I have finished my Mad Budgie socks – yay! Somewhere around the sixteenth row of the second budgie, I decided that I am a rubbish fair-isle knitter. I really really need to learn to manipulate the yarns using two hands. I seemed to spend more time “unspinning” the tangled strands than I did actually knitting. Since a large proportion of the second sock was knitted in trains and waiting rooms, this was quite embarrassing. There was a lot of staring and pointing!
The pattern is written in German, but an experienced sock knitter should be able to work it out using the charts. I used Wendy’s toe-up instructions from “Socks From the Toe Up” (e.g. Trilobite) and her short row heel (e.g. the Dead Simple Lace Socks). The original is knitted from the bottom of the bird chart, up the foot, turn the heel and on to the leg, with the toe only added at the end. This method would allow you to adjust the fit, but I found the foot length to be just right for my UK size 4 foot (US 6, European 37).
Mad Budgie socks aka Nordisch Inspiriert from “Socken Aus Aller Welt” by Stephanie Van Der Linden. I used 2.5mm dpns and Curious Yarns sock yarn (no longer available) in Sprung and Neptune. There is still a sizeable ball of Sprung left over (the yellow/green) – maybe even enough for a whole pair of socks. I liked the colours but the texture was nothing special – bog standard wool/ nylon mix.
I am not too keen on this shape of heel, as it feels a bit inflexible at the instep, witnessed by the "roll" at my ankle in some of these pictures. And the picot top edge has a tendency to stick out from the leg. Plus, they are a bit shorter than I prefer, despite adding an extra row of checks.
However… I really like the checkerboard pattern on the cuff and sole – possibly even more than the birds themselves. The use of two colours woven together on the underside makes for a really sturdy fabric, so they ought to wear well.
Conclusion? A fun pair of socks which I will enjoy wearing. Would I knit this pattern again? Not on your nelly! Not unless I learn to knit two colours in a less cack-handed style.