Writing this post took a long time to bring myself to. This project took a lot of time to finish; while it wasn’t what I’d call a hate knit, it honestly wasn’t far from it.
I feel it was an interesting choice for relatively early in the competition. In previous years a sock like this would appear much later in the game. I called my project What Big Beleaf You Have as a nod to the colourway name of my red indie yarn and also that it took an amount of self-belief and determination to get this project done, on time, to spec.
Pattern: Beleaf in Yourself by Annette Schleicher, formerly The Nerd Knits
Needle Size: 2.5mm for colourwork. 2.25mm for brioche
Started: April 25 2021
Finished: May 5 2021
Timing: 55hr 47min
Size: Medium – 70stitches
Project yarn use
MC – 279.6m, 69.9gm.
CC – 198.72m, 55.2gm.
MC yarn: The 24 Mile Hollow Yarn Co. 4ply sock. Colourway – What Big Teeth You Have
CC yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4ply.
Colourway – 342 Ghost
Yarn Particulars: I wanted strong contrast between these yarns, the slight tonal of the MC didn’t hurt when used like this. I just hope that the colours don’t run when they’re washed.
Cast on: Provisional CO for cuff which was then joined in the round. Sock body picked up along long cuff edge.
Bind off: Kitchener Stitch
- 2 pass brioche – I tried 1 pass and was not successful despite watching a few videos and following pictures.
- 2 colour colourwork – knit the socks inside out to keep the floats from being too tight. Pay attention to colour dominance to get the best out of the pattern. A colourwork thimble also made this knit much more pleasant.
- Strong heel – perfect for colourwork or highly patterned socks.
Modifications, pattern notes, errata.
There are so many pattern notes for this pattern. Without being cruel I suspect it wasn’t technical edited, or if it was, it wasn’t a thorough job. To reduce printing load it would have been good for Charts E and F to be bundled according to size.
If making these socks outside of the competition context I’d advise reducing the number of Chart C leg repeats. The finished socks are quite long and if you have fuller calves it will add strain distortion to the cuff.
- After working Chart F in the heel turn. M1 in MC, work the instep and when back to the sole stitches work k3tog in CC.
Yarn weights. MC: 97.3gm CC: 133.4gm
MC skein underweight, a little disappointing.
On the first sock I treated CC as the dominant colour and have mild regret about not being more careful. MC as the dominant colour on sock 2 gave a much more pleasing outcome.
When increasing for the heel I started Chart B on row 8. My last increase row was on Chart B was row 5. This made the first row of the heel turn section, Chart B row 6.
Note the errata above related to the heel turn/foot section decreases. I knit 2 Chart B repeats on the foot before starting the transition to the toe. I also didn’t like how the heel flap to foot transition wasn’t continuing the checked style. It takes away from the overall look of the sock.
Toe decreases section does need attention paid, you may want to mark up the chart where you start decreasing. My socks started the decrease instructions on Chart G row 13 which was R1.
The ends were sewn in after Kitchener stitching the toe closed. I haven’t washed this project yet as I do have concerns about dye running and I want to enter them into a show first before washing or wearing.
If there’s a next time I’d definitely reduce leg chart repeats and keep to the decision to knit the brioche section on a smaller needle size. It does mean extra needles dangling from the work but it was worth it.
Resources and Links
Brioche technique videos were the biggest thing I needed to find to help me through this pattern. A problem I encountered is that somebody I do not wish to give attention to in any form has made themselves quite well-associated with brioche. So I spent a bit longer seeking out alternatives.
Jan Hicks working brioche in two colours at once was helpful to me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbRWf8XqiPo
Stephen West doing brioche increases and decreases was another useful video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5kIEVQobmU
I use a Birch Knitting Thimble for colourwork, similar is available from the Pony brand. I haven’t tried the Addi spring style yet so I can’t compare the two.
As far as I can tell this pattern is only available on Ravelry. Please use caution when accessing there if you are prone to migraines, seizures or have known health issues with the site.
I am glad you wrote this up! I am having a second go at the pattern, because my first ones didn’t fit. (I kept forgetting the second lot of increases in the brioche, and made stitches.)
I agree these were challenging for a Round 4, and did lead to a lot of spaces left open early in the competition. I think walking in circles is actually an easier knit.
Cheers for the feedback Emma. There’s definitely been some tricks of colourwork I’ve learnt the hard way over the years when I’ve spent ages on a sock that didn’t fit. It was certainly a challenging year and I’m glad for Tour de Fleece now as I’m a little burnt out from socks for a while.
I do want to get in and have a go at Walking in Circles as I love the pictures of the finished socks and I haven’t really done mosaic knitting before or anything like the construction of those.