Thursday, February 11, 2010

Christmas socks

You know how some colours just lift you into a better mood, and some yarns, too? Well, hello red sock yarn, which is providing me with just that double whammy.

I finally got to swatch it yesterday and it's just so far beyond heaven, I can't describe it. Or photograph it, apparently, though the two outdoor pictures at the link above do a better job than this:

Perhaps if I say it's like a glistening ruby on velvet? And that you would never, every believe it's got anything other than the softest wool imaginable in it?

To which I say HA! because there's hard-wearing nylon in there, making it absolutely perfect for the guy socks I had in mind.

The catch: there's 383 yards in the skein, perfect for my feet, but possibly limiting in the leg department for his.

The solution: eke it out with some contrasting stripes. It's not like I don't have a ton of sock yarn in the stash now, right? And if I do it right, heh heh heh, I can use some of the leftovers for socks for me.

The wince: I can't photograph it for you guys, and believe me, I've tried, but this yarn. Is gorgeous. And spun differently than anything else I have. Muddying the waters with some other yarn is just... well, I just don't have anything else in the right weight, let alone in the right solid for a guy.

So I went back to the Biscotte et Cie shop and bought the last skein of semisolid Felix, in the Most Gorgeous Blue, which means I'm striping in a super rich blue and equally rich red, which will make for some pretty wild socks, which I think this guy can totally carry off.

I swatched on 2mm needles because the tighter gauge might make them last longer; I am getting 8 stitches to an inch that way. And none of the guy patterns I can find in that gauge lend themselves to stripes, so I'm thinking I might do a nice simple pattern with 7 stitches to an inch and knit a wide rib on the leg and top of the foot to draw it in a bit in case that was a bad idea.

Which would bring me to Kathleen Taylor's Self Striping Socks, from the All New Homespun Handknit. They have the easiest imaginable toe, and the photographs of the orangey yellow yarn she spun for them are... well, more colour upliftingness is always welcome, isn't it.

And now that I've got all that sorted out: what are the odds I'll get them done in time for next Christmas?

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