Monday, November 16, 2009

I Made Socks. No, Really!

I have long been one of those knitters who admire complicated-looking socks from afar. Sure, they look nice, but who wants to knit them? And yeah, sock yarn is fancier and prettier than most other yarns that I would consider wearing in public, but who wants to knit socks? OK, so there are a lot of challenging patterns out there and socks don't take very long to make, but...who wants to knit socks?

So I gazed at sock patterns from lauded designers such as Cookie A and Anne Hanson, but could never quite get myself over that whole "who wants to knit socks anyway?" hump. I would knit socks for other people once in a while, but never for myself. And then finally, something just snapped and I wanted to knit socks. Of course, not being a sock knitter left me with a giant hole in my stash: no sock yarn! The way other knitters tell it, you would think the stuff would multiply in my stash just by rubbing two skeins of wool together. But no luck. Then I scored some Regia sock yarn on major clearance at Little Knits and set to work.

Behold, the first socks I have ever knit for myself (both from Cookie A's book, Sock Innovation):



I have to admit that I got a little bored with the Wanida socks. They weren't really very challenging to knit. I'm going to knit up more pairs out of Cookie's book (but I will probably skip the simpler ones) as I come by more sock yarn. I think the appeal for me is the fun of working on complex patterns in small bits. I don't foresee myself as needing an entire drawer of hand-knitted socks just for the sake of having them. We'll see though...I think this is just the first step down the rabbit hole.

Oh, and I also got The Brain to take a few loooooong-overdue shots of me in my Hex Coat. (Norah Gaughan, Berroco Ultra Alpaca) I finished this back in June but just wasn't really happy with it so I never bothered with photos. I just really can't see myself wearing it, to be honest. It's long, heavy, slightly scratchy, and really large. I purposely knitted it at a smaller gauge than called for in the pattern and made the smallest size option (46" I think?) to try to get something close to normal ease with it, but it's still quite large. Please excuse my strange smile in the photo: it is not a look of smug satisfaction, but rather a grimace of "oh-my-god-get-me-out-of-this-thing-it-is-100-degrees-in-here!". Plus, I didn't know The Brain was including my head in the shot so that didn't help either. :-P

For those of you familiar with the Uptown area of Minneapolis, the painting behind my head is a print by artist Michael Birawer of Cafe Barbette. It was our favorite weekend brunch hangout when we lived in the area (I miss those buckwheat crepes!), and I got the print as a wedding present for The Brain. I encourage you to check out his online gallery. He has been painting notable hot spots in the Twin Cities for nearly 10 years now, and began adding scenes from Chicago in 2003. He has recently started painting Las Vegas, too! Many of his paintings include wooden cut-outs that are mounted on the main canvas to give it more of a 3-D quality. All of his works are vibrant and memorable, especially when you're familiar with the areas he depicts. I will definitely want to add more prints to my walls some day.


Cookie said...

You knit (good lookin') socks?!

Who are you?!


Andrea said...

Your socks are great and I LUUURVE your coat!

JoAnn said...

Congrats on your socks! I just can't stop knitting them once I took the leap.

Your coat is beautiful!

Yarndude said...

Whoa dude, that coat is looooong! Beautiful socks, you're a natural foot model! What did you think of the Regia? I used it for my little collonade and thought it was stiff and scratchy, but maybe it works for socks.

leann said...

Love the socks! And they're very addicting - especially when you find out that you can knit a pair in 3 or 4 days. And, oh, the sock yarn. I get myself into trouble at yarn shops because I don't make many accessories, so if I want to buy yarn on vacation or with friends, I need to have a list of projects and yarn requirements. But with sock yarn, you can pick up a random skein anywhere and spend less than $20 for a really nice skein. It's trouble, I tell ya!

Jacey said...

Woowoo! I'm so glad we both boarded the sock train. Yours look great. My problem is that I'd already accumulated sock yarn even though I was a previous no-sock knitter. Most of them are variegated, and patterns like the one you chose would be buried by such yarn. I love your solid color choices, and on sale to boot!

Your coat looks amazing. Maybe you'll be able to wear it a few times, at least!

pacalaga said...

great socks! too bad you don't love the coat, it looks beautiful.

Hilary said...

Yeah, I'm not really a sock knitter either, though I can certainly appreciate a beautiful, well made, handknit sock. Both of your pairs are really beautiful! And talk about beautiful...that coat is amazing. Too bad it's not so wearable in So Cal. :(

Mom said...

Those are really nice socks!

Julie said...

the socks (both pairs) are fantastic!! Sorry to hear that the hex coat didn't turn out, it really sucks when a large project doesn't turn out (and I hear you about patterns where the sizing starts WAY above your own. Maybe you'll frog it and happily re-purpose the yarn for something that you'll love?