it’s a sock parade today

Posted on Posted in projects, Uncategorized

sometimes i feel like i’m cheating a little at blogging when i show sock pictures and talk about them. it’s sort of what i fall back on when i don’t have any big developments to run on about. i mean, i am not what i would call a Sock Knitter. i knit socks mostly for functional purposes, and mostly for they guys in my life. i knit them to try out new yarns, and to test fibers that i am interested in spinning more of.

but i suddenly realized that sock life is exploding all around me—they are not staying in the background of my knitting life the way they usually do. i am adding laciness and patterning, and thinking of all sorts of ways to make them more interesting for the people who wil be receiving them. this might not last long, so i’m gonna go with it.

mondays are big sock knitting days for me because i teach classes all day, and i can work on them while still paying attention to the knitting of my students (at least, i am under the impression that i am still available to them while i do this . . .)

first up, someone asked me for a modeling shot of the waterfall socks, and i realized that, yeah!—it would be helpful to know what the lace pattern actually looks like (duh). here you go

it really is a pretty rib pattern—very crisp, and yet open, too. i’ve admired this pattern in books for years, but never used it before. i was waiting for the perfect moment, so to speak, and then this yarn came along and voilá, it was cascading down the leg of a sock.

i started sock number two in the rococo set, which i am inordinately excited about, even though this is not a style i would be likely to wear. again, i’ve been eyeing the lace pattern in a book for some time, but i knew from the beginning that it was a sock leg, and it had to start at the toe. it took me a little time to get my toe-up mojo going on, but now, here it is.
it’s one of those things i make that i feel will “decorate someone with love”, letting them know that i celebrate their taste, which is not like mine at all, but which i find intriguing in its foreignness.

and which, in the process of exploring it, attracts me more and more until i begin to change the way i think. my appreciation of that style grows from considering it a “pretty something” for someone else, to being able to see it in a more sophisticated way—that is is a piece of my language. i start to imagine socks like these in a different palette altogether—smudgy charcoal, slate blues, rich aubergine, or sludge gray-green—so that the highlights and lowlights of the pattern change, and then i am completely taken with them, and it has nothing to do with another’s taste.

and well, with so much going on in my head between those kind of socks, i need my downtime too. that’s where the mailTrexx come in

they are plain. plainer than plain, even. but so straighforward and strong-looking. i am probably going to do a traditional slip-stitch heel on these, even though i don’t use that heel much any more—these might end up being real workhorses for the recipient, so i want that padding at the back. i may even dig up the instructions i have somehwere for a slip-stitch under-heel, to make that area padded too.

i started another new pair of mitts last night, in a pattern i wrote up last weekend but hadn’t tried yet. these will be for david’s mom, along with a coordinating scarf.

the yarn is handspun, and angora/wool blend from a local producer. i’ve always loved gray and pink together, and made myself a nice warm ribbed sweater from this yarn a couple of years ago. i have plenty left, and i think she might like the colors. i love the cable on these—just in that one place on the wrist, like a watch or a bracelet.

i think i mentioned that i did a little dyeing on sunday with my friend beckie. i didn’t have too much i wanted to do; i tried to tinge some gray yarn i have to make it a little blue, but i don’t think it worked. it doesn’t look any bluer, and a lot of dye came out when i rinsed it, so, i’m not sure about that.

but i did get some gorgeous dyed roving accomplished from beckie’s leftovers. she had a small bucketful of dye bath that was not exhausted; a blend of reds, crimsom, and vermilion. so i ran up and grabbed a hunk of this soft columbia fiber that was a gift from debbie (and steve!), and dunked it in.

not a hot red, but a cool, blue-toned one—something i would not have set out to get, but which i love. i could see this as a startling pair of socks . . . . indeed.

OOPS. i almost forgot a new pair of socks i started (i think this makes a record number of six pair on the needles at once, but hey, it’s christmas!). this is my first tryout of austermann step

and, as you can see here, it is hard to take one’s hands off of it once one gets going (one being me). this yarn is n-i-i-ice. i’m looking forward to making myself a pair with it to try the cushiness out for myself. meanwhile, this pair will go with the waterfall and rococo sox to the same recipient. just to keep her down to earth.

24 thoughts on “it’s a sock parade today

  1. Ummm, what a choice. Something for every mood. I think that I rather like the texture and colours of the austermann step. Although the waterfall pattern is very elegant.

  2. You *have* been knitting a lot of socks! I’ve got some of that austermann step in my stash but I haven’t tried it yet. Glad to hear that you like it.

  3. I’m so envious of your wonderful socks. I haven’t had time for knitting socks lately, since I keep socks for myself and this time of year is usually reserved for knitting gifts. Hurry up January!!!

  4. Anne you’ve “stumbled” onto something I think.*wink* That dyed roving is beautiful, maybe a “Red Sock Project” to go along with the “Red Scarf Project” which is out there.

    It all looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve heard lots of great things about the Austerman Step – staying away from it for now.

  5. What kind of heel do you usually use, then? I am still a big fan of the slipped stitch, but I haven’t branched out much. I do short row when I do toe-up, but cuff-down was my first love, so there!

  6. Not a sock knitter, eh? Doesn’t look that way to me! 😉

    This may be a silly question, but is that last sock from one single skein, or cobbled together from multiple skeins? I ask because the bands of color seem to be a lot wider than I usually see in self-striping sock yarns.

  7. Ah go ahead and cheat 🙂 Love the parade of socks… and to think I was feeling guilty for casting on a 2nd pair of socks last night before completing the pair I was already working on.

  8. I love that lace pattern, just gorgeous. I may even have yarn to do it in. Very nice! I like heel flaps myself. I’ve never mastered the short-row heel, so I can’t say if it fits better or worse. I have narrow heels and the heel flap works well with my feet. Short-row heels in regular socks always slip down on my shoes and that is irritating. I love your cabled mitts too. I’m gonna have to get that pattern. I’ve been all about the accessories lately. Hmm.

  9. Hi,

    I would like to order the Rococo and Waterfall patterns, but I can’t find a way to do it on your website. Would you please e-mail me with a Pay-pal invoice?

    they are gorgeous.

    Thank you.

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