Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Socks For Everyone!

Cool weather is here! That means it's time for warm wool socks!

I really enjoy knitting, and socks are the perfect, portable project. And perfect gift! You can make only so many pairs of mittens for one person, but everyone needs more than one pair of socks. And there are so many different kinds of socks. Thick warm slipper socks, dainty lace socks, fun colors socks, ankle socks, knee high socks, ribbed socks, striped socks... The list really is endless. It seems like every few days or so I find another pattarn I just *have* to try. And knitting is a stress buster for me. So my socks go everywhere with me. Doctor and dentist's waiting rooms are good for at least a couple rows. I even take them to parties. Is it irreverent to knit during church? So many patterns, so little time... Sigh.

So here are some of the patterns that have caught my attention in the last few months:

SANJAY's Sixth Sense Sox.These are made from Sockotta, a cotton wool blend in bright summery colors. It is an easy ribbing pattern that was pretty quick and easy to do. Once I got into the pattern, I didn't have to think too hard or count too much. The pattern is one from the Six Sox Knitalong I belong to. I haven't had a bad pattern from there yet.

I started these in the spring and took them along on the morning I went in for surgery at the Mayo Clinic. Good thing I had them. I sat in that little waiting room for a couple hours, I swear. And after they had the IV hook up thingy in my arm I tried really *really* hard to knit without bending my elbow.

I finished these in June, but just now got around to sending them to my friend. Her name is Linda. Or Gwyneth. Or Sanjay. Or just G.

Daye's Unst Socks

I made these socks as a part of the KOTR Knitalong. All the socks we knit there are from nancy Bush's book Knitting On The Road. These are the Unst socks. I made them from Lion Brand Sport Weight Wool Ease. I just wanted to try this pattern. I didn't want to buy any new yarn for it (actually I DID want to buy new yarn, but I made myself a promise that I would shop only in my stash for the rest of the year) Daye had said she'd like to have socks, and one of her favorite colors was purple. Since I had the purple woolease already in stock, I decided to go with it. I like them. I think she will too. Her name is Wendy. But I never call her that. She's also called Daeg, which is pronounced "Day" but the E on the end adds elegance to the name, don't you think?

Yngvar's Sensible Men's Socks

Made from a Canadian sock wool blended with nylon in heather gray and solid black for stripes and heels and toes.

These are socks for my friend Yngvar. He's like a brother to me, only better, because he never complains when I ask him to do me a favor. I'm not the only one who thinks so. Last january, another friend from Winnepeg and I were shopping and I said I'd like to do something nice for Yggy, like make him socks. But I didn't have any extra money right then. She said she hadn't gotten him anything yet for 12th Night, so she bought the yarn. And I'm making the socks. And making the socks. And making the socks. This simple pattern should be quick and easy, right? No. I cast on 80 stitches on size 1 needles and am still working on them. Plain gray is BORING. I have to break it up eith some lace and bright colors. But they'll get done soon, Yggy, I promise!

Fina's Celtic Swirl Socks!

Work in Progress. Made with Baby Ull from Dalegarns. 100% merino wool in fingering weight. I have a friend. A tall friend. Last year I began a pair of socks for her, made from a very nice self striping yarn in a chevron pattern that showed off the stripes quite nicely, and took the first one over to her house to have her try it on. Hmmm.... She gallantly forced it on, but clearly it was bit small. She could barely pull it on over her heel. So I went back home and put those aside for a while, not sure if I wanted to frog them and try to adjust the chevron pattern to be a few stitches larger, or if I just wanted to start fresh with a new pattern entirely. Fortunately the cat took the dilemma out of my hands by doing the frogging herself. So a week ago I found a fun pattern that I thought might appeal to my friend. I almost stuck to my rule to not buy any more yarn. I had one ball of red wool in the weight I wanted and one of off white. My friend wears a large size shoe, so I knew I'd need one more ball of red. Ok, I figured buying one ball of yarn to complete what I already had wouldn't be cheating. But wouldn't you know it, my local yarn store doesn't carry Brown Sheep's Nature Spun. Can you believe it? I could have ordered online. But by golly, I wanted to start these socks NOW! I ended up buying three skeins of the baby ull. Gosh darn it. But at least that's ALL I bought.
I carefully made a swatch and did all my figurign to be sure these would fit my friend, and according to my calculations, they should fit. But the stranded color work mades knitting a little less stretchy, and I want to try these on her befoer I say they are a success.

So, my knitting is going along nicely. I have more friends that I'd like to make socks for. I just love to knit socks. I want to try so many different patterns. But I'm not sure how all of my friends would like hand knit socks. Hard thought it is for me to believe, some people don't like hand knit items. And one friend is allergic to wool. And some of my friends already knit their own socks, and better than I do.

Mostly I knit because it's therapy for me. And with my job right now, I need lots of therapy!

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