Thursday, December 1, 2016

Mansocks: mission mostly complete

I haven't updated my Ravelry projects page in over a year (I am too scared to confirm that statement by looking) in part because it's no fun photographing finished knits on the 10th floor terrace at our condo.  And to prove it, here we are looking at Wayson's at-long-last-finished socks lying flat on a piece of painted board:

But in spite of the bleh setting, let's not overlook the achievement because these things took me FOREVER to knit.  If you count 'forever' as approximately 11 months, and we're going to.  A knit that takes longer than one month is forever in the way that your first relationship lasting more than four weeks is forever, right?  Right.  Everything is relative.

I do want to make a statement of support for the old porch at the house before I go on about Wayson's socks though.

Remember how beautiful socks used to look when photographed there?

sigh.  I really, really miss it.  When it still existed and I lived in its house, all I had to do was put on a pair of newly finished socks and step outside to take photographs of my feet.  Yes, neighbours would pass and I would fear judgement, but they all knew me and would just ask about knitting.  If they thought I was more than a bit odd they would not show it or say so.  At the condo, photographing socks involves walking around the corner to the elevator, then riding up several floors to the almost-top, then walking up a flight of stairs and emerging onto the terrace where neighours enjoying the view and/or a glass of wine while barbequing look a bit perplexed as I take off my shoes and photograph my feet under the watchful eye of the security camera.  (and there is always somebody watching on the security camera; I rarely get near the entrance doors to the building without our friendly concierge staff spotting me and opening it remotely.)

The good news: the porch roof is back up, and its new floor structure, and in spring when all risk of snow and heavy rains are past, the floor and railings will go on.  We just couldn't get to that in time to have it all painted before the weather got too cold for paint to cure properly, so we are waiting.  But we did get a roof, so the steel shingles can be installed, and that is pretty great.  By summer I should once again be photographing socks on the front porch, just like in the old days! or maybe in the back yard, where there will be a new deck.

Okay, let's get back to Wayson's socks now, about which I have just this moment, while typing, made a terrible discovery.

This is the closest I got to photographing the finished socks! I'm not sure I'd even run in the ends at this point; I might have just tucked the cast-on tail into the leg.  What was I thinking??

I am fairly sure I'd run in the ends around the heel flap, where I changed colours.  I remember being particularly proud of closing up the hole, given that I only had ribbing to work with on the top of the sock when I was finding places to hide the tails.

The thing about knitting socks for a man, I find, is that you almost have to do ribbing on the leg.  That's because the only men who will let me knit socks for them - with the exception of Bob, who has been my best friend since we learned to walk - are not men I want to ask to please let me measure their legs or feet.  (Pete, as you may know, is completely and inexplicably anti- handknit sock.)  The only way I can be sure mansocks will be comfortable is to cast on more stitches than usual and rib the leg so it hugs properly regardless of how far it has to go.  The most information I have going in is a shoe size, which I can then relate to Pete's shoe size, and make him model for me as I go along so I have a sense of whether I'm getting something bigger or smaller.

Did I mention how much I hate knitting ribbed socks?  I mean I am practically shouting for joy every time I finish the ribbing at the top of a regular sock.  FOR JOY.  Because it means I can go on to straight mindless stocking stitch, a merciful blessing when the rest of your day is taken up with decisions about fireplace location and whether or not cement board is a good idea (answer: yes, apparently.)

Respite from the ribbing doesn't happen until you get to one round or two rounds before you are starting the toe, at which point you can switch to plain knitting all the way through.

And omigosh, seriously, even now??? I still didn't take a picture of the finished sock???

No, wait!  I did!

Thank goodness.  I took a celebratory shot of the finished toes and all the safety pins from all the socks I hadn't quite finished but had finally completed just before I grafted the toes on this pair.  The safety pins are to mark exactly where I stopped for the heel flap and finished the gusset, and for the the '40' round when I'm doing a toe at '49' or whatever.  I use three or four for every sock.  Having this many safety pins free means... SO many more socks!

And that brings us to the title of today's post and the reference to 'nearly' complete.

I have known Wayson a lot of years and I've knit him quite a few things, but never socks.  And he was so, so happy to get these ones this week.  When I say 'happy', I mean that he said super nice things to me, like how fortunate he was the day I walked into his workshop, and how much he's always wanted a pair of handknit socks, and so on.

If you have ever knit for another person you TOTALLY know that this means I am going to be knitting him another pair of socks.  When somebody really appreciates you and your work like that, how can you not?  This is the same scenario that has me trying to fill Jan's sock drawer single-handedly (well, with two hands obviously).  And thinking very seriously about how soon I can make another pair for Ady, who told me last weekend that she only wears the socks I knit her when she is sitting and working because she doesn't want to risk wearing them out in shoes or on the floor lest she never receive another pair, and simply enjoys looking at how beautiful they are.  Her sister used to knit her the most beautiful colourwork socks, so you know.  High praise.

On the other hand, I am a pretty selfish knitter with a whole roster of gorgeous socks on the go that I haven't been able to show you properly.  Soon!  Right after I show you what happened with Jan's birthday socks.  Which are also done! and delivered, as of today.  

Okay that is a long, long post from me after three days of not having time to write, so I should stop now.  Before I go though, I want you to know that while not sending Hugs, I was knitting up a pair of fingerless mitts and confirming all the pattern instructions for them, thereby increasing the likelihood that there will be a new free pattern just in time for last minute gift knitting.  Because as selfish as I am, I do appreciate you guys a lot and the time you spend reading what I write.

See you soon!

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