A while back, I made some socks for my friend Saucygrrl. I am well into the third pair of socks down the road from that pair, and I only now realized that I never did post pictures of the finished product.
To rectify that terrible omission, here are Saucy’s socks:
They are made from 100% mohair, hand-dyed by Zen Strings, and purchased, as were the blocking forms, from this lovely site that has quickly become my main purveyor of sock yarn. The pattern is Baudelaire by Cookie A.
This was the first time I had ever tried a toe-up method, which was fun and novel at first, but I found the whole wrap-and-turn nonsense at the gussets to be way too demanding of my attention.
Since I like to knit my socks while watching costume drama on Masterpeice Theatre (I swear to god they could film episodes of The Love Boat in period dress and I wouldn’t give a damn as long as there were handsome British men in breeches and cravats cavorting about, manfully repressing their feelings…) this method forced me to waste too much of my attention on the knitting and not enough on the cravats.
But I did love the combination of cables and lace. I just wish, in retrospect, that I had chosen a deeper color to work this pattern in. I shall have to try again, this time with a deep, dark jewel tone.
Much like the socks I am knitting now, in fact:
This is another Cookie A pattern, charmingly known as Monkey, using Cherry Hill ultramerino, I think. I am lousy at saving the actual names of my yarns. But this one is a fantastic, rich red, and it is coming out even better than I had hoped.
Sadly, I am less thrilled with the pattern than I thought I would be — only because I knit with four needles, and this repeat calls for purls at both ends of each needle, which causeth the yarn to stretch at the “seams.” Henceforth, I will eschew patterns with purls at both ends of the needles, because it is impossible to pull the yarn taut enough between purl stitches across needles.
I also recently finished these:
And I am sorry but you are just going to have to take my word for it that that is what these actually look like:
…because I am incapable of taking good pictures of knitting. I don’t want to use the flash, because you lose all the good detail and the true color with the flash, but if I don’t use the flash then the shutter time is too long and it comes out blurry.
I have spent so much time in the past two years getting good at knitting that I have completely failed to become good at photography. Alas. It shall have to be an obsession for another time.
Anyway, the brown ones are the ones I made, and the green ones are the actual pattern photo — AGAIN from Cookie A. I am STUPID for her sock patterns.
Not sure what’s next in sockville, because I am planning on taking a brief respite from socks for a while and try something I’ve never tried before: a lacy shawl. Check this out:
Photo and knits by Brooklyn Tweed, whose take on this pattern I really like. In the pattern book this shawl is very pale and pastel and diaphanous (ick), and I really like how he’s solidified it into a more striking and dramatic piece. I’ve already ordered yarn very similar to this, by the same amazing yarn people at Sundara Yarns.
I am really looking forward to working with some completely luxurious and awesomely seductive yarn, as Sundara is reputed to be.
I just don’t get people who knit with crap acrylic yarn. I like to knit for the process, to watch something useful and wearable and beautiful slowly form out of the painstaking arrangement of one long, long bit of string. Then I like to give the stuff I’ve knit to people who I think might appreciate it at least a little bit as much as I do.
But saving money is totally not the point. I spend money on yarn and needles and patterns the way I used to spend money on taking myself out to eat, or buying books. It is one thing that is totally for me, to suit my interests and desires. I knit something because I want to. And part of that equation includes asking myself:
what color do I want to spend my time with for the next couple of weeks?
what sort of texture do I want to run my fingertips along for hours at a time?
what new techniques can i wow myself with this time?
Knitting with hand-spun wool connects me to the community of knitters who feel the same way. When I buy yarn from a tiny little outfit like Sundara, or Zen Strings, I am linking myself to the folks who thought it was worth their time to carefully, painstakingly create a skein of yarn that was a DELIGHT to the eyes and the touch.
Because that’s exactly why I knit.
That, and because I never thought I could be good at something so delicate and exacting. And I flip myself out every time I realize that I am really actually not at all bad at this.