Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Taking an idea and running with it

One of the things that I love about being fortunate enough to have a library of knitting books and a stash of beautiful yarns is that it is easy for the craft to take me on little...ahem... detours. It isn't entirely my fault though. My friend Lyn, author of the always inspiring blog, Shades of Grey has been visiting and being the seasoned traveller and fellow lover of sock knitting that she is asked if she could borrow one of my Nancy Bush sock knitting books rather than bring her own all the way from Sydney Australia. We share a great respect for Nancy's writing on all things sock related so it wasn't long before I found myself leafing through a few old favourites. 

Knitting on the Road, Sock Patterns for the Traveling Knitter was, I believe, one of the first books on sock knitting that I ever bought and over the years have knitted a good number of the patterns. This time, however, I came across a simple pair of socks, the Hiiumaa Mismatched Mates based on a pair of socks which whilst the colours match...

But the stripe patterns are quite different.

This really appealed to me and seemed to be a great way of adding a bit of spice to my vanilla public transport knitting socks as well as using up quantities of yarn that weren't quire enough to make a pair of socks.  Some stash diving ensued and I emerged with several smallish balls of my favourite work horse sock yarn, Bonny, by my friend Natalie Fergie at The Yarn Yard, a no nonsense wool/nylon blend.

You could either say that I am easily distracted or that I am constantly alive to inspiration as I noticed on my friend Rachel's blog that she was knitting with a fabulous neon peach yarn which seemed the perfect way to celebrate the coming of spring, tempered with stripes from a shade in my much loved collection of sludge coloured yarns.

Now I had chosen my yarns it seemed a bit counter intuitive to make a pair of random striped socks by slavishly following someone else's pattern so I decided to go with my favourite toe up reverse flap and gusset sock recipe and design my own stripe pattern. I ran a search for random stripe generators and came across the wonderful tool developed by Caitlin of the Biscuits and Jam blog. It's really easy to use and gives you a chance to have a look at what the stripe pattern might look like before starting (I wasn't going to relinquish total control after all). I decided that I wanted stripes of 2, 4 and 8 rounds deep with a sequence repeat of 40 rows. I simply refreshed the sequence until I found a pattern that `I liked and started knitting. There is something about stripes that makes the knitting seem to go very fast...

For the second sock I omitted the four round stripes and ran the program again.

I have to admit that I had so much fun that I immediately cast on another sock, using the same method but over a different sequence and this time from the top down.

I like to live dangerously.

In fact I may have cast on another pair,