Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wool for warmth, and other stories

I don't know whether you guys can stand looking at my Christmas socks inching forward all week, so I'm going to talk about some other stuff today too.  But first I gotta talk about the sock experiment.

Here's the current At Home sock after an hour of a Roger Moore James Bond movie:

I just couldn't stick it out for more, partly because I have been staying up too late the last week or so, and partly because in spite of loving them at the time, it seems the Roger Moore ones are spoiled for me after all those years of Not The 1970s and Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.  Feel free to disagree with me after a little more sock talk.

Now, the Travel Sock did come out for a short time yesterday while I caught up with my friend Jan over cafe au lait because we are so elegant and classy.  It's been a long time since I've seen Jan though, and with all the catching up we had to do I shouldn't have taken the sock out at all because lookit:

le sigh. I knit too long on autopilot and decreased too much of the gusset, so I had to put it away and rip back four rounds to get the right number of stitches again, once I got home.

* * * * *

The weather has turned supercold where I live.  Time to face facts: interesting as I may find this experiment to be, the Christmas socks aren't going to be warm enough to wear on Walking Around Outside days until I hit their springtime edition.  I'm reaching for my Stoddarts every morning and wishing I had knit more than four pairs of them over the summer instead of telling myself I was knitting way too many.

As it stands, I am barely going to get through a week without washing my winter-weight socks and waiting for them to dry.  And you know what?  That just isn't enough of a buffer.  I think I might have to get a skein of my new very bulky alpaca/wool blend into cakes sooner than I thought, just to have a shot at keeping my toes warm on a daily basis - I have more Stoddart yarn, and it knits up fast, but the alpaca looks bulkier.

And the green/rust colourway could pass for at least a little festive, don't you think?

* * * * *

Speaking of things that aren't warm enough, I'm looking sternly at my twined mittens right now.  I was pretty sure no amount of twining would make up for something that blocks wind, but I didn't care because I loved the pattern so much.  I am wearing them anyway because I love the finished product even more than I loved the pattern.  I just wish my fingertips weren't little ice cubes whenever I get inside again.

Now, there is a backup plan, which is to knit a second slightly bigger pair of twined mitts and wear them over the fingering weight ones.  And this is an idea so compelling I would be doing it right now, if it weren't for my being ever so responsible about sticking to my gift knitting/weaving plans.

(okay, I admit it: what's stopping me is a little bit the Christmas Sock experiment, and a lot the fact that I can't find all the notes I took when I made the first pair of twined mitts.)

Even as I hatch schemes for finding time for the backup plan though, I'm noticing the wind is going through a little less.  I don't know yet whether the wind has died down, or whether the mittens are felting a windbreak on the inside as I use them, but I consider this a deeply intriguing development.

* * * * *

Here is how cold the weather got: I had to break down and get out my giant puffy winter coat yesterday.  Up till lunchtime I was able to convince myself that layering one wool sweater over another under my raincoat, and wearing my new merino legwarmers and new fall hat would be enough to overcome the weather, but after meeting another friend for coffee in the morning (I know, it was coffee overkill yesterday) I was disabused of that notion and froze.

Here's what is a drag about my giant puffy winter coat: it's impractical to wear a handknit scarf with, or even much of a cowl.  And the collar keeps pushing my hats out of position.  Grrr.  Still: warm.  In spite of not being made of wool!  so strange and ironic.

* * * * *

Okay, time for me to go get on with all of what this day has in store for me.  I just hope some of that is knitting that isn't full of attention-related errors.  Hope your day doesn't have any of that in it either!

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