I just couldn’t wait for the new season of House of Cards. Frank and Claire, it has been just too long without you! Luckily for me Netflix posted the new season just in time for me to cast on my New Year’s resolution March 2015 socks. Yeah! I knitted through all of the episodes over the last week and last night I finished off the toe of the last sock with some Kitchener stitch, put them on my feet and watched the end of the season (and all the big reveals) with about 30 minutes to spare. I don’t want to be a spoiler, so I’m not going to say anything about the show other than to say that Claire definitively needs some knitwear. Good grief, don’t you think that it would be nice to let the First Lady wear a nice cardigan or even a pair of knitted socks on occasion? Isn’t she entitled to some cushy joy in the breaks between campaign stops? Just saying…
Here are my socks. These are definitely cushy joy on the hoof. 🙂
It’s March! It’s March! That means that if I’m going to remain true to my New Year’s resolution I need to pick a new book out of my stack of sock knitting books, select a yarn from my stash, and cast on. Yesterday was the 1st of March, and I did exactly that.
February was the snowiest month on record this year, and since March in Colorado can usually be counted on to deliver several snow storms (starting with the one coming tomorrow that the weather lady says will ruin my rush hour drive…), I was looking for a sock that would be fast, easy, comfy and warm. I decided to make Cookie A’s sock called “BFF” from the book knit. sock. love. Here’s how far I got with the sock after knitting on it yesterday and today while binge watching House of Cards and Downton Abbey.
This sock is fast and easy, but the details are great. The increases and decreases are hidden in the cables using a technique that I’ve never seen before. The heel was turned using a different stitch number from the one I usually see: the heel fits great! The decreases at the gusset are set up so that they fit right into the pattern. The pattern is written for four different sizes of sock; the one that I’m modeling is the small size. I’m really liking the sock, and may make another pair out of a raspberry colored cashmere blend that was the runner-up when I was making my yarn selection. The way the snow keeps falling here, I bet that they will get some use too.
Well, back to knitting. Snow is coming tomorrow after all.
OK, this was hell week. I took these cute, cute, cute lace socks out of their storage bag and decided that I would finish them up this week. The needles in the sock are a set of my new square double-pointed ones, and I really kind of wanted them back. I had the first sock worked all the way through the heel, and it seemed like it wouldn’t take that long to get them done.
These socks are the Twisted Flower pattern in Cookie A’s book knit.sock.love. I loved the socks as soon as I saw them in the book. The pattern is really interesting, and the design is cleverly laid out to make the pattern flow onto the heel and down the foot. The chart and directions are extremely clear. Fun! I couldn’t wait to get started on these socks again.
Oh, boy. It wasn’t long before I remembered why these socks went UFO in the first place. The problem was the yarn. I had bought this hand-dyed Bluefaced Leicester yarn at a local shop as I thought that the color was really nice. Once I got into the pattern, however, it displayed some truly unsavory yarn qualities. It was a 4-ply fingering weight yarn, and should have been round enough to show off the pattern well. Well, the yarn was round, but something ugly had occurred in the dyeing process (I think) and it had the sullen personality of garden twine. There was absolutely no bounce in this yarn at all! It was stiff and slippery; at every opportunity a stitch slipped off a needle and unraveled down three rows in the blink of an eye. The individual plies of the yarn kept springing apart from one another and I kept splitting the yarn with my needle.
Then there was the beautiful pattern designed by Cookie A. This pattern involves lace on every knitted row, cables, twisted stitches and a partridge in a pear tree. You need to read the chart forwards and backwards while manipulating the (slippery) little stitches. There was no way I could watch television while knitting; every bit of my attention needed to be focused on the chart and the sock. Normally this isn’t an issue as this type of knitting has a zen-Iike meditative quality, but things weren’t working out for me with the demon yarn. I had to use five double-pointed needles and a cable needle while working; I tried four different cable needles trying to find one that wouldn’t slip out. Yeah, right. The cable needle that I needed doesn’t exist. I began to pull on my hair and refer to socks as THE HELL SOCKS. More than once they came very close to entering orbit and becoming true UFOs!
Beautiful socks. Wrong yarn. I’m thinking now that I should have washed this yarn before using it to help it recover some of its life before I started knitting. Oh well, lesson learned.
Tomorrow I am washing these socks to see what will happen. They are beautiful, but I am never putting these babies into shoes. They will grace my feet with their beautiful lace on cold nights while I am reading and remind me that art never shows how long it took, only how good a job you did.