Here I am again. I really must keep this going on a more regular basis. The truth is that I do miss blogging when I take an unscheduled break, such as this last few days.
However things haven't been entirely straightforward around here for the last few weeks because Bad Things have been happening, and routine has kind of gone out the window. But it feels as if we are getting our heads above water again, because we have finally realised that things like sleep and regular meals and exercise need to get re-established as a matter of priority. So that's what we're trying to do.
And I think I will add blogging to that list of things to re-establish, as well.
Knitting has continued despite everything, which is good.
I haven't done a whole lot on the poor neglected Striped Sweater, which was going to be done well before Christmas with no problems at all - yes of course it was. Not. Life got in the way. However I've picked it up again this morning, and I'm nearly finished with the fancy rib. I won't inflict a picture on you - it is a wide strip of grey knitting with not many rows worked yet, ok? Same as the beginning of the back, exactly - which I began - hmmm! back at the end of October. Things have definitely not gone to plan with this sweater. I need to get it finished before the weather warms up.
I have been knitting socks, though.
You may remember that I couldn't make the Salish Sea Socks work out for me - this pattern was the one from the Blue Moon Sock Club for 2007. It used Socks That Rock mediumweight in a really lovely colourway called Bella Coola, and the pattern was written by Cat Bordhi.
I used the yarn to make another pattern by Cat Bordhi, the Tall Tibetan Socks from her 'New Pathways' book - and do you know, these fit brilliantly. I am very pleased with them.
This construction really is fascinating, and I want to make more socks like this. We are so used to having the stitches running up the foot and ankle in neat straight lines, that it is quite surprising to encounter a pattern which quite simply doesn't do this at all. The columns of stitches swoop and curve across the top of the foot - you can see a plain band there - it starts at the outside edge of the foot and curves across to the side of the heel flap on the other side. The two socks are mirror images, left and right - I like that. And they are worked from the toe upwards. I've forgotten the needle size, it was the one recommended in the pattern. And I made the size to fit mid-foot 8.5", which worked nicely for me.
You can't really see the curving lines until you put the sock on, but unfortunately it is quite difficult taking pictures of your own foot.
Maybe this helps.
Or possibly not. It fits brilliantly, though. The sock hugs my instep and the arch of my foot in a way that I haven't found in a sock pattern before. It doesn't pull, it doesn't bind anywhere at all, not in the slightest. It fits.
The top is good, too - this pattern uses a double stranded bind-off. I haven't tried this before, and really it is a good idea. You get a much more stretchy edge than you'd think possible, just casting off in the normal way. In these socks, the cast off edge is allowed to roll outwards - as it wants to do, of course - and then stitched down to the leg of the sock. It does make a very nice edging indeed.
The only thing I am not totally enamoured with is the toe construction. This is a fairly standard toe with increases each side, and somehow it doesn't quite fit me perfectly. It is still good, but room for improvement.
Also, there might just have been a whole other pair of socks that haven't even had a mention yet - and now they are finished.
These are again from Cat Bordhi's 'New Pathways' book. The pattern is called Tibetan Socks, and I have modified it to add some length to the leg. The original pattern goes straight from the top of the heel flap directly into the ridged and textured cuff. I like my socks to actually keep my ankles warm, thankyou, so I kept going until the leg was a normal length and then worked the cuff after that.
The yarn is Trekking XXL held double - this is the purple yarn I was looking for the other day - and the needle size was as recommended in the pattern, 3.75mm, so these were an extremely quick knit. I did try the 8.5" size again, but it was coming out a bit large, so I frogged and tried the 7.5" size - much better. That's the size I've made.
The other thing that I changed was the toe. The pattern uses the standard toe that I wasn't so keen on - the one that I used with the Tall Tibetan Socks. I used the Garter Stitch Toe from Cat's book, and I think I have a new favourite toe construction. Because it fits quite amazingly well.
Really simple, really quick, really easy. Also, it matches the ridged garter stitch cuff. And it fits so well! Does it get better than this?