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Archive for February, 2011

The Gift of Socks

As knitters, you and I know the amazing gift that are handknit socks. I’m nevertheless still surprised and not-so-secretly thrilled when the newly-initiated is enthusiastic about their gift. The latest convert is my dad’s wife. She is only the third person I’ve gifted socks to (the first two being two of the people closest to me – my husband and my best friend of 17 years); judging from her reaction, I’m pretty sure she’ll be a repeat recipient.

When visiting us along with my dad in December, she was very complimentary regarding my knitting, and in particular the socks I had recently finished. A former knitter herself, she marveled over the evenness of my stitches (which I assured her was due in part to the blocking process), and how tiny they were. She even exclaimed that the baby cardigan I showed her didn’t look handmade (a compliment that might be misconstrued by some, but I took it in the spirit it was intended). At that point, I decided that she needed a pair of handknit socks.

Pattern: Hedera by Cookie A.

Yarn: Stroll Tonal by Knit Picks in Blue Yonder

Needles: US2/2.75mm

She requested turquoise socks, and when my order arrived from Knit Picks I knew this yarn was perfect for her. This colorway is so gorgeous and vibrant! It makes me happy just looking at it. I decided to go with this pattern for a first pair of gift socks because lacy is stretchy and so I felt somewhat confident that the socks would fit. Also, after the Year of Socks, I wasn’t at all sure how long this pair would take me, so I figured a nice airy, lacy pattern could wear easily into spring. Luckily my sock mojo hasn’t completely left me, and I finished them in about three weeks and popped them into the mail. At this point, the second-guessing set in. Would they fit?! I had kept the cuffs on the shorter side to make sure I didn’t cut off her circulation, but since I personally like taller socks I worried they would be too short. I needn’t have worried; they fit and she loved them. I actually got the thank-you call on my birthday last week, which was a great present! She absolutely gushed about these socks. From the color, to the fit, to the pattern; she couldn’t say enough good things! And she said she couldn’t wait to show them off to her friends, and to tell them how lucky she was to have handknit socks.

So I guess I’ve added another person to my knitworthy list. This could be both a blessing and a curse…

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Itty Bitty Socks!

Pattern: Better-Than-Booties Baby Socks by Ann Budd

Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Blue Lagoon

Needles: US0/2.0mm

These are some baby socks I knit up last month, but only got around to mailing last weekend, for my cousin who is expecting her second child this spring. Her and her husband have decided to keep the gender a surprise, so I tried to make these as gender-neutral as possible. This is the Ruffle Rib version of these socks, and they turned out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. Actually, I don’t say so just myself; she said so too!

I usually don’t have a problem with small needles, but the small needles on such a small sock, and the fact that I’m a fairly tight knitter, resulted in some tired and painful hands at times. I really like the finished product, however, so if I were to make these again I think I would just plan on them taking a while, and working on them in short bursts of time. I accomplished my first short row heel (and toe!) with these little socks, and I really enjoyed the technique. I’m thinking about trying it out on a pair of adult size socks at some point.

As far as progress on the various and sundry projects I’ve started recently, the Hedera socks are done! I mailed them to their recipient on Saturday, and even though I know they won’t arrive for another couple days at least, I’m anxiously awaiting word on how they fit. Today I turned the heel and started the gusset decreases on my 3×1 Ribbed Socks (linked to my Ravelry project page since I’m just winging it and not following a proper pattern). Sadly, the Sockhead Hat is no more. It was shaping up to be one ugly hat, and not in that “I’m wearing a hat so ugly it’s cool” kind of way (I may be getting too old to pull that kind of thing off anymore anyway). I will definitely be making one of these at some point, just not with Knit Picks Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Mermaid Lagoon. I’m thinking that stuff will become another baby knit of some kind. It seems like every third person/couple I know is expecting, so continuing to stock up on baby knits for gifts seems like a pretty good plan. Plus, they go so fast they make me feel good and accomplished!

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From left to right: Sockhead Hat, Hedera Socks, 3x1 Ribbed Socks

Since my newly found “freedom” from what I have taken to thinking of as the Year of Socks (in terms of my knitting at least), I can’t seem to stop casting things on. I have two socks on the needles right now, more than I’ve ever had at one time before (I find that funny, since part of me still revels in not having to knit socks each month. Maybe that’s why I keep casting them on.) and I had to stop myself from casting on for a third pair this evening!

I do have some other projects languishing, and a finished one as well. The finished project is a pair of baby booties for a cousin that is due in May. They’ve been done for a few weeks now, just waiting to be mailed off. The languishing projects are cardigans: one man-sized and one baby-sized. The man-sized sweater is just waiting for me to screw up my courage to sew in a zipper (eep!). The baby-sized sweater is wanting a couple of sleeves, but since there is no specific baby in mind for that one, it can wait. I really am relishing not having any deadlines, self-imposed or otherwise, on my knitting these days. I’m trying not to get carried away and have too many things cast on, or waiting for sleeves and zippers and such. But I’m enjoying following my fancy and casting on as the mood strikes for now.

I do have a bit of stash enhancement to share as well, so watch this space!

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