May 13, 2013

FO: Shur'tal Socks with Modifications

Despite this just-kill-me-now cold that I have had for the last two weeks on top of allergies [there has been pollen coating (think 5000 pollen particles per square inch) my car, my house, and everything else here for the last 4 weeks, at least, and it still keeps coming] and the hub-bub of the remodeling on the new house (located an hour from where we currently live) in between the kids' school hours, the Honey's office hours, my 24-7 yarn business, and stupid car problems, you would think that there would be no time for knitting socks.  Au contraire!  There is always time for knitting socks.  It might surprise you just how much time one can squeeze out of a jam-packed day for knitting socks.  With that said, I have finished the Shur'tugal socks in about a week's time.  Ok, well maybe you will think that I cheated on this one, but they are finished. They are just a modification of the original pattern.

They are toe-less because they are pedicure socks for my mama.  You know, for when you get your toes done in the winter but it's too cold to just wear flip-flops out to the car. I've actually been thinking that they would make great flip-flop socks for the summer months, too, if they were in a lighter weight yarn.  It's a funny thing, but in the summer, with all of the very necessary air conditioning, feet sometimes get cold in flip-flops.  This is a very flip-flop oriented household.  It could be 21 degrees F. and Rocket will be in shorts and flip-flops (and have very cold feet!)  However, it's the middle of May in Georgia, mind you, and it was 44 degrees F. this morning.  So, perhaps sock weather will just continue for the rest of the year.  It's an eerie feeling that this weather has created ... not sure if I am living along the shores of Lake Michigan or if I am still in Georgia where it is usually about 95 degrees F. by this time of the year.

Regardless, my socks look great and my mama loved them for Mother's Day. This is a pattern that I can definitely recommend!

May 03, 2013

Zen of Sock (And Glove) Knitting

There are probably a zillion posts about the reasons to knit socks. Many people knit them because they are a simple take-along project (provided you have the right bag to carry them in) that can be worked while waiting pretty much anywhere. (And we do a lot of waiting around, don't we.)  Personally, I think I knit socks for these reasons:

1.  They are a small project that can be knit up in a week or two--nearly instant gratification.
2.  I can knit two socks at once, so when I'm done with one, I'm done with the other.  Again, instant gratification.
3.  The entire project fits in my purse and, if I am in a restaurant or at a sporting event, in my lap.
4.  Who doesn't love to wear hand knit socks?
5.  All of that knitting in circles gives me time to reflect, calm down, be patient, and work out life's problems in my head.
6.  You can talk to your sock project when it isn't behaving and it never has a smart reply (unlike children).
7.  Non-knitters and novice knitters think sock knitting is intensely difficult (which it totally isn't with a little practice) and therefore hold you in the highest of esteem.
8. Knitting socks is, well, just plain fun.
9. Sock knitting is an addiction that leaves you with a prize at the back end, even if it empties your bank account on the front end.
10.  Knitting socks is a necessary activity to justify to your husband why you have vast quantities of sock yarn in your stash.

There are things that I don't like about socks, particularly working the gusset of a dutch heel, though I love socks with dutch heels; but if the going really gets rough on those heel stitches, and you've been knitting your socks from the cuff, down, then you can always just make a pair of gloves.  With socks, there's always a winning scenario. This of course, is not the case with sweaters that require set-in sleeves, which is why I knit socks instead of sweaters with knit-in sleeves.

There is progress to report on my current sock project ... heels are nearly complete and soon it's on to the gussets.  These babies are in the home stretch! (which is good because my Favorite Socks book has arrived and I have already selected the next pattern and am chomping at the bit to cast on!)

So while on the subject of turning socks into gloves, I've been holding on to this pattern, Urbanista, that really should just be a free pattern because it involves really no major construction tricks or secret patterns.  It's just a ribbed tube with a thumb.

Incidentally, a friend of mine knit this same pattern in my Anya DK (silk/alpaca/merino) and the pattern came out equally well in the heavier weight yarn.  Actually, her gloves have more structure to the fabric than mine in the fingering weight.  And while I do hold to the claim that my hand dyed and hand painted yarns won't fade or bleed, I will say that a considerable amount of fading is inevitable if you, say, accidentally throw your finished product (like the gloves in the pattern photo) into the washer with jeans, sweatshirts, and Borax.  All that I can say is that I was distracted by a child at the time of the accident. It was a sad day when I pulled the laundry out and discovered my much faded gloves.

So here's the pattern link (or you can just click on the picture in the patterns section on the left):  Urbanista Fingerless Gloves. It's always good to have a back-up plan if your heels go awry.

Until next time, love the yarn you're with!



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