Monday, September 1, 2008

My Summer of Socks '08

So with the close of Summer of Socks '08, besides the Broadripple socks I finished in July, I'd like to present all the socks I completed this summer:

Ta dah! My Alki Reflection socks using the Vertical Waffle pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks.  Yep, that's it - one whole pair!  But they are bee-yoo-tee-full and I love them.  I struggled to find the perfect pattern and the effort was so worth it.  Unfortunately, this picture doesn't show the lovely colorway as well as I'd like.  It's really more like this:

Pretty pretty!

And since it did take me a few tries to find the right pattern, during which I went insane had no socks officially on the needles to work on, I decided to start looking for a new pattern for the yarn I wanted to use next:

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Apple Hill colorway.  I received this in trade and really had no idea what I was going to do with it, I just liked the colors.  I did know that this yarn is thinner than any other sock yarn I've used before so that opened up the door to trying a 64 stitch pattern instead of my usual 56.

I looked at a few options, ran them past my knitting guru for a second opinion, and then I cast on my first choice of pattern.  And guess what?  Unlike the Alki socks, this one worked on the first try:

It's the Artichoke Socks pattern, by Megan Humphrey.  I'm betting that when knitted up in a green yarn this stitch pattern probably does look very much like an artichoke.  However, I don't believe I've ever seen an artichoke in these colors, have you?  (If so, did you eat it?  And what happened afterwards?) 

One important lesson I learned (the hard way) while knitting on both the Alki socks and the Apple Hill socks, is that as much as I love to sit and knit while sipping my morning coffee, I really cannot use that time for knitting anything more than plain garter or stockinette stitch.  Until that coffee has been consumed, truly, I am not firing on all cylinders.  And I should not be wandering around uncaffeinated in the land of SSKs or yarnovers. I also realize that spending my morning screwing up a sock and my afternoon tinking back can seriously impede my progress.  So something had to be done.

For a large portion of last year I knitted on a very simple garter stitch baby blanket during my morning coffee knitting time.  When that was completed I started making hats, in stockinette, knitting round and round, perfect. It's still too warm for me to go back to knitting wooley hats again and the same weather problem applies to knitting the Doctor Who scarf I've craved for so long now (knitting worsted wool + hot sweaty summer = accidental felting).

Then on Ravelry I found out about the Special Olympics Scarf Project.  Essentially you can use any pattern you want, as long as you use Red Heart Super Saver in White #311 and Delft Blue #885, and the scarf did not have to be completed until January.  I already had a full skein of that exact white in my stash, and an upcoming trip to the mainland during which I was sure I could pick up a skein of the blue at either Joann's or Michael's.  Perfect!

Unfortunately, neither one of those stores had the correct blue.  Nor did their staff know anything about the project, or whether they'd be getting in the color soon, or perhaps even what day it was.  So there I was, stuck for something to knit on with my morning coffee so that I wouldn't keep fracking up my lovely sock-in-progress and I spotted this:

Red Heart's new sock yarn.  It's marketed as "self-striping" but "self-patterning" would be more accurate.  Yep, that's right - good 'ole Fake Isle - yarn that mimics the patterning of of Fair Isle.  And even though my sock knitting desires have me reaching for increasingly more interesting patterns, I now understand how knitting plain stockinette socks can have a place in my life.  Sipping my coffee, simply knitting round and round and round and round....

I get this.  And this works for me!  Actually since I knit on it mindlessly every morning, it's just about flying off the needles.   The yarn is supposed to have Aloe in it, but I have to say, I'm not feeling it.  Nothing particularly lovely about the feel of the yarn at all, just a nice pattern.

I've since heard that the Delft Blue colorway of Red Heart can be found at Walmart, which can be a little dubious on some days.  But on my next trip overtown I'm going to brave the hordes and see what they have.  But if that doesn't pan out - it's going to be yet another pair of simple stockinette Fake Isle socks!


Mia said...

well done! you go girl!

Logan said...

Red Heart Sock Yarn? For some reason I feel like I shouldn't trust is pretty, though.

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

I am so impressed with your skills at knitting. Never could do it myself as it throws off my crocheting hook hand. Hard to change something you've been doing for 38 years. I love that artichoke pattern too. So pretty. xxoo