Fiber Friday: Spiral boot socks

I realize that having a Fiber Friday post that includes a finished item is something of an oxymoron, but these are the second thing I've made for me with my own handspun, and I am excessively enamored of them.

Spiral boot socks

Pattern: Spiral Boot Socks by Veronik Avery, IK Summer 2007
Yarn: Toxic superwash corriedale, 3 ply, approximately fingering weight, dyed by Hello Yarn (more details on the spinning are here), 515 yds.
Needles: multiple sizes -- US 1/2.25 mm and US 2/2.75 mm dpns from Brittany, US 1.5/2.5 mm dpns from Knit Picks
Started/finished (this is why I love Ravelry!): 3/12 on my way to Portland/4/14/08.
Comments and modifications: Where to start? I spun this yarn hoping to end up with some subtle striping, and it worked out better then I ever imagined once the yarn was knitted up. I knew from the beginning I'd need to do a bunch of modifications since 1) I wanted to knit the socks toe-up so I could use all of the yarn and 2) the pattern schematics indicated a top leg opening of only 11 inches. Since I spent the better part of three days this winter trying to find a pair of knee high boots that would close around my "shapely" calves (18 inches!), 11 inches was not going to cut it.

Spiral boot socks toes

My gauge with this yarn on US 1/2.25 mm needles was about 7 sts/9 rows per inch so I did my standard toe increases up to the number of stitches called for in the pattern and tried it on. Everything looked good, so I forged ahead. I simply worked the charts as they are printed in the pattern for the length of the foot. When I had about 6.5 inches of foot done, I started increasing one stitch on each side of the heel stitches every other row for the gusset. Once those were done (14 increases total) I turned the heel as in the pattern directions and then worked the heel flap in sl1/k1 rib just as I did for the Firestarter socks.

Spiral boot socks heel

Once the heel was done, I started working the leg patttern with US 1/2.25 mm needles. I did 15 repeats before increasing one stitch before the YO. 15 more repeats and then increased one stitch after the YO. Note: this is not what was called for in the pattern, but I didn't read closely enough to catch the mistake until I was almost at the top of the leg. So I didn't bother fixing it. This increase in stitch number as you go up the leg creates subtle calf shaping that works pretty well.

Spiral boot sock cuff

I did 15 repeats of the final stitch pattern and then switched to US 2/2.75 needles for 12 more repeats. At that point, I figured I was going to use up most of the yarn, and started on the cuff. In order to tighten up the top of the sock and help keep them up, I switched to US 1.5/2.5 mm needles for the cuff pattern. Again, I didn't flip the chart at all, just worked it as written, did the final few rows of lace and used a standard bind off (k2, pass 1st stitch over second, k1, pass 1st stitch over second, repeat ad nauseum). This is not a particularly stretchy bind off, but it fits well, and hopefully will force the socks stay up.

Spiral boot socks

Now the next question is: will it ever be cold enough in Houston to wear them? Because knee high wool socks and shorts are not a fashion statement I'm particularly willing to make!