Umpu socks

The box of socks is slowly filling up.

What: Umpu / Emma Karvonen
How: circular neelde 2.25 mm
From: Filcolana Arwetta, 50 g

In the spring, I took part at Wonky needles knitting retreat. One of the traditions there is that all the participants get a brand new knitting pattern which will be available for everyone else a few months later - which, by the way, will be right after the designer returns from her holiday.

This time the retreat design was a lovely sock pattern by Emma Karvonen. I packed with me a sock yarn I had dyed at the same retreat a few years back. It would have been a fun thing to use it for the retreat socks but in the end I didn't have time to even cast on the socks as I had so much other stuff to knit.

A month ago, I had a yarn swap afternoon with my friends. I asked them to bring all their extra green sock yarn for the Box. One of the yarns I swapped was this really intensely green Arwetta. Then one day I packed it and a pair of needles with me to go the movies. As I only had one 50 g skein, I needed to find a toe up sock pattern. And so I cast on for the retreat socks.

The design is simple yet fun. There are three pattern repeats on the instep that move at a different pace and one repeat at the back of the socks after the heel. The pattern is a lovely mix of tiny cables and twisted stitches. It kinda looks like little flower buds - that's also the meaning of the Finnish name Umpu.

The most fun part was the heel. It looks really weird but fits extremely well. If I'm correct, this is strong/fleegle heel - expect worked toe up. It seems to me that most cuff down heels can just as well be worked toe up. They will look funny because we're not used to them in that direction but they seem to fit just as well that way - as was the case here.

Since it would be way too easy to just follow the pattern, I did a few small modifications. I reversed the starting cables of the pattern repeat to get mirrored right and left sock. I also saw someone's mod on the heel to start the back pattern right away and wanted to copy that. I spent a while counting to make sure I start the pattern on the right row. And all that calculating was in vain because I apparently can't count. When joining to work in the round again, I found out the last repeat in the back was too rows short. Oh well, you don't really notice it. Except that now you do since I broadcasted it here!

A few words about the yarn. I'm so into all these delicious hand dyed yarns that I had never tried this basic (and cheap if I may add) sock yarn that is Arwetta. I had no idea what I was missing! The yarn is super soft. The twist is quite loose and therefore the yarn does split a bit but it was so soft that I didn't mind. And the colors are vivid. This is no paid complement, I just got really pleasantly surprised.

I was a bit nervous about the yardage. I usually spend about 60 g on a pair of socks this size so I knew these would be shorter than usual. After the heels I go anxious as there was so little yarn left. Luckily it was enough for desent cuffs. And I won at yarn chicken big time! After binding off, both socks had a tail of about 4 cm. And that was all the yarn that was left!

The Box is starting to look quite full but there are still plenty of pairs to be knit beforenext Christmas.

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