Sock Mountain

Let’s get back to basics for a moment, shall we?  How about some knitting.  I distinctly recall a point when this blog was pretty much all knitting all the time, and I think we could perhaps do with a bit more of that, yes?  So, look, a sock in progress!

DSC_1235You’ll note I’ve piled the sock in progress atop his completed fellow and the ball of yarn, perhaps in an attempt to show him how nice it is to be all big and tall and sock like.  I’m hoping it will encourage him to get with the program.

But, on the off chance it doesn’t work, I’ve taken the reasonable step of enlisting one of my very favorite yarn companies and three magic knitters to work up a few variations of this one for a super secret (hint, not that secret) super fun project later in the year.  I think it’s going to be rather nifty!

Now, if you could all please just provide a motivational talk to the sock there and get it to finish itself off that would be grand.

 

Totally A Sock

I’ve checked, this is totally a sock.  It has all of the sock parts you need to officially declare it a sock.  Even non-knitters could successfully identify it.

DSC_0996The only question is how long will it take me to do the second one.  We all know it will be a while.  Especially since I have sort of a neat idea for a few variations on a theme for this one.

I’m not sure if I’ll end up making a regular pair, a fraternal pair, or if I’ll enlist the help of a favorite yarn company to actually get a few different socks made.  We’ll see how my stamina and organizational prowess holds up.

The next book is off to the printer on Monday, so part of me says I’m mad to start even a small additional project.  But a bigger part says ‘right, so, one project wrapping up…clearly it’s time for seven more.’

Growing

The sock continues to grow!

DSC_0971

Funny how fast that plain bit in the middle goes…there might be something to all those folks who like more sedate socks.  But the plain bit is rapidly approaching its end (which is good, because while it’s fast, it’s not exactly holding my attention).  We’ll be doing a bit of a toe boogie here next.  I predict it will be nifty.

 

 

Attention Span

The sock now has its very own leg and heel flap (and lovely ones at that).

DSC_0964 I’ve figured out how I want to handle the foot and the toes.  I’m quite confident these will be cozy socks.  Alas, knowing how I want them to look means that I’m completely and totally ready for the sock to be done, and I don’t especially want to knit any more of it.

This is actually the problem I have with most knitting.  I love the figuring out bit.  And I love the having the finished object bit.  I’m just not so keen on that middle step…the one where you actually have to wrap the string around a stick thousands and thousands and thousands of times.  I mean I don’t mind it.  It’s actually kind of fun (so long as I only do it for 45 minutes a day and so prevent my elbow from transforming into a fiery ball of stabbing pain).  But it does cut into the time available to figure out new projects.

This is, of course, why I have sample knitters for book projects.  If I had to knit all the book pieces myself, I’d still be on the second book.  But somehow, I’m pretty sure I can’t hire sample knitters for my own personal knitting.  That’s way too much like cheating.  So we’ll just have to count on my desire to actually own these socks to keep me focused until they’re done.  Somebody remind me of that if they’ve not grown any more in a week or two.

A Good Start

Did I mention I’m deep in the middle of the next book (the one that should be out in early fall 2015)?  I’m at that stage where all the patterns are written and most of the projects back with me.  The sock part of the projects look a little something like this.

DSC_0066If you’ve been paying alarmingly close attention for the last little while, you’ll notice that those are six of the seven yarns shown here (the seventh is underway).  Now that they’re here and blocked and stacked up in a nice neat little pile, I’m even more convinced than before that I adore this next book.  It’s going to be a fun year!

Solefull Socks, review and giveaway

I got to know Betty Salpekar last spring at the writing retreat I attended in Washington (that’s her in the back row, fifth from the right).  She was there talking about her fantastic new way of knitting socks.  I got to see many of her amazing creations, and have spent the intervening year trying hard not to follow her around going ‘is it done yet, is it done yet, is it done yet’ like a demented parrot (I figured it wouldn’t actually speed things along, so I refrained).  But now the book is done and out, and I get to share it with you!

solefull socks coverSo, please allow me to present Solefull Socks: Knitting from the Ground Up.  Betty’s done something marvelous here.  She’s worked out a new way of making socks.  Not top down, not toe up, not even side to side.  Instead, this sock starts with the sole and works its way up your foot and leg.  Betty puts it perfectly when she says she “imagined the knitting proceeding exactly like water covers your foot when you step into a warm bath.”

And she’s created precisely what she imagined.  All these socks start with the sole, then work upwards, using clever built in shaping for the heel, toe, and ankle.  This approach creates socks that are both lovely and practical.  This construction allows you to easily reinforce the sole (or replace it down the line if it wears out) and gives you new set of design possibilities for the top of the foot.  The results are stunning.

The construction is perhaps most easily seen in a plain sock knit with a long color repeat yarn: solefull socks 2

But it plays beautifully with fancy stitch patterns too:solefull socks 1

And colorwork looks smashing as well:solefull socks 3

You really can’t go wrong!  And once you see how these socks go together (and try one on), I think you’ll be hooked.  Betty has kindly agreed to help get one of you addicted to this clever new construction.  She’ll send a copy of the book to one lucky winner.  If you think it should be you, just take a look at the patterns in the book and leave a comment here saying which one you’d cast on first!

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Sunday, June 1, 2014 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send the book their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.  The images in this post are from the book and are used with Betty’s permission.

Amenable

The pattern for Amenable, the lovely, versatile socks I’ve been playing with for the last few months, is now up on ravelry.  First things first, some pictures.  Because I’m easily entertained and like pretty pictures.

b primary small

a primary smallNow maybe a bit of that useful information stuff.  Just in case that would  come in handy.  These socks are written for four gauges (6, 7, 8, and 9 stitches per inch), which means you can use fingering, dk, or sport weight yarn (they’re shown here in Caper Sock and Caper Aran by String Theory).  They’re written in eight sizes, which means you’ll be able to fit just about any feet you care to knit for.  And there are two variations for the top of the foot, which means you can either go for something a bit more sedate, or something a bit more enthusiastic.

b top small

a toe smallAnd I’m probably horribly biased, but I think they’re awfully pretty and unreasonably fun to knit too.  If you find yourself itching to make a pair for yourself, they’re waiting for you over on ravelry.

Golden

People, it’s cold outside. Cold and very very snowy.  So I am not going to go outside to try and find a spot with little enough snow that I can take a picture of these.  I know I should, but I’m just not.  You’ll have to settle for a uncharacteristically well-scrubbed kitchen counter and a rare streak of January sunlight.  I think it will serve to show off the pretty quite well enough.

_DSC9436That’s the fat socks (String Theory Caper Aran in Melon) on the right, and the skinny socks (String Theory Caper Sock in Beach Plum) on the left.  The fat socks use the alarmingly-plain-yet-unreasonably-satisfying variant of the pattern, and the skinny socks use the still-soothing-but-slightly-more-swoopy variant.  I truly cannot decide which one I like better.  They’re both rather smashing, if I do say so myself.  And the toes, cutest toes ever!  See?

_DSC9443The pattern will be coming fairly soon (read, likely some time in March).  I’m taking the socks off with me on a bit of an excursion next week and hope to get them photographed while I’m away.  Then it’s a few more rounds with testers, and they’ll be ready for release.

Almost There

The yellow socks are almost done.  Very very close to done.  I just need to remember all the clever stuff I did on the toe of the first one and manage to write it down and do it again, and they’ll be all set.

yellow socksWhich is good, because the fingering weight ones that Katie has been graciously working on for me are not only finished and in the mail, but have arrived here in sunny (cough) Cleveland.  As soon as they’re all done and blocked, I’ll get a picture of both styles on some fake feet and show you what we’ve been up to.  With any luck, I’ll have some proper pretty pictures in February, and the pattern will be out shortly after that.  I think you guys are going to love it!

One Down

Great progress on the sock front.  The first one is done (properly done with ends woven in and blocked and all), and the second one is on the needles.  I’m pleased.  I’m also, you will note, inside.  That’s because it’s snowing outside and warm and toasty inside and I’m not hoping around out there in my sock feet for a blog pic.  Sorry, but I don’t love you that much.  Inside will have to do.

_DSC9097I even managed to take notes as I made it (so often my downfall), and I have the first draft of the pattern written up.  I’ll be working on the second sock, and the alarmingly talented Katie is knitting up a variation of these (with foot swooping fanciness).  Some time early next year, both versions will find their way onto someone’s foot, and I’l take some pics, and a pattern will be had.