It was four weeks after surgery before I could even think about starting to knit again — just didn’t have the “ooomph” to bother. And then I started with three balls of Phydlbitz Sock, which I’d divided into 6 half-balls (using my scales to weigh exactly half on each of them).
Now, I am more than half way, having started the 2nd half-ball of the black speckled yarn; you can see the joins on the right-side edge when I changed balls. I started with a nearly solid (badly dyed) black, then an odd variegated ball of navy and other colors, and then the badly dyed black speckled.
I’m using Old Shale with 5 repeats across, plus a 5-stitch garter border on each side. It will probably look better after a stern blocking, but I’m already liking it. The wavy texture is best seen on the variegated yarn, and hardly seen in the picture on the speckled. The black shows some of the wavy texture.
This is the pattern I’m using:
Cast on 100 stitches on a size 5 circular needle. Place marker after stitch 5, then every 18 stitches after, leaving 5 stitches at the other end.
This is your Old Shale pattern segment: K2tog 3x, [K1, YO] 6x, K2tog 3x (18 sts.)
Row 1: Slip 1 with yarn in front, knit across
Row 2: Slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 4, purl to last marker, knit last 5 sts.
Row 3: Slip 1 with yarn in front, knit 4, Old Shale pattern 5x, knit last 5 sts.
Row 4: Slip 1 with yarn in front, knit across
Some people prefer to use [YO, K1] 6x instead of [K1, YO] 6x. The stitch count will remain the same and the resulting fabric will look virtually identical. The important thing is to remain consistent within your own work.
Down in the black section, and even for part of the variegated section, I was losing stitches somehow and it took me a long time to figure out where mistakes were happening and how to fix them. For most of the early mistakes, I did NOT go back and actually correct the mistakes — I merely fudged the stitch counts in the next row. That’s not really the right way to do it, but as a personal knitting project not specifically for sale, I wasn’t of a mood for that much correction. After all, it was something to keep me busy as I was recovering, not something to be judged by a jury of professionals. 🙂 (although once this is done I may sell or auction it off!)
Many people (including me) have mistakenly called this a Feather-and-Fan pattern, but the actual traditional Feather and Fan has a repeat of 16 stitches, the increasing yarn overs are all one in one row, but the K2tog decreases occur over several rows. There are several differences, and I’m trying to be careful about calling the right name.
I hope you will try the Old Shale pattern I’ve described, and try it with solids, variegated, and even speckled yarns, or some other variation. And I hope you’ll share your results. 🙂