Tag Archives: socks

She’s aliiiiive- no, really (aka blergh part 3)

Last time I dropped by here to chat, it was just a few days after my fun and exciting emergency gallbladder removal.

August was a hell of a month.

The leaking roof, the gallbladder- those you know about. But we had a few family issues that I’m not going to share here- you’ll have to trust me when I say that they were/are super sucky. While I was still working on physically recovering, our microwave decided to die (or rather, to only work on the popcorn setting, and also, to come on all by itself. Freaky!) And then, after I went back to work, my car battery died. Thank goodness the awesome facilities staff were able to give me a jumpstart so I could get to the shop and get a new one installed… That day, when I finally made it back home and to my bed, our satellite TV was out.

Speaking of going back to work, I didn’t pull that off very well. At one week post-op, I went in for 4 hours. And woke up in agony the next day. I stupidly went back anyway, and made myself worse.  Cue a 3 day stint in bed, the only pro being that I watched the final 2 seasons of True Blood in an epic binge. At least by this point I was able to knit again.

Speaking of knitting… this illness and knitting didn’t mix at first. Post 1st ER, pre 2nd ER/surgery, I tried to work on my Drogon socks. (Pattern from April Cookie A Sock Club, using my own yarn purchased many years ago.)

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I had one sock done, and was ready for the heel flap on the second. I diligently plowed thru the heel flap, perhaps while on Percocet. And the next day I realized I had counted my stitches incorrectly and had to rip the whole thing back. I was so frustrated, and worried about screwing up again, that I put it down. Apparently knitting on narcotics is way worse than knitting drunk, at least for me.

Then came the surgery, and the pain. Aside from the fact that for the first week, I was on some potent pain pills and was afraid to risk another heel debacle, it also hurt to hold my arms where I normally would when knitting. D’oh. I plowed through my entire Kindle backlog, averaging a book a day. Finally I felt like I could handle knitting again, but I was afraid to go back to the sock until I was significantly better. So I dug through my Ravelry cue and stash pages until I found a super simple project that I could make with yarn that I had on hand- and even better, yarn that didn’t need to be wound. I cast on the Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West on 8/18, and finished it on 8/24. (The pattern repeat is literally 2 rows until you get to the final border…) You don’t get any pics yet as I’m not feeling up to being in them, or letting you see me…

After I finished the shawl, I felt brave enough to go back to my socks. And now they’re done. 2nd time was a charm on that heel…

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The left and right socks are mirrored. The pattern is meant to evoke the scales of Drogon, the most fearsome of the dragons from Game of Thrones. I’d had this Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Korpii color way sitting around for literally years- and it worked perfectly in this pattern. Because the yarn is a bit thicker, and the yardage a bit shorter, I went down a size from normal for me. I also eliminated one pattern repeat… They fit perfectly and I finished with just a bit of yarn to spare.

So it’s a new month. I’m really hopeful that September will be kinder to me and my family. My recovery is back on track. I’m not sure if for some reason I’m having a rougher time than is normal, or if I underestimated the impacts of surgery, even if it was laparoscopic. Regardless, I am now taking it verrrrry easy. I am back at work. On try #2, I went back 3 hours on monday, 4 on tuesday, etc. Today I basically made it an entire work day! My pain is overall way more manageable, and in a week I’m allowed back in hot tubs. If only we owned a hot tub… My car is fine now that it has a shiny new battery, and we got a new microwave on sale over the weekend (bless the internet- we shopped and bought it online, with store pickup, done by my husband, and I didn’t even have to get out of bed.) The contractors should be starting the repair work next week- they would have started this week but I couldn’t handle it while still feeling lousy. They say it’s a one week job, so I’m thinking 2?

I’ve missed you all terribly. While I was feeling lousy, I didn’t even look at my bloglines feed. I’m hoping to start making the rounds and visiting you all again very soon.

Thank you again for all the kind comments and well wishes. They were a comfort when it felt like everything that could go wrong, was…

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Filed under Knitting, Shawls, westknits

Daenerys Sails Away

I’ve been busy showing off loads of quilting projects here on the blog, and so you might not believe it, but I’ve had a productive knitting year, too… I just finished my 2nd and 3rd pairs of Cookie A 2014 Sock Club socks. And I love them. Want to see?

Like you have a choice…

April 2014- Daenerys.

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Both April patterns were inspired by Game of Thrones, which made me happy. I chose Daenerys, as the pattern was truly lovely. Intertwined cables that proceeded all the way to the toe. The only down side to the pattern is that I ended up with quite a bit of laddering where the needles met. I tried to correct for it, but didn’t have a ton of success. I’m hoping that with wear it won’t be as obvious. I didn’t move super fast on these- they took me an entire month- because I was also working on a shawl for my mom for Mother’s day. (I have no good pics of that, but it came out wonderfully…)

The April club yarn was cephalopod yarns skinny bugga in color way Tyrian Mollusk. Mine was redder than I expected from the pattern, where it had more of a purple tint. The yarn is soft and was great to work with, but, I was disappointed in the dye. It didn’t seem to have seeped all the way into the fibers- I split the yarn by accident a few times, and it was white inside… Still, the socks are lovely.

June 2013- Sail Away

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I LOVE these socks. These are officially the fastest pair of socks I have ever made. Under 2 weeks from winding the yarn to binding off the final toe. The pattern is wonderful, meant to look like sailboat sails blowing in the wind. It was very very easy to memorize- the exact opposite of Daenerys’ cables.

The one problem? I ran out of yarn. The club yarn this time was Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock Yarn- from here in Colorado!- in Out to Sea. The yarn is only 370 yards to a skein, a bit shorter than most sock yarn skeins. I made my socks in size L, and ran out of yarn at the end of the 2nd toe.

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I started to panic about there… I didn’t think I would have enough left to finish, but I plowed on. Sadly, I was right. I ran out right before the final toe rounds. My long tail cast on had left a fairly long tail, so I stole that little bit to eke out an extra row. One sock is 2 rows shorter than the other 😦 I doubt anyone will ever know, but it made me sad.

The next club yarn shipment will be in August. Until then, I’ve got a Hitchhiker shawl on my needles, just past the halfway point.

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And up next, I think I’ll make the Drogon socks from the April 2014 Cookie A packet, in some lovely STR that I’ve had stashed for 4+ years…

Anything fun on your needles?

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Bjorks

Whoo! My new sewing room is nearly done. Nearly but not quite. Not quite good enough for photos yet, but nearly good enough to use.

Meanwhile, I thought I’d take a moment to show you some lovely hand knit socks I finished back in March. For the 4th(!) year in a row, I’m taking part in the Cookie A Sock Club. Every other month, I get an amazing shipment of mystery yarn along with 2 exclusive sock patterns from the fabulous Cookie A. I LOVE her sock designs, and the amazing exclusive yarns she gets for the club, and have had so much fun knitting the last 3 years of club socks. The first shipment of 2014 arrived in February, and I wasn’t let down!

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The yarn, Plucky Feet by The Plucky Knitter in colorway Goin’ Steady is a hot hot hot pink- I love it, and it just happens to go wonderfully with my Color Craving shawl!

I chose what seemed to me the simpler of the two patterns, Bjork, mostly because the other one had a lot of stockinette, and I have found that I don’t love the way socks like that feel. The socks were fun and fast, and I actually finished them over a month ago- oops! I meant to blog them… I did. I’ve worn them several times already, even on my Boston trip 🙂

They look good, if I do say so myself.

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Notes: no mods per se, but I did knit them an inch longer than the pattern called for as I prefer a longer sock. I made size L, and had no issues with running out of yarn even with the added length.

And because I simply can’t resist, I’m going to once again post the photo of me with The Yarn Harlot– with her holding my Bjork #1, which I bound off during her reading.

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Whee! As soon as I finish the shawl on my needles right now (which is a gift for my mom, and slightly over halfway done) I’ll be casting on the April socks.

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New Socks for New Years

New Year’s Day was cold and snowy, so I seized the moment to snuggle up in bed and start a new pair of socks: Arrow (one of the patterns from the December 2013 Cookie A Sock Club shipment). The pattern is so simple, but I adore the outcome. The sock was practically flying off my needles.

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Eventually, I had to get out of bed and do other things, but by Thursday night, when the kids and I lucked into some Avs tickets, I had gotten to here.

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The Avs won, and my sock grew…(PS see those braces? Poor kid got them Thursday morning…)

Friday had more knitting time, and by the time I met up with my friend for the 2014 Sticks and Stitches game on Saturday afternoon, I was on to the gusset. and, BTW, the Avs won again.

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Saturday and Sunday were both cold, nasty, and snowy… so we decided to finally take the plunge and, with the kids,  watch the director’s cut of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (nearly 4.5 hours long, and on two discs, so we drug it out over two nights…) And by the end of the credits on Sunday night, I had a sock! A lovely, soft squishy sock. The yarn, Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock, is as luscious as it sounds. The custom club colorway, Julep, is again not one I would have picked out, but I totally love it.

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The ribbing on the sides makes this an extra comfy sock. I can’t wait to get #2 done so I can start wearing them.

What’s been your first start of the New Year?

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Friday Finish: Block n Socks

I’ve got not one but TWO finishes under my belt this week- both quilty and knitty.

First off, the quilty. I came in just under the wire with my September do.Good Stitches Harmony Circle block. Thank goodness it was a simple block… A low volume/bright log cabin, a very big one, finishing up at 19″! I think it took me as much time to choose fabrics as it did to sew…

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I got it in the mail Monday, and hopefully it has already reached its new home. Looking at it now, I wish I had put the bright blue and pink inner logs further out, but oh well. I’m so glad I got to use those fun little birdies again!

And now, the knitty finish. A(nother) pair of socks, of course… These should have been the fastest socks ever. I had knit the pattern (Sarsaparilla by Cookie A, from the October 2012 club shipment) before and I adore it. The first sock flew off my needles in under a week.

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I cast on at a Saturday night Rockies game, and kept going on a Monday game- and even with 2 games in 3 days, I managed to miss Todd Helton’s 2,500th hit. Ah, well, we still had fun.

But the second sock? It took me forever. I took it with me to the beach, and I was frantic that it wouldn’t be enough knitting to last a week.

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But the truth is, I barely picked it up all week, even on the 6 flights (denver to funeral, funeral to beach, beach to denver). I was feeling so mellow, I was past knitting. Which I thought was impossible- who knew?

And then when we got home, I cast on for Henry’s giant Xmas gift- a nearly bed sized knitted minecraft blanket. I’ve done the match, and I should just barely squeak it out in time for the big day. So I decided I could only knit the socks at work. And they barely grew.

And then the yarn broke not once, not even twice, but THREE times within the last inch of the toe. Grrrrr. That was an excessive amount of end weaving to have to do for a sock. Last night I gave up and broke my own rule, and finished the toe at home. Finally.

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And these socks have turned out to be nearly impossible to photograph. In the in-progress shot, you can really see the cables. But not in these… I love this pattern, and I think I will eventually end up making one more pair, in a completely solid yarn, so the cables will shine as they were meant to.

Friday may bring snow to Denver (ugh, I am so not ready for this) and so these socks may get broken in really quickly…

Here’s hoping it’s warmer where you are, and that you had some good finishes this week, too!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday and Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday

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Artemis on my feet…

I’m back!

Since last time I was here, I’ve been to Europe and back! My family was lucky enough to go on a Disney Cruise that started in Barcelona, and took us through the Mediterranean. (At some point I’ll have the energy to post photos here, really. Probably.) It was amazing! I was so crazy relaxed (sometimes) or tired from trying to see all of a city like Rome in one day (most of the other times) that I barely picked up my knitting at all.

I know, I don’t believe it either.

August’s shipment from the Cookie A sock club was stunning- a gorgeous blue from Miss Babs, inspired by Turkey- a place where I just happened to live for 3 years long long ago.

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The perfect yarn to take on a big international trip, right? I got started before I left.

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I chose Artemis, the easier seeming of the 2 patterns- easier is better for travel, right?

By the time we flew home a week later, I had only gotten this far:

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I did mange to turn the heel before we got home… And then it really didn’t take me long to finish the pair. (PS as an aside, please note how perfectly my vodka matches the yarn!)

They’re wonderful!

artemis mosaicThe pattern had a nice twist in the foot- a section of ribbing around the arch. I may incorporate it into more projects in the future. Not sure if you can really see it in the photos, but the columns of cables are actually different- one twists at even intervals, and not the other. It’s very neat!

I’ve already got the heel turned on another sock, so, I’ll be back soon. For real. I think.

 

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S(p)ocks

Another month, another pair of simply fabulous socks!

A few weeks back, I told you all about the awesome June shipment from the Cookie A Sock club. Spock and Kirk themed socks? Yes, please! The Kirk-inspired Tiberius socks flew off my needles and are wonderful to wear, and I immediately cast on the Spocks.

I grabbed some fabulous yarn out of my stash, purchased during a trip to Fiber Space (best logo ever!) in Washington, DC nearly 3 years ago… (As an aside, do you buy yarn or fabric as a souvenir when you travel? Because I absolutely do- and when I finally use what I buy, all the memories from the trip are wrapped up in the FO- which is all sorts of awesome.0

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Isn’t it pretty? It’s Neighborhood Fiber Co. Luxury Sock in Cleveland Park color way. It’s got 10% cashmere, just like the delicious Sweet Georgia that was the June club yarn. I thought the variegation would be okay in this pattern- not too overt to distract from the fabulous sock itself. And while the blue is darker than Spock’s uniform shirt, it’s still blue. What do you think?

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Again, I love the pattern, and I’m very happy with how the socks turned out. The pattern was a breeze- I finished the first one in less than a week, and would have been done with the second just as fast, but life got in the way…

Now my fingers are crossed that the August shipment arrives by the 7th, as we leave on vacation the 8th…and it’s a trip that will include lots of time for knitting… I can’t wait to tell you all about it (the trip, not the socks, but if I’m honest, yes, the next socks as well)!

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To Go Boldly Where No Sock Has Gone Before

The June shipment from the Cookie A Sock club kind of blew my mind, in the best possible way.

First off, the yarn. It was Sweet Georgia Cashluxe Fine– my first time using this yarn. And it was heavenly to work with. The color? Well, it just happened to be inspired by my favorite soda.

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The fabulous yarn would have made me happy regardless, but,  in a geek’s dream, both patterns were inspired by Star Trek. Pattern 1- Tiberius. Pattern 2- Spock.

I cast on for Tiberius right away. It travelled with me to Pittsburgh, and saw me through the final Game of Thrones book…

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It was a simple pattern to memorize, and I finished the pair fairly quickly.

And I love them. The yarn is fabulous on the feet, and the color is great. I might go down either a pattern or needle size if I made them again- they have loads of stretch to them. But overall? Complete happiness.

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I’ve already cast on the Spocks, and am at the toe of the first sock! Stay tuned…

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I may not have a green thumb, but I have some awesome Tulips

I just realized yesterday that I finished a lovely pair of socks a few weeks back, but forgot to blog about them. I think it was a combination of not having any decent photos, and my obsessions with crocheting more coral… The socks got finished and put aside. (Also, we went from crazy amounts of late spring snow straight into summer-high heat with basically no in between. Ah, Colorado…)

Which was really a shame, as they are a lovely pair. So tonight I grabbed my husband as he was racing out the door to get Henry to one of his 3 baseball games of the week, and got hime to snap away at my feet.

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The pattern is Tulip Socks, from the April shipment of the 2013 Cookie A Sock Club. It’s one of those lovely simple but elegant patterns that are not hard to knit, but finish to a stunning effect. Check out the detail on the cuff especially- I love the way the tulip shape is formed as the pattern itself kicks in.

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The yarn is a wonderful shade of purple- light and springy but not too soft- and is a club exclusive color called Violet Hour. It is Dream in Color Everlasting Sock. I’ve used other Dream in Color yarns before and loved them, but I have mixed feelings on this one. It’s an 8-ply. That’s a lot of ply for a sock yarn! I had some fiddly, annoying moments where I split the yarn… I had to rip back twice (put yarnovers in the wrong place while watching Dr Who with the fam) and in each spot, you can really tell. Fortunately, only in the stockinette sections on the bottom of the feet, but, still… I’m still trying to decide if the fabulous drape and soft texture were worth the headache of the 8-ply.

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Now back to crocheting my coral… at least until the June Cookie A shipment arrives in a week or so. What’s on your hooks and needles right now?

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A(nother) Year’s Worth of Cookies

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2012 was the 2nd year of the Cookie A Sock Club, and my second year in the club. You can read all about the inaugural year here (not to mention see the 6 pairs of glorious socks that resulted…)

Are you back? Good- now I can show you all the goodies from 2012 (also know as the year of Sam’s Sad Blog…). Since we’re already into the second shipment of 2013, this post is a bit overdue, but like everything about my blogging life lately, that will just have to be okay.

Febraury 2012: Wayward, knit in Alisha Goes Around Richness of Martens Fingering, colorway Genevieve.

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These socks took me forever- from March through July! That never happens to me- a pair usually takes 2 weeks to a month. But for some reason this pattern kept slipping out of my head, and I had to have it in front of me at all times, meaning it wasn’t great to carry around with me to work, movies, baseball practices, etc. Even though they took me forever, they truly weren’t a hard knit. (In fact, I finished the next two pairs before I finally finished these!) And the finished product is stunning! I love the red, love the yarn, love the pattern…

April 2012: Nainaimo, knit in Socktopus Sokkusu Original, River Styx colorway.

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This pattern was simple mindless bliss, especially after the trouble I had with the Waywards. It’s one of those simple yet truly effective stitch patterns that creates a lovely visual effect without straining the brain too much during the knitting process. I did still manage to make one large error in one sock, but if I don’t point it out, no one will ever have to know. So of course I pointed it out to all sorts of people in person… Sigh. Why do we do that? The yarn is wonderful and has held up well after many washings and wearings. I feel like this one makes an excellent unisex sock.

June 2012: Reyjavik, knit in The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering, colorway vintage icebox.

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LOVED this knit! Fun to work on, easy to memorize, but still not boring to knit, and identical right and left feet. Finished these in about 2 weeks. Like normal. The blue makes my heart sing. And, in a super fun side note, viewed upside down, these socks look just like the Atari logo! Secret nerdy pleasure…

August 2012: Gyoruko, knit in Enchanted Knoll Farm EKF Superwash Sock Yarn, colorway Genmaicha.
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Oh, this green was divine! LOVED this color so much. This was another pair that took me too long to knit- and it appears I didn’t even remember to record when I started, but I know it was AFTER our September 2012 visit to HHI. Took the wound yarn to the beach with me, but ended up only working on the shawl I’d packed, as it was more appropriately brainless, and, took longer than I expected to finish it (bound off on the plane home). I love the effect of this pattern, but it took me a while to get into the groove of knitting it. My brain resisted memorizing the flow, who knows why? I also made some dumb mistakes, probably because of the trouble I was having internalizing the pattern. One toe in particular is, um, unique, but I got so far past the mistake before I realized what I had been doing wrong that I didn’t have the heart to rip back. Finished these in November and have happily worn them several times since. The yarn is not as sublimely soft as the earlier shipments, but the texture and drape are still quite pleasant.
October 2012: we’re going to skip this one and come back later in the post…
December 2012: Striation, knit in Stricken Smitten Sinful Sock, colorway Scheherazade’s Sky, dyelot CC
striationI’ve already told you a bit about these socks, but to recap: simple pattern (but not boring to knit), wonderful effect when complete, heavenly yarn. My only sadness? I tend to get the pattern PDF downloads before my mail carrier shows up with the yarn itself. In the PDF pattern it appeared that this yarn was a lush, deep purple- and we all know how I feel about purple. When it arrived bright blue, I was momentarily sad as I had grown very attached to that purple. But it’s such a lovely yarn, I got past it…
Okay, back to October. The October yarn did not float my boat. It wasn’t just the color, or the texture, or the drape, or the feel- it was all of it. That happens, and it’s the risk you take when you join a club- you never know what you might get. I truly loved all of the 2011 selections, and 5 out of 6 for 2012 ain’t bad. (We’ve already received the first 2 for 2013, and I love them both as well. You’ve seen one finished pair already.)
But the October patterns? One of them could seriously be one of my faves ever- it’s called Sarsaparilla, and consists of gorgeous huge cables all down the socks. So I sold my October yarn to another club member, and put the pattern aside to wait for the right yarn. Then, right before Xmas, Fancy Tiger Crafts had some lovely Lorna’s Laces Solemate in a red and white colorway (Folk Red) that tickled my fancy- and I had a coupon expiring 12/31/12 that was burning a hole in my pocket… meant to be, right? I was picturing candy cane socks for holidays to come, and since peppermint is my favorite holiday flavor, what could be better?
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Well, I’m mixed on this pair. the yarn did NOT knit up like I expected, and the saturation of the red shifted SO dramatically from the start to the end of the skein. You can very easily see what I mean, right? The more distinctly red sock is the second sock. They look like they came from different dyelots, but it was all one skein. I wound it into a cake myself… I loved knitting the pattern, love the way it looks, and love they way the yarn feels in the sock. But I hate the way the color turned out, and the way the beautiful cables got lost in the yarn. I plan to knit another pair in solid or near solid yarn, soon.
One year, 6 shipments, 5 successes, and one to grow on. 2012 was a pretty good year for socks! Now, to cast on the April 2013 yarn!

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