As I hinted in my last post I've been knitting up a storm :D
First up are my new favorite socks!
These bad boys were knit up using Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in 'Holi Festival'. This is an awesome festive yarn, named after the Hindu spring festival of the same name. During Holi participants throw colourful powdered paints and coloured water in a big free for all party! This colourful, variegated yarn looks like it was in the middle of the action, the colours are vibrant and very uplifting. Perfect pick-me-up for dreary and dismal Vancouver winters.
The pattern is Melisandre by Purrlsecent, named after the fiery and mysterious priestess, serving the 'Lord of Light' in GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones series. I'm a huge Game of Thrones fan (still working my way thorough the books but I'm caught up on the show!), however I didn't pick this pattern because of the name (Although...thinking about it...if the 'Lord of Light' ends up ending winter through Melisandre's hand and ushers in spring then my yarn and pattern combo is pretty prophetic.....).
I mainly chose this pattern because of the nice cable work involved (also...it was free!). I wanted something more than a 'vanilla' sock pattern for this special yarn but I'm not a huge fan of lace work socks as having holes in my socks, though decorative, take away from keeping my toesies warm (and I don't understand why you would purposefully put holes in your socks....). The cables are all worked without the need for a cable needle, decreases and accompanying M1 (make one stitch) do all the work for you. Since I am a fan of 'two-at-a-time-sock-knitting' (because ain't nobody got time to knit socks one at a time!) these guys whipped up pretty fast, helped along by binge watching of 'Making a Murderer'.
These are actually the second pair of socks I knit with this yarn....the first set I knit with a different, mostly stockinette stitch, pattern that I ended up not liking half way through...so I frogged it (a knitting term meaning that you ripped the project up to start again....get it? you ripped-it....ribbit? frog noise? no? don't blame me I didn't come up with this!). I'm really glad I did because I think these socks turned out great! (Although one sock ended up with more colourful bits than the other....which bugs me a bit.....but that's just the nature of variegated yarn....and who knows? maybe one sock was just better at dogging the paint during the festival than the other :D)
Even though I've knit many pairs of socks before, this was my first pair that I actually blocked. I had never bothered before as I typically get too excited and want to wear them right away but I decided to try it out since the socks looked pretty knobbly when I was done knitting them and the cables looked kinda squished.
Since I don't own any 'sock blockers' (which are essentially wire or wooden sock forms to dry your socks on) I did a bit of googling for alternatives. Some suggestions were to bend your own sock blockers out of a wire hanger but that sounded like too much effort.....another resource provided a printable sock blocker template which they suggested you cut out of those cheep foam sheets you can find in any craft or dollar store....now since I did a massive craft room clean up I knew that I had a bunch of these sheets lying around, #CraftRoomCleanUpForTheWin, Boom! Done! Socks added to their gentle, Ecualan, water bath (which also meant the bathroom sink got a cleaning before and after #OwningClean2016) and on with with printer to print out the template! Some DIY'ing later I had my own free pair of sock blockers :D
Wrangling the wet socks onto the floppy, soft foam sheet sock blockers (say that 3X fast!) was a challenge both in the literal 'this was a difficult task to do' sense and in the comical 'wrangle-a wet-sock-onto-a-floppy, soft-foam-sheet-sock-blocker *wink*wink**nudge*nudge**say no more* I look hilarious trying to accomplish this but no one is home to share this moment with me so don't kill yourself laughing alone' sense. ;)
I forgot to take a picture of pre-blocked socks so you'll have to take my word for it that blocking made a world of difference to the finished look of the socks...Although you could take a look at the picture of the socks in progress in this post and compare that to the picture of the socks flat above if you are interested in seeing before and after :D
I've now been converted to the 'blocking' side of the knit force! Come join us! We have cookies and awesome cables :D
Stay tuned tomorrow for another knitting post #alltheknitting!