But first, another shot of the Valentine's Sweater:
Here, you can clearly see how the top of the front is a darker red :( Lucy just happened to put on her bright pink pants yesterday, that was totally unplanned :) Despite having neck shaping, Lucy insisted on wearing it backwards (after the photos). Silly girl.
And now, for some winter warmth!! I haven't handknit socks in forever, or so it seemed. I've done a few pairs on the machine, plain and simple, but I really wanted to get back to fancy socks. I started these on Friday January 26, late at night, and finished them Saturday Feb 10. Basically two weeks. They were my main project, except for something on the machines. I'm not usually project monogomous, but it really makes it go faster, LOL.
The yarn is Shelrdige Farm Ultra Soft Touch 100% Merino. Oh boy are these warm! Much warmer than regular sock yarns with only 75-80% wool. I bought a skein of blue and a skein of purple back in February 2001. I had won a kid's cardigan kit at the Georgetown group, but I didn't like some of the colours. I contacted Buffy at Shelridge, told her I had used odd bits of her yarn at a workshop, and was wondering if she had any odd bits she could sell me for this sweater. I went out to her farm, and she GAVE me small odd balls and bits! I was so pleased, I bought two skeins of the fingering weight yarn. This blue, and a purple of equal intensity.
I have tried over the years to create a sock using both yarns, but there was not enough contrast to really show each yarn off. In September of 2005 I took the skeins to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters Fair, hoping to find a yarn to go with them, as handpainted yarns had become so popular. At Buffy's booth, I found this skein of handpainted Ultra Soft Touch, for an unbelievable $5! Over the past year and a bit, I kept changing my mind which colour to use the handpainted with. I almost wish I had gone with the purple, because I think it would have been easier to find another handpainted to go with the blue. If I had seen this skein knitted up, I might not have bought it (not at full price anyway), but in the end, it's okay.
The blue in these first two pictures is true, the handpainted is pretty close, although there is more of a mustard colour in real life. The colours sort of spiralled, I don't know why one sock is bolder than the other--it was all one skein, one worked from the center out the other from the outside in.
I used "Baby Cable Rib" from Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Socks". Many of these stitch patterns are in other dictionaires, but her book has them arranged by number of sts in the repeat. However...I don't like the charts of gauge/foot size/# of sts. It's okay if you're also going to use the pattern on the foot--there's an extra bit so it balances, but if you're doing just the leg, you can ignore the chart. For example, I was going to do some socks for Lucy using a 5st repeat. The number of sts I needed for her foot (60st) wasn't on the chart, because it meant the pattern wouldn't be balanced on the instep (without doing some additional re-arranging). I think I need to take another picture of the leg part! I ended up with a bit of each colour left over--I could have made the leg longer, but it was at the point that it would need increases, so I didn't want to mess with it. I do still have to fix a little whole that somehow formed at the corner of the short row heel. I did figure a way to add a little bit more to the back of the heel to make it deeper, without using more sts for the entire heel. I love short rows, LOL. I started the toe with the Magic Figure 8 cast on from www.knitty.com but I started with only 8 sts, which is what I used to end with when I made top down socks, but these are a little too pointy.
Any questions? LOL. I'm thinking I might buy some of the same yarn in white, and handpiant my own to go with the purple. But what goes with purple? I don't want pink. I'm not really a wild person--I don't think I'd want bright yellow and green, for example. And red....well, I may be going grey, but I don't think the Red Hat Society would accept me yet :)