Monday, October 08, 2007

a very socky weekend

the weekend just gone was spent hanging out in camp chairs and trying to not chase sheep around a paddock at michelago. possum and i followed up on some things i learnt from the trial last weekend, including me learning how to draft sheep that didnt involve chopping their heads off. some more practice still required! but we worked very nicely out in the open paddock, no running around like mad things anymore, fine tuning, moving by inches. starting to feel very nice! and it was great to see some friends go round in great style as well - especially fun was watching scott get bitten by the herding bug, and jo finally working kobe 'so well it was boring' (quote, robert cox).

but dont let this preamble fool you. there was so much socky goodness you'd be forgiven for thinking we were there for no other reason.

firstly, some significant progress was made on berry stripey number two and we are now finishing off gusset decreases and heading down the foot:

you know how i have been whinging about being bored with stocking stitch socks, well i take this back a little. firstly, stripey socks are my favourite. there is something soooo magic about self-striping wool. fellow herders had their minds blown when i explained to them how the self-striping works. (you will be pleased to note spidey that people think that hand died self striping sock wool is nothing short of miraculous). secondly, this is the first sock where the aspects of sock construction finally clicked with me. because i always up the stitch count a little for my wide foot, i sometimes struggle with the heel turning, but this time, with some mathematical help, i figured out where i needed to turn for my particular heel. then i did the decreases without having to write down each row, each needle. i know now where a K2TOG is required, and where a SKPO. this felt good.

i am thinking that striped picot edge socks with a ribbon may become my signature item.

anyway, thats not all. scott is a bit of a dab hand at making things, so george (not the george you all know from the blogosphere but another georgina who we herd with, who lives in canberra, and is a spinner/knitter, now a maker of socks extraordinaire) and i talked to scott about sock blockers, what sort of material one might use, different sizing etc. he says if we get him a template he will make them for us. george already has a template, so i may yet become a blocker of socks.

then, something truly amazing happened. george lent me this!:

yes people, the number one sock book on my wish list. obviously, its for loan only. obviously, it needs to be studied much more closely, but these are the patterns that most grab me so far (pictured here with stash wool that could be used for each pattern, although i am not sure about stripey wool with lace, in which case, i am going to need to do some stash enhancement):

anyone got any ideas/advice about lace and solid vs variegated/stripey wool?

george showed me some of her impressive collection of socks, including some awesome jaywalkers (i am going to go ahead and make those with that opal) and her socks in progress which are in koigu. i held koigu in my hand. what an amazing yarn it is. i must have some.

george also set me another challenge. she is trying to figure out how to do toe-up socks. the more i think about it, the more useful a technique this would be. it isnt in my list of SSS personal challenges, but it is now, because george said i have to try them and then help her. interestingly, the pattern she wants to use actually looks like the perfect pattern for the desert variegated that i need to make into a present very quickly:

so several birds will get killed with this stone, despite my near pathological hatred of rib (thank you, amy swenson, and your gorgeous lift and separate wrap with the endless single rib ties and edging). i will suck it up for the cause.

well, i have a lot to be getting on with today, shopping, washing, colour-coding for the pensky file (dont ask).

till next time,

k xx


Rose Red said...

I think hand-dyed self striping yarn is magic!

I love that book! I want to make almost every pattern from it!

Me personally, I prefer solid or semi-solid sock yarn for lace or detailed patterns - but variegated yarn is sooo pretty - so hard not to buy it!!

Donna said...

Love the stripey socks! They're my favourite colours :)
I'm with RR - solid or semi solid for intricate patterns, variegated for plainer patterns. Lace + variegated = too fussy. You lose the colours and the details.

Michelle said...

You are an inspiration! So keen!

That book is lovely. It almost makes me want to learn how to knot socks rather than crochet them.

Georgie said...

An excellent weekend - socks *and* successful herding.

I love that book too, its on my wish list! Leave the yarn thing with me....mwahahaha

LOL at Michelle's slip of the tongue!

kms said...

yeah, i thought it was pretty cute for a crocheter to call knitting, knotting! teehee

Jo said...

Oi! How come you never told me Robert said Kobe worked 'so well it was boring.' Left that bit out! What higher praise can there be? Happy now.

Dave said...

All this sock talk, who would have guessed that so much could be said about them. I could tell you were distracted from the herding as there was no talk of the perfect knitting bag this weekend. You were obviously in the zone for herding and knitting this weekend.

Bells said...

i just ordered that book. Should be here any day. It's fabulous.

If you're going to make the embossed leaves, go for solid. I really think it does it the most justice.

Your berry socks really are amazing and I'm with you on the stripey stockinette socks. My koigu socks have taught me to love the idea so much. Finish them soon!!!

Jejune said...

My Secret Pal sent me that book, it's brilliant, isn't it?!

The exchange rate is pretty good at the moment, go on, order it, you know you want to!

Carol said...

What absolutely beautiful socks you are making, the colour is just gorgeous. I also love the colour of the skein you have sitting on the book in the last picture. It's superb, so autumn like.

2paw said...

Oh, love;y striped socks. I like plain stocking stitch, I always like to have a pair on the go, and stripes makes them grow faster. Are red socks faster do you think?? Oh what a fabulous book and yes, lace and variegated can be too much. Plainer colours for lace!!!