January 08, 2006

The year of socks

After diving head first into sock knitting last year (eleven pairs!), I have a bin piled high with enough yarn to make at least that many more - and that doesn't include all the sock yarn I know I will be buying as the year progresses. After all, Stitches West is next month, and just a little bit further is the TKGA show, and I am sure to find sock yarn at both shows that needs to come home with me. I really do love making socks.

So I certainly don't need any incentive to make more socks, but when I saw that the Purling P's have declared this year 200-SOX, how could I resist? I figure if I set myself a goal of making at least one pair of socks per month, I can easily reach that - plus I'll get to see everyone else's gorgeous socks, and maybe find a few more patterns to inspire me to make even *more* socks. You can see how this becomes a self-feeding cycle.

It's a good thing I cast on for my first pair of socks for the year this morning, before I know about 200-SOX. I saw this entry from Polly and immediately rummaged through my bin of sock yarn until I found a skein of Lanna Grossa Mega Boots Stretch yarn. I bought this at the knitting retreat in November, since I figured the colors (dull green twisted with just a hint of color in red and purple) are very muted, it would be perfect for my husband (for some reason he doesn't like wild stripey socks. Go figure). So not only does Polly's Limbo Sock pattern go perfectly with the yarn, it also makes a great pattern for a pair of socks for a guy. Plus the pattern makes it just enough interesting that I will not (hopefully) die of boredom making huge man-sized socks that will take me twice as long as the cute little socks I can make for my little girly feet.

And then, after pondering and tossing aside a number of possible gift ideas for my mom's birthday (which is in a week, I dove back into the sock yarn bin, pulled out another ball of yarn, this one in a varigated watery aqua and blue, and went against normal precedent (for me, at least) and cast on for a pair of Pomatomous socks.This is what happens when you buy more sock needles; suddenly you have multple sock projects going at once.

I have also managed to finish my first two objects for the year. The first is the beret for my little sister, made from some rich red Lion Brand Homespun. I'm not including a picture, however, because I am not happy with how it turned out. The decreases created strange ridges that make the hat look pointy, so I suspect i will be ripping it out and starting over in the near future.

The second completed project, for which I do have pictures, is an illusion scarf, made just for me. I used just under a skein each of Plymouth Encore worsted, in cream and black, on size 6 needles, using this pattern. Please ignore the copious amounts of cat hair on the cat tree I've used to 'pose' the scarf; with five cats, fuzz is a fact of life on upholstered things (and can you tell that the cats who use the tree the most are orange and brown?).

The pattern is easy to follow, and best of all it knits up quickly. I did ten pattern repeats so my scarf is a a bit long, but I wanted something warm because I hear it gets cold in Ireland* and I figure I ought to be prepared.

I am apparently all about starting projects, because along with the two pairs of socks and the half-finger gloves (the first one is almost done but I think I may rip it out because the ribbing is far too loose - either that or cut off the ribbing, pick up the stitches, and use smaller needles to redo it. I haven't decided yet), I have also been doing quite a bit of swatching for the next afghan. I have a small pile of gorgeous varigated yarn in fall colors and I decided it needed some kind of leaf pattern to match the color theme. I've got a swatch in the washing machine right now, waiting to see how the pattern settles, but if all goes well, I'll be able to cast on for the real thing by tonight.

*This year we are finally going to take our honeymoon (we'll have been married five years in July) - if everything goes as planned (all fingers and toes crossed) we're going to Ireland in May. I guess that means I'd better make myself a nice Aran sweater to wear, hmm?

Posted by Jenipurr at January 8, 2006 02:36 PM

Your site along with your cats are awesome. Would you happen to be able to tell me how to obtain the pattern for the cat bed?

Posted by: Rosemarie at January 18, 2006 10:21 AM

The cat bed pattern is free, and available here (from Wendy Johnson's site).

Posted by: Jenipurr at January 18, 2006 10:28 AM