Just when I think I have my knitting self all figured out, I don't. At all.
My sock knitting has evolved in a way that I imagine to be quite typical. I knit my first pair of socks in 2001, when my mom found a ball of the newest, latest greatest yarn at a shop in NB. It was Regia Jacquard, it was fine, self-striping and came with a pattern for a basic sock.
The novelty of the self-striping yarn hit me hard. I could work a sock that was much less complicated than it appeared. I could learn to wrestle with dpns (which I have since given up completely in favour of circulars) and fingering weight yarn, I could learn to turn a heel, and I could wear the resulting garment fairly immediately.
Once that first pair had been completed, a Sock Knitter (capitalization intended) was born. I was living in an area that was then rather devoid of new yarns - Halifax in the pre-Loop, pre-Tangled Skeins era - but ebay was flourishing. I purchased lot after lot of Regia self-striping yarns in the various available patterns and colours. It was terrific.
Trips home to NB meant a visit to the now-defunct-but-always-in-my-heart Maggie's, where the sock knitting craze was catching up with my rabid
greed need for the yarns. Road tripping for work meant new cities, new shops and the now ubiquitous sock yarns.
Lucy Neatby mentioned a new-to-me yarn called Opal, and the passion grew. And oh my goodness, they did the most wonderful solid shades too. Then it became an exercise in digging for patterns and finding the perfect yarns to complement them. I realized that I was practically living in the back yard of the Fleece Artist, and her yarns began to crop up, seemingly out of nowhere, at the nicer shops.
Opal and Fleece Artist were my gateway
drugs yarns to some of the more springy yarns like Cherry Tree Hill and Socks that Rock. I began adding cables, textures, playing with construction techniques and designing.
Over the past few weeks, I've been experimenting with some of my yarns and pattern books, which as involved much ripping and re-knitting. Then I realized I just needed the sensory and tactile experience of knitting some socks. Of watching the colour fly through the skein and into my work. Of letting the yarn do some of the work.
Regia has had its revenge, and it's best served late at night, when the kids have gone to bed.
This has just been a long-winded way of saying that I'm knitting into the wee hours with some great new Regia self-striping yarns, and it feels like a homecoming. Comfortable, familiar, and right back to my sock knitting roots. And it feels terrific.
Plunge pair #36 are for Shannon, one of Amy's preschool teachers. She's leaving the centre to go back to uni in the fall, and I dread Amy's reaction to having to say goodbye to her. Friday she gets tears and hugs, but today, she gets socks.
Regia Avenue, vanilla stockinette, toe-up, the usual. This skein was half price at Have a Yarn earlier this summer, as a small amount had been used to knit a sample swatch for the shop. I still had a ton of yardage left.
Pair #37 will likely be done today, Regia Sierra, also from the Have a Yarn trip.
Also toe-up, vanilla stockinette.
The one exception to my re-embracing of the most basic in sock yarns is the Regia Jacquard line. If I haven't worked all of the shades, it's pretty close. I'm so over it. But as they come out with more lines of colours, I will always be drawn to them. Next on my list is the Kaffe Fassett collection, and I want the whole damned thing.
In not socks, I'm using a Fleece Artist mill end from LK to work Lucy Neatby's Sea Lettuce Scarf. I'd seen the leaflet ages ago and wasn't all that taken with it in a self-striping yarn. Big thanks to the knitter in line to see the Harlot last week; she was working a Sea Lettuce in Celestial Merino Dream (Aquarius colourway, if I had to guess), and it was so gorgeous in person, I had to try one for myself.
I love the fiddly little short rows and picots, and it's all just so much fun! It's pretty slow going, as you only work the entire length of the row (which actually adds length) every 11 rows. However, as with most Lucy patterns, I learned a new technique, a modified bind-off that makes the picots much less tedious than with the conventional lift-stitch-over bind off.
Big shout-out to Mimi at the Loop, the mastermind of the flawless Harlot visit last week. We were e-mailing last week, and she mentioned she had some skeins of the Opal Rainbow in stock, that it was out of stock at the supplier, that it looked like something I would like, and that she'd hold some for me if I wished. She was right about it suiting my taste, and now I have a wonderful skein of it just begging to jump the Ridiculously Long Sock Queue (again, capitalization fully intended).
Today it's home with DD#2, who at 2 1/2 has her first ear infection. Hugs and drugs all around.
And self-striping socks.