I really thought I wasn't interested in knitting socks. Mainly because I tend to wear dark, plain, thin socks most of the time. But it turns out, socks are fascinating to knit. Also they are quite quick and make good presents.
Sometime before Christmas I was looking through some single balls of wool which came from my sister. There was one ball of thick soft cotton in one of those icky multi-pastel baby colour combinations. It didn't have a label (just stickytape and a Spotlight price sticker) but think it might be Cleckheaton Fiddle De Dee - though I've only seen pictures on the web so I can't be sure.
My first thought? Yuck! What will I do with this? And hard on the heels of that thought....Djaughan Zelmonde just loooves those multi-coloured pastel baby wools, she's enthusiastically pointed them out to me in shops before. I think this stuff wants to be a cute chunky pair of anklets.
As I knit, I quickly realised there wouldn't be enough for two socks. Unable to locate any Fiddle De Dee except for some bulk lots on ebay, I went looking for a similar weight white cotton. I ended up with adding in a pink section of Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran.
On Christmas Eve I wrapped up ONE chunky cute anklet, and promised to knit the other one ASAP!
Later, I borrowed the single one back to make sure the second one matched. And was horrified to find that I had been in such a rush at Christmas I hadn't even woven in the ends!
There was a further complication. Getting near the top of the second sock, it was clear that there still wasn't enough yarn left. I ended up undoing the cast off and a few rows of the first sock, and finishing both in pink. And in the end I like that look better. I think it makes it neater and more 'together'.
They are toe-up socks using Wendy's figure eight toe and short row heel. I found the toe-up method very intuitive and it was great to be able to try the sock on as I went.
It took me a while to realise why I got that weird spiralling effect (most obvious on the pink section in the top photo - I steamed it out a bit later). I thought it was to do with the yarn twising problems I had with the Desert Garden cotton. But I'm working on another sock now and I realise it's because I was routinely shifting two stitches around each change of needles to avoid ladders. I think I tend to pull the first stitch on each needle TOO tight in an attempt to compensate for the loose one behind it. And now that I have thought that out enough and put it here in writing, I hope I can cure it for the socks I'm knitting now.