I’ve been concentrating hard on doing work that I got behind on this spring, but I also finished a pair of socks. Socks are my knitting for when I just need to knit. I almost always have a pair of socks going. My socks have Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ Simple Socks short-row heels and toes. I like the fit and I don’t want to have to think about how to make the heel or toe. I can do these without paying much attention and they work well.
So here’s the new pair, in front of the Louis Gimard rose, a variety that’s been around since 1877. They took a long time to knit because I’ve knitted many other things since I started them—including the Norsk Strikkedesign sweater.
Those are my worn-out jeans, and I seem to have been pulling weeds or hauling around cartons of books (or both) just before I took the photo, so they’re dusty, too. I don’t know what the variegated yarn is; I bought a couple of balls at a local needlework shop that closed a number of years ago. It’s the same weight as Brown Sheep’s Wildfoote, which is what the purple is. (No, the socks don’t match exactly. I make them myself, so they don’t have to match exactly like machine-made socks do.) Worked on 1.5 mm needles (000), the gauge is about 10 stitches/inch. The fabric’s nice and firm and should wear well.
Because I knit loosely, I ordinarily go down two needle sizes from what’s suggested on a yarn’s ball band for my first swatch. Wildfoote’s suggested needle size is US 1 (which translates to either 2.25 or 2.5 mm) and the suggested gauge is 8 stitches/inch. For sock durability, I follow Priscilla’s guidance and tighten the gauge as well—which means even smaller needles.
However, I’ve cast on to swatch for my next pair of socks using 2 mm (size 0). You can see the starting rows of the swatch below. The yarn is some of Colorjoy! Lynn’s hand-dyed flammegarn, which I’ll be trying to take a close-up of before long to see if I can catch the delightful but subtle tonalities.
Lynn’s yarn is pretty close to Wildfoote. Both are wool/nylon blends.
Hers is 80% wool and Wildfoote is 75%. Hers is 440 yards/100 grams and
Wildfoote is 430. I could have just used the same needles and stitch count as for the previous socks. But I want to work with different needles for a change, and the 1.5 mm needles are the 1.5 mm needles. No variety. Well, I have the steel double-points and the circular Addis; there are still some discontinued Inox 1.5s around, although I either don’t have any yet or they’re in a canvas bag with one or another of the works-in-progress.
In 2 mm, I have a broad selection of materials, lengths, and configurations: bamboo, wood, steel, plastic, aluminum; double-points, single-points, and circulars, all in various lengths. I often wish the abundance of choices extended down to 1.75 and 1.5 mm.
But it doesn’t. Even in the new Addi lace needles.
The next pair of socks will be at 8.25 stitches/inch.
In addition to filing the annual reports with the secretary of state for the business and taking the huge step of beginning to work with someone who will help me with both bookkeeping and accounting (WHEW), I’m making progress on the last few drawings that I’m able to do for the
fall title, Ethnic Knitting Discovery. We need five more drawings that
I’ll need to talk with the second illustrator about in July. The work on this book
has been interrupted so often . . . and it’s taking not one or two but three illustrators to get all the images done right . . . but it will get finished.
Today I learned that Colin Fletcher, the author of two of my all-time favorite books (The Man Who Walked Through Time, which I liked better than his later River although some other folks reverse those preferences, and The Complete Walker) died on Tuesday at the age of 85. He filled his life well.
And now I go back to working on filling mine, one pair of socks at a time.
Tomorrow is the Estes Park Wool Market. Yep, I’m going. And looking forward to seeing a number of folks.