Sunday, November 10, 2013

How to be an excellent recipient of handknit socks, in four steps

1. When you stay with your friend for the weekend, admire her collection of handknit socks, and mention several times how nice it must be to wear them.
2. Enthusiastically visit the LYS where your friend works, even though you yourself have tried knitting and given it up as a bad idea.
3. Accept your friend's offer of a pair of socks, and when you pick out some yarn for them, choose one of her secret favorite colorways.
4. Receive the completed socks a couple months later with many expressions of thanks, and a very sweet post on Facebook.

These are the socks I made for my friend, who executed the above steps perfectly. Like many knitters, I'm happy to make gifts, but socks are reserved for a special few - immediate family, significant others, and very worthy friends.

The pattern I used is Katniss Socks by Rose Hiver, which is free on Ravelry. I know that the braided cable barely shows up in my photo because of the colorway (Citrus Mix, on Cascade Heritage), but I couldn't resist. In person, I think it gives a nice tactile quality to otherwise simple socks, and makes them a little more special. Also, although my friend is not, to my knowledge, a Hunger Games fan, I enjoyed using a fiery-looking yarn in a pattern named after Katniss. So of course, I named them Socks On Fire.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Alpine Flora socks

I finished these socks more than a month ago, and I haven't posted anything about them yet. I feel a little guilty about that, because there's nothing wrong with them. They're perfectly good socks - no major trauma or triumphs were involved in making them, which might be why I haven't felt inspired to write about them.

But I should, because this is a nice pattern and nice yarn, and they work so well together. The pattern is Level Up, by Heather Kinne, and my only objection is that twisted-stitch cables in fingering weight are very fiddly, but I knew that going in. The yarn is from Soft Like Kittens - it's the Alpine Flora colorway, on her Noodle Sock base. I love Annette's sense of color, which this yarn shows off nicely. The colors blend so subtly together that I can't really tell where one stops and the next begins, but taken as a whole I can definitely see them all. I like the nearly-striped effect I got on these socks, and how well the stitch pattern shows up on this yarn. I'm looking forward to working with more from Soft Like Kittens.

I'll also put in a plug for Annette's podcast, Gentle Ribbing, which is how I found out about her hand-dyed yarn. She is always working on something interesting, and usually has some smart ways to modify and personalize the patterns she knits and crochets. Plus, she crocheted this tea cozy. Enough said.