But today, having just started the pair of socks I'll be knitting while we all knit along (I had to finish the KAL socks ahead of time because, um, had to take photos!), I have a couple of interesting things to tell you about how I've shaken things up with my latest pair.
Of course, you too can try these alternative ideas, but the pattern - as it stands - is still the pattern we'll work from (and which the photos will refer to). Note: I have found a couple of small errors in the pattern, my apologies. They're not tremendously meaningful (you'll have no problems) but they drive me crazy. After this KAL, I'll post up a revised version. But won't have a chance to do so till next week at the earliest.
Anyway, my current socks are different than the pattern version in that:
- I went down a needle size for the rib portion. (Great idea for loose knitters out there...)
- I used the cast on from the Eastern European video linked to in this post. It is SO much better, so much stretchier, than the long-tail cast on version I found on knittinghelp.com (not that I'm not grateful for that version, since I've used it until now).
- I changed up my rib from K1P1 to K2P1. It produces a stretchier rib (great for tight knitters out there) and it also gives a more refined look. Frankly, it's a prettier rib - especially if you knit loosely.
- I am knitting in 2 different styles on this pair of socks - and I'm seriously improving with my chosen alternate method: flicking. Flicking is actually a variant of right-handed knitting (British style), which is very appealing to me because, truly, I prefer to knit right-handedly. It just comes to my brain more naturally than the left-handed version (at least at the moment). The difference between my regular style (see the magic loop videos for a visual) and this new style is that flicking requires you to keep your right hand on the needle at all times and to use your wrist action and index finger to pivot the yarn (vs. "throwing" the yarn). I've chosen to alternate one row of my regular British style with one row of flicking - so as to maintain some semblance of tension constancy. Let me tell you, this learning (previously applied to swatches of different needle sizes) has been SLOW going. I'm starting to approach the same pace with flicking as I achieve in my regular style, though not consistently, so I can see how it is likely to be MUCH faster, in the course of time. Undoubtedly, and fantastically (from my vantage point), it is incredibly efficient.
And I am keeping this pair for myself. Really.