Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Sock it to me!

Hello there.  Long time, no see.  My bad.  Life has been a bit up and down over the last couple of months with a fair bit going on.  Easter holidays, a short half-term for the girls at school (only five weeks, I think) and then the half-term break last week and although I kept thinking that I should get round to making a blog post, it just never happened.

I also lost my knitting enthusiasm a little bit and just never seemed to get on with what I've been making.  My black sweater has taken a bit of a back seat and my stripy scarf is something that only seems to get worked on every now and then, so there's little progress to show.

Recently though, I put in a pile of my socks to hand-wash (as I usually do) and thought to myself that several of the older pairs were looking a bit tired.  They've lost their elasticity a bit and the colours have faded somewhat.  It was time to replenish the sock hoard, I decided.

Last time I blogged I showed off a skein of blue yarn (a BFL/nylon mix).  I cast on with my 2.25mm needles and whizzed up the first foot, towards the heel.  Did the same number of rows I usually do before starting the gusset.  Did the same number of rounds for the gusset as I usually do.  Looked at the sock.  Thought that it was looking a bit longer than usual, but blithely carried on and did the heel turn.  Looked at the sock again.  This time, decided to put the sock on my foot.  Not only was it too long, it was also a bit baggy on my foot.  I humphed and hmmed and thought how I could rectify the sock which was obviously going to be too big for my feet.  I thought about ripping back to a few rows before the start of the gusset, but that would only solve the problem of the length.  Thought about ripping back a bit further so the stitches would have to stretch lengthwise, thus pulling in the width.  Decided I was kidding myself, took a deep breath, pulled out the needles and before I could think any more, ripped the whole sock back and cast on again, this time with fewer stitches.  Once I'd re-started, these were a fairly quick knit.

Not the most exciting socks, but they do feel nice on.  The yarn was a looser twist than most sock yarns, more like two strands of yarn twisted together rather than the smoother, round yarns that are more commonly available and I think it was the yarn construction affecting my usual tension/gauge that caused the first attempt to come out too big.

After the blue socks, I was in the mood for something bright.  Delving into the stash, I pulled out the Knitting Goddess Same Difference yarn called Summer Sun that I'd bought a while back.  This, I knew, would make for some bright socks.  The yarn's sold as two 50g skeins that aren't identical.  The colours are mirrored, so one colour is dominant in one skein and another colour is dominant in another.  To quote from the Knitting Goddess website:
Same Difference yarns are supplied as 2 x 50 gram skeins , one the mirror image of the other - so they are perfect for subtle colour work projects and socks which look like they know each other rather than match perfectly.
 These were a quick knit and were completed in ten days, so I've now got two new pairs of socks to wear.

Very bright and zingy.

Oh, I forgot - there was a further glitch with the blue socks.  As the pink/yellow ones were knitting up so quickly (I did a lot of knitting on them while I watched a couple of films on TV two evenings last week), I decided that I'd wait until they were finished and sew in the ends on both pairs of socks.  I got my darning needle out last Saturday morning and sewed in the ends of the pink/yellow ones and then went and got the blue ones.  Except, in a 'helpful' mood, DD2 had got there before me and had snipped off the ends of the blue socks, close to the knitting (she admitted it!).  So, I undid the cast off edge, tinked back the last row of ribbing and then cast off again.  Not the end of the world, but mildly annoying.  My fault really - I should have known better.

The Summer Sun socks were knitted to my usual stitch count and number of rows and they're a good fit, so I'm very pleased with them.  I took a photo of the way I currently do my gussets.  I have a high instep, so find that doing the gusset over 30 rows instead of 20 (increase every third row rather than every other row) give me a better fit and the foot stitches don't have to stretch so much.

It makes a nice V on the sole, which then curves around the top for the heel.  I'm definitely a confirmed toe-upper when it comes to socks.  Cuff-down's not for me, I'm afraid!

I'm having a bit of a restful day today.  I did one of those stupid Mum/Housewife things last week and managed to burn the top of my arm just above the knobbly wrist bone on a baking tray last Thursday.  With DD2 at home and getting under my feet, I didn't run the burn under cold water for long enough, so it blistered.  I tried to keep the blister intact, but then bumped it at work on Sunday, so it burst and, to cut a long story short, yesterday morning, it had gone a bit red, was weeping a little bit and my arm was slightly swollen and was starting to ache, so I managed to get an appointment with the practice nurse at my GP's surgery where she had a look and then put on an iodine patch, a protective gauze patch and a bit white square plaster over the whole area.  She also gave me extra dressings so hubby can replace the one she put on, but I've got to keep it dry (hurrah for cling-film so I can shower) and take care of it so it can start to heal.  Not that easy as it's my left arm and I'm left-handed.  I'm going to try and do some spinning in a little while as I've got some Wensleydale fibre I've been spinning that I want to get finished (because, to be honest, it's getting a bit boring).

I shall catch up with you all soon :)