The number of new COVID-19 cases is rising steeply here in NS – we’re seeing the effect of community spread with the highly transmissible B117 variant, so public health has imposed a new lockdown in an effort to slow the rate of infection.
However, we’re being encouraged to be outside to enjoy the spring weather – go walking, hiking, have small groups (of five people observing social distancing guidelines), just continue with the public health protocols.
Yesterday afternoon was lovely and sunny (if a bit windy) so the knitters/stitchers decided to get together for an hour or two outside.
We tried the grassy space beside the building where we gathered during the summer but the wind was strong and nippy so we retreated to Ruby’s patio – all five of us. Ruby couldn’t resist offering a snack!
Just getting out and laughing together was liberating.
Next week I hope the weather will be a bit warmer so more of us can gather on the large grassy space beside the building in clusters of five.
A bit more bland than usual – I had turned the heel on the first sock before I realized I’d forgotten to change the yarn to the solid! No point in taking out the heel so I carried on. I decided to just continue with the toe as well.
I actually prefer the contrasting heel/toe sock. I’ll try to remember on the new pair I started last evening.
This pair has been added to the stash to give away.
I have one friend who can’t wear wool so I bought a ball of synthetic yarn at Michael’s to make her a pair of socks.
The socks turned out an interesting pattern. However, they took longer than usual to knit because I didn’t like the feel of the yarn in my hands, on the needles!
I discovered that wool has a resistance on the needles that keeps the yarn from slipping – it’s not that the yarn doesn’t slide on the needles, it does, but there’s a drag that I find makes knitting easier. The synthetic yarn was quite slippery – the wooden needles don’t fall out, but my hands tired as I knit with this yarn, having something to do with having to fight the slipperiness of the yarn.
Having knit exclusively with wool these past 18 years, my hands have become accustomed to that subtle drag the yarn has on the wooden needles.
I finally finished this pair of socks. It’s back to wool.
I finished this pair of socks a couple of evenings ago. I was using a second ball of this Opal yarn but this time I used turquoise as my accent colour rather than the navy I used in a previous pair.
Turquoise & Mauve
I was intending to keep this pair but for now it’s in the “give-away” pile. My sock drawer is full and unwashed these socks are a bit long in the foot for me even though I knit them with the same number of rows in the foot I always use. I may wash them to see how much they’ll tighten. If they firm up a bit smaller they may make it to my sock drawer.
As soon as I finished this pair, I set up the next using a synthetic lightweight sock yarn I bought at Michael’s a month or so ago. My friend Heather can’t wear wool so I’m trying this synthetic blend of viscose (from bamboo), acrylic, polyester to see if it works for her. I’m not liking how it knits – the fibre doesn’t have the same grip on the needles that wool does – I’m finding my hands tire when knitting with it. However, the pattern is a pretty one – I know the socks will look fine when they’re finished.
I’ve been working on this pair of socks for a couple of weeks. Black isn’t my favourite contrast colour but the socks are certainly wearable. This was another of the balls of yarn from my Denmark order and I’ve been trying to use them up because I’m not fond of several of the colour combinations – they’re less satisfying to work on when it’s like that.
Close but not an exact match
I finished the first sock, was half way through the leg of the second when I came upon a KNOT. I hate knots – because you have to go searching for the precise matching point somewhere along in the ball (hoping the pattern will continue in sequence and not be reversed which has occasionally happened to me). The knot was in one of those spots where it was difficult to see the colour match precisely (where the rust turns to red) – I did the best I could but I resumed knitting 4-5 rows too soon so red section on the second sock leg turned out to be 4-5 rows longer than on the first sock. I didn’t see it until I’d knit more than I was willing to unravel to fix the match so I carried on. The mismatch isn’t so noticeable at the instep but when you get to the toes the difference definitely shows.
I’m hoping the recipient, my friend John, will overlook the discrepancy and enjoy wearing them. Maybe the mismatch will make him chuckle each time he puts them on. (This is the second time recently I’ve not been able to come up with an exact match – it’s partly the shading in this particular variegated yarn that makes it difficult to spot the changes, partly the fact that I’m willing to live with the mismatching.)
I sold the first pair of “blue dots” socks before Christmas. I had another ball of that yarn so I made up the second pair of socks. The colour shift in the first pair worked out pretty much on its own – I don’t recall having to unwind a lot of yarn to match the second sock.
Given where the first sock of this second pair ended I knew I had to unwind a substantial amount of yarn to set up a match – but the colour shadings in this yarn were so gradual I didn’t quite make it. That doesn’t happen to me very often (but then again, most pattern repeats are generally easier to discern).
I actually needed to unwind at least 12 rows of the pale blue on the second sock (the sock underneath) in order to have come close to a match but it wasn’t until I was closer to 25 rows into the sock that I could see the mismatch and decided just to keep knitting anyway.
Blue Ombre With Dots
These socks are destined for a friend who I’m sure will laugh each time she wears them, wiggle her toes, and carry on. Slightly mismatched socks won’t bother her.
And now onto a brighter pair where the repeat is more obvious – I’ll be able to match the second sock to the first with relative ease.
Finished this pair of socks last evening. I bought this ball of sock yarn because in the ball it looked like a reasonable set of colours but knitted up it’s pretty drab. There is a hint of “rose” in one of the grey sections so I decided to complement the yarn with a sparkly mauve.
I got well into the first leg when I decided I need to break up the drabness and added three alternating rows of the mauve wanting them to show below the pant legs (in hindsight, those rows would have been more balanced had they been closer to the cuff, however…).
One set of stripes didn’t seem enough so I added a second set near the toe. All fine.
Last night as I was approaching the toe, I remembered the second set of stripes! I had to unravel 12 rows to position the second set of mauve rows to match the rows on the first sock! I still managed to finish the sock, stripes intact.
Now on to another pair of the blue dots yarn tonight.
I’ve enjoyed working on the sock fingerling yarn I bought from Denmark in the spring. This is one more pair from that batch of yarns.
Light Blue Socks With Dots
It’s a fine, well twisted, yet soft yarn that’s a pleasure to knit with. Two things are happening in this yarn – the ombre effect which you can see in the ball but is very subtle in the socks; and the darker dots which appear every six or so rows. The overall effect is pleasing.
I got a phone call two days ago – did I happen to have three pairs of socks for sale (one for a man who wears size 9 shoes)? My answer was “Yes” and “No”.
A month ago I went through my stash of socks and put names on all but one pair – my Christmas gifts: one to the woman who cuts my hair, one pair for my massage therapist, one for the gal who does my nails… and a few pair as gifts for friends. So “Yes” I had socks in the stash but they were already allocated. And “No” I didn’t have any to fit a man’s size 9 foot.
So what do you do? These are for sale – same price as last year $50/pair. So I took the undesignated pair, removed the toes, added 10 rows to the foot, then reknit the toes – an evening’s work for each sock. That solved the problem of a pair large enough for a man.
I went through the designated socks – decided I probably had enough time to actually knit another one and a half pair of socks between now and Christmas – so she can have two of those; three pair of socks in all.
I’m set to deliver them today. The payment is a “payment forward” – she will send it directly to an endowment fund at our local children’s hospital to support their Child Life program. I’ve been building that endowment for almost 25 years with my annual contributions plus donations like this one. It’s not a huge endowment (although it keeps growing) but it does provide books and supplies for the children who participate in the program while they’re in hospital.
Finished this pair of socks last evening – socks for a friend’s daughter. Smaller than I usually make I hope they fit her. I like the rust coloured stripe that occurs both I the purple and the turquoise sections. That, and the darker blue elements give this yarn a nice lively look.