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.
I got a phone call from my sister Donna not quite two weeks ago – “You don’t happen to have a pair of men’s socks in your stash, do you?” I didn’t. However, I had just started another pair – was at the heel on the first sock so it was no problem making the foot long enough to fit a man’s foot. “What size shoe?” “The same as Ian’s (her husband).” So a man’s size 9 shoe – 60 rows from the end of the heel gusset to toe-off.
They’re a gift for a friend of hers so I’m charging. “My socks are $50 a pair….”
No pause – “Not a problem.”
I knit a longer foot – 10 rows longer than I do for my generic women’s socks that fit size 7 1/2 – 8.
A Pair Of Men’s Socks
And now I’m knitting under pressure.
Donna is going away on the 18th so I have to have the socks done before that. There’s no putting my knitting aside in the evening to do anything else – the socks have to be finished before the 16th which is fast approaching.
Got the second toe completed last night – whew! I’ll deliver the socks tomorrow in time for them to be gifted before Donna leaves town.
That’s a relief and now I am on to more relaxed knitting and sewing and baking and whatever.
I hate working to deadlines – I have little trouble setting them for myself, but when they are external ones it sends my blood pressure up (probably not literally – I haven’t checked, though); I certainly feel the stress.
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!
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.
I have to say this wasn’t my most favourite pair of socks. I had a difficult time knitting them – I really didn’t enjoy working on those colours/that pattern. I had a solid yarn that blended very closely with the green in the socks but nevertheless knitting them was slow going.
I’m glad I finally finished them Thursday evening and I was able to move on to another yarn. This pair is in the giveaway pile – people will get these socks for Christmas.
I also went through my basket filled to the brim with balls of leftover patterned yarn. I pulled them out, put them in a bag and gave the remains to one of the knitters in our Friday afternoon group to pass on to her crafting women. There’s enough yarn in those balls to make a pair of socks for a child, or small mittens; or combine them and end up with a Dr. Who scarf. I just wanted that leftover yarn out of my house. I’ve knit nine (or maybe it’s ten) pairs of socks combining some of them. I couldn’t summon any further interest in trying to use up that yarn. And now it’s gone – although there is a new collection starting with the leftover from this pair of socks!
I’ve finally finished this pair of socks which I began nine weeks ago just after I broke my wrist. For the next six weeks I knit barely 20 rows. Once my cast came off I was able to resume my typical knitting pace of 30-40 rows each evening.
Socks From Leftovers #9
You have to look closely to see there are two different patterned yarns used in these socks. The leftovers blended quite well. But that’s the end of what seems to want to work. The remaining leftover balls don’t want to play well with each other – so I think I’m going to bag them up today and put them in the pile of stuff to take to Mission Mart – a local used clothing outlet run by the Souls Harbour Mission which runs drop-in centres and shelters for the homeless.
Yesterday I went through my fabric stash, pulling out fabrics I know I’m not ever going to use – cotton twill for pants (I had five 1.5m pieces all washed and ready to be used that have been sitting in a drawer for at least three years), remnants from garments (perhaps 1/2m – enough to use for something for a child), other garment sized pieces that I no longer could see making into whatever it was I intended to make.
I piled them into big bags and took them straight away – the faster they’re out of my house, the happier I am. I want to go through the stash again a second time – I bet there is more I can part with and not miss it. The incentive, of course, is that I have stacks of new linen in pant lengths (which I’ve washed and pressed ready to be used) which I’m not going to get to this season and I need to have somewhere to store them. I had lots of empty drawer space when I moved into the apartment three years ago but those drawers seem to have filled up. I needed to eliminate some of the fabric so I could put away the newest acquisitions.
That’s it for fabric – no more fabric – I can’t buy any more fabric because I have nowhere to put it!
As for socks – I have already picked out yarn for a new pair of socks I’ll start this evening.
Three more “sleeps” until my cast comes off – Yeah! I can’t wait. I will finally be able to get back to creating – sewing, knitting, quilting…. Yes.
This evening I was at my sister’s place for dinner and noticed a lovely watercolour in her family room titled “Ian’s Sock Drawer” – an artist friend of hers must have seen one of Ian’s sock drawers (he has three) and done this bright painting of his socks, and because I haven’t any original work in progress to share I thought I’d share my sock drawer.
Here it is in two steps – I have three columns of socks in my sock drawer (43 pairs in all) of hand knit woollen socks – the oldest knit in 2003 to the most recent 2019. I have given away many pairs from this sock drawer – worn, yes, but with lots of life left in them, in order to be able to add new socks to my collection.
This is what it looks like today – jumbled – no order to the colours. Sometimes I take all the socks out and replace them so like colours are together but over time as I wear them and wash them, they get put back at the front of a column that has room to squeeze them in. So my colour organization disintegrates.
Sock Drawer (Part 1)
One of these days I’ll sit on the floor and reorganize them into colour families again but for now (since it’s summer and I’m wearing sandals) they’re staying the way they are.
I was away for the better part of a week (over a week ago) and didn’t get much knitting done, and of course, no sewing. I resumed where I’d left off and have finally finished Leftovers #6. another combination that worked out very nicely – particularly the red/peach solid I used for cuff/heel/toe – it brightens the sock and showcases the other colours.