Friday, July 25, 2008

Making Lemonade

I was awake at 5 this morning - after a long, rough night of little sleep. I tried desperately to get back to sleep....but then when you try desperately to sleep you usually don't. And so I got up, grabbed my knitting bag, fixed a cup of tea and headed out onto the deck to enjoy a little bit of solitude.

It was raining, and I love early mornings in the rain.

Of course, rain is a special blessing when you live so close to the highway. Just beyond that line of trees is a major highway*, and the noise from it normally drives me crazy. Today the rain was just strong enough to silence the road. For me - a farmer at heart - that's a real treat.

I was able to spend an hour in blissful peace and quiet - just me and my needles. I left the iPod inside so that I could enjoy the sound of the rain, and I turned the deck lights off as soon as I could so that I could enjoy the view. What started as a way to escape extreme frustration turned into magic.

And, thanks in large part to that unexpected gift of time, I was able to finish a pair of socks today.

Jeweled Steps, by Cat Bordhi

New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book 1
Claudia Hand Painted Yarns

Fingering Merino, 2 skeins in Blue Terra Cotta

Needles: Knit Picks Harmony DPNs, 2.25mm

May 8 - July 25, 2008

Modifications: Instead of following the pattern, I took the jeweled steps and threw them into the master numbers instructions so that I could get a better fit and use a tighter gauge. It was a very simple modification.

I adore the yarn. I could write epic poems about how I love to watch the colors change and blend in this type of crazy, rainbowy handpaint...about the joy I feel when watching new combinations appear on the needles. Not to mention the fact that this particular yarn is a squishy, soft delight to work with and wear. In short, it's just perfect.

I'm not so crazy about the socks.

I find that Cat Bordhi's toe-up socks fit a bit loose through the arch of my foot, and as I also didn't use as tight of a gauge as I normally use there's an overall slouchiness that will probably drive me up the wall.

The jeweled steps, just by their nature, cause little loose spots on either side of the step. They weren't so bad on the first sock, where the increases for the foot shaping helped work against the gaping, but on the second sock they were pretty atrocious. I tried several methods to fix it, but the fault in the pattern won out in the end.

Mostly, though, I just really hate knitting toe-up socks. Personal preference, I know, and there's no real logic behind it. If I'm being really, REALLY honest, I will admit that I don't like making 'fancy' socks. I prefer plain vanilla socks - a la Ann Budd - that are mindless to make. Socks are normally the one bit of knitting that I don't have to think about. Why I even bother with the patterned ones is beyond me.

However, this does get me one pair closer to my goal of never having to wear store-bought socks again, and the yarn is so lovely that it makes up for everything else!

*You thought I lived in the country, didn't you! Nope, we're just extraordinarily lucky to live in a subdivision built by contractors who understood the value of trees and did an excellent job of protecting as many as they could.

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