Thursday, August 20, 2009

She Does TOO Knit!

I'm convinced I've successfully chased away all knitters from this blog by now, and they are all wondering why I don't just give up the ghost and call this a SPINNING blog rather than a KNITTING blog.

To prove to you that I have not eliminated knitting from my life, here's a pair of socks I finished about two weeks ago.

Pointy Toes

My sister was in town and so I finally had a foot model and after she tried them on, it was apparent they fit her better than they do me, so once blocked, these are headed out west to Corte Madera (in Marin County). If there are still hippies living there, then she will be able to infiltrate their ranks without notice.

The pattern is my first from the book, Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. These are the Madder Ribbed Socks (rav). I have been admiring the patterns in this book for about 4 months. The book is by my bedside and I've read the patterns one by one, thinking about the yarns I will use to recreate them for myself. Many is the night I've fallen asleep with this book on my face after I get through three lines of a pattern.

Yes, I know, I know, reading knitting books in bed is the epitome of dork. I'm okay with that. And you can stop laughing now, thank you.

Madder Ribbed Socks on Claudia

The ribbing in this pattern is terrific. I really like them and will use this rib again. The heel is a bit different from my usual one, in that it did not have the slip stitches one usually uses, and I will be curious to see how it holds up. The gusset was another new approach, with the three rows between decreases and the right side decrease was a bit different too (the traditional sl1, k1, psso rather than the more modern, ssk). Cool. (Dork alert!). But note - this is a book on Vintage Sock patterns so of course it includes using the traditional method of making a left slanting decrease!

The toe is not my favorite, as I prefer a straight edge rather than this pointy bit, but I wanted to knit this pattern as written, so I went with it. With this yarn, the toe gives these socks a bit of an elfish or hobbit look what with the Noro yarn. That's okay, too.

Madder Ribbed Socks Heel Detail

The way this pattern is written, so that it flows from one section to the next completely seamlessly was what I really noticed. This was well thought out and well documented and I really enjoyed the process. So much that I've pretty much decided I am going to knit every single pair of socks in this book, one by one. So you will be seeing quite a few socks in the coming months, and all of them are going to be these new twists on classic patterns.

Now let's talk about this yarn. I am a Noro love slave. I see this yarn with all their pretty colors and I am a woman caught in the throes of pure lust. Without warning, I grab up a few skeins, my head and heart pulsing with excitement, and before I can say "get a grip!!" I am standing at the cash register handing over ungodly amounts of money to satisfy the crave. Unstoppable. And shameless.

In the cold light of the new day I look back on my wanton behavior I regret just a teensy bit, because sure as the sun rises in the east, there are issues with Noro yarns. In this case, I knit up the first sock and of course there were color sections I liked more than others. That always happens too. I pick my favorites and gaze upon those sections lovingly, pleased in how the colors shift and work into each other. That's the seduction, isn't it? The subtle shift and pairing of the colors? In this case, the lovely reddish-teal transition down the foot on the first sock quickly became my most favorite section and I was GIDDY to think this would be the part that shows on a pair of shoes. See it there, right over Rudy's big nose? Yea, that's pretty isn't it?

Madder Ribbed Socks with Rudy

I diligently wound off a bunch of yarn to set myself up at roughly the same starting point on Sock #2. For me, that's part of the challenge with Noro sock yarns. Making them sort of line up on the colors. I did it pretty successfully the last time out with that nasty Noro Kureyon sock, and thought it would be the same here with Silk Garden Sock.

Noro does it again - ARGH

Until I was on the subway one morning and I came upon a knot. You Noro knitters out there know what I am talking about. THE KNOT. And what was beyond the knot? Yep, a complete break in the color shifts, and guess what, my favorite part, the reddish-teal transition was GONE. Did not exist. Spitting nails, I put this down for two weeks to gain my composure.

When I was ready to resume, I did the best I could, using gray to substitute for the missing section and then worked in the greeny bit to the toe to approximate the first sock. There are many of you out there who will say, "no big deal", and "go with the flow" when it comes to Noro. But for the expense that this yarn represents, I stick to my guns.

I will resist the siren call of the Noro. Until the next time I see all those pretty colors and completely abandon all resolve.


barefootrooster said...

i love this book too -- and these socks look terrific. (i know what you mean about spinning/knitting -- i think i just make more progress on the spinning that is visible -- hard to post a picture of the same sweater, an inch further along, every day!)

Oiyi said...

They look great! Perfect for Fall whenever it decides to show up. The weather has been crazy hot here.

I guess I am a dork too since I read knitting books, cook books, and craft books in bed.

Sarah B. said...

I have the same book in my collection. Does it make me even more of a dork to admit I collect knitting books? I think the socks look awesome, even with the frustration of not having the transition you wanted. Do you really think the hippies will notice?

Katie M. said...

The Noro knot is the worst ... how is it always placed to interrupt the prettiest section? The socks look great, though. But when has Nancy Bush devised a not-great sock?

peahen said...

Really nice. I like 'not lined up' colours, and didn't even notice at first that they didn't quite match.

Knitting Belle said...

I didn't realize the socks didn't match either. The knot sounds like a hole in the stomach. I'm glad you regained your composure. Maybe I'll pick up a sock pattern.

Daniel Yuhas said...

I just recently succumbed to Noro, and a knot would make me cry, too. But those are some rockin' socks.

Oh, and currently on my bedside table: Nicky Epstein's Knitting Over the Edge. No wonder I dream of knitting.