Back again…

I didn’t mean to be gone so long again. Neither Archie, my laptop, nor I is having the easiest of summers. We decided to send him to Applecare right after the July 4th holiday weekend. On the second of July, M took me to after-hours care with a headache that nothing would make better. It turned out to be a “mixed” headache: both tension and migraine. 🙁 I got two shots, which made the headache go away for nearly two days, but less severe headaches keep coming back. That hasn’t made we want to do more than what I have to do for work on Archie, who seems to have fared better than I. He has a new logic board, thermal module and thermal sensor wires. He is now staying nice and cool. I wish I could get new parts like that!

Last post, I showed the finished toes of the Gentleman’s Fancy Sock from Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. At first, I thought the Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Potluck in Blues/Purples I was using looked better in the skein than in the sock, but it grew on me. I’m quite pleased how well these turned out.
Gentleman's Fancy Socks
To make these for me and not a gentleman, I started at 72 stitches and decreased to 64, which I further decreased to 60 when working the gussets. I also did a slip-stitch heel flap instead of stockinette; I also did a wide toe, but I don’t know if that was part of the pattern or not (which is upstairs, and I’m lazy).
Gentleman's Fancy Socks: heel flap
Half-way down the foot of the first sock, I realized I had changed the instep pattern to one knit row instead of two between the alternating sets of 2×2 rib. I couldn’t see a real difference, so I kept on going and did the second sock the same way. I also made sure I made these long enough before starting the toe: 1.5 inches from the total length not 2 inches, like many patterns suggest.

I liked this pattern stitch for an easy sock as it was more interesting than just 2×2 rib (doing 8 row sets of rib seemed to go faster than just measuring length), but I obviously didn’t need the pattern to keep going. I like having such a sock in progress: not too dull but not requiring a lot of mental power to stay on track. Once these were done, I didn’t feel like knitting the second Retro Rib Sock yet, so I looked for another such pattern. Luckily, Anne had just offered the Roger Sock for sale, and I knew it would look great in some BFL superwash sock yarn from Little Dog Designs. I really like the BFL yarn; it has a nice luster, and the dye job is great! The colorway is called Poseidon, and is richer than this photo suggests (it’s a billion degrees outside–I’m not going outside to photograph anything much less wool today–see lazy comment above–I am doing laundry in a 90+ degree garage).
Roger Sock: pattern detail
Well, that’s enough computer time for today, as tomorrow I’ll be referencing a manuscript, which will try Archie’s and my patience to the limit. But I need to point out that M has been diligently blogging at Cocktails with M this summer! He’s had no comments. The Side Car is one of my favorite cocktails. Cheers!

When only pretty will do

I felt the need for pretty this past week, so out of the bazillion WIPs I have, these two got the most attention.
Tudor Grace-long view
Tudor Grace pattern from Knitspot, which I’m knitting in the scrumptious Silk Sock from Yarn Lust in Currant. It’s 70% merino/30% silk, soft and strong, warm but not wooly, and it has a little sheen to it. Did I mention it’s soft? Babies weep that their bottoms aren’t this soft. And of course, the Tudor Grace pattern is a dream. It’s very easy, but still fun to knit. There are 3 “lace” rows to the 10-stitch, 6-row repeat, and one row has a double YO, one has a right twist and the other changes the order of the left and right slanting decreases. So, it mixes things up a little. Easy but not monotonous. And it is pretty!
Tudor Grace WIP
On a rainy day last week, I thought about starting the Flicker sock, but I had this wonderful pink and green sock yarn that look so cheerful and springlike that I couldn’t resist. I did stick with a Cookie A. pattern however.
Monkey leg
I finally got around to trying the Monkey sock. I know they are called a “lace” sock, and I haven’t been one to knit lace socks, although I’ve made an “official” decision to get over that in 2009 (hence the Flicker sock). However, the Monkey sock is lace? Really, people? That’s like saying YO increases along a raglan edge are lace. These socks have “decorative increases” paired with directional decreases. That’s my take on it. It is knitting up very pretty in this yarn I bought from a local dyer at our Farmer’s Market last October. Here it is stretched out on my sock blockers:
Monkey leg stretched
When talking with the dyer, she promised me there would be no pooling as she did very short color repeats. There is no pooling and her color repeats are short. The base yarn is identical to Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, which knits up very nicely.
Monkey sock yarn
The Monkey sock may become my “go to” pattern for highly variegated yarn if these socks fit me well. Because we like the pretty handknits when it’s rainy and grey outside.