I'm entertaining a little eyestrain as a result of all this close work I've been up to, so last night I put the needles down and browsed through my newly acquired copy of Carol J. Sulcoski's Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn.
Also known as 'the book I needed before I started the variegated socks.'
This is an excellent book and I would be proud to wear any of the socks in it: if you've been thinking about getting it some time, my advice is to stop thinking and just treat yourself.
In addition to the ones on the cover by Jody Pirrello, my particular favourites are Laura Nelkin's Whirlpool Socks:
I probably couldn't face putting all those tiny beads onto the yarn but if you click on the image to see them up close I think you'll agree they are stunning. Maybe I could get somebody else to do the beads for me, or plan that activity for a day without eyestrain.
... and Veronik Avery's Staccato Socks (yes, I do hate myself for not knowing how to put the accent over the e in Veronik's name, especially since just typing that means I've butchered it twice) which are designed to make use of leftover sock yarn but also would be beautiful with just one yarn, I bet:
Okay, having established that, and bearing in mind that these patterns both use self-striping rather than truly variegated yarns, let's have a look at my socks in progress, shall we?
While I am compulsive about symmetry and matchiness, I've learned to let that go with sock knitting: as a rule, I keep most of my wardrobe either plain in form or colour or both and use socks as the one wild note, so the wackier the better as far as I'm concerned. I will wear these when they are done because I love all the colours in them and they fit super comfortably (and I have a very good pair of boots that will hide all but the cuff)
I have revised my plan to knit until I run out of yarn and then do the cuff in red. Instead, I'm going to make them a respectable length for jeans and get out of Dodge, saving what's left as an accent in a better pattern from the book.
Bonus: I'll finish a pair of socks before the end of the month! assuming my eyes stop being hurty before then, of course.