Pairs of socks knitted in 2014

  • Roxanne's socks
  • Brian's Cascade socks
  • Shirley's lacy socks
  • striped Meredith socks
  • striped stranded #1

Friday, November 24, 2006

Yarn stashes and short attention spans

The employee orientation for my new job began earlier this week. And for sitting still for eight hours a day listening to presentations on scintillating topics such as "the Corporate Code of Conduct," the pay wasn't bad.
Unfortunately, due to the the vagaries of corporate payrolls, I won't get paid for another three weeks. Which means that buying more yarn will probably have to wait until after Christmas, when we're a bit more on our feet financially.
As any knittaholic knows, Christmas is the biggest gift-giving occasion of the year. I may knit other things, but when I'm in doubt as to what to make for someone, I have an old-standby. In the words of Meegan, my sis-in-law, "Socks! Socks! Socks!" make a great gift.
While my grandma has adorably small feet and it's easy (and quick!) to knit socks for her, the men in the family are a bit-more big boned. And at this point of Christmas knitting insanity, I'm not sure if I have enough sock yarn that's all of one color (or even enough yarn of coordinating colors) to do a pair of men's socks. (And convincing my brother that I made him socks that are pink with purple stripes "because I love you" might be a bit of a hard sell.)
And then I found the box of extra yarn I'd packed in April before we moved to Nome. (With my short attention span, it's like visiting the yarn store, but with someone else footing the bill!)
While most of it is leftover worsted-weight acrylic from a smocked sweater I finished in March, I did find this:

And while I have no idea what you're supposed to use sport-weight cotton crochet thread for, the Knitting Fairy visited me last night as I sat
watching reruns of Lois and Clark and bemoaning the amount of turkey I'd eaten.
Clad solely in skeins of Lorna's Laces, she flitted through the living room, doing a few pirouettes as she gaily waved her hand-carved rosewood needles. "You hate doing doilies!" she reminded me, using a needle to secure her bun of flyaway graying hair. "And it'd be silly to waste good yarn doing a project you despise. But..."
She let the words hang in the air as she added the other needle to her bun. "It's the same weight as your beloved cotton from Knit Picks --wouldn't it make lovely men's socks?"
And with those parting words, she cartwheeled out of my apartment.

So I decided to start work on this:
Cotton tends to be a bit slouchy for socks, but it's always a nice option for people with a wool allergy. Between my and Brian's families, about 75% of the relatives I like well enough to consider making socks for them are allergic to wool. (And I can never remember which ones are in the lucky 25%.)
I've had varying degrees of success with knitting cotton socks over the years, but I know cables will solidify any cuff that's at risk for sagging. Just in case, I twisted all the ribbing stitches, and threw in a heavy 5-rib cable on both sides of the cuff for stability. I'm not sure how durable this mystery yarn is, but if my brother EJ wears out these socks, it won't be due to a flaw in the construction!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Felting gone bad

Many of you know that I have an admittedly ambiguous relationship with Interweave Knits. I love their detailed illustrations of new knitting techniques, and their designs usually go out of fashion much more slowly than those of other publications. (Vogue Knitting, anyone?) Their patterns are beautiful, but knitting their creations to the author's specifications would require me to choose between spending money on groceries or yarn. (And you all know which one I would choose, but Brian likes to eat from time to time.)

And those projects which are small and require comparatively inexpensive yarn (or smaller amounts of their favored pricey fiber) generally make me sit back and go "What were they thinking?"

For example, behold the holiday 2006 special edition of Interweave Knits. Specifically, the "Wooly Pears" project on page 14. They look cute, and judging from the pattern, reasonably easy to make. However, the question remains: "Who wakes up in the morning, wanting something to knit, and says "I'd like to knit fruit, and then I want to felt it"?"

Apparently, Nicky Epstein does.