Yarn: Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino Dream, Fiesta colorway
Pattern: !Los Monos Locos! (modified Cookie A. Monkey sock pattern). Check out the pattern page.
Size: Women's Medium
Needles: 1 2.5mm circular, magic loop
These are ¡Los Monos Locos!, which comprise my second Socktopia entry for May. This time the theme is Fiesta. These seem pretty festive to me. Most of you probably know by now that I modified Cookie A.'s awesome Monkey sock pattern. What started as an effort to just work the pair toe-up on magic loop turned into much more. Next thing I know I'm incorporating the "no pick-up gusset" heel technique I found on Lara B's Toes & Heels Web site.
This wasn't as easy as it would seem because I needed to start and finish the heel with 32 sts on the first needle. I frogged the first heel, tinked several times, and made about half a dozen of these little charts that I'm sure only make sense to me.
I liked "my way" so much that I started to write it down, you know so I could recreate the magic again. Then I was overcome by an urge to share the love, so I've typed it all up, nice and pretty, for you to download. Go here for more monkey mayhem.
I originally intended to write two versions of my findings: one straight up pattern, and another annotated version. Instead I just posted a regular pattern. I'll re-edit the annotated version (silly me, I wrote that one first) to be a "no pick-up gusset" tutorial, complete with very useful and necessary stitch charts. Expect that soonish.
What About the Socks?
I love, love, love the Monkey pattern. As everyone says, it's fun and easy to memorize. The lace pattern takes just a tad more attention than stockinette, and it knits up soopah fast. I didn't like the twisted rib pattern for the cuff, though. It's a bit fidgety, and my speed knitting slowed to a crawl as soon as I switched from the lace. It's a nice looking cuff, daintier than ole 2x2 rib, but a bit of a hassle. I guess you can't have everything.
As I mentioned the other day, even though I got 9sts/inch (instead of 8sts/inch per Cookie A.'s pattern), my socks are still medium-sized. In other words, they don't fit me. The pattern is at its best when it stretches, and it does not do this on me, especially around the ankles. I got positive ease around the ankles, people! So, I'm gifting these to my mother-in-law (not my own mom b/c she's allergic to wool).
Next time, and there will be a next time for sure, I'll drop down a needle size and see how that goes. The Celestial Merino Dream yarn is a bit thick and squishy for fingering weight yarn, so I might go for something a bit thinner as well. The monkeys will be mine some day.
Much to my disappointment, it turns out that half the skein was quite a lot paler than the other. The dominant blues are about the same, but all the little extra yellows, reds and greens are different on each sock. One sock is very vivid, and the other more subdued. The ultra bright colors are what make this yarn. I'm not about to knit a sock with two strands, so I probably won't buy another skein of this. This is really too bad because I had my eye on the Maple Sugar colorway.
On the plus side, it didn't pool much. If you examine them closely, you can see a bit of like colors congregating here and there, but a bona fide pool only appeared on the bottom of one of the heels. I'm not even remotely a fan of pooling, but this is OK.
B's Sweater. It's in the bloody 40s today here in the flat lands, so it seems that a new sweater could still be useful. I usually knit about an inch here and there when the spirit moves me, but now I'm going to focus on it for a bit. It's pretty uninteresting photo-wise, but I'll get something up as soon as it looks like more than a swatch. Did I tell you that I frogged about 8 inches b/c of a dropped stitch a while back?
I'm still waiting for the Panda Cotton I ordered a week and a half ago. I finally heard back from the shop owner who said she'd run out faster than expected. When my skeins turn up, I might knit these cuties for my mom, though the size is a bit worrying. Her feet are bigger than mine, but not by much. All these one-size only socks are starting to bum me out. At least with this pattern, I might be able to trim the pattern a bit.