When Thor and I left San Francisco, we settled in an area where the winter climes were much colder. We needed wool socks!
From time to time in the SF Bay Area I wore wool socks, but not often. Thus, when the first winter arrived (yes, with snow and ice), Thor and I each bought several pairs of SmartWool© socks. By the end of the first winter, socks that we had worn no more than four times a month were showing worn out heels and toes.
SmartWool© will replace any defective socks, and I took advantage of that policy, but not for long. We paid for the return shipping and were given another pair of socks in exchange, but the new socks wore out just as quickly.
Clearly it was time to revisit sock knitting. Of course I knew how to knit socks; in fact, while in my “sock phase,” I regularly gifted socks to family and friends. But then I moved onto other “phases.” Until now. Moved by the sock enthusiasm and encouragement of Wei S. Leong, I picked up needles for sock knitting this (hot!) summer.
I took measurements of my feet, knit up a gauge swatch from John Q Earth Wear (a blend of recycled possum/merino and nylon, 100g=361m sent me by Kiwiyarns Knits– – I got the subtle hint: “knit some socks!”), and jotted down a basic pattern. Remembering that I had never managed to make myself a pair of socks out of a single skein (yes, I have large feet), I used a provisional cast one and knit a sock with a short leg. After weighing the sock, I realized I had enough yarn to lengthen the leg, remove the provisional cast ons and add a ruffle, and make a matching sock!
While attending the Black Sheep Gathering this past June, I bought several cakes of sock yarn (3.5oz/400y) from Las Flores del Altiplano Alpacas of Yacoult, Washington. The alpaca was blended with merino (40%) and nylon (10%), both of which adds to the sock yarn’s overall strength and durability.Using yarn courtesy of Lacey I knit Seadragonus. I then knit Anemone out of yarn made from Daphne’s fur!
I was on a roll!
After browsing through a few books for ideas, I sketched out two more sock patterns. One will incorporate an Old Shale pattern (not the same as the Feather & Fan stitch – thank you, Northern Lace, for explaining and illustrating the difference!), and the other using some sort of twisted stitch, maybe a type of traveling clock stitch.
The yarn? Courtesy of these two pretty ladies here!
I doubt I will knit enough socks this year to rival the impressive number and variety of socks made in 2014 by Ms. Leong. That said, I should probably knit Thor a pair or two of warm socks. I see a drive north to Yacoult!