FO: Socktoberfest Prolonged

You’ve heard of Christmas in July, right? How about Socktoberfest in April?

  • Pattern: TTL Mystery Sock 2010 by Kirsten Kapur, Ravelled here
  • Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Semisolids in Mango, 1 skein
  • Needles: US size 1 / 2.5mm
  • Mods: I knit the size Large, using a size Medium heel flap

This was my first time participating in a mystery knit along, and it had its pros and cons to be sure.  The main asset of this type of knitting is the anticipation and excitement, particularly when knitting along in a group.  As each clue was released, a flurry of knitting and chatter would erupt on Ravelry, and it really kept me motivated to push on through knitting that week’s clue on both socks.  The clues were released roughly as the pictures flow below:

Then, once all the clues were released and I was left with two half-knit socks, I felt discouraged.  I was tired from all the excitement, and the now-garish orange yarn was irritating to look at.  Naturally, they got set aside for new projects and would get worked on in fits and starts for the next several months.

It’s funny how finishing up a long-lingering project can feel so great!  My creative workload has been lightened a bit, and any ill feelings I had toward these socks have vanished.  Instead, I feel excited that I have these new, vibrant orange socks to wear as the weather warms and colors outside brighten.  Taking six months to knit a pair of socks also has me feeling (in a misplaced way) that they were very little work.  Strange, that.

In any case, I get to cast on a new pair of socks now!  Hopefully they will get knit up at a slightly quicker pace. Or maybe I should pull out that shawl I started in a knit along last July…

Yarn Along:: Cracking the Wip

For this week’s Yarn Along:  I’m still reading and enjoying Coop, and I’m nearly finished with that secret knitting project I mentioned last week. Boring stuff, really. So let me tell you about what I’ve been watching and knitting: Downton Abbey and my Socktoberfest mystery socks.


I’ve pulled these socks out a couple of times this year, determined to finish them before I cast on a new pair. Trouble is, I’m not in love with the pattern anymore; it was very exciting back in October when the pattern was a mystery and I was knitting along with other people.  But then they got set aside for months, and I grew less interested. I powered through the foot of the first sock while away in February, only to discover that I didn’t really care for the finished sock. So rather than finish off the pair then and there, I put them away where they’ve consistently been passed over for new and exciting projects.

Then the other afternoon during PB’s nap time, I was sitting in the office and decided it was finally time to see what all the fuss was about over Downton Abbey. I loved Gosford Park, and always enjoy a good Jane Austen film adaptation (especially by the BBC), so it was a good guess I’d like this too. After sitting through the opening credits, hands idle in my lap, it was obvious some knitting was needed. I could swivel around in my office chair and grab something from my wip bin or get up and walk into the living room for a different project.

Sheer laziness drove me to pick up these socks again, and I will finish this them. The motivation this time is that a) they’ve been on the needles long enough and b) I have 2 installments of the Cookie A. sock club sitting around staring at me, and I’d like to cast one on already.  Keeping these socks on my desk seems to be working, as I’m already to the toe decreases!

And yes, I am really enjoying the series. It’s full of drama, fast-paced dialogue, unexpected tenderness, some romance and intrigue, and all the tension you’d expect from an upstairs-downstairs saga.  I’ve already managed to watch the first 3 episodes since Sunday!

What are you watching this week as you knit?

On Schedule

I was pleased as punch to be all caught up with both socks before the most recent Mystery Sock clue came out last night.  At some points this mysterious knitting adventure has felt a bit like homework or working against a deadline; the teacher’s pet in me wants to be on time with my knitting (and not on one sock, but both of course).  This motivation has been exciting at times, and downright hand-cramping at others.  In any case, I am having fun knitting along and am really enjoying how these socks are turning out.

Now it’s on to the gussett and foot!  I think I’m going to relax a bit now and go at my natural sock-knitting pace.

We’ll see how long that lasts…

A Great Weekend

I had an all around Great Weekend.  There was a surprise date night to see a favorite musician in Portland, followed by a unique and fun fondue dinner with adult beverages.  Plus, I got to knit the whole way there, which was over an hour.  Heaven!

I may have started a new project, just to have something easy to knit in the car. Like you do.

Saturday and Sunday were perfect fall weather days.  We took walks, worked on some projects, I got a little alone time in my craft room, we went to a soup & s’mores party, and I didn’t cook all weekend.  Sweetie and I agreed that this was a perfect combination of relaxation, adventuring, and just being.

Oh, and Peaceful Baby figured out how to clap, and now she doesn’t want to stop!  We went out to breakfast yesterday where she also figured out she could reach my plate and promptly stole my bacon.  I guess she’s giving up vegetarianism already.

And last but not least, I am all caught up with the TTL Mystery Sock!  Of course, I am knitting both socks sort of at the same time, so really I’m just caught up on one.  But that puts me ahead of the game as far as I’m concerned, and besides, I’ve got a few more days before the next clue comes out.  I have been a little trepedatious about the mixed textures and patterns on the leg of this sock.  Part of me wanted to go straight from the cuff to the charted pattern, leaving out all that box stitch.  In the end, I decided to play along and have faith that it’s going to be an amazing sock in the end.  I really like it so far.

Clues 1-3 complete

 

Orange you glad I didn’t say “Knock-knock”?

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Orange.

Orange who?

Orange you glad to know there are spoiler pictures of the TTL Mystery Sock in this post?

It’s all about Orange at Peaceful House this week.  Orange is a color I generally enjoy in all its shades, from punchy and cheerful to somber and warm.  This is the time of year where orange typically gets the most play via Halloween decorations, fresh pumpkins and gourds, candy corn, football team uniforms, and the changing leaves.  Is it any wonder I have been planning on knitting orange socks in October since I purchased this yarn last spring?

My mystery sock knitting is moving along according to schedule.  I started out uncharacteristically by knitting a gauge swatch.  I know, I know. I rarely knit a gauge swatch, and have never done one for socks.  But I figured since I knew nothing about the pattern or its resulting fabric, I would have to trust the designer and go with the recommended gauge.  After knitting up said swatch I noticed that my usual sock needles (US 1/2.5mm Addi Lace circs) were on the small side, so I went up a size.

When the first clue came out last week (on Thursday night at 9pm for me thanks to Pacific Time), I cast on with glee (not the show, but the feeling); (have I used to many parenthesis in this sentence?).  After fiddling with a cable needle and my dpns I decided things would be much easier if I knit these socks Magic Loop style, but I did not have the right size needles.  It turned out huge!  And the cable definition wasn’t what I wanted it to be.

After thinking it over all weekend, I finally decided to pour over the spoiler pics in the TTL Ravelry group to see what other people’s cuffs looked like.  It was just as I suspected: they looked perky and squishy at the same time, just like a good sock cuff should.

I decided to take the end from the outside of my center-pull ball and knit a second cuff on my beloved size 1 Addi Lace needles.  You know, just to compare and see if one needle size really made that much of a difference.  And I ditched the cable needle in favor of crossing the stitches like this*.  So much better!  I ripped out the first cuff and re-knit it on size 1 dpns.  Now all I need to do is decide if I should be knitting both socks on the same type of needle. This would mean either going out and buying a second set of dpns or circular needles, or switching the cuffs on and off my circulars to knit.  Looks like I forgot to take a photo of the two sizes side by side, but here are the two smaller cuffs, one on dpns and one on a circular.

The second clue came out last night.  I took a peek before bed, but decided not to start in on it.  There’s a textured stitch and then some great cables, something I tend to avoid on socks.  I suppose that’s a bit of why I’m attempting this mysterious pattern: to push myself beyond the limits of my knitting complacency.

Looks like I’ll be busy knitting up the first leg this weekend!  What are your weekend knitting plans?

•••

*Right Twist: Knit 2 sts together, leave both sts on left needle; knit 1st st, slipping both sts off left needle
Left Twist: Knit 2nd st tbl, leave on left needle; knit 1st st as normal, slipping both sts off left needle