When I opened by TFA Year in Colour club parcel at the end of July I was a bit surprised, the yarn was a bit more clown-barfy (I say this with love) than I generally like. And I wasn't totally sold on socks yet, I had made my first pair, but the yarn didn't knock my socks off so I didn't look very closely at the pattern.
So I decided to let the yarn marinate in my stash and in December the TFA KAL, a desire to knit from stash and wanting to do a 12 pairs of sock in 2012, meant that I pulled the TFA Blue Label in Aquarium and paired it with the club pattern, Aquarium, and made a plan. As I was swatching before the January 1st deadline I realized that there was no stated gauge for the finished sock on the pattern, and as someone who's gauge is significantly tighter that the average knitter (seriously, I knit fingering colorwork on US7s) I need to know the gauge the designer expects the item at so I can swatch and figure out my own needle size.
So I was messing around with my other TFA KAL knits and my sister noticed the Pomatomus pattern in my queue and convinced me that it was a way better use of the Aquarium yarn than the fishie sock pattern it had originally been paired with. Also, interestingly Pomatomus was named for the genus of blue fish so it seemed fitting.
So, I'm grown up enough to admit, Carla was totally right, the Pomatomus sock was perfectly suited to the Aquarium yarn, and may be my most favorite pair of patterned socks, yet, but then again I have some seriously big plans for socks this year.
- Details -
Project Name: Aquarium Pomatomus
Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label (Merino Nylon Fingering) in Aquarium, from July 2011 Year in Colour Club
- Knit on Magic Loop rather than DPNs
- Shortened the leg by one repeat. I don't like super tall socks (my calves are just too large) but doing only two repeats of the leg chart made for the perfect length leg.
- Cuff Down Socks - To this point all my socks have been toe up, however Cookie is a big fan of cuff down and her pattern are worth not using up every last yarn of yarn doing things cuff down.
- Twinned Sock Knitting - I tried doing these two-at-a-time, however it was too much trouble with all the stitches that get get passed around as the pattern spirals. So Carla lent me her short 2.75mm needle and I knit the socks at the same time on two separate needles, doing the cuff on one, then the other. I found this a great way to avoid Second Sock Syndrome and also be able to move stitches as needed.
- Yarn: The TFA Blue Label was a great yarn to work with, while there was one really nasty join from the mill it is in the remnants so it wasn't an issue for the socks. I was impressed with the multi nature of the yarn, it didn't pool or stripe, it just has a great overall effect, although I imagine the pattern does help prevent the yarn from acting up. Also the stitch definition was just perfect for this project.
- Pattern: Cookie mentions in the pattern that ... " If you are up for a challenge, then the Pomatomus is for you. Blue fish are somewhat vicious with sharp teeth, powerful jaws, and a cannibalistic tendency. Stay alert, and you should wade through these socks just fine." I found that they were wonderfully zesty, although making them work on magic loop, rather than DPNs made them a challenge a times, it was well worth the effort. The pattern was good, and the only drawback was the format, I find I have to reformat all the patterns I get from Knitty, because they don't print properly or save as PDFs in a usable form. Other than that general complaint (about a fantastic, free publication) the pattern is great, I really want to try more of Cookie's patterns, she is a whiz with the socks.
Re-Knit?: Probably not, there are way, way, way too many awesome sock patterns out there to do backwards (aside from having a basic vanilla pattern you like) but I am desperate to make more Cookie A socks, she is an artist who creates for tiny, wearable canvasses.