The gift socks are indeed finished, all of them. And I just can't tell you what a relief it is.
I knew that I would get them done in time - no doubt about that, there is still the best part of a couple of weeks to go, after all - but really, the boredom, the tedium..... it's been getting me down, and I am glad to stop. One benefit (?) is that I now have my basic sock pattern in all its variations completely ingrained in my memory, toe shaping and all, never to be forgotten.
So, here - just to prove it! - are the last two pairs.
These are both worked with Regia yarn. The stripy ones are Regia Banner again, this time in a colour called Pigeon. This is quite appropriate when you think of wood pigeons, all bluey-grey. Although not stripy, of course.....
The dark ones are in Regia Loop, and I believe that the colour is called Graphite. I do rather like the random swirls on these. If this yarn were available in bright contrasting colours, the result would be very op-art. They are still good in the dark grey, though.
This morning, I have cast on for Benedikta. It is a pleasure to work with 4mm needles instead of sock dpns - although I shall have to be quite organised with the different colours, as it is so difficult to tell which is which. So far I have worked all of two rows, so not a lot of point in a progress picture just yet.
First there are the two garter stitch lower borders to work, each with garter stitch points along the top. Then five rounds of eight blocks each, plus another four blocks placed one each side of the neckline front and back - so that is 44 blocks. Two garter stitch sleeves - good travel knitting, I think. And then the shaped garter stitch neckline.
It doesn't really fall conveniently into sections. I do quite like being able to identify when I am half way through, or a third of the way through, or whatever. Never mind.
The Silk Garden Lite does seem quite fragile, by the way - I actually managed to tug it apart whilst casting on, which was something of a surprise - or maybe I just need to adjust to a softly spun yarn, after working with sock yarn for a while. That's probably it, I expect. It has that thick and thin element that you always get with Noro, and of course it is quite thin to start with. Lovely colours, of course.
A couple of other things. If you haven't yet seen Feral Knitter Janine Bajus' stunning Comforting Scarf, then please do go and have a look. This lady makes some truly amazing fair isle, and her blog is a constant inspiration - for instance look at her Sashiko Jacket. This is her own design, please note. I do hope she writes up the pattern for this one day, I think it is just beautiful.
Anyway the Comforting Scarf is something rather different in style. It is simple, and also extremely beautiful. You'll find it here, and the free pattern is a pdf download in her sidebar. I think it is almost a wrap, as it could be blocked out to 28" wide. Janine suggests Kidsilk Haze, and I think that this would be absolutely stunning. Imagine the fun choosing colours!
And one more thing. Yesterday we went to Lidl, as we do from time to time, because they have some incredible bargains, and you never know what you will find. This time they had a stack of extremely cheap 600 gram packs of yarn in various colours. I won't call it wool, as mostly it is not wool, being 80% acrylic, but it will do very well indeed for hats, which always go astray and can never be found when needed. It is machine washable of course, which means that if any of the hats do actually manage to hang around long enough to need washing (hah) then that won't be a problem.
I bought one pack of dark navy, another pack of grey mix, and a third pack in a clear duck-egg blue. Bargain.
I do love my Noro and my Rowan yarns - but acrylic has its place too, definitely.