Monthly Archives: June 2005

All about the socks (mine and hers and his).

Hang on to your shorts; I think this may set the record for “number of pictures Donna can stuff into one entry.” The only sad part? You’re about to see virtually my entire stash of sock yarn (Yes, Susan, this is almost everything – you do indeed have fifty times the sock yarn I do!). I spent part of yesterday unearthing potential yarn choices for me Sockapal2za pal. Let’s take a look! First, I went deep into the stash for the yarn that’s been marinating the longest: two different colors of Koigu, one (pink) purchased from Rob and Matt, and the other (blue) infamous for being the one that put me on my first yarn diet. This is some Sockotta I received thanks to a fortuitous swap with another Socklister, still unkitted after at least a year (I think I am in the “last in, first out” sock yarn stashing camp; witness the Opal socknitting frenzy). Perfect for summer, but is it the right yarn for my pal? Maybe, maybe not. Since I’m finishing the socks in September, my sock pal could enjoy warming her tootsies in this Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Wilderness. It’s soft, knits up quickly, and would be obscenely comfortable – are the colors too masculine? Plus, I’m kind of in the middle of a pair of Bearfoot socks right now (see below for action shots). Here’s awesome sock yarn from Debbie at DZined. This is the last of my swell hemp yarn stash – I may make a pilgrimage to KnitFest for more, or I may have to keep this for myself! This Lang Jawoll was a delightful find on last year’s trip to The Fifth Stitch in Defiance; Ellen Upp’s store is off the beaten track for me, but she has sock yarns I don’t see anywhere else (thankfully, there’s mail order). Should I use self-patterning yarn, though? Isn’t that cheating? Sock pal, will you love your socks if they’re stockinette? And yet, even as I worry about the self-patterning yarn, here’s some that’s won my heart: Regia, won earlier this year from the lovely Lisa and her dawgs. I have fantasies of wearing socks made out of this yarn to work, hidden under sedate suit trousers – so my sock pal might be out of luck here.
What to do (Duffle was unimpressed with my quandry over what to choose.)?

I would be remiss if I didn’t share progress on my current socks – the first Opal sock is sooo long I had to fold it to get a decent photo (hee!), and very close to the toe decreases. Here’s a view of the lovely heel, in which I bossed around my knitting and broke the yarn to achieve to pattern repeat I wanted. We are all about the small knitting victories here at Knit One, Purl Too.

I’m also (finally) about to turn the heel on the first Retro Rib sock (Closeup of incredibly hard-to-photograph fabric) for Knit One, Purl Too’s Yarn Expedition Expediter – my husband. He’s calling it a July vacation to Acadia National Park in Maine; I’m calling it an excuse to visit Green Mountain Spinnery, Peace Fleece, Halcyon Yarn, Cottage Craft…you get the idea. And, sock pal? I think you’re getting Koigu – nothing’s too good for you!

Bonus link: Though it’s hard to believe I’d be looking at winter garments when it’s so hot out, check out these cool handwarmers in Berroco Air – I thought Berroco was “all foofy yarn, all the time” – who knew?

Must. knit. sock. now.

Tuesday, June 7: Laurie puts the sock yarn in the mail along with this stunning card – how did she know that every damn day is like that around here for me?

Friday, June 10: I receive the yarn in the mail. Do I think it’s lovely? Bet your sweet bippy I do; I am gripped with what could only be called “cast-on fever” (of the German Twisted variety, of course). I open the envelope after dinner and spend the trip to a local ice cream stand for dessert casting on (60 stitches, if you care).

Saturday, June 11: I knitted while we went grocery shopping: “You have to drive, because I have to work on the sock!” I knitted while watching Seinfeld reruns (“These pretzels are making me thirsty!”). I brought my knitting along in case it would be okay to knit while we went out with friends for ice cream (give me a break – it’s hot here!). There wasn’t really time, but I knit on the way to the friends’ house and back. And when I got home. (I increased to 68 stitches after the cuff, by the way.)

Sunday, June 12: Errands and volunteering on Sunday morning meant I couldn’t start knitting until close to lunchtime. But guess what i did Sunday afternoon? You bet! I was a knitting fool, or crazy like a knitting fox, whichever you prefer. More Seinfeld reruns and Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle kept me company, along with the Knit One, Purl Too peanut gallery (aka my husband).

Monday, June 13: In an effort to use up vacation time, I am taking Mondays off this month. What a sweet deal! I polished off the Seinfeld reruns and (say it with me) knit some more and then watched Office Space before my weekly Stitch ‘n Bitch. I don’t need to tell you what I did there. And this is where it got me: Not only is this progress photo a triumph of Photoshop, this is living proof that these are evidently the InstaSocks.

Which is a good thing, because I have succumbed to the Sockapalooza 2 virus, and I will cast on for that pair of socks soon enough.
sockapal2za_button.gif Even though I am a slow knitter, the Sockapalooza exchange seems do-able (is it wrong that I specifically asked for a sock pal with small feet? Don’t hate me, big-footed knitters – I think you’re great, but I’d finish your socks in December!). Plus, it’s so incredible to receive a pair of handknit socks made for me. [I also have to confess that I'm not sure I appreciate the true scope of the Secret Pal exchanges - it seemed to start out as wee trinkets you could fit in an envelope as a surprise for your pal, and it looks as though it's become a "Christmas in July" sort of thing, with entire bags of yarn and flotillas of books from wishlists winging back and forth. I love other knitters, but if I'm buying a bag of yarn for anyone, I'm starting with me. Send comments to youareaknittingspoilsportwithoutasenseofhumor@knitonepurltoo.com -- Ed.] I am all about the small gestures, which is why I heart Laurie and her lovely gift of sock yarn. P.S. Opal, I was wrong about you – I think we’re going to have a beautiful future together.

That’s the kind of girl I am.

Now I understand what people mean when they talk about it being “too hot to knit sweaters” – I finished the body of the Lush sweater, and fickle girl that I am, instead of starting right in on the sleeves, I cast on for another pair of socks. I was looking for something easy and soothing as work got busier; a quick adaption of the 56-stitch 56-row sock pattern (can anyone say “64 stitches”) and I’m off to the races.

Five inches, six inches – everything was going along smoothly until I, um, tried the sock on. It’s about an inch too small; I can get it over my ankle, but as they say in the South, “it’s like stuffing ten pounds of sugar in a five pound bag.” So, I’m ripping. Or am I?

The astute among you will recognize this as Meilenweit Fun & Stripes; I see the stripes, and I guess those huge dark smudges at the edges of various stripes are the “fun”. Wow, that ticks me off. You cannot see that “design feature” at all when the yarn is in the ball – it’s only after you start knitting it up that the smudges show (look at the sock in the lower left here and you’ll see what I mean). Dear Lana Grossa: Could you please explain why you would make a lovely, colorful yarn with grey spots? I love you but I may have to start seeing other yarns. Love, Donna

After my little stockinette intermission, the Bearfoot Retro Rib socks started to look better and better – the right size, and now just a few rounds from the heel – imagine this sock several inches longer. But not very springy. What’s a girl to do? Why enter a contest of course. Thanks to the magic of random numbers and the fact that I love Donald Justice’s poem Men at Forty, Laurie is gifting me with this yarn in honor of her birthday (I am sending you to the entry so you can also admire the great picture of Laurie as a baby). What a treat, sure to save me from the “fun and stripe blues”. For the record, I am as surprised as anyone to be on the winning end of this contest. Then again, Donald Justice has never done me wrong. The third time’s the charm, though – I’m sure my contest luck is over at this point (at least until I have a contest of my own). Thanks, Laurie!