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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Socks

I think I've freaked out my new teaching partner by telling her that not only do I knit, but on a Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. I'm updating my guild's blog. . ."you're really into that, aren't you?" she asked. . .if she only knew.

Many know that my New Year's resolution was to make a pair of socks each month. Socks have been tricky for me to fit correctly, or to keep for myself. My first pair ever was knit on the beaches of Florida two years ago in February. They were made out of Patons merino wool on size 6 needles and after wearing them 2 or 3 times, Joanie shrunk them in the wash. Not a good start.

Socks are a great project, they keep your interest, are small to carry around and extremely useful when they're done. I find the self-striping yarns amusing and can't wait to see what color comes out of the ball next. You should know I wear a size 12 shoe, and my foot is bigger than what most of the patterns easily found are written for. I know this, because I've made a bunch of socks that wind up on Joanie's feet. She's a size 8. Need I say more?

Sometime last year I bought Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch. I thought my problems were over. This is a fabulous book that lets you knit a gauge, plug in numbers from that and compare them to the size of foot you're making and has terrific stitch patterns that allow you to build a perfectly fitting sock. Sounds great until you realize I hate to make gauge swatches, especially on small projects. Joanie continued to get more socks. One pair I made was too big, and if you didn't know, loose socks wear out more quickly due to the friction of them rubbing around against your foot and shoe. I almost cried when I saw the hole apprearing, and I'll admit I wore those socks with a gigantic hole in them until I couldn't stand it anymore. Realizing my gauge issues, I thought, "I've got 3 skeins of Lola, one pair can be my practice pair and the other 2 will be perfect." Faulty logic, I know, but that's where it is. My first pair are a bit big, but will work around the house and are cozy and warm. Finished on Monday evening, behold:

The January Socks

You can note my lack of planning and matching sock size to the yarn amount I had. . .see the purple toes? I thought I might not have enough yarn to finish, so I left the toes until the end. I was right and couldn't find a perfect match on the sock yarn, or even some interesting solid of the same weight. I used Pure Merino Heathers for the toes, it's a bit heavier, but not too bad. And anyway, who sees my toes that often anyway?

On a roll, and headed to a meeting, I started my February socks early. I used some yarn I bought at a super sale at Beaumont some time ago and cast on some basic, no frills socks after I finished dinner at SEVA . Cast off last night. Behold:

The February Socks

or are they January 1.1?

Kim tipped me off that Beaumont was having their big sale this week. I went during lunch and found some great yarn at 75% off. My aunt got caught up in the frenzy and bought a bunch too. . .and will be asking soon what she can make with it. I think I'll consider making some Fuzzy Feet slippers with some, (look at pictures from the designer's blog here) and maybe a vest for Joanie. Who knows? Some of what I found was chunky weight, some worsted, so it will be a challenge to find a way to use it all, but how could I pass up wool at around $2 a skein? The colors are shaded interestingly--they look sort of kettle dyed or something. I'll let you know how it knits up.


I just had a thought. . .do fuzzy feet count as socks?

4 comments:

kim said...

Since you are already through with your feb. socks in jan. I think that fuzzy feet will not be able to be counted as socks. I also feel that you obviously need more of a callenge in your sock knitting so I place this additional challenge to you... Each of the upcoming months socks to be knit in a new pattern that you have not done before, (it would also be better if each one is more complicated than the one before just to keep it interesting)then any additional socks knit in the same month could be knit any old way you wanted. That way at the end of the year you would have a wonderful, unique collection of socks not quite like any other that will show your progression in skill and time over the year! How bout it?
P.S. I see what you mean about the purple

kim said...

but I do like that soft blue, is there only one skein?

Harriet said...

Did I miss the sale at Beaumont??? I didn't know about it. Boo. I could always have picked up some yarn for tomorrow at KnitMichigan. Maybe I'll try to stop over after work tonight. Hope they're open late tonight. Love your socks - including the purple toes!

Harriet said...

Just realized you wrote this last week, not this week. Guess I really missed the sale at Beaumont. Oh well. 8-)