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 visited my massage therapist ten days ago. I noticed her largish sneakers – I asked what shoe size she wore – size 10.
I had already finished the first sock of a pair which I set aside. I worked on the second sock, extended the foot length by eight rows so it will fit her size 10 foot, then finished the toe. Next I unravelled the toe of the first sock, matched the yarn (which I happened to have on hand because I unrolled the better part of a pattern repeat so my second sock would match the first), added the required number of rows and reknit the toe.
Socks For Christmas
That Christmas gift is now done.
On to the next – for a smaller foot – size 6 shoe.
I had a second sock order – for two pairs – for Christmas. It’s amazing how working to fill an order changes the knitting – I feel pressure to get it done by a specific deadline. When I’m knitting to relax (or to justify sitting in front of the TV) I can knit 10 rows, I can knit 40 rows – doesn’t matter – no pressure. But with a new order once again I felt the pressure of a looming deadline.
Mary Ann liked the khaki ombre with dots socks I’d finished a couple of weeks ago. Since I had a second ball of that yarn from Hobbii (in Denmark) she chose that as one of the pairs. My initial intention was to knit a second pair using that yarn but decided just to give her the original socks and knit the other ball some time when I’m not facing a deadline.
The other yarn she chose was a grey/black/almost white variegated. I finished those socks two evenings ago. A handsome sock for a man.
That order is now complete (whew):
Sock Order #2
Last night I started a new pair – variegated in shades of peach/blue/gold.
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.]
On August 3, I finished yet another pair of socks:
I kinda liked working on them. It was a long repeat so the pattern kept being interesting to work on. They’ve gone into the give-away stash (which is getting large).
Then I worked on a t-Shirt I’ve been meaning to make for over a year using one of the three gorgeous pieces of Marcy Tilton digital printed French cotton knit I had in my garment making stash.
I finished making it yesterday then I wore it – but it was too big (makes me look dumpier than I actually am) – I’d made a pattern from a Talbot’s t-Shirt I’d purchased last year which fits nicely, but the pattern didn’t quite translate to the stretchiness of the fabric. Today, I took 5/8″ off each side and it looks less sloppy. I may still shorten the sleeves as well. I’m happy with the fit of the neck and the shoulders are OK. When I’m satisfied with how this one fits, I’ll make the other two.
Today I had what I think are the last three blooms on my Datura plant. The pot is in the sunniest corner of my balcony but already the shorter day length is affecting the plant. I have no more buds coming along and leaves are yellowing and dropping off.
The Last Of The Datura Flowers
Tomorrow these three flowers will be drooping then in a couple of days they’ll fall off. At that point I’m probably going to get rid of the plant. I’ve enjoyed watching these spectacular flowers unfold. I just wish I had a sunnier spot for it. In the right conditions it would bloom till well into the fall. It’s an annual so there’s no point in trying to salvage it.
I’ve been walking around it since then. Last week I finally cut one of the two panels I have into 21″ square blocks. Now you no longer see the print as skyscraper buildings – now the colours pop out. I think I am going to try something with drunkard’s path.
A friend loaned me Louisa Smith’s book “Strips ‘n Curves” – she creates strip pieced fabrics from which she creates a wide range of drunkard’s path blocks. With my multi-coloured Hoffman fabric I don’t have to do any strip piecing, I can use it as it is. So now I have to figure out a large block size to make the first drunkard’s path block, then scale down from there to work out smaller versions which will fit into an array. I was going to add more solid colours but the jumble of colour in the photo from the book makes me think I may just build my blocks from contrasting portions of the Skyline fabric and let the colour do the talking.
I’ve been dithering about this for a couple of weeks. I think I may be ready to cut the fabric now.
The question is always which colour to accent with the cuffs, heels, and toes. I didn’t have any purple solid, although I did have a pale blue and a dark teal, but after auditioning those yarns, I decided I wanted to highlight the dark red – and it worked nicely.
Socks with Dark Red Accent
I have enough patterned yarn for a pair of legs – I must go through the collection of leftovers to see if there’s anything else there to complement it.