Sockin’ It

First pair of socks knitted start to finish (9:30-something tonight, begun in the mists of mid-concussion recovery) since the 2018 concussion are DONE.  And on my very, very grateful feet.  They’re a rich, deep, but vibrant blue.  No pics, because they’re *on my feet!!* and it’s late and I’m really tired but celebrating with hot chocolate (had TWO marshmallows in it!  And spices!)  to be sure I really sleep.   They are also the ugliest, most mistake-ridden socks since the first pair, including having some of the same problems.  They fit about as well as my second pair, when I had the length right but the wrong shape for the part of the foot from heel to ball of foot.  (The first pair were too short, too wide, and came off if I walked sock-footed down the hall.  Ribbing was uneven, there was a row of purls instead of knit stitches across the bottom of one heel, and so on.  But they were SOCKS, and they felt better than commercial socks, so I wore them happily while knitting replacements.  That was in, I think, 2012. Whenever it was a triumph.

The next pair after the blues I just made, a rich dark-chocolate brown, now have four inches of cuff (need only another inch of cuff)  and now that I remember some of my earlier tricks, should be less full of “What the heck is THAT lump?”  Tomorrow I will cast on the pair after that, when I decide on the color.   One way I can keep knitting smoothly (or used to) is by not using the same color for successive pairs, and by having the next pair well under way when the first one is finished.  5 inches of ribbed cuff can be boring, so by starting the cuff about when I’m halfway done, and just knitting a few rows a day on the cuffs, they’re almost done when the other pair is done, but no long sessions of knit two/purl two.  And no need to decide then about what color, because I’ve already got them on the needles and connected, just 3-4 rows on.

I don’t want to have to use the swift and the ball-winder yet; I’ll be knitting from pull-skeins (though nobody these days seems to know how to do the kind of smooth-flowing pull-skeins that Bernat produced in the ’60s…mothproof 100% wool, worsted weight, with the free end pulled out for you a little ways.  I loved Bernat Sesame.  My yarn mountain has been at SABLE (stash above & beyond life expectancy) since the concussion, because I’d stocked up shortly before, anticipating more time to knit.  Time was there; brain wasn’t.  But if I can regain some speed, the stash will start reducing.     If I don’t buy more yarn.  I do not need more yarn.  Why am I looking online at yarn again?  Because I need socks.  The yarn I have, bought to make nice thick cushiony socks with, is fine, but…look at that new color…wow that other colorway shifting through colors I like…NO, I’m telling myself.  You have to use all the yarn sitting outside the storage boxes you bought for yarn and then…thinking you’d just buy more boxes…left in their shipping boxes after double-wrapping in plastic bags.

Oh, yeah, NewBook.  This revision is coming along nicely now, but it threw another plot bomb at me yesterday.  Still processing it. Maybe good, maybe not.  I had to go research ground-penetrating radar to see if it made sense.  Pages of stuff that now looks like sawdust stuffing are out (I thought it was interesting when I wrote it, but it was mostly infodump about stuff that wasn’t plotworthy anyway) and new things are now happening.  Twins are still in.  A mysterious blue card is still in.  Ky & Rafe & Stella & Helen are still in.  Also some familiar secondary characters.  The kids still haven’t found the secret passages.  They’ve been kept busy with other things.   But it’s only a matter of time…   And there’s an idyllic train trip that turns…peculiar when a mysterious group of  AWOL soldiers shows up wanting help.

17 thoughts on “Sockin’ It

  1. Hi – glad to see you are knitting again. Paks would be proud. Take your time with New Book.

    Stay safe and stay sane

    Jonathan up her in New Hampshire where the trees are finally budding.

  2. My granny tried to teach me to knit, but I took to crochet better and faster. Only thing I’ve used yarn for in the past 18 months is to make 35 stitch crochet chains for ear pieces for face masks. I decided to do that back when elastic wasn’t available and it was so much more comfortable and held just as well that I kept doing it. Our college is still masking up. The unexpected benefit is that my allergies are so much better this spring than in past years as the Palo Verde trees bloom. Lovely yellow blossoms but the pollen sets me off. Our trees at home got less rain so they are kind of sparse in their blossoms but one I drove by yesterday obviously had supplemental water this winter and it was a solid mass of yellow. The honey bees are loving it!
    So great to know your knitting mojo is returning.

    1. A few years ago I started wearing masks in my allergy seasons. The one thing about the last horrible year is that I don’t feel wierd about going outside masked up. -Still have to strip down and shower immediately on coming inside though or my blood pressure kites up.

      1. I didn’t know allergies could make blood pressure go up. Hmmmmmmm….would that explain mine being different when I’m doing more sneezing and coughing? If so…more masking.

    2. My mother taught me crochet early and tried with sewing, knitting, etc. but only the crochet took and only for granny squares. Then in college, because she was knitting me sweaters, I tried knitting again and loved it. Crochet makes me turn my wrist in ways it doesn’t like at all. I can still crochet a chain, but that little quick twisty wrist motion for single & double crochets…hurts. I also did needlepoint for awhile, on a large canvas with rug yarn…fun, but then someone who could sew has to put the top on a pillow for me. I sewed for awhile, too, but finally quit…I never really enjoyed it. I did it to make simple curtains, tablecloths, other flat things with straight seams, but it was always a chore. Knitting stuck, and when I finally got the nerve to try socks…and then felt them on…really, really loved it. Very glad it’s come back, though this morning’s tussle with a dropped stitch in the “corner” that took off down the gully of ribbing (the purl part) and got multiple ladders down before I found it (bad lighting; it’s a really dark day and the interior lights just aren’t enough) was not fun. I got it back up but had to work it from the front, where I could see slightly better than inside the “tunnel” of the sock, so there’s now several rows of knit stitches that should be purls. Luckily toward the back of the sock.

  3. On the purchase of yarn one does not need, some questions:
    1) Can you afford the new yarn?
    2) Will the colours of the new yarn make you happy to knit and to wear?
    3) Will buying the new yarn make choosing the colour for the next pair of socks easier?
    4) Could you give some of the yarn in the SABLE that is not as wonderful as the new yarn to someone who would love to recieve it?
    If the answer to the first and second questions are “yes” I’d say buy more yarn, because I bet the answer to the third and fourth questions is yes too.

    Stash Extension Enabler

    1. Jazzlet: I like the way you think about yarn. Can I afford new yarn–up to a point, yes, and I’m not at the point yet. I buy most of mine on sale, discontinued, etc. Will the colors I’m looking at make me happy to work with and wear? YES. Will new yarn (combined with old yarn) make choosing the next pair of socks easier? Um. Maybe. But I already have lots of yarn in colors I really like. It didn’t take me long to choose the raspberry ones (though there were other red choices.) I probably do have some yarn I could get shed off pretty happily, including a few balls in use. I have trouble with orange: I don’t like working with it. I have in the past given away quite a bit of “off” greens that I thought I’d like and then when I saw knitting on them…no. Avocado, olive….maybe because I was trying to knit in the hospital waiting room while my husband was having cancer surgery, but those greens are “dulled” with gray and/or brown and I got more and more depressed. Black–I was going to knit a pair of black socks to wear with my concert blacks when I was still singing in the choir that does concerts. Might well hand that off, because I’m having enough trouble with the dark brown. I like saturated, intense colors (cherry red, candy-apple red, rich blues, greens that are perfectly balanced or lean a tiny bit blue and can go from dark to emerald, turquoise, royal purple. Anyway..yes, getting the right colors of yarn for both working and wearing is important.

      And your enabling is a success because I’m now going to order “just a few” more skeins of Cascade 220 from WEBS (Razzleberry Heather, Jade Heather, get on the list for Lapis Heather which is out of stock, and a couple of others. I’ll dump ALL my oranges. All the colors that arrived more dull, saddened, than expected. And all the leftover-from-mother non-wool. I can’t dump my remaining balls of Berroco Comfort acrylic until I finish the things I promised husband during the freeze-up…I’m over 2 feet into a long scarf for him and have no idea how much yarn it’ll take, but it needs to be at least 5, more likely 6, feet long. It’s progressing very slowly now because socks for me are more critical until November. Thank you!

    2. Oh and sludgey green colours are a real problem, oranges too. Mr J loves bright reds and oranges, but getting wool that really is bright is so difficult. I’m doing a tension test for an Aran in what is meant to be a bright orange, but which I think is a touch pastel, Mr J says it’s ok though which is a relief as I have a whole-jumper-for-a-large-chested-man’s worth. It was on sale, a very very good price per skein, but that still adds up to a lot because he is barrel chested and tall.

  4. Skipping the craft section because I’m re-reading the Vatta books and want more!!! — Love that Ky & Rafe & Stella & Helen are still in. Yes, please!

    Happy sockin’!

    ~Beth in foggy SF Bay Area

    1. Beth: NewBook is moving forward steadily…wish it could be faster, but I’m having to untangle stuff that I didn’t do right in the first place. That slows me down. This week, I’ve been trying to do a synopsis of each chapter, which you’d think would be quick & easy, but I’m doing it all on computer, which means reading pages, switching to my Timeline file, writing notes in it, then back to the main ms. It’s fine with me if you skip the crafting stuff, or the horse stuff, or the land stuff…this is a raggedy buffet service, sometimes, and you’re welcome to pick and choose.

    2. I hear you on how it is hard to untangle a novel when it wasn’t done well in the earlier versions. I’m at the tail end of releasing a novel and really struggled with this one because I had to change so much. I love all your news about the new book, but I admit I only skim them because I love being surprised. I just finished Into The Fire and look forward so much to the next installment.

      One last thing, I could have sworn there was a scene with the twins and Ky and Rafe all having to deal with House invaders. Did I just dream that?

      Thanks for everything and take care.

  5. Your yarn ‘problem’ sounds enough like a friend of mine (who went through a lot of her scrap fabric problem making masks) to the point I’m going to point her to this. Knit what makes you happy, yarn is expensive but your time is valuable and so is happy brain.

    1. If the light’s good tomorrow I’ll take pictures of the brown and the raspberry juice red yarns with socks in progress. Today we had sun, but also visitors. I overdid on the knitting today–got the stockinette sections before the heel flap on both browns more than half done, cast on the second raspberry red sock and got it to six rows below the cast-on row, which means the first 5 rows of ribbing. Hands really sore, two joints inflamed on right hand. If sleep’s not interrupted by scorpions in the night (it’s that season, which is half a year or more), tomorrow I hope to finish the pre-heel sections of both browns and get them started on their heel flaps.

      Unfortunately, yarn is useless for making effective masks against contagion…I can knit a triangular shape but it’s full of holes. And I’m really bad at (and don’t like) sewing, so…useless with the mask-making thing.

  6. I’m hearing that NOW is the time to stock up on crafty things like yarn and fabric, because something odd is going on in the agricultural sphere and prices are increasing, and are going to jump higher than they already are.
    I asked the owner of a fabric store and she said she was told her prices will go up at least 10% by the end of summer.

    1. Leslie: If I dared show a picture of the half-room covered in yarn (plus the boxes in the closet stuffed with it) you’d agree I already have “stocked up” on it. Not going to buy fabric because I won’t make it up–I just don’t do sewing any more at all.

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