn’t noticed right away. Tell me, if you ever write a book regarding your opinions on your own talents, what catagories do you think it will be posted under?

    I personally like Koigu but kind of overdosed on it a year ago and find that the twist is what I no longer find appealing. Certain socks and certain ones don’t. I find ones like Claudia’s Handpainted resembles VERY closely Koigu and so does J. Knits, and there are a few others that escape my thoughts right now. None the less, I am no longer deeply into that type of twist and find L.L. still very appealing as well as some other hand-dyes (which most seem to use the same base merino’s which I find appealing). I also find the bamboo sock yarns soooo lovely and are right now, my favorite, becareful with the bamboo’s though, some pill terribly 🙂 Happy Autumn!

  11. Jomy

    The cables look great, and I really like that color!

    As for the portability of those projects, I think the one with the half-pound cone can be made travel friendly most easily..

    perhaps you could roll the yarn into 2 balls?

  12. Marie

    One of my favourite things about your posts is that they often help me to be better at looking at patterns and seeing the kind of detail you have highlighted in your interlocking cable photo and comments.

  13. Andree

    I am envious of your industriousness. Maybe if I gave up driving, I could get as much knitting done as you do.

    Unfortunately, I live in California in the city with no viable public transportation.

  14. Rae

    Your work is just gorgeous!

    For your trip, bring along several printed copies of TSA’s “ok” to bring knitting needles. My friend & I went to Paris this summer, both toting our knitting on the plane there, no issues. However, getting through French security was unbelievable on the return leg. I went first & went through with knitting needles still in my possession. My friend went next, to a different agent & whoosh! Off her knitting was yanked & needles jammed into the confiscated items pile,he said the US wouldn’t let us in with the needles. yet I & several flight attendants went through with our needles intact & in our possession.

  15. Beatriz

    I was gasping that you haven’t tried Koigu yet. Lovely color you’re using for the beautiful cabled pattern…as always, admiring your sock work.

  16. Tallguy

    Yes, that colour looks gorgeous, and a most interesting cable pattern. At first, I thought there was something wrong with the way the cables worked, and then realized that they are interwoven… and then read your write-up and you explain that too! Guess I shouldn’t look at the pics first!

    Nice socks…. more to add to my list?

  17. Ashley

    Oh, but the real question: will you become a Koigu convert, leaving behind the LL forever? That color is fantastic.

    And what’s with the multiple-personality anonymous comment above? “Hi, I’m rude and insulting, and too chicken to own it! Oh, but have a super-happy autumn!” People suck. I hope you blocked it out mentally.

  18. Laura

    I love koigu and have been using it for years, it is so soothing to feel it slide across my fingers and needles. Have fun on your trip. I would love to go somewhere, anywhere. Now to talk to the DH about taking me someplace nice….sigh!

  19. Anne

    Gorgeous color & cables. Thanks so much for sharing your instructions for cabling without a cable needle!

  20. Ronni

    I think you’re responsible for a big chunk of the extra books I end up buying (not that I regret a single one mind you) and today isn’t going to be an exception to the rule. That sock is lovely!

  21. Beth K

    I just love the color of the socks! I cast on socks after my sweater didn’t want to do what it needed to. Best of luck on your trip.

  22. Meg McG

    knock knock….

    anyone home?

    Beautiful projects, yarn, commentary. You’re consistent and wonderful. Many thanks.

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