Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The air is full of promises

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.


Taphophile said...

Ever so sweet and oh so pink! We have another sock convert. and ust this arvo I'm thinking I need a felted bowl to put feathers in. This stuff is contagious. :)

Bells said...

Olivia your inventiveness astounds me! I'm astonished by your work. Let's talk toe up socks next time we meet. They're next on my list, now that I've got the hang of cuff down socks.

and I love the idea of giving one sock with the promise of another to come. Nice.

Not weaving in ends??? Oh the shame....

zjcroft said...

wow they are really good, I'm impressed. I'm also rather jealous of the fact that you took some very clear photos of your creation..thankfully you bought me that book...I can finally take a photo in which you actually see the subject clearly!

Jejune said...

Lovely socklets, Olivia! I like the way you made the cotton go further by adding another colour. I haven't ventured into toe-up socks yet... must ask you about that!

Djaughan Zelmonde said...

GOOD LORD - I can not believe that I MISSED THIS ENTRY UNTIL NOW!!!! You must have thought me horrid to have remained silent on the topic of MY most BELOVED - toe-up socks!!! Sooooo sorry!! I don't know why, but I only just logged into 'Dreaming All the Time" just now!!!

And yes, what you describe as "icky pastel" I think of as just GORGEOUS!!! Scrummy.

One good thing about commenting late is that I get to see others' comments - I hadn't understood the methodology behind the socks and I am now enlightened - and further appreciative - that obviously "toe-up" socks are a feat unto themselves.

THANKS Olma for the creative mind and sheer effort in producing TWO socks (having to scavenge wool from one sock to complete the other sock!!! WOW!). For the record, I would have been perfectly happy with one sock - as it's gorgeously ornamental.

THANKS Olma. DZ xxx