Wednesday, November 15, 2006

on tiptoe

The angioplasty sock has dragged interminably, it found a new lease on life, or rather I did, last week and completed it on monday evening, tried it on Flash prior to sewing up the toe...and yuk...I obviously had not decreased anough sts at the gusset, and it was too loose. Flash was fine "no one will ever know" but I'll know, you will know everytime you put the wretched things on - because I'll have to make the other one match! I did the only thing I could do, I ripped - and Flash looked aghast as the toe, then foot, then heel of his sock disappeared, I then re-wrote everything in my little notebook so that I don't make the mistake again, and happily re-knitted the heel and gusset, and told him that it's all a walk in the park from here on in, so I can put the sock safely to the side while I work on something else for a few days.

On monday I dyed all of my remaining fingering weight alpaca, around 700grams, for some unknown stupid dumbarse reason I thought that just because the other times I dyed this yarn the colours had been muted and misty, that this time would be different - I would mix my dyes stronger, leave them on longer, cook them longer, use mind control if necessary to make that alpaca (did I mention it was also bleached?) pick up the colour. So I painted on my undercolours, so far so good, painted on the darker, stronger, brighter overcolours - wahoo!beautiful, exactly as I had planned...into the microwave for 7 minutes...a wee rest, then into the water - out of the water and yuk, colours have faded - I can't even figure out where that dye went, it wasn't in the rinse water! I tried cooking even longer, and that worked slightly, but the optimum time was 8 minutes, it didn't get any better than that. I hadn't ruined 500g of alpaca, as they are good baby colours, so I can always use it up in that way, but it was disappointing.Finally my brain caught up, I painted the last few skeins in muted, bleached seashell colours, beiges, salmony pinks, softest blue, silvery grey, I listened to the yarn, and it worked beautifully.

I then went about looking for a sock pattern to use with my new pretty yarn, something lacey yes! seashell type lace would be perfect - nothing I found corresponded with the idea in my head,I was not going to design a pattern myself - lace socks are scarey right? you need a degree in maths to work out the shaping...and then I found the Elfine's socks,(scroll down a bit) designed by Anna, who is a perfectionist of the highest order, her designs are exquisite.

The socks in the picture are green, and the lace is leafy, but still I thought they would suit the yarn, and then I struck a problem - Elfine's socks are knitted on 2 circs, while this something I have heard of, I never wanted to go to that dark place myself, loving as I do my 4 bamboo dpns. I studied the pattern, yes I could alter it to suit the dpns, but it would be clumsy, the magic of the pattern is in the 2 I took a deep breath, found 2 wee circs, and using Judy's magic cast on, I commenced to knit scarey lace socks on 2 weirdo circs.(did I mention I have never done toe-up before either...)

At first I felt clever - Judy's cast on is beautiful, the pictures are clear and easy to follow, then as I worked the toe increases I felt clumsy, like a new knitter, the circs dangled in an annoying fashion,but I just kept telling myself that dpns were a little unweildly at first, and I was right - it got better. I am halfway through the first foot, and loving it, the yarn is so soft and buttery, the colours soothing and evocative, it is easy to tink back a few sts when the count is slightly off, how could I have thought this was hard? why have I waited so long? I am already designing my first lace sock in my head, while I am knitting the sock I never thought I would knit - knitting lets me do the "one day a thing that scares you" without placing myself in mortal danger, it helps me to realise that there is nothing I will encounter that can't be broken down into bite-sized pieces and managed.

Between typing this and posting it, I was looking around the blogs and arrived at Nora's, where she has just finished - you guessed it - Elfine's socks! They look so pretty in the blue and green colourway.

Another find this week - Dave from "Sticks and string" the podcast came to SSK on saturday, his podcast is easy to listen to, and well produced, he has obviously put a lot of work into organising it, and I wish him well.