This freeing up the needles thing is good for getting rid of lonely hearts. It's like a yarn smoochathon. It's how I spend my weekends and evenings.
After finishing pair #5, I wound up the little remnant of yarn and decided that I needed to organize my remnants. I have various glass bowls containing my leftover bits of yarn. Sometimes I wind them into balls; sometimes I just throw in the leftovers (I always knit from the outside of the skein after a couple of tangled yarn barf entrail disasters).
So today I decided to collect up as many of my leftovers as I could find, wind them all up into little balls, and place them in one big bowl. I have a couple of large glass bowls from Michaels. The opening has about a 12" diameter, so they're pretty big. Usually they hold full cakes of yarn or the second cakes waiting to be knit into second socks.
I started with this many.
Then I collected the leftovers.
Then I wound for about two hours.
It's too dark and rainy out to take a profile shot. That will have to wait. But the bowl is about 3/4 full of little balls of yarn.
In the process of opening my plastic drawer things to retrieve the old yarn leftovers, I found the first sock I ever knit. It's fitting that this is Second Sock month (or whatever it's really called).
So I decided to take a photo of it to show precisely why there is only one. This one was knit some time before April 15, 2009. The first couple of pages of my first knitting journal (a Moleskine grid book) are missing, so I don't know when I started it, but the next project in there is the orange cotton Monkeys which I started on April 15, 2009.
I have to say, all socks look better on blockers or models. Any shapeless hopeless sock is elevated to artificial beauty by being stuck over a hosiery model. Best. Knitting. Investment. Ever. (Lola the leg, that is).
I don't even remember the pattern - it might be one of the ones from Knitting with Handpainted Yarns or Vogue Socks or 25 Favourite Socks. Those were my first sock books (with the exception of the Ann Budd Learn to Knit Socks Book which I lent to someone and never got back).
Since the first pages of the knitting journal are missing, I have no idea what the actual pattern is, how many stitches there are, or what size needle I used. The yarn is one of those German workhorse yarns with "wool" and "polyamide". The sock feels like a Scotchbrite pad. Honestly, you could scrub dirty lasagna pans with this thing.
In fact, I may even create a project page on Rav for it and will call it the Brillo sock. But then it will haunt me forever as a WIP. Hm. I do have the rest of the skein, but I'm not overly anxious to knit something in barfy pastels (I loathe and detest pastels -- WHAT was I thinking?) which feels like I'm knitting with jute. This stuff probably wears like iron, but your feet might bleed. I'll find some other way to exfoliate, thanks very much.
Brillo can remain as a monument to my first attempt at sock knitting. Check out how poorly I picked up the gusset stitches. No, that's not another set of the lacy things on the side of the gusset flap. It's not a design element. It's just complete knitting butchery. The heel flap itself is okay, but the short row shaping on the bottom for the heel turn was a disaster. I retract that. Even the heel flap is awful.
It was probably knitted on 2.75 mm needles. I only use those for colourwork now.
The real object of this post is to show Pair #5. It's the Day of the Dead socks which I started last July.
We're supposed to take "before" shots for the SKA Sockdown August thread, so that's what I did. I started with the first completed sock, and the second half of the ball of yarn.
Let me digress....I have NO idea what the yarn is. I have kept all of my wound cakes of yarn in one of the ginormous rubbermaid bin things, and they used to be aranged by colour. So there was a dark corner where several skeins of black / dark something-or-other lurked. And the labels are awol.
Oddly, there aren't that many of my favourite dyers who actually dye black yarn. So the choices were limited. It could be Blacklight by Hazel Knits either in Artisan or in Entice (I had a knotty/naughty skein of each wound up). Or it could possibly be Rhinoceros Beetle in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga. It's also possibly something either from Zen Yarn Garden or Impulse of Delight. I thought that it was probably an MCN blend, but the actual knitted fabric doesn't feel particularly soft. So it's a mystery.
I was under the impression that it was the Rhinoceros Beetle. And because I tend to knit my socks taller than a lot of people do, I tend to use a lot of yarn. So I was afraid I was going to run out part way through the second sock. So I ordered a contingency skein of Rhinoceros Beetle in Bugga from Verdant Gryphon (and ordered 3 of the Jasmine soaps -- that was the first soap sample I ever got from Sanguine Gryphon, and I was so enamored of it that I kept it at my desk to sniff. It was like crack. And not once during all of my Sanguine Gryphon buying days did they have it in stock. Until now. So it was fate. I had to scoop up all three left in stock. So if you were hoping for some of the Jasmine soap, I hate to disappoint you. I waited 4 years to get mine. The Verdant Gryphon will probably have it in stock again in 2018. Keep your eyes peeled.).
But I did in fact have enough of my mystery black sock to finish up. So now I'll have a skein of black Bugga. And I am NOT caking it or taking off the label.
I was cursing myself while I was doing this sock. I'm old and going blind. Black yarn under artificial light at night is just about the dumbest idea on the planet. The only thing which would have made it more difficult would have been to use carbon fiber needles. That actually would have been the dumbest idea on the planet.
....Next to driving with your arm hanging out of the window. That just drives me nuts. It's one of my pet peeves. Not only do you not have enough fingers inside the vehicle to assist in steering and gear changing, you could end up severely smucked and armless. The other thing that drives me nuts about drivers is the people who throw their cigarette butts out the window. I always have aggressive fantasies about stopping behind the offender at the next red light, running out of my car to retrieve the butt, and stuffing it in their window (because of course, they're often the drivers who drive with one arm out the window -- easier to toss the butts that way). I've never actually done it. But I've thought about it. I call them aggressive fantasies.
I'm digressing again, aren't I?
Here's Pair #5. I decided not to embroider a skeleton on sock #2. I think it would detract from how special sock #1 is. Plus I'm lazy.
The pattern is Day of the Dead by Star Athena. I think it's one of the coolest (and sadly, one of the most under-appreciated) socks ever. It comes from Socks for All Seasons. I'd suggest getting the entire e-book. It's totally worth the $24.99 pricetag. There are some really very, very funky socks in it. That Star Athena is pretty darned brilliant.
Anyway, the sock has kind of a textured cuff thing (purls, knits, p2tog and yo), then the leg is a 7-row pattern, 5 of which rows are plain stockinette. There's just a bit of a clever thing to make the little eyelets which go down the front and the back (the centres of the little daisies).
The eyelets continue down the heel. I noticed that the actual pattern reduces it to a 6-row repeat (I think), but I did the first sock in the same 7-row repeat (5 repeats dow the heel), so I did the same thing on the second one. It's tall, but not outside the range of reasonableness. My standard heel flap is 32 rows, and this was 35, but there are no slipped stitches which tend to snug things down a bit. Anyway, the pattern calls for a standard heel gusset decrease (which I actually did), and then continuation of the eyelets down the foot.
I did the cuffy thing on 2.5 mm needles, and then my knitting book told me that I switched to 2.25 mm needles for the leg. There are 68 stitches in the pattern. On the foot I decreased down to 64 stitches.
Anyway, I love them. Even Sabastian thinks they're cool.
It makes me want to wear them in public with shorts so that their true awesomeness can be appreciated from all directions. These babies were not meant to be hidden under pants.
The other thing I have discovered is the KnerdGirl Knits video podcast. I started at episode 1 and am on episode 10. It's a great knitting podcast. It's a mother '/ daughter show, and they're interesting, entertaining, engaging and funny. There's enough sock knitting to hold my attention, and there are interesting book reviews and random bits. Love. Check it out.
Kris (the mother) was reviewing The Disappearing Spoon (an interesting romp through chemistry and the periodic table of the elements) and mentioned silver poisoning which turns your skin blue. If you google "blue skin" and "colloidal silver" you'll see the results. Look at the images. It's fascinating. It's caused by people who take prolonged doses of colloidal silver in some misguided attempt to rid themselves of infections. Silver does have some anti-microbial properties, but it's not meant to be consumed like coffee. The skin permanently turns grey-blue, but there are no harmful effects otherwise. It's utterly fascinating. Instant zombie.
Okay, that's enough rambling for today. Must now think about what Pair #6 will be. I don't know if I have the attention span for Flaming Desire right now. I've done the ribbing for it, but I want something more mindless. I also have my Wollmeise for the Skyp and managed to find the HK Artisan for the second Ripple Weave sock.