Sunday, May 27, 2007

Struggling with Second Sock Syndrome

(or, battling the bewitching butterscotch)

First, a finished object. Last week, after abandoning the ill-fated Jaywalkers, I did manage to finish a whole pair of socks without incident!

Nothing exciting, simple garter rib in a colourful Regia yarn:

After a long search, I finally found a toe-up sock pattern with a traditional heel. I decided to be bold and defiant in the face of my seemingly retreating knitting mojo and started on it. The yarn is lovely and soft - colour by Jayne. I completed the first sock yesterday.

The yarn is still attached to the ball because I am not certain whether my cast-off is loose enough. I'll have to recruit a foot model to give it a try. It didn't occur to me until I was nearly at the heel that I should have knit this sock in my size so that I could test it out as I went along ... but then, I've got Fred Flintstone feet and the accompanying boulder-sized legs ... so knitting socks for me is quite the endeavour!

Since I started the mad sock knitting in December, I haven't had any trouble with the "second sock syndrome" I had read so much about. I would finish one sock and immediately cast on for the second as soon as number one was off the needles. I did give the "knit two socks on two circulars" idea a try but this caused me stress ... which defeats my "knitting is relaxing" mantra. So I am definitely a "one sock at a time" knitter, but I also wanted to be a "knit both socks of a pair before you start another pair" knitter. Don't know why, but it seemed like a good system. Until I met this yarn:

This colourway has been haunting my dreams since Jayne posted a picture of her sock in progress on her blog. When Jayne got some Blue Face Leicester to dye, I could resist no longer and placed an order. It arrived earlier this week and after much fondling of the lovely skein, I wound it up, ready to go. I wish I'd had the brains to take a picture of the skein as it arrived - it was so pretty, with a lovely little stitch marker attached to the label.

My fingers have been itching to cast on with this yarn all week long. I've resisted, so far. I think I would have given in if it wasn't for the fact that this is my first attempt at the toe-up sock and doing the second sock right away will provide me with the repetition I need to "get" the pattern. So, I was a good girl and cast on for the second sock as soon as the first one was done. I've turned the heel and am now in the home stretch. I can smell the butterscotch at the finish line.

The golden hues of the butterscotch made me think of Gryffindor (it doesn't take much these days since I have been listening to my Harry Potter audio books while I knit, in anticipation of Book 7) and I think this yarn will become Horcrux Socks.

Moonlight Sonata Shawl Update. Moving along rather slowly - I've only knit a few rows since I posted the first photo. I hadn't read the pattern through before starting it and had not realized that the wrong side row was not "all purl". Since I have to pay more attention at all times, this will be an ongoing project ... unless I find that it is needed for a birthday gift. It will not be for me ... triangular shawls just do not fit me well as I am a very large person. I prefer Faroese type shawls which sit on my shoulders better. I didn't have the patience required to figure out the adjustments required to make this fit me. I'm sure the Moonlight Sonata will find a good home when it is done.

Update on the great 2.25mm needles search. Since I knit socks on circulars only (I could never get the hang of the DPNs), the search for 2.25mm needles has been frustrating. I did order some Japanese made needles (HiyaHiya). The points are nice and, well, pointy, but the cables are the kind that need to be dunked in hot water and stretched out of their "kink". Having grown accustomed to the lovely KnitPicks flexible cables, I was a bit put off. However, this is one for the "ask and ye shall receive" department: KnitPicks now has some 2.25mm circulars! Hopefully these will solve my gauge woes and the Jaywalkers may yet get another chance.


Suzann said...

Oh your socks are beautiful, Ghislaine. I can see why Jayne's yarn is calling you. I loved the color when she first showed it.
I just got my Knit Picks 2.25mm needles, and they are very very nice. HiyaHiya has changed their cable, so it is much softer. I ordered a 1.50mm and couldn't believe how much nicer the new cable it.
I can't wait to see what you do with the Jayne yarn :-)

benne said...

Look at that beautiful sock, Ghislaine! I do believe you've got your mojo working again. I love that butterscotch color. You know you need those socks in the Horcrux pattern. It's killing me waiting for book 7, but I'm sad about it too. I've got to reread the whole series before July.

jayne said...

I am just in awe at your ability to turn out perfect socks over and over and quickly too.

Ok, I can turn out a pretty decent sock, but not quickly.

Ok, I might be able to turn out more socks if I gave up dyeing.

Not going to do that.

I am so glad that you are enjoying your yarns, and wow, that Twilight looks good knitted. I love the way that darker bit did a little stripedy dance. Thank you so much for your kind comments about my yarns.

Jennifer said...

Double anticipation here... waiting on the movie and the book. And the Horcrux socks are next on my list.

Your socks are beautiful! And I love Jayne's yarn too. I have about 10 skeins waiting to be sorted into item they will become.