Friday, March 25, 2011

Knit Wedge sock. Love.

The last couple of months my brain has been churning with sock design ideas. Of course, in order to determine whether the design is viable a sock must be knit, and in the knitting process problems are revealed, changes must be made to the design, and it all takes a lot of concentration and time. Eventually a sample sock emerges. And the sample often doesn't match the glorious mental image that inspired it. It can be a letdown, and often I feel the urge to put the sock aside (just for a day or two!) and try out the next amazing idea. And that's how I end up with an embarrassing number of single sample socks for which the patterns have not been written.

Anyway, for a change (and to put off tedious pattern-writing even longer) I decided to knit somebody else's pattern that's been on my queue for several months. It's Wedge, by Cookie A, from her book Knit. Sock. Love. I've long been an admirer of Cookie's designs and books, but so far I've only knit two of her sock patterns, Hedera and the ubiquitous Monkey (no-purl version, though). Pomatomus was the first one I ever put on the queue, and there it rests. Someday…

Back to Wedge. This design is insanely clever. After doing 3 of the wedge sections I had to draw an elaborate diagram of how they fit together in order to reassure myself that I hadn't gone off track. My diagram revealed the true cunning structure of the sock. Added bonus - all stitch counts are multiples of 8, one of my favorite numbers. Is that cool or what?

For my Wedge socks I'm using yarn I purchased at Sock Summit 2009 - Adorn Sock, by 3 Irish Girls, in colorway "Starry Starry Night". This beautiful colorway was one of 3IG's Dye for Glory contest entries, and by the time I got to their booth in the Marketplace they were swamped with orders. In fact, I didn't receive my order until the following January, after I had lost all hope of seeing it. I absolutely loved the yarn but that 6-month delay spoiled it a little. So I stashed the yarn and every few months would take it out to admire. But now more than a year has passed and that yarn's time has come! It's turning into terrific Wedge socks! Even the short-row heel, which usually doesn't fit me well, came out great on sock #1. Thank you Cookie for another satisfying sock experience!

Uh-oh, I feel a new sock idea bubbling up… Must finish 2nd Wedge sock.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Well, not here here, but at Jimmy Beans Wool, for a fun two hours of talk about her history with Lorna's Laces (oh, that Lorna!) and JBW, and her new book: The Knitter's Guide to Hand-Dyed and Variegated Yarn: Techniques and Projects for Handpainted and Multicolored Yarn

It was a short-notice thing so the group was small, but that made it more informal because we could sit around the table and chat like at Knit Night.

Lorna's book is terrific. It contains techniques, patterns and stitches for keeping your beautiful hand-painted yarn from knitting up into big pools and weird shapes. She brought all the samples shown in the book so we were able to spread them out on the table, examine them and stroke them.

I wore purple for the occasion in Lorna's honor, and of course she did too. In fact she wore a shawl knit in the Purple Club colorway, and told a cute story about how that name came about.

All in all, a great way to spend a gloomy Saturday afternoon!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Silk Road Socks

I have lots of sock books, piles and piles of them. When a new one comes out I reflexively buy it. I like to read them, admire the photos, study the designs and techniques used, and occasionally even knit a sock from them. So when I read that Hunter of Violently Domestic was going to publish a new sock book, naturally the reflex kicked in and I pre-ordered it.

I received my hard copy last week and Silk Road Socks is beautiful. It's not just that the designs are wonderful, or that it contains interesting facts about the Silk Road, rug styles and construction, weaving, and so on. Every detail is beautiful, from the closeup photos of the socks, knit with gorgeous yarns, posed on matching rugs, to the illustrations, to the fonts used. This book is perfect in every way.

I was showing Silk Road Socks to The Spouse, forcing him to admire the wonderful photography, and he said, "You should make me this one." This one was Gördes, the first pattern in the book, and as I eyed the photo the first thing that struck me was, Look at all those purls and twisted stitches. My poor arm! The second thing was, How can I modify this 64-st pattern to fit him? It's an elegant design with charted patterns worked twice around the leg so that the edges mesh. No room for simply adding stitches. Thankfully Hunter has a section in the intro called "Resizing the Right Way", which is applicable not only to her patterns but to sock patterns in general.

I'm still reluctant to start a Gördes sock project for The Spouse - if I made this sock it would be for me! And what about all my other projects? So many wonderful sock patterns, so little time...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Caught in the act

...of talking with Casey at a Ravelry meetup at Stitches West. My tiny gray head is visible in one of the photos posted on the main Ravelry page. If I had known that a camera was lurking about I would have ducked.

Thanks to Kristen at Jimmy Beans for pointing this out!