Sunday, January 10, 2010

Long Journey, Fast Finish

Sometimes yarn sits in my stash for a long time, then migrates from bin storage to a shelf in my office. There it will sit while I ponder what it shall be. This yarn made that journey, arriving on my bookshelf way back in June.

Shell Socks Knitting Vintage Socks

During those months I hatched a plan to knit all the patterns from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. You've seen some evidence that I am tackling that book in recent months. There's even a special set on Flickr reserved for the project. I've scoured that book from cover to cover, plotting my next moves after making the first pair last summer, the first time the bug bit.

Shell Socks I love these

It's strange. Sometimes the decision to pair up a yarn to a pattern is conscious, deliberate. In this case it was more intuitive. I decided on Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern (Ravelry link) and then blindly reached for the yarn on the shelf, mostly out of laziness. It was there! And it was meant to be.

Shell Socks Gusset Detail

This yarn. Oooh, oooh, I love this yarn - Spirit Trail Fiberworks, Alexandra, 100% Superwash Merino. Bouncy. Squishy. Slight color variation but not at all distracting. Purchased at Rhinebeck in 2008, I guess I needed all this time to instinctively match up the perfect pattern with this wonderful color, this blue/green that reminds me of the Aegean Sea. Not that I've actually been there, but it makes me want to go! I have seen waters this color in the Bahamas, actually.

Once on the needles, this pattern flew like the wind! I mean to tell you, it looks way more complicated than it is. Easy to memorize, there is a rhythm to the stitches and it just flows like...water.

Now, these may be the best fitting socks I've made yet. Here are two things I've learned I need to do to make a perfect fit: 1. Cast on over two needles for a nice stretchy edge. 2. Knit extra rows (in this case, 6 rows) into the heel flap, thus making a longer gusset. I don't know why I didn't think of the second one till these socks, but boy, am I glad I did.

Shell Socks Heel Flap Detail

I also love the toe shaping in this pattern, and might make it my go-to for all the patterns in the book, but I'm not committed to that idea yet. It's fun trying out the other variations that crop up from pattern to pattern.

Shell Socks Toe Detail

One of the many 'resolutions' I decided on, and one that I think I can stick to is this: if I am going to make any socks in 2010, they will be from this book. But I am getting ahead of myself. Because these socks happen to be the last thing I finished in 2009. In fact, they got in just under the wire on New Year's Eve!

Shell Socks Cast On Edge Detail

I'm already plotting the next pair...after I work up some mittens!! Because, BOY it's COLD out there!

13 comments:

Rose said...

Those are really pretty. I have that book but haven't tackled anything from it yet. This may be the inspiration that gets me going! Thanks for sharing.

barefootrooster said...

lisa, these are incredible! i too, have this book, and i often drool over the patterns it contains. i've totally fallen off my socks from the toe up bandwagon, but i am less afraid of patterned sock knitting. these -- and those gentleman socks you shared -- are so on my list. high five.

muchadored said...

These are so beautiful. I've had this book forever and haven't knit anything out of it, but you may have just inspired me.

Oiyi said...

Beautiful socks! I am rooting for you. My goal is knit one pair of socks for 2010.

Caro said...

Love the shell pattern and it suits the yarn so well! Lovely!

Lauren said...

more green socks - gorgeous!

I love that you're planning on knitting more socks from that great book - I can't wait to see what comes next...

Cookie said...

Great socks!

Heather said...

Beautiful - love the yarn & pattern paring. Keep 'em coming!

Eliza said...

those are beautiful! Someday I'll buy that book, and someday I'll dedicate a year or so to knitting socks! I love the color you chose, too!

Jenny said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

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

These are perfect. Man I wish I wanted to knit socks again because I have a hella load of sock yarn!

Katie M. said...

Lovely! The yarn and the pattern are so perfect together ... it was meant to be.

Claire said...

Oh, I am in complete and total awe of your sock skills. These are gorgeous. I must have some. I shall sit in the corner poking myself in the eye with a knitting needle until I figure out how to make them. Well, that might be a bit harsh. I'll just poke myself in the arm instead.