Tuesday, 13 July 2010

I get knocked down....

....But I get up again...

Today's post, whilst still vaguely about sock knitting is really more about the place that knitting has in my life and how it helps me manage the stresses and strains of a responsible job in a busy urban environment. I know that I don't talk much about my life outside my knitting on this blog and this remains my overall intention but nobody does anything in complete isolation so I wanted to tell you a bit about last week.

Last Tuesday I failed my driving test. Again. This is extremely frustrating as my driving standard is good enough to pass, I just get very nervous on the day and make the silliest of errors. This time was no different so I started the long slink back to work with my well groomed tail well and truly between my legs then remembered that my route to work (creatively planned) could include Loop's new shop in Camden Passage. I didn't think it was unreasonable to console myself with a little treat.

Loop is certainly the place for treats and in the end I chose some rather posh handmaiden Casbah in a shade that reminded me of those pieces of glass that are washed up on the beach by the tide, translucent and smooth. This heady mixture of merino, silk and cashmere felt so consoling...

I decided to join the Serpentine Sock, another pattern from Wendy Johnson's first toe up book knitalong which is designed for sport weight yarn on 2.75 mm needles as the yardage on this yarn was quite low and if I knit the big size on 2.5mm I reckoned I had a viable combination.

You can see what I mean about the shade in this photo of the sole of the foot.

I don't think the colours detract from the flow of the stitch pattern.

This was a very quick and satisfying knit which produced a gloriously silky and soft fabric which I think will make perfect bedtime/lounging around the house socks. The fabric isn't as firm and robust as I would use for day to day wear.

It only took me five days to finish these socks and whilst they were a really good comfort project I have to say that I prefer the feel of a good robust sock yarn knit on small needles so have returned to my other projects with renewed enthusiasm.

I've also re booked my driving test.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Tunnel Vision

Well hello! And how is everybody? Me? I'm just fine although I am rather chastened by my lack of blogging recently. It's not that I haven't been busy doing interesting and blogworthy things it's just that I haven't had the energy to write and tell you all about them.

I will try to make brief amends today. You may be surprised to know that I have maintained my focus and am still keeping up with the 52 pair plunge. We are 5 weeks into the challenge and I have completed six pairs of socks. Don't ask me how it happened.

First of all I have a pair of mansocks which in all honestly have been sitting on the needles two thirds finished for a very long time so they were easy pickings. They are knitted in Opal 4ply although I have not managed to locate the ball band so can't tell you what the shade name or number is. Having been used to knitting with hand dyed yarns I did notice that the yarn was a little less pleasant to work with but I'm sure I read somewhere that the yarn has a light coating on it for ease of knitting which is removed by the first wash leaving the finished sock soft and fluffy. I've also found this yarn to be extremely hard wearing and durable.

Next up is my first contribution to the Makin' Cookies Knitalong on Ravelry. I'm a bit of a stranger to formal knitalongs and at first I was a little bamboozled by the acres of rules which I was expected to read and inwardly digest. However, once I started posting comments and pictures I found it to be a very welcoming place to be and have enjoyed the banter and encouragement.

This month's sock has been Milo by Cookie A and whilst reasonably complex turned out to be quite intuitive and quick to knit. The yarn I chose is Nature's Palette in Autumn Leaves which meant I was also able to enter it into another Knitalong where participants are assigned a colour with which to knit any socks they like that month. Much quite amusing debate ensues about when is an orange yarn orange enough but I was relieved to note that my apricot yarn passed muster! I am very pleased with how they came out and grateful to everyone for their kind comments and encouragement.

And finally, on this week's catch up post allow me to present my Ruby Slippers knit in Yarn Yard Clan Rhododendron club yarn. These socks are knit using a construction method that I am not familiar with. They start from the toe up and the gusset expansion happens between the lines of cable on the bridge of the foot followed by the sort of flap and gusset for toe ups heel that I am used to.
All in all I am having a wonderful time knitting away on my various challenges and I haven't become bored by sock knitting yet. What I am discovering is a lot more enthusiastic, friendly knitters as well as huge numbers of new patterns by designers I am as yet unfamiliar with. I would like my annual tally of socks (however many there might end up being) to reflect the diversity of sock knitting opportunities in terms of both pattern and yarn that are out there.
Speaking of yarn, I was fortunate enough to visit Woolfest a couple of weeks ago and decided to confine my shopping to sock yarns and came home with a beautiful bag full of coloured inspiration. I really must take a photo of them to show you.
Anyway, as you can imagine I have tons of socks in progress so next time will have more than enough to tell you - as long as I'm not too busy knitting.