This project was a lot of different things for me at the same time. It all started with a purchase at an online yarn store in the UK, for the yarn needed for a blanket for a friend that was expecting a baby. I knew the yarn I wanted, and she had picked the colourway, and it just so happened that this was only available at that specific yarn store in the quantity I needed.
Anyway, when checking out, there were a couple of other yarns that stumbled into my basket (that happens to all of us, right?), amongst them was one skein of Sirdar Heart & Sole. At the same time, a 2.5mm Knitpro needle, my first 25 cm needle, decided it had to come home to me. It was intended as a test, because I really want to get into knitting more socks, but I haven’t quite found the right needles for me yet.
Now that I had the yarn and the needle, I needed a pattern. As always I took to Ravelry and during my search the Business Casual Pattern really caught my eye. I’m quite sure it was the blue colour of the main featured picture, because I have a serious thing for everything blue. With the lovely pictures, I was actually kind of surprised that the pattern was available for free. That surprise carried through into the PDF pattern itself.
From the start to the end, the pattern is highly professional, clearly structured and provides everything a knitter needs. Even though I have been knitting for over ten years, this has only been my second sock project, and in actual fact the first time I finished the pair… There was never any stage while knitting where the pattern wasn’t clear regarding what my next steps were. I did end up getting stuck at one stage on the second sock, but that was purely my own fault, because I must have dropped a stitch and didn’t realize for a whole lot of rows. Normally that wouldn’t be that big a deal, but considering the fact that there were cables running all over the sock, it turned a little more complicated.
The yarn I have to admit felt different than I expected, but I guess that is just one thing you have to accept when you buy online. It’s not necessarily that I don’t like the way the yarn feels, but I suppose I had to get over the difference to my expectations to start liking it. During the knit, I fell in love with the gorgeous colours (and accepted the feel as well). They really worked beautifully together and in the finished socks, the colours worked into very wonderful bold stripes.
One thing I didn’t realize when I got started was that the pattern is specifically written to be used for double-pointed needles. There are sections where the instructions assume you are able to divide your stitches onto the different needles and tell you what specifically to do with which needle. I still carried on with my new needle test, which meant that I had to re-think at those sections and do a little more counting at times than I would have had to with double-pointed needles.
I have to admit, I am still not quite sure, whether the needle experiment was successful or not. At the start, I was not very happy at all. My knitting style is continental, and I realized that I like to hold a lot of the needle in my hand. That doesn’t quite work with a 25 cm needle, for obvious size reasons. So halfway through the first sock, I was convinced that I would finish this project and not touch that needle again. Now at the end of both socks, I am really not sure. I’m very much looking forward to some longer needles for the next knitting, but won’t rule out using the sock needles again. Before I return to them, I have to try out a pair of socks on two circulars though, since I haven’t tried that technique before.
I started these in October, and had intended them to be a Christmas present. This meant, I made them in a size too small for me, which I am now regretting in April, having just finished them. I’m sure I’ll find a worthy recipient for them soon, although I am a little disappointed that I won’t be able to wear them myself.
Overall, the pattern is a definite recommendation from start to finish! I signed up for the designers newsletter as well (check out their page at http://www.tanisfiberarts.com) because she has a wonderful design portfolio already so I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Both needle and yarn weren’t my absolute favorites, but still turned out a beautiful finished object that I will be proud to share with somebody special.
Some related links for you to check out:
My Project Link on Ravelry: http://ravel.me/StarStruckKnits/bc
Pattern Link on ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/business-casual
Yarn Link on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/sirdar-heart–sole