Friday, July 13, 2007

I knit, I sent, and I received...

I finally finished the Hogwarts socks I have been torturing for the last few months and sent them off to my poor victim with a few other goodies.

I am very proud of these socks. My pal is obviously a Hufflepuff, and I decided to go with two themes - Goblet of Fire, which is the book the Huffs appear in best and most (Remember Cedric Diggory....) and flowers, because Professor Sprout is, after all, their Head of House. The socks are strictly GoF...the top pattern is false flame stitch, representing the Dragon task. The stitches around the ankle looked like bubbles to me, although Barbara Walker mistakenly thought they looked like something else, and I put them in for the lake challenge - Diggory used the BubbleHead charm, after all... and the foot is a mosaic pattern, also BW, called Maze. I'm sure you know why I chose that one.

Knitting it became a little complicated. As it turned out, I got almost identical guages on the upper half of the sock using two entirely different sizes of knitting needles. I got confused. On the first sock I used size 000, on the second, slightly smallish size 0's. I pulled really tightly on the second sock, and you can only see any difference at all if you inspect them with a gimlet eye. I think one ended up about a 32nd of an inch longer. But trust me, I had to LOOK.

The maze portion took a lot of ripping, because the mosaic portion contracts in length, and so to have the top and the bottom of the sock, which was just striped, the smae length, I had to use size 00 on the bottom and size 1 on the top. At least I think it was size one. I would recognize the needles if I saw them again...

Why did this seem to me to be easier, simpler, than just putting the mosaic pattern all the way around? Beats me entirely.

If I did it again I would use an even larger needle on the mosaic, or more stitches, and I would forget the stripes and put it all the way around.

I am tryng to write up this pattern and post it here so that others in the second HSS will be able to use it if they want to. Quite likely no one will be crazy enough, but it was really a simple pattern excpet for the changing needles, and I won't try that again... well, unless there is no other way to do it!

I put a knitted purse with a flower on it in the box, along with a pin, the hematite stitch markers you all gave me advice about, two sets of double points, a special stitch holder that has wooden cups at both ends and an elastic connecting them - you make all your needles parallel, and then slip the cups over the ends. Voila - nothing will poke out your bag, and no stitches get lost! I figured out how to make it from things I've seen, and I am so proud of myself! I threw in some yellow sock shaped point protectors was well, in case she likes those better. I also threw in a yellow plastic easter egg with a little bit of yarn for darning...there was not much of the yellow left - and a needle. I wanted it to be super terrific and I don't think I equalled some of the boxes I've seen here, but I hope I did not embarrass myself either, or disappoint my pal. I agree with others here - that would be the worst!

I also got my box from my pal! She is Terri of, and does she know how to pack a swap box!

First, the socks! They are hand-dyed yarn in Gryffindor's colorway, with a lightning bolt of purl stitches down the middle of the front between two rows of what I am pretty sure are horseshoe cables. She designed these herself, and they are perfect - The lightning bolt is Harry's scar, so that covers Book 7, and the horseshoe cables? Well, those are the footprints of the centaurs or the Thestrals, and work perfectly for the movie. Two, two, two perfections in one, if I may murder the old Doublemint gum commercials... These socks went on vacation with her, and I would like to point out a lovely example of interhouse unity - the camel on the postcard from the vacation location is wearing Ravenclaw colors...

I prefer metal needles, and so she sent me the terrific just-about-every-smaller-size-of-needle-you-could-possibly-want set from Susan Bates. There are four sets of needles in there! The package also included a tin of hand cream, a tinned candle, the rest of the wool from my socks, so I can darn them and great stitch markers that she made herself.

The most amazing "Extra", however, is the skein of sock yarn. It is hand dyed by a lady in Wales named Dee, who runs Posh Yarns, and the colorway, which she calls "Deep Water" is exactly what I would have chosen for myself. It is a cashmere blend and way, way softer than you can even imagine I will have to search long and hard before I find a pattern deserving of being knit up in this!

All in all, I have to say that my first swap feels like a great success to me, and I only hope the person who will soon be in receipt of the box I sent feels the same way!


Vera H. said...

Both pairs of socks are truly fantastic.

agatha quafflepuncher said...

I think the socks you made look brilliant!!!! What a lucky hufflepuff to receive those, I'm sure your pal wil be thrilled:-)
I'm very happy that you like the parcel, and most importantly that the socks fit! I love doing swaps, but always spend ages worrying once the parcel is on its way LOL why do I do it to my self eh:-) Heres to hpss2!!!!

Christine said...

Wow, those are terrific socks, T! Gorgeous. Please do get the pattern posted ~ not even the tininess of 000s scares me if that's what's waiting at the end of it all!

Libby said...


Those sock have turned out great!!! Also what a great pal you have to make those great Gryffindor socks as well as give you the rest of the goodies.

I told DH that he was in charge of getting me the last HP book on Saturday as I'm going to be in the hospital that day. So you know what he did? He ordered it from Amazon and he says that it will be here on Saturday. I'm hoping that it will!

congrats on finishing your socks.


Suzann said...

I love love love your Potter socks. They certainly have that WOW! factor going there T. My daughter would kill for those socks ;-)

Having a Knit Fitt said...

The socks you knit are amazing! You are a complete maniac. What a nice sock pal you have. I have Posh sock yarn in the same color way. I keep pondering about what pattern to knit. It has to be worthy.

Melina said...

I saw the incredible pair of socks in the blog of this 'poor victim' as you called her .. I had to come to you to say that when I will see her wearing them, I shall beg on my knees in front of her, that she allows me to try them! As an old friend of mine, she may allow me to do so... :)

Never seen such a pair of socks in my life! What a sight! Pleasing the eye, and no doubt, pleasing her feet too.

Melina from Finland

smariek said...


A long while back, I remember you asking us what we thought of the patterns in various swatches you made. We've been waiting to see what you would make. WOW! Your socks are amazing!!!

Accio T's Hogwarts Socks. (nothing happens) Darn! I guess it would help if I knew where your pal was... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous socks! I saw the package and I love that little baggy you have in there, may I ask where the pattern for it is from? Thank you :)