I reorganized, sorted, and labeled my stash the other day, and found quite a few pairs of socks that had been abandoned in varying stages of completion. Some needed only heels, some needed only toes, some needed to be ripped back to the site of a boo-boo, and I had just gotten bored with some of them in mid-sock.
I decided to finish as many of them as I could. Here are some of them in glorious color.
I'm still trying to figure out how to add captions to my photos on the blog, so if I don't succeed, the socks pictured are (in no particular order): OnLine sock (hint: still on needles), pink Smooshy sock (Waterfall Rib and Eye of Partridge heel from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch), Mystery Sock (the sort of yellow one; I have no memory of buying this yarn, no memory of what yarn it is, and I haven't any idea if I have the rest of the yarn so I can knit the second sock), turquoise Fair Isle sock (done in an Opal colorway from years ago; I also have no idea where the rest of the yarn is to make a second sock. In the meantime I've been wearing it with the Mystery Sock), Tofuttsies sock (pink / blue heel and toe), and Corn Sock (cream-colored Maizy corn yarn).
And the strange red object is the Little Ruff from One-Skein Wonders. I made it out of Louisa Harding's Grace (silk and wool, 22 sts /in.) Grace is a little light for the gauge called for in the pattern, so I added some sts to the ruffle portion and did extra short rows to account for the extra sts. I needed more than one ball of Grace to finish it, given the gauge difference. I don't know if this picture does it justice. It's gorgeous. And I found the perfect button for it at Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul.
Some notes on the various socks and yarns:
OnLine is one of my favorites of the self-patterning sock types. The yarn knits up smoothly without splitting, the space-dyeing is crisp (with some space-dyed yarns you find areas that were missed by the dye; not so with OnLine), and it makes a pleasing fabric on US size 1.5.
I'm still having a major jones for Dream In Color's Smooshy sock yarn. As I have often said, "It knits like buttah". And there are some juicy new colors that just came in.
The Mystery Sock yarn may be Koigu. I'm sure I bought it many years ago (hence the sketchy memory), well before I worked at a yarn store. The yarn itself feels like Louet Gems, but I don't recognize the colorway. Anyway, it knitted up nicely on a US 1.5, and it feels soft on my feet (or foot, as I only have the one sock.) I'm sure there's no nylon in it. If anyone recognizes the colorway, I'd like to know what you think it is.
Opal is another of my all-time favorites. I have Opal socks I knit 7 years ago that haven't worn out yet -- and I wear my handknit socks a lot. The very first pair of Opal socks I knit are still intact, though I can see that the toes are getting a little thin. Opal's a little pricier than some of the self-patterning yarns out there, but for me, it's well worth the little extra money. If I wanted to save money, I'd buy the 12-pack of white tube socks at Wal-Mart. And wouldn't that be a fashion statement?
I bought the Tofuttsies at a yarn store in California while visiting my sister. It sounded interesting, as it's made with soy, wool, and crab shells. It knits up very soft, although I did have some issues with splitting, as the strand is made up of several different-colored plies. I haven't worn the socks enough to report on how they wear long-term, but they feel fine. I wish I hadn't used heel-and-toe reinforcement, though. It made the heels and toes feel thick and clumpy. I don't usually use it, and probably won't in the future unless I have good reason.
I haven't yet worn the Maizy sock, as its mate is still half-finished. Not that I'm afraid to wear odd socks (see above!), but I have plenty of other crazy single socks to wear. I want to keep the Maizys together as a pair, so I can see how the yarn wears. It knits up extrememly soft. One person I talked to said her Maizy socks made her feet sweat. I'm reserving judgement till I can see for myself. The yarn was OK to knit with, though somewhat splitty. It has some stretchy stuff in it, but that didn't pose a problem for me while I was knitting it. I'll report more on Maizy when I've worn and washed the socks 4 or 5 times.
As for the neck ruffle, Grace by Louisa Harding is a luscious yarn, but very delicate. I had been drooling over it for a year, trying to figure out what to make with it. I wouldn't knit something that gets much wear, as it pills quickly and looks dull and ratty. I figured, though, that a ruffled collar would work well, as it isn't subjected to flinging about, as you would do with a scarf, nor to rubbing, as with, say, sweater sleeves that rub against the body as you move around. It was fun to knit, and fairly quick, too.
And as a final note, I've strayed into Crochet Madness once again and am planning to make some Amigurumi. These are small, painfully cute crocheted stuffed animals. I'll be working from Amigurumi World: Seriously Cute Crochet by Ana Paula Rimoli. I'm also going to crochet a little girl's dress from the latest issue of Katia. I found a great crochet manual, A to Z Crochet published by Martingale. It has wonderful, clear step-by-step photographs, and illustrates all kinds of stitches and techniques. And I snagged a copy of The Crocheter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements by Ann Budd. I use my Knitter's Handy Guide, etc. all the time, and since I'm a crochet neophyte, this will be invaluable. You need these books!
And ... if you are in the store, look for the outrageous pink "scrunchie" ruffle I crocheted for my coworker's coffee tumbler. She needed something to distinguish hers from all the other J&S Bean Factory coffee tumblers. (Love that place! Best coffee in the Twin Cities!) Let me just say I finally found a use for that 1/2 ball of pink Crystal Palace "Party" ribbon yarn. If you want a Coffee Scrunchie of your own:
Crochet a chain long enough to fit around the coffee vessel of your choice when slightly stretched (the crochet chain, not your coffee mug.) Join into a round with a slip st. Ch 1.
SC in every ch around and when the round is finished, slip st to 1st SC, then Ch 1.
Now, SC 4 times in each SC around. Join with slip st., ch 1.
Next round: SC 4 times in each SC around (this is a lot more sts than you might think!), join with slip st, fasten off. Weave in ends.