Happy midweek! There has been a lot of bad weather (snow, floods, drought, heat waves…!?) reported around the world in the media recently, I hope this post finds things looking a little better for those who have been affected. I am concerned!
Here in Wellington, I notice the season is turning… the sycamore tree in the garden is losing its leaves already, and the cicadas are singing their wee hearts out at a deafening volume. Although it’s still far too warm, the days are just a little shorter, and the sun not quite so burning hot. This all translates into late summer here, and soon (I hope!!!) we’ll have our first proper, crisp mornings. Hopefully this all means nicer weather in store for you who are reading from outside New Zealand!!
I have to share a picture of summer’s bounty with you…
All my favourite summer fruit: the best cherries ever – they were from Central Otago. So delicious, we ate the entire 500g (about 1lb) pack that day! Black Doris plums (my favourite eating plum next to Omega), apricots and Golden Queen peaches. I think I would happily eat only fruit in summer if I could! This particular colour combination makes me think of yarn… a pair of socks in a deep cherry colour, or how about apricot – tinges of red, then orange, and all the way through to pale yellow?
The yarn was a very generous Christmas gift from my good knitting buddy, KB. It’s Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock in Opalite. When I got this yarn, I immediately thought of knitting Snowflower with it, and I am so happy at how yarn matches pattern so well. Thanks again, KB!!
Still bewitched by the sock fever, I currently have three finished socks awaiting a partner. My Earth Re-knits make good ‘waiting’ knitting for when I’m out and about, as I’m knitting them plain vanilla. However, I progress is slow because of that. I suspect I’ll be promoting them to sofa knitting soon in order to complete them by the end of February.
This yarn is very different to the usual bouncy sock yarn. The silk/nylon content means it is less ‘stretchy’, but I like how it makes a very comfortable sock. I’d recommend using needles with a bit of slip for this yarn (using Hiya Hiya steel). I have chosen to knit the socks at a tight gauge (2.5mm needles) and need the extra slip of the needle surface to move the yarn off the needles easily. I probably should have used 2.75mm needles for this weightier-than-usual sock yarn, as it is reasonably hard on the wrists to knit due to the tight tension. But I like my socks knitted tight.
Some merino/silk blends make very drapey, soft, shimmery yarns. This silk blend is the type that creates a more textural fabric (think Noro silk garden), with not much lustre. Still good, and definitely more suitable for socks than one of the ultra soft, drapey varieties I think.
I’ve started a pair of Monkey socks!! That makes me about the 17,725th person to put this project on Ravelry! It’s a very quickly memorised repeat, and knitting it, I am not surprised at how popular this pattern is. It’s a good one for the beginner sock knitter, as Cookie A explains all the steps of the sock very clearly, and has used the basic techniques of sock knitting for this pattern (nothing too tricky). I am planning a pair for me after this, as these are going to be a gift.
I’m using yarn from my “deep stash” for these Monkeys. The yarn base and dyer are sadly no longer in operation, but I’m so glad I hung on to it until now, as the colour works beautifully with this pattern. It’s a 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon base that was spun in New Zealand (Needlefood in the Kellie’s Jaffa colourway, in case you are curious). Perhaps I was channelling my inner apricot love when I selected the colourway!
Then I started feeling guilty about the socks I promised my mother. We had a spell of cool weather last week, which had me gleefully wearing all my lovely socks, and that made me think of someone else who wanted a pair…
I thought I’d start her on her first pair with a plain vanilla sock in a yarn that is difficult to get wrong in terms of both colour and care – this is the Opal Sweet & Spicy range in Colourway no. 6755. Hopefully she’ll like them.
It is a little frustrating though, that I don’t have another complete pair yet. Ah well. That is what one gets for knitting three pairs at once!
How do you say no to all the pretty socks though, when there is still an enormous pile of patterns and yarn that is just screaming out to be knitted!??
My current selection of sock patterns and yarn sit besides my chair, urging me on to finish what I’m knitting so I can pick another one! I’m trying to knit from what I have already paid for, and not buy yet more patterns and yarn if I can (it’s sort of working). It’s great motivation to knit, knit, knit though!