Thursday, January 06, 2005

The Lone Sock

I got an email from my friend Val yesterday (hi Val!). Val has successfully completed her first (second?) pair of socks as of Tuesday night, using some yarn I gave her quite some time ago (Regia Ringle in Clown). Needless to say, this was an exciting moment for me, not only because I helped Val start the first sock (on July 4, 2003), but also because I have vague fantasies of socknitters taking over the world , since yarn is much more environmentally friendly than oil.

Anyhoo... having successfully finished a pair of socks, Val did what any good knitter would do, and immediately ran out to buy more yarn. She wrote to me to ask about a pattern I had used for a pair of socks I made for her wife back in 2001.

So, without further ado, I present Courtney's Socks:

(Sorry for the lousy picture. It's years old, taken with a crappy digital camera.)

I knit these with Regia Ringle, and used solid Regia in turquoise for the heel and toe. Beyond that, I can't tell you much, since these were knit in a time before it ocurred to me to write down my patterns. (Fortunately I've grown since then.) Courtney wanted slouchy socks, so I randomly picked a color repeat, and whenever it came up, I purled. It made for a neat effect, but there's no pattern, and the "technique" wouldn't really work for solid-colored yarns. Anyway, Val described the purling effect as "wave-like," and this reminded me of the Lone Pink Sock:

(Click for a fuzzy closeup of the leg patterning.)

I knit this sock early in 2004 with some Paton's Kroy. Great yarn - I have another pair (in the Winter Eclipse colorway) which softened nicely after washing. They'd be my favorite pair if I hadn't made them a bit too tight. Anyway, I knit the first Lone Pink Sock (although I didn't know it would be "lone" then), and immediately after finishing decided I didn't really like it.

I adapted the pattern on the leg from a book Val gave me (coincidentally) by Barbara Abbey, called "The Complete Book of Knitting." I don't know if I'd agree with the "complete" part of the title, but it has hundreds of stitch patterns in it, which is what makes it a real asset (at least to me). Anyway, the leg pattern is an adaptation of pattern #73, "Waved Welt," (page 173) but reworked to be knit in the round. I had knitted a scarf in this pattern (but flat), really like it, and thought it might look cool on a pair of socks. I didn't stop to think about how going from 5 spi to 11 spi might effect the asthetics. Rather than frog the whole sock (since it was very well made, if I do say so myself), I figured I'd knit the mate one day, and give the pair away. No biggie. So, now, lo and behold, here's Val referring to a wave pattern in another pair of socks. All I have to do now is find the pattern I wrote down (since it seems to have walked out of my knitting bag), and convince Val that her new favorite color is pink, not blue, so I can knit the second sock and will be freed from my obligation to her.

(This post is never going to end. You know that now, right?)

I owe Val a pair of socks because I knit her a pair back in 2001 (I went through a friend-knitting phase since they were all graduating from college/grad school at the same time), and they have since grown holes.

Cute, right? I used Paton's Classic Wool (same as The Shawl) on size 1 needles, and with laceweight merino in the heels and toes for reinforcement. I should've reinforced the whole damn sock.

Val gave these back to me at her wedding in February. That's how long they've been sitting in my knitting bag. And yes, I know the holes are fairly small (although bigger than shown in the pic), and that it wouldn't take too much work to fix them, but I'm a procrastinator by nature, which you should know just from reading this blog. If I didn't procrastinate so much, I'd post every day, and then each post wouldn't be the lenght of a novel. But I digress... I finally got around to trying to darn them shortly after Christmas (knowing that I'd be seeing her in a few days), and realized that either I am darning-impaired, or that this yarn just isn't darn-friendly. I suspect a bit of both. I'm contemplating just knitting a patch to put over the holey area, but I don't think that will solve the long-term problem. We'll see. Anyhoo, in my typical avoidance behavior, I decided that rather than try to persevere with the darning/patching, I'd just knit Val a new pair of socks out of more sock-appropriate yarn. (Have I ever mentioned that I'm a glutton for punnishment?) I am so smart. I am so smart. S-M-R-T.... I mean S-M-A-R-T. So then, of course, Val asks about a wave-like pattern for socks, and my conniving brain starts speculating how hard I'd have to work to get her to like the pink socks, thus fulfilling my obligation to her and doing away with the pink socks all at once, and with only a minimum of guilt.

Okay, so I'm not really serious about that. But the thought did cross my mind. Hey - does anyone out there like pink socks with a too-small-at-this-guage wave pattern on the legs?

Briefly, in other knitting news, I've re-cast on for Mum's hat. Andrew and I watched Seabiscut last night (great movie!), and I managed to get all the ribbing done, and start the first cable row (good work for me). I even have the right number of stitches this time. ;) No picture, since it's pretty much identical to the one I posted a few days ago, pre-frogging.

I also got more work done on my Rainbow Jacket:

So that's all she wrote (for now, since I still haven't mentioned the wackiness that happened after Christmas, but you'll just have to make do until then).


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