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 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.
In the last month I have completed two pairs of socks.
First was the pair for my Chiropractor – I started knitting and the colours kinda looked like him so I made the foot a bit longer to accommodate his foot length.
Socks For Brian
The very day I was planning to take them to him everything shut down. No appointments in the foreseeable future. So the socks are sitting on my kitchen counter waiting for a chance to drop them off at his office. No idea when that might be.
The second pair had no name on them. Just yarn to be turned into a pair of socks. Not the most interesting of socks, I must say. But there was just enough pattern to keep me moving on them. Slow going though – these socks took more than three weeks to knit.
In the stash with several other pairs. And on to the next.
The photograph is misleading because it doesn’t show the sparkle! However, the sock yarn has a fine mylar thread included in the 4 ply which produces a lovely sparkle in the socks!
Some lucky friend will be gifted these socks. I don’t need any more right now in my sock drawer so these are in the give-away pile.
I’ve moved on to socks for my chiropractor who enjoys receiving them. He’s been a great help to me not only maintaining my back mobility but in advising on a wide range of other health related issues. A pair of socks is a small token of my appreciation. They’ll be done by my next appointment.
Finished these socks a couple of days ago. I have a couple of sweaters they’ll go with nicely so I decided they should live into my sock drawer.
When I went to put them on they were just a bit on the long side in the foot so I threw them into the wash with the other socks I’d worn last week. (BTW, I put all my socks into a mesh bag so they don’t get beaten about in the washing machine; and I DON’T put them in the dryer. I hang them over a rack to dry.)
The important thing to remember is to change the water temperature of the load you include them in to COOL, otherwise you run the risk of matting and shrinking the yarn if the water is too warm.
I’ve put a label on my washing machine “Remember To Change Water Temperature” in large letters to remind me to set the water temp to cool when I do a load that includes socks.
If all you have is a couple of pair of wool socks then I’d recommend washing them by hand, wringing them in a towel, and hanging them to air dry somewhere. They’ll last a lot longer that way.
These socks were completed last night. The mauve for the cuffs, heels and toes came from another 100g ball of variegated yarn with a very subtle tonal graduation – this mauve was the first colour in each of the two repeats (the second repeat signalled with a length of white yarn – remember how I missed that detail on an earlier pair of socks?)
This time I knew the repeat would be marked so I looked for it – unwinding and balling the yarn until I reached the white segment, then cutting the yarn and setting up a second ball. The remaining ombre yarn is very dull – I think I’ll probably use the remains from this pair of socks to liven up the pair I’ll make from it.
In the meantime I’m on to a new pair of socks – this time using a much brighter variegated yarn – while I find knitting relaxing, I much prefer working on lively colours rather than yarns without much contrast. The knitting seems to go faster when the pattern is strong and the colour changes are frequent.