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Shield Maiden Socks

As I watched the first episode of the new season of Vikings, Season 5, I decided to cast on Herbstblatt Regina‘s Ragnar colorway for my 11th pair of sock for the year.

I’m sure the Ragnar colorway is meant to reflect Ragnar’s shield design, not blood and guts, but it cracks me up to knit a pair of socks named after a Viking carrying a dripping axe.

(image via Pinterest)

So, are you guys keeping up with Vikings?  For some reason, I feel a little less into it this season.  It felt a little more “real” when I watched the first few seasons, then something changed.  I still like it, but it definitely feels like tv to me.   I find that I say that a lot as I get a few seasons into any series.   I began to wonder if I was just spoiled to so many entertainment choices.

Now I’m thinking it is the fact that I usually watch the first season or two, after a show is established, on netflix or On-Demand, with little commercial interruption.  When I begin to watch current seasons on network tv, with a bazillion commercials every ten minutes, it drains any fantasy-like mood the show had tried to build up ten minutes prior.  Anyway, I am still very interested to see what will become of Ivar, Ragnar, and Rollo this season.  Also, my husband likes to watch this show with me, so that’s a plus.  Of course, he doesn’t mind watching any of “my shows.”  He even got into the original Gilmore Girls series.  The only thing he has no interest in is re-watching The Closer  (which I have watched all the way through until the last two seasons many times) with me and knitting podcasts.  (He does take a peek at Bobbin occasionally- because who can resist?)

This yarn is from Herbstblatt Regina’s Vikings colorways.  I’m thinking I have them all.

Floki’s colorway, which I’d like to use for a Sockhead Hat:

Rollo’s, which will probably be socks:

and Lagertha’s, which I’d like to combine with Regina’s Wisdom colorway for a two-color shawl.  I think Regina did a good job reproducing Lagertha’s shield colors, too.

(image via Pinterest)

You know how I said I prefer sport weight yarn for socks?  Well, I’ve found Regina’s Oak sock base  a close second.  It’s fingering weight, but feels plump in my hands and comfortable to wear.

I also like the almost striping effect of a “half and half” skein.

Details:  I used US size 0 Karbonz and Herbstblatt Regina‘s Oak Sock base in the Ragnar colorway to knit these Smooth Operator Socks, two at a time.

These socks are also my third attempt at Susan B. Anderson‘s Smooth Operator sock pattern.  Each time I knit it, I try a different tweak, most of which are included in the pattern as options.  This time around I worked cuff-down, afterthought heels, and the no-Kitchener toe closure.

I don’t think it was because of the closure, but instead because I closed them in a dark room, that I ended up dropping a stitch that wasn’t noticed until after blocking… in both socks… grr.

I also finally tried the no-gap heel tip that I’ve heard so many knitters rave about (added in a pattern update) and they were totally right! There are no gaps, no weird weaving in an end to make a gap less apparent.  This will be my new heel of choice.

Combine the yarn, the familiarity of the pattern, and the perfect fit of cuff-down socks and these are some of my best fitting socks to date.   I think I find a lower cuff easier to wear, too.
These are such a great fit and so good looking, I’m going to use the same pattern for my last pair of socks for the year, only knit them toe up.

(image via Pinterest)

(more on ravelry, kollabora, instagram, and flickr)

I’m posting my 12th pair later today, too. Whew!

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