Knitting / Socks

Kilmeni Socks, or What-The-High-Ho-Silver Did I Do?

Kilmeni SocksI’ve been on a knitting binge lately. Part of that has included finishing my third pair of socks. The pattern is by Donna Druchunas & called Kilmeni, after the inner socks worn by Albanian men during the beginning of the last century.

Kilmeni Socks

Mis-matching swirled toes- for shame!

Originally, when I saw the pattern in Sockupied I thought I might knit it one day, but that there were too many other pretty ones I had to do first. Well, the dire need to make my third pair of socks gripped me as I realized I had begun to only ever wear two different pairs, the two pairs I had knit earlier this fall. That’s a lot of weekly sock washing.

Back of the Kilmeni SocksThese flew off my needles (compared to how long it took to knit the first two) in about ten days. How do some people knit a pair in a weekend? Perhaps one day I’ll become a sock knitting warlord & be able to write a fantabulous new sock pattern a week while knitting up a pair or two a weekend & I will call my kingdom Rock-em-Sock-em-topia & everyone will wear socks all the time & always in place of normal clothing & they’ll even put them on their heads, like Dobby from Harry Potter.

But until then I’ll try to be content with knitting socks in less than two weeks.

Wardrobe change with the Kilmeni SocksThe pattern on these is much easier to follow than you might imagine. It was probably the fastest I’ve ever memorized a pattern too.

However, I made a few mistakes. First up was casting on during my morning commute. I wasn’t quite awake yet so decided to turn my knitting over to pick up stitches for the toe instead of not turning them like the instructions told me to. I realized why this was undesirable shortly after doing it, but was too tired to care. Honestly, I like having unsightly purl bumps on the outside of one toe because I can more easily distinguish the left sock from the right one.

When I left the house in my butter yellow socks & purple tyvek shoes I felt pretty darn good. Then I got home & my boyfriend told me I looked like an Easter egg.

When I left the house in my butter yellow socks & purple tyvek shoes I felt pretty darn good (note that I did NOT wear my pants rolled up all day). Then I got home & my boyfriend told me I looked like an Easter egg.

Speaking of toes, what-the-high-ho-silver happened to the swirls? The toes are supposed to have very pretty swirls in opposite directions. Somehow the left one got lost under my foot. I’m not even sure I cast that one on while sleepy.

I’m also mildly annoyed at the uneven column of lace down the back. That’s right where the pattern called for the stitches to be broken up between two double pointed needles. Try as I might to tighten my gauge on the looser half oh the lace it just wouldn’t stay even with its partner.

Bottom of my Kilmeni Socks

See the mis-matching toes? It’s like the bottom of one foot is a selfish child & demanding to keep the swirl all for itself.

Finally, I was flippingly cheesed off & fuming like a bull over some non-knitting related things towards the end of this project. That anger translated into super tight stitches, which I thought would be good for the cuffs- I’m tired of my hand knit socks slouching down. However, it was not good for binding off. You can see in some of the pictures that the socks are biting into my legs a bit. I think the tightness might actually be causing them to slip down more than they would otherwise. Perhaps I’ll redo the bind off, but I don’t like the idea of joining new yarn to the edge of the fabric.

My new socks might look better in my lime green shoes. What do you think?

My new socks might look better in my lime green shoes. What do you think? Also, does anyone know how to clean satin shoes?

A few last construction notes- on each of my socks I’ve learned a new technique for the toes & heels. This was my first time doing a swirl toe & an afterthought (aka peasant) heel. I like the look of the heel, but think the short row is my favorite. Also, I lengthened the leg an inch longer than the pattern called for, which I think makes for a much more attractive sock.

Despite my construction problems I would recommend the pattern to others- my mistakes seem entirely of my own creation. When it comes down to it, I’m happy to have a new pair of socks. My old ones are already starting to felt on the soles!

Which shoes do you think go best with my new socks? Any footwear suggestions?

Kilmeni Socks in Green Satin Shoes

Do you think this combination looks like Easter too?

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11 thoughts on “Kilmeni Socks, or What-The-High-Ho-Silver Did I Do?

  1. Pingback: 2012, The Year of Making Things « Disparate Disciplines

  2. Use a solution of Ivory Liquid, the stuff you wash dishes with to clean your shoes. I learned about this wonderful product when I was doing restoration work at the Chicago History Museum. It rinses completely out of the fibers. Give me a call if you have any questions.
    Love the socks. If you want to redo the bind off, rip down about an inch and tie your yarn there rather than the top edge.
    Happy New Year!

  3. If it makes you feel and better, I knit a sock in the spring and just got around to starting the second. I’ve never tried toe up! And I need to check out Sockupied. I’m currently still using the basic sock pattern from Socktopus. She has some amazing stuff. And I like the green shoes.

  4. I knit virtually all my socks a cuff of 2 inches of 2 x 2 ribbing and it keeps my socks from slouching. When I knit socks toe-up, I use the sewn cast-off. It’s nice and stretchy. I think your socks look fabulous, and you added some nice design elements that make the socks uniquely yours. Oh, and I vote for the purple shoes. I think they look fabulous with the yellow socks. So do the green shoes, but I adore the purple ones.

    My guess is that socks that are knitted in a single weekend are knitted with worsted weight yarn or knitted for someone with teeny-tiny, itty-bitty feet. I’ve knit close to 200 pairs of socks in fingering-weight yarn and if I am monogamous, I can crank out a pair in a week. Ten days is more realistic, but I have 10-inch-long feet and like the leg to be 7 inches long.

    If you use elastic thread in the cuff, don’t knit it in; thread it in after the sock is finished. Tech Knitter has an excellent tutorial on how to do this.

    I’ll shut up now. 😀

    • I am in awe of your sock output! And no need to shut up- that was some great advice. I’ll definitely try longer ribbing & look up the Tech Knitter archives- that’s such a great blog. Mmmm, now I’m thinking of seeing a mountain of 200 socks piled up. And now you’re making me wish I had 365 pairs of hand knit socks so I could wear one every day, even though I don’t wear socks in the summer. 🙂 What a lovely fantasy.

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