Socks on my needles
I’m still delaying a restart of the cropped raglan cardi, as well as my Livresque, though the Livresque is now likely to come first. But after the fingerless mitts, I sorted through other sock yarns, trying some different colors together, wanting to work down this old, old stash some more, and settled on a discontinued Knitpicks Stroll called Parlor Multi (red, blue and brown), along with a Stroll solid in a discontinued color, Firecracker Heather (red). The Parlor Multi is interesting in that, in the ball, the red seems predominant. But when I knit it into socks, the blue/brown kind of takes over.
I’m convinced that Stroll Multies were discontinued because of their unfortunate pooling tendencies, but it’s always interesting to see what they decide to do when knitted up. I have the cuff done on one sock and the leg done on the other. I’ll catch the one up to the other before I start the heels. I’m doing ribbing, heels, and toes in Firecracker and the rest in the multi, unless I run out (there’s only one 50 g ball of the multi), in which case I’ll end the feet with narrow stripes of Firecracker Heather and Blue Topaz (also discontinued), which is close to the same blue as in the Parlor Multi.
The main reason for all the discontinued yarns and colors is that I knit on a tight budget, and when a color is about to be done away with, it usually goes on sale for a low price. If it’s a color I like, and I have the money, I’ll buy a little or a lot depending on what I want it for. These Stroll multies I only bought one 50 g ball of each, except for one that I bought more of. So those I only have in small amounts I try to coordinate with other colors. They all have odd pooling characteristics.
Why not red?
“I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing …” ~ Thomas Jefferson
I realize these are not the colors many people would choose for socks, and when it’s combined with the brown, this blue doesn’t work that well for me. But I’ve been wanting some new solid red socks for a while now, since an older pair (not handknit) wore out. So, these and some solid red socks have been in my long-range knitting plans, as is a red cardigan. Now seemed like the time.
I’ve wanted red socks even more since reading a particular novel a few years ago (Finding Philippe: Lost in France… by Elizabeth Edmondson), in which a young man who works for a stodgy law firm and has to wear three-piece suits all the time rebels by always wearing red socks. It was a minor point in the novel, but I loved that bit of rebellion.
I’m a natural redhead, though my hair is not as bright as it once was and now has white streaks on the sides. My mom, though a darling person, had some rigid ideas about clothing, especially about color, and I grew up with the notion that a redhead could not wear red. But I love red. It’s not my favorite color, but it comes very close, and I love its energy. I’ve always been a low-energy person, and I feel that red, whether an orange-red or a blue-red, can raise my energy level in some ways. I held out until I was in my twenties, when I fell in love with a red summer blouse, which I had to be careful with on laundry day so I didn’t turn other things pink. One day when I wore it into a store, I secretly smiled when I overheard two young women murmur to each other something along the lines of, “Doesn’t she know redheads shouldn’t wear red?” Years later I owned a favorite pair of red pants that came with a white blouse printed with big red poppies. Ever since then I’ve made a point of having at least one garment in my wardrobe that’s red. I’m 66 now and have never regretted this little rebellion of mine.
The first sock as a swatch
I’m sure eventually I’ll write an entire post on how I knit my vanilla (plain stocking stitch) socks, but one thing to point out here is that I usually knit them top-down, and when dealing with yarns or colors I’m not sure of I typically consider the first leg a swatch. Then I proceed with a two-at-a-time sequence in sections, so I finish both socks at about the same time. I knit them on separate needles, and the more I use them the more I like 9-inch circulars for socks, until I get to the toe decreases, when I usually switch to magic loop on a longer needle. This first sock now has a complete leg (7.5 inches or about 19 cm) and I’m ready to start the heel. Before I do that, and now that I know what I’m dealing with as far as color pooling, I’ll catch the other sock up to this one, and then start the (not really contrasting) heels, probably flap and gusset types, though I could change my mind between now and then and do short row heels. I like shadow-wrap short rows.
See you later, and Happy Knitting!