This spring, I was waiting eagerly for a new knitting book. You see, a dear friend, Tiina Kuu, published her very first sock book and I was lucky enough to get a book from the publisher to write a review. At the moment, the book is only available in Finnish but the designs (or an e-book) will be released on Ravelry in 2020 or later.
How: Circular needles 2.25 mm
From: Woolmint Symphony + Holst Garn Highland, 48 + 30 g
I take pride in not writing a review until I've tested out at least one pattern in a book. I had a though time choosing which socks to make but in the end it was simple. All the designs are named after Finnish songs and I knew which artist I was going for. After that, it was a matter of choosing between two sock designs.
Avaruuden ikkunat (i.e. space windows) are stranded color work using two colors. The cuffs are two-colored ribbing and the main part of the socks have these funky little boxes to represent space windows. (It's a silly song, trust me!) The sole is mostly vertical stripes but there are a few windows there as well.
Stranded knitting always begins with choosing colors. The right colors can result in the most beautiful socks ever, while the wrong colors can muddy up the whole design. I went through my stash of sock yarns and found yarn I had dyed a few years back. You wouldn't believe it from the pictures but I was going for pink speckles on light yellow base. Yep. The shop keeper tricked me big time when I was buying the 'yellow' color. So I didn't get the colors I was going for but the yarn still turned out quite nice. And they've been waiting for the right pattern for a long time.
I paired up orange yarn with a light-colored Woolmint Symphony. The colorways for Symphony have been named after famous composers. I chose Händel even though Sibelius was available too. The Händel has such gorgeous, muted shades. It's grey and black speckles on a natural white base. Together, these colors remind me of a campfire so these socks are on FIRE.
The boxes are repeated along the socks but keep changing places. For some reason, for the life of me, I couldn't memorize the chart. The first sock took ages as I had to constantly keep checking every row from the chart. Finally, I learned the pattern just before the toes of the first sock.
Tiina Kuu has an engineer-like attitude to sock designing. And hence, even this little box pattern had mirrored charts for the other sock. I was a bit nervous would it be difficult to memorize the mirrored pattern as I had just learned the first one. Luckily, my brain had finally trule tuned into the pattern and it was a breeze. Where the first sock took me several weeks, the second sock knit up in just couple days.
I love how the socks turned out. My only problem was figuring out the cast on. The book has a technique section which is more on how to find tutorials online instead of explaining every possible technique. I really appreciate that. I think there are a lot of knitters that will benefit from this. However, these particular socks had a very special cast on: a two-color stranded cast on and I was left wondering if I was supposed to google for an Italian cast on that's used in brioche or something else. (As it turns out, I should've just googled two-color stranded cast on. Silly me.) Since I couldn't figure out the right search terms, I decided that as an experienced knitter I can come up with my own cast on. Turns out I couldn't. Well, I did cast on and manage to make a pair of socks but the cast on looks different in each sock. It's really flexible and stretchy which is nice but it has this funny look as if the stitches come from nowhere. Like they just emerge from thin air.
I love the socks and they won't be the only pair I'll work from this beautiful book.