It’s a longish story. A couple of weeks ago my niece (and husband) were having dinner with her brother (and wife) and another couple, friends of my nephew. I don’t recall how the conversation turned to knitting but out came photos of my socks.
Paula fell in love with them and really wanted a pair.
My niece call me to ask how she might go about getting a pair – I said two things: my generic sock (those in my stash) fit someone who wears a size 7 1/2 to 8 shoe; and they cost $50.
My niece paused, said she’d relay the information to Paula.
The next day I get a call from my nephew – Paula is visiting and he wants me to talk to her about socks.
So I tell Paula the same thing – she wears a size 7 1/2 shoe – good. I tell her they’re expensive and I explain why – the yarn costs $25 a ball (before I’ve knit a stitch), it takes me 25 hours to knit a pair, and I won’t work for less than $1/hour. “Fine,” she says; she knits hats and appreciates the effort that goes into the socks.
We look at the socks in my stash (using the camera on my phone) and she chooses a pair she thinks are wonderful.
She sends me a money transfer. In turn I put the pair of socks in the mail. Oh, and I asked her to send me picture of her wearing the socks.
They arrived yesterday. She’s thrilled. This is the picture she sent me.
Good thing I’m not relying on sock sales to keep me going. People find the price prohibitive – don’t know why – were they able to make them themselves the yarn would still cost $25 and it likely would take them a lot longer than 25 hours to knit a pair. I figure it’s a deal.
So I keep knitting and sell the odd pair and give them as gifts on birthdays and at Christmas. What else am I going to do with the 26 pairs of socks I manage to knit in a year?
[I knit only in the evening with the TV on – so although I knit reasonably quickly it takes me about two weeks to turn out a pair of socks. 52 weeks a year divided by 2 weeks is 26 pairs of socks – that’s pretty close to what I actually complete along with some sock repairs I do during the year.]
These socks took longer than usual to knit – I found the emerging pattern rather boring even though the socks are colourful; I was caught up with other stuff – nothing outstanding but the days slipped away and I didn’t end the evening by knitting as I would normally do. Maybe it was just Covid-19 getting through although my life has been minimally affected by the virus – I’ve been able to carry on as usual. The only disruption has been the absence of my three times a week exercise at the pool which I miss a lot.
Regia Blue Socks
These blue socks are my standard size – for a person wearing a size 7 1/2 – 8 1/2 shoe. They’ve gone into the give-away stash which is growing quite large. I definitely must give these socks away! Likely in the fall when the weather starts getting colder.
Another pair of socks finished. Not sure whether to put them in my sock drawer to in the “give-away” pile. I just enjoyed knitting this yarn (Opal “Butterfly”) – the colours were strong and cheery. Had I had either a ball of the golden or red colours to use for cuffs, heels, toes, they would have been even brighter. But I didn’t – I used what I had in my yarn stash. The charcoal makes a somewhat more “sedate” sock.
Started the next pair last evening as soon as my needles were free.
I’ve actually gone back to the Knitters Pride wooden “Cubics” needles (6″ double pointed 2.5mm) after having used Knitters Pride “Zing” metal ones for several months. The Zing are lightweight, very smooth, and they hold the yarn but I found I had still had more slipping than with wood. By that I mean when you hold up and shake the sock in progress the Zing do sometimes slip out – the Cubics – never. It was like returning home when I switched back to the Cubics mid way through this pair of socks. They slip through the yarn smoothly; they just don’t fall out – ever. I enjoy the feel of them in my hand. Mine are actually getting smooth on the edges from use, the points have also worn a bit but I’m sure they’re still good for many more pairs of socks.
A month ago when I had shopped at Have A Yarn in Mahone Bay, I came home with a ball of Lang “Happy Stripes” Twin Soxx ombre sock yarn. You can see the colour gradation in the finished socks but it wasn’t really visible as I was working on them since the colour change is so gradual. The single repeat actually gets a lot lighter but the sock foot stops at 50 rows past the gusset because that’s all the socks need to fit someone wearing a size 7 1/2 – size 8 shoe.
Decided to use the striped yarn to complete the toe in order to get the lightest pattern repeat possible.
I have enough yarn left over to make a pair of legs – just have to find a complementary yarn so I can knit a full pair of socks!
A change from that last pair of unmatched socks . I enjoyed working on this pair – the pattern was interesting as it unfolded and while not a fan of green, in this context, I thought the colours were lovely.
The yellow cuff and heel contribute to the feeling of bright. I chose to just work the toe in the variegated pattern because I thought a yellow toe would have overpowered the rest of the sock.
And, as usual, I started a next pair as soon as the needles were empty.
I don’t usually remove the wrappers from a ball of sock yarn – I work from the inside out so I need the wrapper to keep the outside end in place. However, this time I should have looked – I would have discovered that at ~200m into the ball I’d encounter a white strip to designate the start of the pattern repeat! Missed that. So I’ve ended up with two unmatched socks.
I began the second sock by pulling yarn from the ball until I thought I’d got to a colour matching the start of the first sock. After six rows I could tell I was off and unskeined more yarn until I got a closer colour match. However, once I got into the second sock and came upon the white bit I realized what had happened. At that point I had two options – to undo the knitting back to the cuff, or keep going. I chose to keep going. I now realize I could have cut out the white length and most of the next 20 rows of yarn and likely got close to matching the first sock but that thought didn’t occur to me until I got close to the heel and by then I’d invested too much time to unravel back to before the white stripe. Instead, I unwound the yarn till I got to the start of the red section and began the heel, then brought in the blue after finishing the gusset and carried on with a blue foot. The result is two unmatched socks.
Surely one of my friends is comfortable enough to wear these socks as a “pair” – they’re as warm as all the others even if the feet are vastly different (the legs are somewhat similar).
Finally finished this most recent pair – turned out rather differently than I expected from the appearance of the ball of yarn – much more yellow than I had anticipated. The knitting went reasonably quickly but I got side tracked by a week-long trip to Toronto for a family event last week. I took my knitting but didn’t actually get to do much – there was a ton of parties – Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening, Sunday morning – not much time to work on sock knitting.
I’m just about to start a next pair – shades of grey/mauve/rose – more subtle.