Archive for April 2011

The sky goes on forever in a symphony of song

April 16, 2011

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Pattern: Falling Leaves by Jessica Landers
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential (75% merino, 25% nylon), colorway Tuscany Multi
Needles: U.S. 1.5 (2.5mm) 47″ nickel Options fixed circulars (two-at-a-time magic loop)

According to my notes, I started these socks on December 24, 2009. It was Christmas Eve. I must have been just finished with Christmas knitting and craving something for myself, something long-term and of my own choosing, something as different from the large-gauge accessories I was making for friends and family as could be. At least that’s how I imagine it. That was 16 months ago. Frankly, I have no idea what I was thinking.

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What I do know is that I worked my way past the heel of these toe-up socks and encountered dismay. I had started the gusset too late; the foot was too long. I stuffed them in a bag and pushed them to the back of my pile of WIPs. And there they stayed until after the following Christmas, when I was drawn back to them through guilt about starting anything new for myself when I had a year-old WIP in hibernation. I pulled them out; I tried them on; I decided they weren’t unworkably big, and that I should carry on.

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And here they are, not form-fitting but perfectly serviceable and quite elegantly patterned. Just as sock weather is ending, I have squeezed in a few wearings, enjoying the workhorse yarn matched with the eyelet lace pattern, like a piece of ornate silver gracing a rough-hewn country table. And I wonder what took me so long, and why so many socks went unknit because these were languishing unfinished.

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It’s they that are lost, it’s they are confused

April 9, 2011

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Pattern: Hedgerow Socks by Jane Cochran
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential Kettle Dyed (75% wool, 25% nylon), colorway Spruce
Needles: U.S. 1 (2.25mm) Knit Picks Options nickel fixed 47″ circulars (two-at-a-time magic loop)

It has been two years since I finished a pair of socks. I have dozens of socks in my queue — gorgeous socks with cables and traveling stitches and complicated charts that take up three pages. But none of them could get my sock knitting mojo back. For that I needed — a trip.

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You see, socks mean travel knitting to me. They are impressive for the observer, they last through multiple cross-country plane rides, and when you’re done you can wear them right away. But there’s a hitch. The complicated sock patterns I love to knit make terrible travel knitting. You have to keep your charts in front of you at all times, and the pattern is constantly changing. For travel socks, you need simplicity. But simplicity is boring.

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That’s why I love these socks. Ribbing, but ribbing that demands attention. Double moss stitch in between columns of knits and purls. A basic yarn that unexpectedly becomes a smooshy soft cushion for your feet. In just two lengthy trips, I went from cast-on to round toe. Sock knitting is back in my life, and now that I’m home for the next few months, those complex cables are calling me.