This weekend, I finished not just one, but two projects! And I managed to clean the house. I think this was mainly because winter decided to grace us with her presence again this past weekend - highs were in the 40s, and lows in the low 20s, with high winds, so there wasn't a whole lot of time spent outside.
The first project I finished was my cozy, thick socks. The pattern, Aran Socks, from the book Country Weekend Knits, was the first pattern I've used from this book. I love the book, and I love all the different sock patterns in it, but if this pattern is any indication of how the rest of the book will read, I'm not sure I'll be making many more projects from it. I had to make quite a few modifications to the pattern, and one of the cable rows has an error in it. I've detailed most of my modifications on my Ravelry page, but I'll speak to a few of them here also.
I will say, despite all the adjusting I had to do, I really love these socks. I've hardly taken them off since I finished them - I'm even wearing them right now! They're very cozy and warm, and I love the look of them. This is my first finished project using my naturally dyed yarn, and I love the result. The yarn itself is nothing fancy - it's just under two skeins of Paton's classic wool. Starting out with natural dyes, I've not been able to justify using nice, more expensive wool for fear of a disaster, which would ruin something nice. As I get more experience I think I'll branch out into some nicer wools, but for now, this is working great. This yarn was dyed with black walnut hulls that I collected from our yard. As you can see, one skein is a little more variegated than the other, but it's not that noticeable. Having a larger dye pot would help with that.
The first major modification I made was to cast on only 60 stitches instead of the 76 stitches the pattern calls for. 76 stitches for a worsted weight sock?? I realized these are supposed to be more like "house socks" instead of socks you wear under boots, but even after cutting out 16 stitches, the socks do a little slouching on their own while wearing them. I can't imagine they'd even stay up a little bit with those extra 16 stitches.
I also had to play around with the ribbing some. The instructions are very unclear in the pattern, and if one were to knit them as written, you'd end up with a panel of 4 knit stitches running down the middle of the back of the sock, yet the photos in the pattern don't show the sock with that, so I made some adjustments to make the ribbing a continuous k2,p2. I've noted those mods in my Ravelry notes. Since I started with less stitches, I also had to change the way I did the heel, but it wasn't too difficult, and worked out nicely. Those notes are also on my Ravelry page, along with the correct instructions for row 11 of the cable pattern.
All in all, I'm counting these socks as a huge win. I have a feeling they're going to be well-loved!