Monday, February 9, 2009

Ever since I picked the yarn at Lion Brand's Studio pre-opening, it's been my obsession. Not because it's particularly soft, because it's not. Not because it's easy to work with, because it's not. Really there is no obvious reason to be obsessed, except the color. Which just grabbed me and would not let go.

Yellow Rib Sock

This is a very intense yellow. It borders on bright curry. It looks sorta sickly in a creepy good way (know what I mean?). The little stripes of greens and browns break up the brightness just enough to keep this color from being completely obnoxious. I love looking at this color and I became obsessed with the idea that I needed a pair of yellow socks for the middle of winter to make me feel bright and cheery.

And I clung to that idea through what turned out to be a very long, cultural tour of New York / New Jersey streets. Let me explain. My sock knitting is usually relegated to the daily commute (grind). And so back in November I embarked on a simple 2x2 rib sock which presumably would be the easiest of projects for crowded subways. Being completely OCD, I also use the subway to listen to books. And in the past, one book usually meant one pair of socks. It's a neat little package: one pair of socks and some literary cultchah'.

Yellow Rib Sock

This pair really confounded me. I started on size 1 dpns and could not get gauge. Had to rip three times, and consumed "The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao" by Junot Diaz in the process. (destined for Hollywood, this one).

Yellow Rib Sock

While the book was superb, (rope-a-dope ghetto nerd narrative and heartbreaking loneliness) the socks were not. Too tight, TWICE! On the third attempt, too big! And in the process I broke one of my bamboo needles, I was desiccating the yarn with all the knitting and ripping. Whew. The book ended but the socks were still in their presock state (on the skein!).

After putting a little distance on the project, I resumed and this time downloaded "Lush Life" by Richard Price. A very entertaining diversion, one of those urban cop stories, the narration was particularly in synch with the characters. Some progress on the sock, but still not done when the book ended.

After two books I needed some music. Enter Little Jackie and her new release, "The Stoop" - check that one out if you like your hip-hop combined with Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound"!
Pefect for 2x2 ribbing with attitude. Two more weeks with Little Jackie, some Slumdog Millionaire sountrack and Beethoven's 4th and 5th Piano Concertos and I finally finished.

Yellow Rib Sock

Man, talk about a journey! The cultural tour was a real delight. The socks, not so much. Now that they are finished, they are a bit large. The heel flap is too long, the toes should have started sooner. In the end, I might gift these over. Besides, he's been eyeing them, asking questions. Seems yellow is high on his list, too.

Yellow Rib Sock

9 comments:

Sarah B. said...

I'm very jealous that you live near the Lion Brand studio! Love the socks, sorry they caused you so many headaches!

Rosi G. said...

HA! love your story behind these socks. they're cute. i'm knitting a shawl now in a similar color. sickly yellow. HA!

i am also OCD and must. listen. to. books. while i knit on the subway! so much better that way.

besides, headphones (i have the BIG HUMONGOUS bose ones) DO deter MOST (keyword is MOST) people from talking to you when you're in a knitting groove.

Eliza said...

they are wonderful!!
What is the pattern? And how do you like the yarn? I have some yellow sock yarn too, from ST. I am holding off on starting another pair of socks though...

knithound brooklyn said...

The yarn is okay, I still need to wash it and see if it softens up. I do love the color, but I had a terrible time getting gauge. And I don't know why. I went up and down on needles. A simple 2x2 rib sock should NOT be so hard.

Knitaholictoo said...

Lurker here...Had to jump in...they are adorable!

Katie M. said...

Whew! It's exhausting just reading about all of the false starts and re-knits -- I can't believe you finished them (or successfully started them or whatever). I really like the idea of one book + one pair. Such a nice little unit.

Bethany said...

Agh! I've done socks like that, too, wondering why I was continuing!

They are great, though. Sunshine socks!

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Junot Diaz and your love of yellow--these two things make perfect sense. And isn't it (not) funny when a supposedly simple sock ends up being so dramatic??

JoAnn said...

You're right about the socks - a different color, but I like them also. Not a color I'd pick, but once made up, they're very pretty. What an adventure you had with these. You sure you want to gift them??