Ever since I got laid off (about a month ago now) I've been back on the knitting bandwagon for sure. I've been picking up old projects and getting them finished left and right!
I started these socks over a year ago now. I knit almost the entire pair and then put them aside at some point, and don't even remember why anymore. When I pulled them back out a few weeks ago they had maybe 4 hours' worth of work left in them to be finished. How shameful! Why do I always put projects aside when they're this close to being done?!?! Sometimes I really don't understand myself.
Although, as I type this I realized that there is one positive from this habit: quick-to-finish old projects abound around here! I picked the second sock up and finished it in just a day, and earned an FO for it! That's kind of a nice bonus.
I'm super pleased with these socks and even managed to wear them once or twice before the weather switched this week. The fit on them is really great, and after I washed and blocked the leg a little looser, they became pretty much perfect in that regard. These are knit top-down with a standard slip-stitch heel flap, which is the sock shape that fits my feet the best.
I made these a bit longer in the leg than I usually do because the yarn is so gorgeous that I wanted to showcase it as best as possible. I wrote a post last year about how I figure out the longest I can make the sock leg, check it out if you're interested.
Pattern: Basic top-down sock with slip stitch heel, 60 sts around.
Yarn: 2 skeins Gypsy Girl Creations Transitions in color Viola Bouquet
Needles: US size 1
Started: January 26, 2012
Finished: April 1, 2013
So back at Rhinebeck, I bought to skeins of this incredible Transitions yarn from Gypsy Girl Creations and have been working on plain stockinette socks with it over the last few days, as a "palette cleanser" project. I am completely mesmerized by the changing color on this yarn, and wish I knew how the artist created it! So unusual.
Anyway, I want to use every last inch of this glorious yarn in these socks, which is generally best accomplished by knitting socks toe-up. But I prefer to knit them top-down, and have never been known to do things the "accepted" way . . . so I am knitting them top down. I've got a decent-length leg finished right now (it's about 7" long) and was starting to think, "hum, time for some heel flap action, maybe?" when I looked at the remaining yarn in the ball and realized there was way more yarn left than I expected.
So, I whipped out my trusty scale (usually used for baking) and plopped the yarn ball on there. What you see above is the shocking number I discovered: there are 40 grams of yarn still left! Out of a total of 59 grams in the whole skein. Incredible! That's way, way, WAY more than I would have expected, and it means I'm going to get awesome knee-highs out of this wonderful yarn.
Without the scale, I would be guessing. But with the scale? I can guarantee none of this stunning yarn goes to waste.
This morning I ran down into the subway just in time to see the train pull out. Normally that doesn't bother me too much but on weekends lately the NYC subway system has been SLOW, so I knew I was in for a wait. Good thing I always always always have some knitting on me! I pulled out the plain stockinette socks I started a few weeks ago and sat patiently waiting for the train. Fifteen minutes later there was still no train and I was getting annoyed, so I decided to take a quick "daily photo" to keep myself entertained. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as I was done, the train arrived!
Lesson learned yet again. Don't leave home without at least two sources of entertainment at all times! Especially if you're going to be at the mercy of the MTA.
This is the second pair (even though they were started first!) of my "Crazy Yarn Socks" simple sock pattern, which features a row of ribbing down the side of the foot and was designed specifically to be used with wild handpainted sock yarn colors. I've been wearing my cozy handknits more this winter than I probably ever have, and felt really lucky to have such a large collection of handknit socks when I really needed them! Today it's cold again in Manhattan but not cold enough for wool socks unfortunately. I can still admire them even if I'm not wearing them though!
This Koigu KPPPM color, color 298, caught my eye the second I saw it in the store because it's so unusual, especially in the Koigu family. When I saw that it was dyelot #1 of that color I knew I had to buy it! The finished socks did not disappoint -- they're bright and happy, and I love how they evoke the 80's/early 90's. All I need is some bright leggings and an oversized t-shirt clipped at the hip and I can be right back to being 12 years old!
The pattern for these socks is nearly finished. I'll be offering it as a free download to subscribers of my mailing list when it's ready. If you want to get it as soon as it's released, please sign up for the mailing list!
Pattern: My simple ribbed socks (pattern coming VERY soon)
Yarn: 2 skeins Koigu KPPPM in color P298
Needles: Size US 1
Started: October 28 2010
Finished: January 30 2011
First things first: how the heck is it June already? This year has absolutely FLOWN by and it's freaking me out. You always hear that time moves faster the older you get but this is ridiculous!
Anyway, onto what you come here for:
Sometimes all I want is some mindless stockinette to knit . . . granted that doesn't explain starting yet another new sock instead of knitting the mate to one of the many single socks wandering my apartment, but it's definitely the main reason I end up starting a new sock project. In this case, I wanted to knit stockinette that had some challenge to it, and the Skew socks kept popping up in my mind. This pattern is so subtle yet interesting and unusual, I queued it the second I saw it.
Knitting the sock was an exercise in "just trust the pattern" -- this thing is knit in a crazy manner! I marveled at the designer's skill in coming up with the design in the first place and also writing a clear and easy-to-follow pattern. This isn't the sort of design that you can just say "keep going until the foot is 7" long," almost every line is written out and half the sock is different for the right foot and the left! Once I got past the heel I grafted it together to try to figure out what was going on, and after that I was able to visualize the sock and knit the leg almost without referencing the pattern. The way she handled changing directions to knit the ribbing straight instead of on an angle is pure genius too, I will definitely be using that technique sometime in the future!
The yarn I'm using is Madelinetosh in the color Bearded Iris. I bought this so long ago that I think they've changed the yarn base, as my skein has more yardage and weighs more than the Ravelry entry for this sock yarn specifies. Unfortunately this turned out to be one of those colors that is MUCH nicer in the skein than knit up. I look at the picture of the skein when I bought it and remember why I couldn't leave it behind:
(I'm also reminded of how much worse my old camera was than my SLR!)
If I had seen the yarn knit up into a pair of socks I probably would have passed on it . . . but it doesn't matter, I know I'll wear these even if they aren't the prettiest socks ever. I think it's really interesting that even after all these years working almost exclusively with handpainted yarn, I'm still so often surprised by the way a colorway knits up. Looking at the knitted up fabric vs. the skein now, I can totally see that I should have been able to predict it would knit up like this: this is a high-contrast colorway with long pieces of each color, so of course it's going to knit into a barberpole-type effect. Somehow even though I know this I still manage to picture the skein knitting up into something more subtle . . . I can't explain it. Well actually, I can explain it: I just love yarn! The truth has always been the I knit because I love yarn, not the other way around. =)
Oh, and I will probably knit this pattern again in another color to better do it justice, too! Plus it's tons of fun.