Did you ever knit something that just surprised you when it was done? In the good way?
Welcome to the Bellatrix socks. I was very unsure of the pattern and yarn and all that when I cast on.
Why? Not my usual colors, bumpy sock, cuff down construction... the unknown!
Well forget it, because these are now among the best socks I've got. Seriously.
Pattern by Gigi Silva from Socktopia.
Yarn: Mulberry Bush from Spinning Yarns Online.
Needles: US sizes 1 and 2.
Pattern Review: The socks are knit from the cuff down with a drop stitch design along the leg, a heel-flap, toe decreases and kitchener stitch to finish.
I enjoyed knitting from the pattern, it's well written, bright, and easy to follow. I don't often work socks from the cuff down but I'm glad I did it here. I wanted to see the texture of the pattern before deciding if I would work the dropped stitches along the top of the foot as written, or if I would go plain.
After reading about other people's gauge issues with this pattern, I cast on and worked ribbing with a US size 2 needle, then switched to a US size 1 for the leg. The first sock was worked this way, and I feel the ribbing could be a tad tighter.
For the second sock, I cast on using size 2 and worked the ribbing a little loosely with size 1. I think this is the better option for me, and I'm trying not to care that the socks are slightly different. It doesn't seem to be an issue after blocking.
I also chose to work the foot in plain stockinette, with 64 sts. I was afraid the drop stitch texture would get in the way with a shoe.
Yarn Review: I know I've raved about this yarn already, so I'll just say again, great. The longer and shorter repeats worked very well with this pattern and after washing and blocking, the socks are nice and soft.
I recommend yarn with some short repeats to highlight the drop stitch pattern - they look like little squiggles, very cool.
Overall: I guess here is where I'll mention the problem... with me, not the pattern. Because I don't do cuff-down very often I wasn't sure about when to start the toe decreases. The pattern tells you when, but I screwed it up on the first sock anyway, and the sock was a bit short.
After finishing the second (and more perfect) sock I actually went back to the first and ripped it open again. Yes, I carefully pulled out the weaving in of the ends, pulled out the kitchener, and ripped back to the point just before the first set of decreases. I put the stitches back on the needles and knit for about half an inch before finishing the toe anew, for the second time.
It was worth it!