Sunday, June 21, 2015

Socks and Smocks

Uh, hi.

A topsy-turvey work schedule, along with a professional meeting, a chorus concert, a mini-vacation and getting the interior of our house painted, have all conspired to make knitting a rare thing lately. For weeks all I did was work on a pair of socks on Saturday morning with my regular knitters. That was it. Two hours a week for nearly a month. And it really bugged me. But this weekend I dusted off the cobwebs, literal and figurative and mental, and resumed some semblance of momentum.

Yesterday, I finished the Moorish Stripe Socks, one of the Six-Stitch Stranded Patterns from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks. I used the yarn I bought at The Quilted Skein in La Grange when I visited with Leah Wilson King back in March.

I think these turned out fine. I did do the gussets differently on each sock, a danger when the two are knit so far apart. You can see the one on the left above has a gold line on the top of the gusset that the other doesn't have. I also managed to repeat an extra row on the sole/instep of the second sock, but didn't catch it unti just before,working the star toe. Oh, well. I'm over it now that I've confessed. My sock model, who normally doesn't go in for handknit socks, declared these "wonderfully soft" and that he wouldn't mind a pair like these. Maybe it was because the gold color has silk in it? He better not hold his breath. It may be a while before I tackle stranded knit socks again.

After completIng that pair, I started right away on another installment of my knitted pillow project. I'd toyed with the idea of a honeycomb cable for a bolster pillow, but wasn't sold. Staci suggested I take a look at a smocked rib pattern that she'll be posting an instructional video for soon. She graciously sent me the instructions and I've set to work. The idea I have is to knit this with a provisional cast on so that I can graft it closed once the tube is the right circumference. However, this means that I had to both knit and purl into the provisional crochet chain. No easy feat, that. I had to use a tiny crochet hook to help get the purl stitches on the knitting needles. And it took forever. And I have to find instructions for grafting 2x2 ribbing. I'm sure that's a thing (he said, without ever having checked).

But it's going well now. All the fiddliness happens every six rows, way better than what I would have faced with honeycomb stitch. And I like the pattern it makes. It reminds off the gathered fabric I've seen on top of old sewing boxes.

So something finished and something started. Here's hoping that my slump is over.