Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nobody Likes a Braggart

At the beginning of last school year a student came to me with the tattle that one of their friends was showing off. While I do not necessarily deem this tattle-worthy, we did have a talk about how bragging can hurt other people's feelings and might make other friends not want to play with you. I closed our discussion with the statement that "Nobody likes a braggart." Unbeknownst to me, another teacher heard me having this conversation and word got out that I used the word braggart with my students (and yes, I did have to explain to the kids what a braggart was). It became kind of the running joke during the year. 

It gets even better. Before we went on spring break we had been reading Midnight on the Titanic from the Magic Treehouse Series. When we returned from break, we talked a little about the anniversary of the Titanic and I was asking some questions to see if they remembered what it was. My kindergarteners remembered that it was a huge ship that had sunk in the ocean (although one claimed that the captain was now in prison in Italy. Wrong ship buddy). They remembered it was called the Unsinkable Ship because the people who built it thought nothing could make it sink. They also remembered that this was wrong because it did sink. At this point in the discussion, one of my students who was sitting near the front just shook her head and said, "That's what happens when you're boastful." For sure.

This pattern is called Show-off Stranded Socks (thus the intro story). The stranding is just a yarn over that's been passed over. These were the socks I was knitting when I headed to California and then had the needle mishap (I started these on a size 0 needle thinking I'd be smart and get a nice tight gauge. Gauge was too tight. Foot wouldn't fit in sock. Needle broke off cord literally a moment after I realized this). I restarted them last weekend so I'd have something to knit on my trip to Boston.  For this pair I used a skein of Madelinetosh Sock which, when I wound it up, I noticed was lighter in the center and darker on the outer part of the cake. Well, if you look carefully, the bottom sock is lighter (this was the first one knit) and the second one is a bit darker. It's really no big deal but I do find it interesting the contrasts seen in hand dyed yarns. 

I also found the heel construction on this really interesting. I generally don't like heel flaps and gussets and tend to do short row heels on my own socks. This heel flap, however, kept my interest the entire time. It's done by adding additional stitches on either side of one half the stitches (increasing every other row) while continuing to knit the sock in the round. After the increases, the heel is turned by doing short row decreases to get the number of stitches back down to the original. Once this is done you resume your knitting in the round again. It's pretty cool. 

This makes my third pair of socks this year. One more and I'll have reached my goal of four for the year. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post where I prepare to frog a sock in progress.

Yarn: MadelineTosh Sock in Grenadine
Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm) and US 0 (2mm) for heels and toes.
Began: Officially June 23rd (restarted after ripping to cuff July 7)
Completed: July 14


  1. I think you can definitely brag about these socks, they are perfect!

  2. Love the socks and the stories....I teach 5th, have taught 2 and 3 and applaud you for teaching K....

  3. What a neat way to knit a sock heel; it amazes me how many different ways there are. Your socks came out fantastic! Where in CA did you go?
    Hooray that you're a teacher; what a great lesson on bragging!

    1. My parents live in Fresno but we generally fly into Sacramento since this is where my dad works during the week. We also had a chance to go to the beach (San Luis Obispo area) this trip. My husband was joking that we got to see half of California this trip!

  4. They really are gorgeous! And the subtle difference between the two socks is something only you will notice. It might change with a wash? One more pair to go!

  5. Lovely socks! I might have to make that pattern with some of the mass amounts of variegated yarn I have in stash. I've noticed somewhat abrupt color shifts in Madeline Tosh yarns too. That happened on a Creature Comforts cardi for me. I probably wouldn't have noticed it on your socks if you hadn't mentioned it though.

  6. I've seen this simple but impressive stitch pattern before and absolutely love it -- seeing it done up in your socks makes me appreciate it even more. Perfect name for these socks and I think you should brag away about how beautifully you knit them up!

  7. Such lovely socks! Great color! And, your story was cute too! ;)

  8. Ha I love that story. And your socks! Funny how you say you don't normally like heel flaps/gussets; I am exactly the opposite. I love the process of making short row heels, but they just don't really fit my feet. Different feet mean different style heels, I guess! I think that's neat. :)

  9. Lovely story and lovely socks! I'm so glad there are teachers like you. :)

  10. I really like the way those look - and the braggart story. =)


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