BRAIN CRAMP OUTSIDE OF BOSTON

UPDATE:  THIS TEXTURE DESIGN IS NOW AVAILABLE AS AN EASY TO PRINT PDF UNDER THE KNITTING PATTERNS LINK, ABOVE.

Here I am. Remember me?

As occasional readers here have noted before, extended periods between posts usually mean that my professional life has up and swallowed my personal life, and that I’m hard pressed by work-related deadlines. The past couple of months has been no exception. I will say that even though I get swamped, I do try to grab a little relaxation time, but when I do I usually stick to autopilot rather than challenging knitting.

Which is all a round about excuse for why nothing has been done on my Sempre pullover of late. I haven’t had time to sit down and draft out the fulll size mockup. I’ll get around to it, but not until after I decompress. In the mean time I’ve been sticking to nice, boring sock knitting.

Long Time Needlework Pal Kathryn surprised me with a nifty gift – two skeins of lively, variegated pink SWTC Tofutsies, a wool/cottom/soy silk/crab shell chitin fingering weight yarn. I was pleasantly surprised by the Tofutsies. I’m not a fan of cotton sock yarns, and usually stick to all wool or wool/nylon. To me cotton is unstretchy to knit, and both clammy and pebbly underfoot. Not so the Tofutsies. It knits up nice and soft, not pebbly at all. It is however not as stretchy as wool – sort of somewhere in between wool and cotton in total stretch. Because I favor toe-ups with short row heels which rely heavily on total stretch for their ankle to instep fit, I was hesitant to use the Tofutsies for my standard issue sock. Instead I adapted Wendy’s toe up gusset heel for my stitch count. It worked perfectly, making a sock with more than enough depth and with for comfortable fit, even with the un-stretchy yarn. For the decorative ankle part, I adapted yet another one of the simplest double yarn over eyelet insertion strips from Duchrow, Vol. 1. This one featured diamonds of eyelets, embedded in an 18 stitch repeat. I wish I had pix, but I gave the pair to a pal who was thirsty for warm socks in a sprightly, spring pink. She has promised to take some snaps though which I will eventually post.

And for those who are dying to ask, no. This yarn does not smell like crab shells. If anything, it smells like cotton yarn, not wool yarn, even though it has twice as much wool in it as it does cotton.

My Tofutsies pair was a super-quick knit, so I started a second pair of socks out of another sock yarn new to my stash. This time it was Berroco Sox, in color #1425 (called John Moores on the B. website, and from the grouping named after the UK entrepreneur or Liverpool-based university, not the US baseball team owner), working my standard toe-up with short-rowed heel. I like this yarn. Although I did find one knot in the skein, the rest of the thing was comparable in feel and gauge to Regia or Fortissima. Very nice, indeed. Especially considering that it was slightly less expensive than those Euro-labels. (The yarn itself is imported.)

The color run repeated roughly twice between toe and heel for me, and with each stripe being very shallow and the color patterning being hard to discern in skein, was fun to watch build. You can’t really see it in the standard issue lousy String pix below, but I knit the feet smooth and introduced an ultra simple diagonal lacy detail on the ankle:

bsox-1.jpg

It’s a simple double yarn over diagonal, done on an 8 stitch repeat (my socks are usually 72 or 80 stitches around). The idea was to leave enough solid to let the color repeat play, but keep me from dying of boredom knitting miles of plain stockinette. Here’s left and right hand varinants of the thing, just in case you want to make a pair of complementary socks, too:

stripepat.jpg


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