Have you CHECKED YOUR BREASTS???
Moving on to my other topic du jour - socks! This month's parcel from the Yarn Yard sock Club was particularly beautiful - gorgeous shades of purple and green and turquoise. One of the particularly good things about this club, apart from the fabulous colours is that Natalie takes the trouble to let us into the secrets of the dyers arts in explaining the effect she is trying to achieve in the finished sock so that we can choose a design and techniques to get the most from it.
This month's yarn is designed to fall into stripes that form on the diagonal, the width of which depends on the number of stitches and the size of needle that you use. These stripes go completely to pot if you use a flap and gusset heel construction as the stitch count changes so radically as you work your way down the gusset decreases. I knew, therefore that I had to come out of my comfort zone and confront toe up and short row heels....
I decided that as the toes and heels would throw the striping all over the place they would look best in garter stitch as it further jumbles the striping and creates a nice textural contrast to the body of the sock.
I also quite liked the idea of putting in a little stitch pattern that would make the stripes wave up and down a bit, just to add a bit more interest. I love Jan Eaton's book, 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns as they do just as it says on the label. The stitch pattern that I used is called Jolly Waves which I think suits it perfectly.
One of the fascinating things that I discovered was just how sensitive the stripe sequence is to stitch count. For the foot part of the sock I added a stitch at the end of the instep just for pattern symmetry. I got rid of the stitch for the leg of the sock and you can clearly see that the leg stripes are noticeably wider than the foot stripes. It's a good job that I rather like the effect.That Natalie - too clever by half!