So, here's the thing about me and sock knitting. I like knitting socks. I've got a lot of them, now. But sock knitting doesn't always like me.
Why? I'm such a loose knitter.
Seriously, I poke around project notes on ravelry, and see that people have trouble getting socks over their heels when they've knit a pattern on size 2 needles... and I realize that I tried the same thing on size 0s and found them bagging around my feet. I've had to subtract stitches from many a pattern, and in some cases have just had to abandon patterns because I can't get them to work with my tension (or lack thereof) and yarn.
Last summer I took steps to try to fix this, at least a little, and bought a size 00 needle for magic looping. It's helped quite a bit, but sometimes... not so much.
It worked for these.
These are Cookie A's Rick socks, from Sock Innovations, knit in Koigu on size 00 HiyaHiya needles. I really liked this stitch pattern, and found it easy to memorize. The resulting fabric is very stretchy (or so I found). I made two changes. I did a short row heel, since that's my very strong preference. And I found that I couldn't possibly complete the whole top of foot chart without having the socks far, far too long. I cut off the last... I don't know... 10 or so rows, and even then had to do a very, very rapid set of decreases for the toes--like decreasing every row, not every other row. Still, I'm quite happy with how they turned out.
The small needles didn't at all work for these socks. Or, rather, this sock, because I didn't even finish one before deciding it was a no go.
I had such high hopes for these! They're the clever Skew pattern, which is knit in such a way as to make, in particular, a cool swerving heel design. I thought they'd be so pretty in this yarn, with the browns rendered by the curves into wood burls. But even knit on size 00 needles, these were far, far too big if I went with the pattern as written. Sigh.
The heel is even looser, not to mention the bagginess around the leg. Needless to say, this was unwearable as knit, so it's been frogged.
I was then struck by temptation in the form of the Crazy Zauberball.
I can't explain why this amused me so much. The fact that it's got crazy in the name? The fact that it's the Crazy Magicball? The fact that as it unwinds it's like an everlasting gobstopper, changing color but never quite getting used up?
No, seriously! I knit these socks out of the Crazy Zauberball (I just like typing that). It's another Sock Innovations pattern, this time Glynis. Except I knit them toe up, with an afterthought heel (to preserve the color changes), and made them mirrored. The stitch pattern certainly doesn't particularly show up against the color changes, but that didn't bother me with such wide bands of color. And it was more fun to knit than simple ribbing.
But here's the magic part. I knit two full socks, and was left with...
...probably a whole third sock's worth of yarn. Magic, indeed!