Once More With Feeling

OMWF_mittsThe socks I mentioned the other day are out.  I’ve called them Once More With Feeling to commemorate their magical transformer-style nature.  When the bottoms (inevitably) wear out you can snip one stitch, do ten minutes of finishing, and have a pair of fingerless mitts made from the stitches of the leg.  You know that the feet wear out long before the legs.  (Really, has anyone ever had the leg of their sock wear out?  I know I haven’t ever seen it.)  I hate the idea of throwing out all that perfectly good knitting on the leg.  This is much more fun.

OMWF_closeOn the off chance you think it’s a terrible idea, the pattern also includes instructions for making a standard sock.  And just in case you want mitts now and don’t want to wait for socks to wear out, instructions for making mitts straight away are also included.  The second photo there (the light purple) was provided by Knit Picks and shows their new tonal sock yarn.  Looks to be lovely stuff, but I didn’t want you to wonder why the two colors of purple looked so different.

On another note, turns out you really like the idea of reversible socks.  Who knew?  I’ve finished the leg of the first one and am fiddling with the heel flap, pictures to follow shortly. Now the only thing with reversible socks is that the sole of the sock is going to look dramatically different depending on the side you’ve got showing (well, unless you double knit the sole, but I’m sure not going to do that, so I don’t expect you to either).  Anyone find that to be an insurmountable difficulty, or do you just accept it as the fundamental nature of knitting and carry blithely on?

Still not the Big News

Sock_DetailSo this is still not it.  There’s a good chance the ‘it’ will be discussed tomorrow or Monday.

Instead, I bring you some other news, this time accompanied by a photo.  It’s been an unreasonably long time since there has been a photo of a new sock.  So, with no further ado, a picture.  This is a sock with a bit of back story.  The story is rather rambly.  The short version is ‘new pattern later this month.’  If you don’t want the long version, feel free to wander off now.  I’ll never know.

Ok, now for the long version.  Quite a while ago, I thought ‘I’ll write up a pattern and submit it to an online magazine, that will be fun!’  Turns out what it actually was was hard and frustrating.  Headaches and heartaches ensued.  Unladylike language was used.  I set the pattern (and the partially knitted socks) aside.  They slowly drifted ever farther down the mythical list of things to do.

A few weeks ago, I found myself thinking of them.  I was thinking of them rather a lot.  They’re actually kind of nifty.  It was unfair to abandon them.  They deserved better.  The reason I started thinking of them was that fit of darning I endured earlier this year.  That wouldn’t have been necessary with these socks.  You see, these socks are made in such a way that, should the sole ever wear out, you can unceremoniously remove the feet and turn the lovely lacy cuff into fingerless mitts.  It’s actually pretty clever (I’m biased, but it really does amuse me to no end).  I’m starting to think more socks should be made this way.

And here was this pattern.  Just sitting there.  I took another look, and the things that had seemed impossibly difficult to describe a year ago were suddenly crystal clear.  It turns out that a year of steady practice makes things easier (why did no one ever mention this before).  I whipped the pattern into shape in no time.

Alas, I still had only 1.5 socks (which isn’t terribly photogenic) and no time to finish them.  Also, in a fit of astonishingly poor stash management that still needs to be addressed, I seem to have misplaced the yarn needed to finish that second sock.

Enter the Knit Picks Independent Designer Program.

Now I know this program is a bit controversial.  Some people say ‘oh it devalues designers’ work, you’re selling yourself short, you deserve to be beset by ravenous moths if you even consider it.’  Other say ‘it’s the keenest thing since cashmere, the exposure makes up for the low pattern price, it’s made of sunshine and butterflies.’  I think the truth is somewhere in between.  It’s likely not the venue for your aran sweater masterpiece painstakingly graded for twelve sizes.  But it’s also likely worth considering for some projects.

What sealed the deal for me, at least for this pattern, was the possibility of sample knitters.  Knit Picks wanted a sample of the sock in their new tonal sock yarn.  It’s lovely, and they provide the yarn.  Some of my most trusted and gracious test knitters were willing to knit samples for me.  Knit Picks would take the pictures (the picture up there is an old one of mine, the Knit Picks ones are much better).  This seemed the perfect choice.  I got to send my pattern (and my magical convertible sock notion) out into the world.  I didn’t have to squeeze out time for one more knitting project.  I got to send yarn to some of the people who’ve been such a help to me over the last months.  It seemed too good to pass up.

So that was a (very) long way of saying that the pattern for these will be released around March 25th.  Stay tuned for more details about that conversion bit and (hopefully) some more pictures.